An interesting thing happened this weekend — my computer broke. But what’s even more interesting, is what happened after that — I started spending my time on everything I keep wishing I’d spend more time on. I’ve been reading a great book, watched a few old movies, spent time with family, got outside, and played my Nintendo.
I went to one of those used video game stores on Monday to just poke around and see what I could see. I found two games, one was a Midway arcade collection that I just had to get, since it had MKII, MKIII, NARC, Gauntlet II and some other stuff. But, I also got Lord of the Rings: The Third Age. I briefly played a demo of a LotR game for Windows a while back, and while it was pretty boring hack and slash, I figured it might be a fun diversion for the Gamecube. Boy, was I wrong.
This is the one of the coolest games I’ve ever seen, and the first of its kind I’ve ever experienced. It’s a turn-based fantasy RPG (though there really isn’t any role-playing) where you play characters that are *following* the Fellowship of the Ring. In fact, in some cases you are *right* behind them and things from the movie affect you. For example, in the first movie when one of the hobbits accidentally knocks a dead body down a well (in Moira, I think), your party is on the level below and it nearly hits them.
There’s lots of other cool stuff in the game, that I like how it works. One thing is that when you find equipment, it’s automatically assigned to one person. So you don’t have to play around seeing who should get what. Then you can also pick which skills you want your characters to work on, and develop them at the pace you want. My main fighter is working on getting five attacks per round. Our dwarf can crit hit on every attack (totally unfair … for them). The elven chick took us a while to figure out what her strengths were, we finally realized that she’s best suited to just blast people with magic. Our game box didn’t come with the manual, so we’ve been discovering this as we go along.
Another thing that I think is really well done is how the game constantly rewards you in small amounts. You level all the time, and get a few points to disburse to your attributes. It’s a nice way to keep the game from getting stale.
I’ve heard that there are other games similar to this, where they are turn-based fighting styles, but I don’t know of any. I’m really new to the console gaming scene, since I haven’t had a system since I was 8 years old and we had an Atari (Pitfall ftw!). I think the Final Fantasy games might be kind of the same type of thing, I’m not sure. I’m going to go have to rent or buy some more games to find out.
Anyway, good times. My friend Jared and I have been two-playing this game for a long time, and we’re not even 35% done in the entire game. Great stuff.