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4.2 out of 5 stars
LEGO Lord of the Rings - Nintendo Wii
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119 of 124 people found the following review helpful
on November 15, 2012
This game takes place over the course of the three Lord of the Rings books (it does not include the story of The Hobbit). I've been playing it nonstop since I picked it up at launch, and here are a few points of interest:

1. Like the other Lego games, this is a light-hearted version of the story. If changing canon for the sake of a few laughs upsets you, stay away from this one. I am a huge Lord of the Rings fan, and I found myself laughing quite a bit.
2. The more mature parts are cleaned up for younger players. Carrots in place of beer, milkshakes in place of Hobbit weed - you get the picture. Safe for the kids.
3. Like the more recent Lego Batman 2, there are actual voice actors speaking dialogue during the cutscenes, as opposed to the pantomiming in the earlier Lego games.
4. There are elements of the story from the books, excluded from the movies, which are included in the game. I won't spoil the surprise.
5. A new inventory system lets you collect and combine gear to add a few RPG elements to the game.
6. If you're unsure about picking this up, there is a demo available for the PC. While it is on a different platform, you'll get a general feel for the game.

A great game, and I consider it the best of the Lego series.
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75 of 83 people found the following review helpful
on November 26, 2012
My son and I are big fans of the Lego games. We've played all of them but Indiana Jones 2, which we were advised to avoid. The games are a perfect match of fun, comedy, puzzles, and activities to perform for those who wish to get "100%". This works well for father/son gaming. He wants to blow through the levels and watch the humorous cinematics, I want to go back and meticulously go through every nook and cranny and unlock all the secrets. We play together and by ourselves and everyone is happy.

We love the Lord of the Rings franchise (books, movies, games) and it is a good fit for the Lego gaming experience. The folks at Traveler's Tales Games have really tried to push the envelope of Lego gaming by adding a more open play space, quests and a map function.

This is one of the first titles to use dialogue, Batman 2 being the first. LOTR pulls dialogue directly from the films, including the grunts made during jumps and when fighting. It's a mixed bag. Some scenes it really works but I found that both my son and I missed the 'lego language' of previous games. Not a big deal, just a little issue. The humor level is down a bit from other games. There are occasional sight gags that made us laugh out loud but the jokes are less frequent.

It's more to do with the subject matter but the color palate is pale and muted. When you are walking around you will get lost just like Sam and Frodo. Tan hills, grey hills... Get ready for grey bricks, dark grey bricks, tan bricks, brown bricks, dark brown bricks. I know, it's reproducing medieval fantasy but it gets a little dull busting up chunks of rocks all the time. It must be taxing for the Wii because you will be walking along and the background will suddenly appear. "Oh, we're in Hobbiton, finally."

There are classic silly minigames (lots of goat and pig races) that bring back the lego game flavor. There are powers and people to unlock, getting you access to more and more - this is the part of Lego games that I love. You gain a new guy, go back into freeplay missions and unlock things previously denied to you. There are red bricks to achieve, through world spanning mini-quests offered by people you find around the map. These quests are silly (A woman in Hobbiton says her husband lost the house key in Moria). You find them via freeplay, and you can use them to unlock 'cheats' like stud multipliers, just like you are accustomed to. One new addition is the gold brick has been replaced with Mithril bricks. These can be spent to forge items at the blacksmith's. Many of these items are used to satisfy mini-quests, others help you level the playing field, gaining other character's special powers.

There are special powers that make every character important. Samwise is by far the most valuable character and you get him from the start. Going through the game you will unlock more powers (like when you are gifted the elven rope).

The giant world is both a curse and a blessing. It's really nice to walk around and feel the topography and music change to announce you are in a new zone. Each area has several characters to find and purchase, a handful of mithril bricks, and maybe some new blueprints for the blacksmith. There are also several mini quests to gather in each area.

There is a system to set destinations, making the blue 'ghost bricks' give you a path to follow. It's not always easy to figure out. There are also map statues around to allow you the gracious ability to simply pop over to another statue in a different locale. Walking around you soon discover some of the issues the game has. A compass would be nice. The default camera angle is odd at times and unless you use the d-pad to move around, you'll find yourself walking off bridges and falling off cliffs. Nobody can swim. You are given a few moments to frantically press A to jump back on shore. Woe to someone who falls off a cliff into water. You can end up rebounding back and forth as you slip off the edge again and again. I've also fallen through the earth into blackness before. I recommend waiting. Eventually the game would revert to a nearby saved point. There are sequences where you must hop from point to point or face zooming back to the start. These can be really frustrating due to camera angle.

The screen split is constant when playing two player, which can be confusing. It's hard to coordinate walking together. My son and I were constantly getting separated. You can use C to switch characters but sometimes characters are only available at a given time, meaning you switch to their current location in Middle Earth instead of right where you needed them. An "EVERYONE ON ME" command would have been nice for the world exploration mode.

In closing. The mini quests and tedious world exploration might be frustrating to the younger set, and might not be enough for older gamers accustomed to Skyrim and other traditional rpgs. I like the game but just wish it was a little simpler. I use Lego games for relaxation and bonding with my son. I think they achieved gaming nirvana with the Star Wars complete Saga game. I would have been happy with a game like that, with a LOTR facelift.

[EDIT] We have finished the story mode and finally can play together in the Middle Earth Map. It's still difficult to coordinate movement, and the split screen can make targeting things with the wii remote (Like Legolas's bow) annoying, but at least we are able to use every character we have collected. I'm keeping the review at 3 stars because many of the puzzles are frustrating due to camera position and the fact that nobody can swim (and falling in water sends you back to land, and not the most recent platform you jumped from).
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39 of 46 people found the following review helpful
on November 16, 2012
I pre-ordered this game and have played for several hours already. There are a few changes in the structure of the game which make sense given the story. Like a couple of the other Lego games you have the ability to change characters via a character wheel, which makes it very helpful for several of the puzzles. The map ability is a new and very helpful feature so that you can see where you are and eventually jump from map point to map point. I have not used the inventory feature a whole lot yet, but I can see how it will be useful further on in the game. It seems like Lego is seeing what works and doesn't in the past few games and is improving for customer satisfaction.

Other than a couple of slightly glitchy (which you can't catch everything) or very dark (just turn up the brightness) levels, its a highly enjoyable game for both Lego lovers and fans of the series.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on November 27, 2012
This game is fun, but a bit more difficult and longer to complete than prior Lego games that I've played (Star Wars and Harry Potters). I'm about 65% complete - finished all story modes, a couple of the free plays, and got most of the white bricks at Middle Earth. Here are my thoughts so far:

- Hearing the actual voices from the movies can be very exciting (e.g. "my preciousssss" (actually captioned with multiple s's)), especially if you are a fan of the movies
- As mentioned by other people, the screen is dark. I had to turn up the brightness to almost 100%
- The new map functions take a bit of time to figure out and get used to
- Like other Lego games, some bugs still exist. Characters still get stuck or fall into darkness sometimes
- The biggest bug with the game is switching between characters. There are several tasks requiring you to switch back and forth between Legolas, Sam, and Gollum. But in single player mode, instead of switching the current character to a desired one, it sometimes switches to the idle character in another location, even if that character was not the one you wanted to switch into. This means if you are climbing on a cliff (e.g. Mount Doom), you keep falling off and will need to start over
- Jumping can be very difficult sometime, and when combined with the bug mentioned in the previous point, can be extremely frustrating
- Unlike other Lego games I've played, simply having the right characters may not be enough to finish a free play. In some levels you will also need to have the right tools forged at the blacksmith to complete a free play. This is an added complexity to the game vs other games

Overall it's still a very enjoyable game and I'd recommend it to any Lego gaming or LOTR fans!
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on December 24, 2012
We have played Lego games for Star Wars, Harry Potter, Indiana Jones and Batman. The Lord of the Rings Lego game is the worst of all of these simply because of the glitches, as has been noted in virtually all of the bad reviews. The game hangs at critical times, forcing you to restart levels multiple times and hope that you don't encounter the glitch again. The worst aspect of the game though is that you cannot complete the game because of glitches. In the Dead Marshes, once you collect all three treasures, the computer mistakenly says you have 4 treasures. So it doesn't give you the mithril brick for this achievement. Then you can collect only 199 of the 200 bricks and you cannot finish the game because you need all 200 mithril bricks to make all the mithril objects. Since you cannot make all the mithril objects, you cannot unlock the last character, the blacksmith of Bree. If the glitches are so bad you can't finish the game, the game shouldn't even get one star. This review is for the Wii.
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17 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on December 4, 2012
I know that we are constantly coming back with glitches in this game. I have one glitch that says I have not collected the items but I know we did and took them and traded them with citizens of middle earth already. Yet it still reads "0". Wow. In the back gate free play the game wouldn't allow is to fight the black rider. We had to power off and then try again. Once through the black rider, we are now stuck with Aragorn not being recognized, even in the circle, to fight the troll with armor.

Characters get stuck when they fall into nether regions only to recover by powering off. It sucks. Jumping distances are inconsistent. Hence getting sucked into the nether regions.

The split screen is annoying. I like other versions where two characters are in the same space use one screen.

Targeting is weak at best. Only to be stuck seeing part of it if in two player mode because of the split screen.

Over all the game play is pretty simple. Easier than other Lego games. I miss the feature to change the characters by using the 1 or 2 buttons.

I honestly think that this version of the game has me set on never getting another Lego Wii game. Without update possibilities the game will continue to be frustrating because I will not be able to complete it. Maybe it is just that Wii is part of the issue but the poorly tested and sold game is the real culprit.

ETA: So we finally have gotten to the point in the game where we would like to finish. Lo and behold we have hit a glitch that it doesn't record the hidden treasures found in Helms Deep. I can give those found treasures to the characters to get bricks and such but because I am short ONE mithreal brick I can not finish the entire game. I am locked out. So I am revising the review to a 1 star. Again no way to get updates because Wii doesn't support that. Kids are frustrated as am I.
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on December 10, 2012
Okay, let me say I am an AVID fan of both the lego wii series games and of LOTR, even more so. The only reason I gave this item 2 stars is BECAUSE it's lotr! To start, the good. It's set up pretty different than other lego games in the way you earn your items such as bricks and whatnot but I really like the scenery and the music and I LOVE that you could actually WALK from Bag End to Mordor in fifteen minutes (what were these hobbits complaining about ;) It's fun to be all the characters and to basically be inside of a tolkein world. Having said that,and onto the bad, this game is FULL of GLITCHES!!!! Literally making it so frustrating to play that it's practically impossible to play. Now, for those of us used to the Lego games we're seasoned in the annoying camera angles and the typical awkward maneuvers that would be easy in any other video game but because of the graphics and positions in lego games can be hard to tell exactly what you're looking at sometimes. But this game is unbelievable. A few examples: everywhere you go past the pretty beginning is of course full of rocks and rough terrain, problem is that someone didn't do their proper testing and you can literally fall into a crevice and get stuck in a myriad of places (and it seems almost EVERY time you use gollum this happens, SOOOO frustrating to the point where you're jumping up and climbing something and you're deathly afraid you'll fall, not because you'll die (come on, it's a lego game) but because you'll get stuck and have to switch to your second character and go to another area wait for your fallen buddy to rejoin you. This is soooooo frustrating. Another horrible glitch arises when you have to use multiple characters together to climb to gain an item. So each character can do an individual thing just like the other games, so for example when you're climbing the side of a tower for a brick and you need to have Sam's rope to climb, then switch to gollum to climb a wall and then Legolas to shoot arrows to jump on,and you have to keep changing between them but unfortunately if you don't press the C button with PERFECT timing and in the exact right way it instead switches you to your duo character and while you frantically try to switch back (which on towers for some reason has a delay reaction sometimes to switching unlike on the ground) the character you had climbing jumps down. Try this one about ten times and you'll have a total freak out. And the list goes on. As others have said it also takes FOREVER to load, but I could deal with this for an LOTR based game.
Oh and lastly, on the actual game play (I usually don't even care about this in these games, I rush through them and then the fun for me is going back and beating everything and collecting which I'm sure is the same for everyone else who likes Lego games) but this one is soooo basic and REPETITIVE!!! How many levels are going to have the same fighting scenario over and over. I couldn't believe how unimaginative this game was. It's obvious they're just cashing in. What a bummer, it had so much potential.

Basically, here's the deal, was it worth buying? I don't know. I love the LOTR so much maybe it was worth the money just to be able to run around middle earth and be my favorite characters. What was NOT worth it was my time being hair pulling frustrated because a system glitch MADE me have to start again. This I just CAN'T take. I literally started playing again (I'm about 50% through total completion of the game so far) tonight to just run and do a couple quick things because I didn't want to get burned out or frustrated. I literally went to get the first brick I needed and the glitch on changing characters sent me back three times. I decided to write this review because now that I have the game I feel like I will have to finish it because once I start a game that's how it goes. But really, if I could go back, I'd rather not have even bought it. Ignorance was bliss. Buyer beware. Lotr happiness with lego game furry.
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16 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on November 19, 2012
Before reading, you must know that I have played every Lego Wii game except for Indiana Jones 2 and Rock Band. I have enjoyed each one immensely and they are all completely addicting. I like the new added touches of the newer games, and the simplistic fun factor of the originals. The ones based on movies do an excellent job of pulling in memorable scenes and making them with a bit more childish humor. I just received this game today, so I don't have much playtime to make a completely accurate rating on this so far. However, from what I have played, this one seems to be the most widespread. You don't seem too confined to one spot, which can make for a bit of a hardship if you don't know your way around Middle-earth. The characters are fun and the gameplay has that same Lego feel as the others. I am curious to see how expansive the game truly is and how much of each movie is truly in the game, but right now I am enjoying the adventure and look forward to the ride that I know I will be on until I get that 100% completion percentage. The most enjoyable aspect of the game is the voice over from the movie. In previous Lego games, excluding Lego Batman, there were no true voices, just random mumblings and sounds. This one has the actual dialogue from the movie, and the music has the same eerie overtone as the movie as well. The cut scenes are a blast and the gameplay is fun, thus far. I have no complaints at this point, but will post any as they arise. If you have played any of the Lego games before, this is a great addition to the franchise, and one you just got to have. If you haven't played them bebore, what are you waiting on? These are some of the greatest, most addictive games out there. Come see what all the hype is about.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on March 6, 2013
From the time I started playing the LEGO games, all my friend and I could say was how awesome a LEGO Lord of the Rings game would be and we weren't let down. I had this pre-ordered as soon as possible. This is one of those games where buying it on a different system could've led to a few more characters, but that is only if you ordered ahead of time and used a code to purchase it with X-Box. You get all your favorite characters from the Lord of the Rings movies (not the Hobbit, just in case you're wondering, but we can hope that gets a LEGO game too) and several versions of some of them, as well as more famous characters that might not have had a big part in the movie such as Gloin, Gil-Galad and the like. There is a lot of stuff to get in this one, some fun extras to find and nothing is too easy to get. In past LEGO games like Batman or Harry Potter, you're pretty much able to go where ever you want from the start, which at least for me resulted in getting a lot of stuff between levels and having nothing to do at the end. In this game you can't wander in to areas any farther than you've progressed in the game. I thought that feature may bother me, but I found that it extended gameplay so that I didn't have most of what there was to get before I reached the end of the game.

Some of the things to get include:
Red Bricks (typical of the games, your multipliers, disguises and a few fun extras in this one)
Mithril Bricks (kinda like gold bricks in other games except you craft items with them. Fun toys to play with when crafted)
Mini-kits (Still have these to finish off in levels of course)
Characters (Not tiles in this one, some characters you get from completing the levels but some are unlocked and you have to find them around Middle Earth. Finding them sometimes ties in to using your Mithril crafted items)
Treasure Items (All levels have 3 items you need to find in them, some of these need to be given to people in Middle Earth)
Blacksmith Designs (All levels have a blacksmith design to find that you'll use with Mithril Bricks to make more items to give to people and use)

-No more people in peril. The closest thing to them is that Middle Earth is scattered with people that have items they want you to find or craft (you keep the items after). Some people give you mithril and others unlock red bricks.

There is the occasional glitch, you'll get that with any game but I didn't come across any that left me unable to finish the game or ones that did any more than make me have to restart the game and even those didn't set me back more than five minutes. All in all a fantastic game with a ton to do.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on February 19, 2013
Hours and hours of fun. Holds pretty close to the story-line and has loads of cut-scenes from the movies - but all done with Lego characters. I highly recommend this game. The one caveat is that it does tend to be a little buggy - characters walking through walls, falling "through" the water and then becoming trapped, and freezing from time to time. It is probably because the Wii is not as powerful as the other main consoles, but just be aware of that. At least auto save will hold your progress most of the time in the main part of the game, it is just frustrating to be toward the end of a level and have it freeze, only to make you do the whole level again.
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