| paleface [sys=PS2; cat=Beat_em_up; loc=NA] |
|A surprisingly fun blade and bow beat-'em-up. Those who liked the first movie will get a kick out of this as you get to take control of one of the heroes in what seems like almost every single fighting sequence from the first two movies--for instance, so far I've played as Isuldir at Mt. Doom fighting Sauron's army, then Strider at Weathertop fighting of Ring Wraiths, then a choice of Strider, Legolas or Gimli on the approach to Moria (fighting Orc ambushes, then the "watcher in the deep"), then the next stage was the defense of the dwarf-king's tomb (choice of the same three heroes again) but I haven't tried that yet.|
Like most beat-'em-ups you can try mashing buttons all the way through or actually bother learning some of the many combos. Skilled fighting is rewarded by higher experience points that level up your character (not sure what this really does for you) and are used for learning new attacks and combos. There are a lot of buttons to learn at first but it probably becomes second nature fairly quickly. Numerous clips from the movie(s) shoot you through the story between fight sequences, these are a lot of fun to watch but if you haven't seen the movie or read the books you may be left wondering what the heck is going on. I'll probably hold off on playing the second half of the game until I see the Two Towers movie, because the game is sure to contain "spoilers."
Graphics are nice and murky like the movie and there's a considerable amount of activity in the action sequences with no noticeable slowdown. Pretty much non-stop hacking and slaying so far, good stuff. The camera stays at a fixed angle for the most part so you don't have situations where you lose sight of yourself, unless it's because you're obsured by a horde of attackers. Some character models look a bit flat close-up but you only have time to notice this in the in-game cutscenes, which otherwise look surprisingly like the movie itself.
Sometimes the computer plays one of the other heroes battling along beside you, it's a darn shame that this game doesn't support two-player, that would have been completely kick-ass.