We’ve been asking everyone from age Seven to age Eleventy One to send in their reviews of the new games in the flavor of Middle Earth, including the new Video Games from Electronic Arts and Vivendi Universal, the Miniature War Game from Games Workshop, and the Card Game and RPG from Decipher. The comments have literarly OVERFLOWED the Gaming Havens news bag, which is GREAT! Keep those reviews coming! You keep writing them we’ll keep putting them up! Just drop an e-mail to Havens@TheOneRing.net!

Heres a review of Two Towers for PS2 from Electronic Arts’ by Zac Bertschy

Long time reader, first time writer. I bought the Two Towers game as soon as it arrived on shelves, since it had new footage from the second film in it; I didn’t really care what the gameplay was like, so long as I got to see the new scenes. To my surprise, the game turned out to be one of the best action games I’ve ever played. The combat system is fun beyond all reason, and the level-up system is rewarding and a blast to play. The graphics are outstanding and they did a fantastic job capturing the feel of the films and the tone of the characters and scenes they’re recreating. My only quibble is that the interviews – the ones with the actors from the film – seem ot be focusing on the game. The actors really wouldn’t have much to say about a video game tie-in, and it seems like they’re struggling to come up with something to say aside from “I don’t play video games very often..”. A fantastic game, probably the only example of a good game based on a movie.
As for Vivendi Universal’s game, well, if it didn’t seem such an obvious attempt at cashing in on the success of the films, I wouldn’t be as biased against this title. The graphics are okay, but the character design seems.. well, stilted. Gandalf looks a bit too much like Sean Connery and his voice is an obvious attempt at impersonating Ian McKellan. Character animations are okay and the combat system, while a little easy and repetitive, isn’t horrid. The fact of the matter is, they glossed over too much. In this day and age, if you’re going to do something relating to LOTR and you’re going to boast about it being ‘based on the books’, then make it as painfully accurate as possible. We already have the ultimate version of these books on film; trying to recreate Tolkien’s vision in other forms of media needs to do what the films can’t, which is be endlessly faithful to the books and include everything. Yeah, parts of the game will be pretty dull, but they needed to do something with this game that wouldn’t make it seem like just a knock-off of the movies. As it is, they include Bombadil and the Barrow-Downs, and that’s about it. Everything else is included in the films, and there’s really no reason to play the game. Aside from that, it’s terribly short. This should have been an epic-length game.. there’s no reason you should be able to finish it in less than 10 hours. Buy The Two Towers instead.

Here’s a review of the Fellowship of the Ring for XBox from Vivendi Universal by CCanedy

The idea alone of a Lord of the Rings game for the next generation consoles was incentive enough for me to venture out and buy this game on release day. So I popped the game into my Xbox and started playing. As far as visuals go they aren’t the best. The developers did not use the full potential of the Xbox and while Graphics don’t make the game it is somewhat disappointing. The controls are decent enough to not cause many problems. The AI is pretty bad though. Enemies give up on trying to kill you if you run far enough away and on some occasions let you attack them with long distance weapons and bat an eye. I was willing to forgive all these problems because just the idea of being in an interactive Middle-Earth is excitement enough but then I lost all patience. I was 3 hours or so into the game, running around Bree as Strider. I ran into the stable and got the hay needed for the objective. I saved and ran out of the stable and died soon thereafter. No big deal. So I reloaded my saved game to find out that the only exit to the stable was blocked by some sort of invisible wall. The game glitched on me. This thoroughly disappointed me to the point where I returned the game soon thereafter. It wasn’t worth the effort to play the game if it is going to effectively ruin my experience and halt my progess with a glitch. My opinion is that this game is a definate rent not buy and around a 5 out of 10. Buyer Beware. On the upside, I think The Two Towers Game is better by far but that’s for another day.

Here’s a review of Universal’s The Fellowship of the Ring for PS2, XBox, and PC by CTruppi

Universal’s title is so below average that it reeks of marketing gimmickry! The gaming formula is tried and true: take a good (in this case great) license, throw in some flashy graphics and a game engine that feels rushed and untested and , voila, you’ve sold a million copies. Unfortunately, Tolkien fan reviewers have bought it hook, line and sinker! They’re so darn happy that someone actually made a LOTR game for next-gen system that
they’ve overlooked the myriad problems and assigned much higher than deserved scores for these reviews. These are both deceitful and insincere and mislead us fans into thinking that while there are problems, this game is worth our time. WRONG!

The first problem is in the fraudulent ads put out by Universal stating that the game would be true to the text. Some missing areas from the text include: Bilbo’s birthday, Gandalf’s actions in the years following Bilbo’s birthday, Gandalf’s captivity in Isengard, Caradras, Lothlorien gift giving, Boromir trying to steal the ring and others. Considering the brevity of the game (I finished in 5 hours), these scenes would have added depth to a
disjointed gaming experience. Also, the ending was completely changed and was done very badly. It seems as though Universal read all the complaints Tolkien fanatics had with the movie and threw in Tom Bombadil, the Barrow Wights and Glorfindel and said, “see, we’re sticking to Tolkien!”.

The second, and major problem, is that the game just isn’t any fun! The battle system is horrible, and considering that after Bree, 75% of the game is fighting makes the experience even less fun (compare to EA’s TTT excellent fighting game to understand how much fun a fighting game could be). The boss battles are plain stupid, non-challenging and anti-climatic! The whole thing feels rushed and I’d love to speak with a tester at
Universal to see what the heck they were thinking to allow this game through the beta phase!

In conclusion, while many reviewers add scores to this title because of the Tolkien license, I actually take points away. My love and admiration for the Professor’s works raises my standards not lowers them. Universal should be ashamed of the claims they’ve made and the garbage that they’ve released with LOTR name stamped all over it. I give it a resounding 3 out of 10!!

Here’s a review of The Two Towers for PS2 by Electronic Arts by JKugler

One word can describe this game, awesome! Gameplay is superb, graphics are very good, and the never before seen TT footage was jaw dropping. I especially love when you beat the game, and it shows the scene where Gandalf is talking to Aragorn about how Sauron is blind to Frodo, and how the ring moves closer to Mordor each day. We see a little of this in the trailers, but it goes on for a good 30 seconds. The Helm’s Deep levels are absolutely amazing. It’s so intense, you really get the feeling that your outnumbered 30 to 1. At some points when the Uruk Hai just keep coming, you get the feeling of despair, just the way you feel in the book, I love it! I’ve beat it twice already, once with Aragorn and Once with Legolas, now I’m working on Gimli and Isildur. The Tower of Orthanc level is pretty cool, though not as hard as I thought it would be and I was hoping to fight Saruman at the end. All in all I give this game a 9 out of 10, well worth the price.

Here’s a review of the Fellowship of the Ring for XBox by Universal, and a review of The Two Towers for PS2 by Electronic Arts by Gloin

First ill tell you my thoughts on lord of the rings the fellowship of the ring for xbox. now this game i do like, but it just didnt seem to live up to the books. i would give it a 6 out of 10, to really enjoy this game you pretty much must be a fan of the books, which i am, so i did enjoy it.

now to the lord of the rings the two towers for ps2. this is now my all time favorite console game ever, i mean it really feels like the movie, and it looks great! it has the most replay value in a game i have ever seen, i have beat it with all characters already and unlocked everything, but im not finished with it, i just cant get enough pleasure out of killing all the uruks at amon hen so i keep coming back to it and kill them all over again. i give this game a 10 out of 10, this game i think ANYONE can enjoy.

Here’s a review of the Trading Card Game, The Fellowship of the Ring for XBox, and The Two Towers PS2 Game by Electronic Arts by Ramen

The card game is lots of fun, I think it is the first time since Magic: the Gathering that I’ve seen a card game actually pull off simple yet interesting play mechanics. I was THRILLED to read in my last PC Gamer that the card game will be going online! Sweet!

Then I bought the Fellowship of the Ring for XBox. Listen, I’m a true Rings fan, but I should have known when the clerk at EB warned me to, “Give this one time…”. Well, I gave it 2 hours. As much as I was dying to see the book scenes that hadn’t made the movie, I couldn’t stomach this game (I am really sorry, Quickbeam! 🙁 The voice acting was fine, it was the controls, the way Frodo moved, the combat system, and fighting with the camera angles I just couldn’t deal with. I realized I was most decidedly NOT having fun, and that’s why I play games, so…back it went, alas.

I wasn’t about to give up though, and plunged right in to Two Towers for the PS2. Good LORD, this game is wonderful! If you like the story, I fail to see how you could NOT like this game! I love it to death, the way they merged the movie and the game is groundbreaking and I hope to see this in other movie to game projects in the future (like The Matrix, for example). I’m not a huge fan of hack and slash games, but this is just a treat to play.

I hated to admit I didn’t like the Fellowship of the Ring game, but I do not feel any such need to apologize for the Two Towers game, I just hope they will definitely make a sequel for the third movie!

Wow! Thats a lot of reviews! Keep sending your reviews in to Havens@TheOneRing.net and we’ll keep posting them here on Gaming Havens @ TheOneRing.net!