This game is an abomination and I regret every cent of the five dollars I spent at the bargain bin. I've played and beat this game through trial and (t)error, because I bought this game at a time in my life when I didn't have much money. I beat every game I bought so my purchases wouldn't go to waste.
The Story: 6/10, because it manages to faithfully follow the book even more so
than the films despite failing in every other regard. Despite this, there are
so many sidequests and little extra objectives they will enforce on you that
you will forget the plot in due time.
The Graphics: 3/10, they serve their purpose, but not much else. Just look at
the above video. The on-screen avatars are bland and plain and the character
portraits are hideous beyond measure. Everything looks jagged. Frodo looks like
a blob with a brown dot for hair. The characters never move when in cut scenes
at all, so that sucks all the life out of a great story.
On top of that, everything in the backgrounds looks identical, right up to the
forests, towns, and interiors, save for Rivendell.
These look like graphics from either a later on NES game or a very early on
Super NES game, which given that we were already on the Gamecube, PS2, and
X-Box when this was released makes them unacceptable.
Only ever play this on the Gamecube, as it's the only way everything will be
big enough for you check what's going on without straining your eyes. There is
NO detail put into the graphics at all.
The Sound: 2/10, you get repetitive, unobtrusive sounds and effects. The music
is not memorable. Of course, that's only whenever it chooses to function, which
is like only a quarter of time.
The Gameplay: 1/10, serviceable at best, unreliable and glitchy at worst. That
this game was never playtested was obvious, and here's why:
The gameplay was terrible all on it's own WITHOUT the bugs, but they just make
it worse. Your character, no matter who it is, moves like a turtle and there's
no way to speed him up. The RPG system is useless. Your character will almost
always miss your enemy whereas your enemy will almost always hit you. The
battles require no strategy, other than pure determination, to win. Even the
simplest battles can take 5-10 minutes to win.
Oh, and the leveling system is non-existent. You only ever level at a few set
points in the game, but it barely makes a difference. You will spend this
entire game under-leveled no matter what you do. In fact, I would recommend
staying away from battles as much as you can, because you can't carry much
money, and your supply space is also very limited. Just muscle through and take
only the necessary actions if you ever want to see the end.
All that said, this is turned based style.
-Legolas is an archer, right? Well, he almost always misses with arrows. He's
better with a sword in this game.
-As stated, when you win a battle, you do not get experience. You also don't
get money or items.
-You will waste most of your healing items in a single battle and then have to
go back to get more, but first you'll have to hunt up more money.
-You have two types of enemies per level. Usualy 3-5 of them in a party.
-Don't even get me started on the clunky item system and item sharing system
for the party. It's too bad for words, and in this game when I say it's too bad
-This game also has puzzles. PUZZLES! The puzzles are as glitched, buggy, and
frustrating as the rest of this joyless mess.
The bugs...oh God, the BUGS!
-Several times during battles, a character would walk up to an enemy and pass
right through them and get stuck. I would have to reset the game. Invisible
obstacles also run rampant in this game.
-Sometimes, you need to reset the game just to pick up objects.
-The game will sometimes lock up or crash without rhyme or reason at random
times. It once fried my GameBoy when it did that.
-In Rivendell, and this one's a real kicker, they had this little quest for the
elves took Gimli's ax and in order to progress, you had to get it back to him.
Well, I had to reset the game several times because when I finally got the ax
to him, the "Give" command wouldn't function right! So I ended up
having to restart the game from the beginning and get back to Rivendell...three
times, to get it to work. On the third try, I somehow miracled the ax into
Gimli's inventory and was at last able to progress to the Mines of Moria. I
wept. Then I began to laugh maniacally, but it started with tears.
-Then in Moria, I walked out of one room and got stuck when the next room
appeared. I reset and it happened again. I accidentally discovered how to get
past that point. I saved my game accidentally right when the room I was exiting
started to fade, and then it let me move on. Doing this might also ruin your
saved game, though.
-One time, the game loaded a random encounter, but it forgot to load enemies
onto the field.
-I repeat, this stupid game once ruined my GameBoy!
Length and Difficulty: 3/10 Believe or not, it's not long game. The bugs,
overpowered enemies, and unfair RPG system, however, will make the experience
at least four times the length than if you had been able to just get through it
without them getting in your way. I am not exaggerating in the slightest. In
fact, I think I'm giving it a faintly conservative estimate. If you're
determined enough, you will beat the game, but it ain't worth it.
The Controls: 1/10 As responsive as a person in a coma. The gameplay is as
stock and common as it comes, so you wouldn't think they could botch it. The
creators evidently took that fact as a challenge and made it unresponsive and
unreliable as all hell. Add on the unfair RPG system, and you get a stew of
Poison Joke, with the joke being as much on you as it was for the ponies.
Final Verdict: 2.7 Show stopping bugs and a crappy RPG System drag an already
terrible game down to the deepest pits of Hell! This game was not fit for
release, but they did it, anyway. And yet, I still feel like I have not said
enough about this horrid mess.
Replayability? ...You're kidding, right? It was like my own private hell the
first time. The only reason I remember how to play this game so well ten years
later is because it has been forever branded into my memory because of all the
hell I went through beating it once. Yes, I did have to replay many parts
several times over, but then again, if Groundhog's Day was no fun for Bill