Game Review: The Lord of the Rings: Volume 1

Geek Specs:

Title: The Lord of the Ring's: Volume 1
Platform: SNES
Genre: Platform/RPG
Developer: Interplay
Publisher: Interplay
Release: 1994

Introduction: Not many games can come close to the sort of game Zelda is, but back in 94' Interplay' The Lord Of The Rings: Volume 1 came close. It is a strange game that combines fantasy RPG-like elements with those of an Action/Adventure. The game is ecsquitly detailed, unlike the cartoonish look of many other early SNES titles. The characters are faceless, but well animated nevertheless. Although, the scale is a bit off when considering that Hobbits are supposed to be much smaller than humans.

Review: The story begins with Frodo, the young Hobbit with mind set on adventure, and over the course of time you acquire more of the fellowship into your party. The controls are fairly basic; two buttons swing your sword in different directions, one uses a selected item, and another displays your life energy. Lifepoints are acquired by destroying your enemies. The more creatures you kill, the higher your health level.

This game flows smoothly from event to event and keeps the story readily fickle. There are a few "dungeon-like" levels, but for the most part it is one long continuous quest. There is no map, which makes navigation of caverns and dungeons rather difficult. Once you have completed a task, just like in Zelda, the best way to escape is to die and return to your most recent save point. As far as sound goes, the games hardly-mystical music becomes an annoyance after some time and it seldom changes from place to place.

Conclusion: Overall, the game is interesting if you enjoy the books by Tolkien, but will ultimately be overshadowed by other SNES RPG's like Zelda, Chrono Trigger, and Final Fantasy. But not a bad attempt by Interplay to bring this ageless classic back to American minds in the early 90's. It would have been more popular had a movie accompamied its release.

Ratings: (scale of 0.0 - 5.0)

Gameplay: 3.0 Graphics: 3.5
Action style fighting and sword-swinging are slow and unresponsive but the plot is very true to the book. Detailed character design and smooth animation, but odd camera angle.

Sound: 2.5 Overall: 3.5
Annoying, repetitive, techno-flute action makes my ears bleed. If this game had been completed in the second volume of the book like planned, it would have been decent.

Written by Gandalf


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