by theVoiceofSauron

The last several weeks, I’ve been glued to my Playstation 2 controller, all thanks to the new ”EA” title ”The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers” which is strictly a high pace, action game for the Playstation2, X-box, and Gamecube. And while I have only played the PS2 version, the other two aren’t much different.

But before I yammer on about what I thought of the game, let’s take a quick overview of the game itself. The name; ”The Two Towers” may be misleading for some when you first get into it, as you start off in none other than the prologue from ”The Fellowship of the Ring” movie. However, it is only a movie until you see the front line of elves slicing and dicing the attacking Orc army. Then, right before your eyes, the movie smoothly turns into the game as Isildur runs to the front shouting ”Kill them all!”. At which point you take upon the role of Isildur and try to kill as many Orcs as you can. After this, there are more movie/game transitions which will simply amaze anyone, whether they’re a LotR fan or not. After you beat the level where you defend Frodo from the Ringwraiths as Aragorn, you enter what I like to call ”the actual game”. Your first assignment is to choose one of the three playable characters from the Fellowship which are: Aragorn; the quick and strong ranger and rightful heir to the throne of Gondor, Legolas; the nimble and agile Elf prince of Mirkwood with incredible bow skill, or Gimli; the hot headed dwarf whose powerful axe takes down enemies with one blow. You can earn skill points throughout each exciting level which you use to buy new combos, stronger weapons or stronger attacks for each character. The skill of the attacks you use (fair, good, excellent and perfect) and how many Orcs, trolls and beasts you kill with those attacks determines the amount of skill points you recieve.

Alright, now it’s time to hear what I thought after playing and beating ”The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers” a countless number of times. Well, to tell you the truth, just by looking at the package my first thought was ”wow, this is going to be impossible!”. I thought this mainly because it’s an analog stick only game (the lefthand joystick on the PS2 controller). I’ve become so accustomed to using the directional pad, and if your like me, it does take some getting used to. But with TTT’s ”lock on enemy” system, you’ll never end up attacking the tree next to you instead of the Orc in front of you just because you aren’t good with the analog stick. Also, when buying new moves, there are ”linked combos” called ”Goblin Bane”, ”Orc bane” and ”Bane of Saruman”, which are done while an Orc or Uruk-Hai is charging at you. The button configuration for this is fairly easy but I, along with everyone I’ve talked to about it, just simply can never pull one of these moves off.

Now that I’ve told the games only two real weak spots as far as I see it, let’s get to the game’s strongest points. Of course, like any game, the graphics are the most essential part, and TTT delivers it: smooth, solid and fast! From the light coming through the window onto the tomb of Balin in Moria, to the moon shining on an Uruk-Hai’s armour at the fortress of Helm’s Deep; TTT has the best graphics in any game released for the Playstation 2 console that I’ve seen thus far. I could go on and on all day about how good the graphics are and how the hair and clothing of the characters flow like they’re real or how the characters’ mouths match up to exactly what they are saying…but you’re just going to have to see it all for yourself. Putting aside the graphics for a moment, in TTT; as soon as Aragorn sets down the path towards Moria in the first level you start to feel like you really are in Middle-Earth, you really are walking past huge Ents in Fanghorn Forest (and yes, they do talk), and you really are kicking down ladders off the walls of Helm’s Deep while you watch as ten thousand massive Uruk-Hai storm the gates below.

All in all, TTT is definately a ”nine out of ten star” game and something you *don’t* want to pass over. So if you don’t have ”The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers” for any gaming system on your Christmas list already…well, what’re you waiting for!? or if you have some extra cash laying around (which psssh!…who DOES!?) then run to the store and pick up a copy of TTT now!…and I promise you won’t regret it.

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