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The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring

The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring by Black Label Games The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
by Black Label Games

Platform: Xbox
ESRB Rating: Teen

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• Third person adventure game based on the literary works of J.R.R. Tolkien
• Frodo, Aragorn, and Gandalf are all playable characters, each with their own unique characteristics
• Many regions to explore including: The Shire, The Old forest, Bree, Moria, and Weathertop
• Beautiful 3D cinematic cut scenes deliver key story elements
• Favorite characters from the story appear in the game including Tom Bombadil, Farmer Maggot, Old Man Willow, the Balrog and more
• Professional voice acting and facial animation system brings each character to life Preview: Thanks to the wonderful magic that lawyers weave, there are actually two games licenses for The Lord of the Rings, one based on the original books and the other on the films. The Fellowship of the Ring is the first of the former, which strangely doesn’t have a direct counterpart from the latter. Just to add a final nail of complexity to the coffin of confusion, because the movie did such a good job of visualizing the book, all the games have ended up looking very similar. At the end of the day, though, it means Tolkien fans have two games to look forward to this Christmas.

Although it may look similar, The Fellowship of the Ring appears to be a much deeper role-playing game style affair than its rival. Taking control of either Frodo, Gandalf the Grey, or Aragorn, you get to hunt some orc with the best of them, but you also get to delve deeper into the detail of the book, embarking on subquests and meeting with characters that the movie didn’t have time for, such as Tom Bombadil and Glorfindel. It’s rare that a game trying to do so many things at the same time gets them all right, but the mixture of fighting, talking, and puzzle solving here makes this the definitive Tolkien game for real fans, and may even end up teaching the films a thing or two about adapting such a well-loved tale. --David Jenkins

From the Developer: Following the storyline of J.R.R. Tolkien's book The Fellowship of the Ring, this third-person action/adventure lets you play as part of the fellowship on a journey from the Shire to the River Anduin. Faithful to J.R.R. Tolkien's epic masterpiece, the game allows you to explore the massive environments of Middle-earth while solving puzzles and fighting enemies like Orcs, Black Riders, and an evil Balrog in the quest to destroy the fabled One Ring of Power.

Customer Reviews:
This game gets one star because I have to, November 14, 2002
Reviewer: Carl J Meyers Jr from APO, AE United States
I admit that I haven't gotten very far in this game. The reason is that I don't like to play this game. When I turned it on during the day, It was fun when I was helping the hobbitt village people with the little tasks they needed, but then night fall came and I couldn't see jack. So I thought I would put the game away and play it later that night. My place was black as pitch except for the light coming from the television and I still couldn't see a thing. I'm supposed to be avoiding those black riders, but I couldn't see anything. Somehow I got past that part. Then more helping villagers. That's the best part of this game. I don't remember exactly where I'm at with this game, but I doubt I'll go back.

There are far better games to buy for the XBox than this one. OddWorld, Blood Omen, and Enclave just to name a few. Don't waste your hard earned money on this...

It cool., November 10, 2002
Reviewer: Donald Condry from Tampa, FL USA
Man this game is so don go for a book.

How come?! This game doesn't reach the tail of Two Towers!, November 7, 2002
Reviewer: cororshasta
Oh God... this game is terrible. I expected a lot more. I'm just punching myself for not having a PS2 to play the EA game Two Towers. I just BEG BEG AND RE-BEG for the ea guys to relase their game on xbox. Oh, one hint bout this game: DONT BUY IT!

What a horrible game, such a shame....., November 6, 2002
Reviewer: zenpaul from Sherman Oaks, California USA
Wow, what a let down. I was looking forward to this game for a couple of reasons.
1. I love the books
2. I love 3rd person action/adventure games
3. Surreal had something to do with it, and I loved Drakan, the Ancients gate (which this engine obviously shares a lot in common with.....well, except for most of the good parts.)

Where to start on this turkey.....

A: Graphics. Very very similar looking to Drakan the Ancients Gate, but no where near the size/depth of the environments in that game. The game looks passable, and that's the most favorable word I can use, but the maps/environments are very very small for the most part, and you are more or less on a very narrow *track*. The graphics in general have a sort of cartoony, empty feel. The game lacks much mood from a visual standpoint, and that's a shame given the source.

B: Gameplay. 1 word...horrible. All the problems that plague bad 3rd person adventure games are here. Camera panning/orientation is one of the worst I've played in a long time, which again is a real shock, as Drakan the Ancients gate is one of the best in that regard I've ever played. Weapon selection (not that there is much/any) is clumsy, and it's a real problem when using Gandalf especially, not that it matters much as the fighting is so simplistic. In short, just about everything that can be annoying about control issues in games like this, is. I really don't understand what happened, as the engine is obviously by and large the same one used in Drakan, and it's fantastic in that game. Perhaps this game had a different team of people, or was actually in development before Drakan was.

Whatever the problem is, it sure is lousy.

On top of those two things, the gameplay being the major flaw, the game is shockingly short. I finnished this game in 5 hours, with no cheats, no online help, no guides, it's laughably short/easy. Also, the game just feels thrown together. The cut scenes seem very's hard to describe this unless you play it, but it really seems very thrown together.

In summary. I wouldn't buy this game, and I have a hard time even recommending that you rent it. I'm not sure it's even worth the 6 bucks or whatever your local rental place charges.

Avoid at all cost....what a shame, such potential to make a truly great game, and from (at least in part) a company that has made a fantastic game with more or less the same engine. If your looking for a good 3rd person action/adventure that you may not have played, check out Drakan the Ancients Gate. It's a much much better game than this, in every way possible.

Don't waist [money] renting this game, November 5, 2002
Reviewer: sproutboy13 from Denver, Colorado United States
This is a bad bad game. The play is slow and nothing happens. Wow you get to throw rocks and use a walking stick to fight bees. I want the hour I waisted on this game back.

As close to the original story as you can get, October 31, 2002
Reviewer: A gamer from Hillsborough, NJ United States
I wholly recommend this to Tolkien fans, and RPG adventure gamers. It has excellent graphics, cut scenes and sound. The story is 95% true to the book, and its that part that may turn off true hard core gamers. Itrs certainly not long, but it includes all of the book, any attempt to make the game longer would probably have taken away from the adventure. Its can be a bit simple, but for Tolkien fans, its the best.

One friggen expensive coaster, October 29, 2002
Reviewer: A gamer from PA USA
If RPG's are your bag, go for it. Tolkien fans - Don't expect too much because it doesn't deliver. Unfortunatley, I did have expectations and was failed. Graphics are very good, as is sound. However, the start of the game, dialogue and loading are about the worst I've witnessed. Rent it first... I did have the forsight to atleast do that much and until its due back...its collecting dust, as I play Halo.

On the XBOX Lord of the Rings is incredible!!!, October 26, 2002
Reviewer: Westley Merlin from USA
I've never seen JRR Tolken's work be presented so well. With the 3-D epic incredible adventures and epic quests of lord of the rings: The fellow ship of the rings for XBOX and the realistic 3-D environments just like in the book, I can't say there's anything wrong with this game. I recommend this for any XBOX gamer!!^_^

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