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    jp's The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (PS2)

    [February 26, 2005 12:21:00 PM]
    After many months of not playing this game (since October of last year!) I booted it up again to see how it went.

    The level I'm currently on is pretty lame. You have to protect a door from being destroyed against waves and waves of tougher and tougher opponents. It's not particularly exciting and it relies heavily on you being really good with combos that help take out lots of foes quickly. I suck at combos.

    I played the level twice last night. The first time was a warmup (I had to relearn a couple of combos and whatnot) while the second I felt I was playing "for real". I realized halfway throught the second attempt that my thumbs were sore and I thought, "Why am I doing this?". I mean, here I am, in pain, trying to pass a level I don't care about. On top of that, I have som 10 other PS2 games sitting on the shelf waiting to be booted up for the first time (me and my compulsive bargain buying). I figured that I might as well look for a cheat code to clear the level instead of wearing my thumbs raw. It turns out there aren't any cheat codes (until you clear the game for the first time) so..pshh.. so much for that.

    The problem I'm currently stuck in is whether or not I want to play it again with another character. It might be fun, but then again.. I'm pretty sure it will require sore thumbs. I guess I'll just call it quits and wait until I can get the Return of the King (which I want to play co-op).
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    [October 26, 2004 10:23:37 AM]
    I cleared the next level which was pretty cool. You are fighting on the walls of Helm's Deep kicking off ladders and nailing orcs. The cool thing is that there are a lot of other characters (elves, Gimli and Legolas) so there really is a feeling of "teamwork".

    This is in contrast to the next level (which is kind of lame) where you have to protect a door from being destroyed. Alone. Against a zillion orcs...
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    [October 24, 2004 12:31:54 PM]
    Having finished Monkey Island I figured I might as well go back and finish some of my "backlog" in PS2 games. Two Towers happens to be one that I am more fond of. :-)

    As far as I recall, my last few play sessions with this game where frustrating and not particularly rewarding. Yesterday I had the complete opposite experience. It is funny how these things can flip-flop so easily.

    Yesterday I cleared all three of the Rohan levels in one go. I wouldn't say they are excellent examples of level design or anything like that, but I had fun. In particular with the exploding orcs! Hahahah!
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    [September 15, 2004 11:41:09 AM]
    Oh! Another thing I wanted to mention... I was having a LOT of trouble with the troll fights. Basically I would go in, slash, get hit, step out. Repeat. However, I started to use the "back" button (the character jumps back) and wow! It made ALL the difference. I was able to take out the two trolls at the end without suffering a single hit! On to Rohan... they have need of me!
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    [September 15, 2004 11:40:36 AM]
    I hadn't played this game in a while and wasn't sure if I would be able to get into it again. I was also sure I wasn't going to clear the next level on my first try. Would I could get over the frustration? Well, it turns out I was able to easily get back into the game though I couldn't clear the next level (Fangorn forest) on my first try. Or my second, third...etc.

    This level is basically a linear romp through a forest, punctuated by little encounters with different monsters. Either groups of orcs, goblins, a huge orc with a huge sword, a troll, or some combination of all of the above. The environments were nicely detailed with little things going on in the background if you cared to pay attention (I did). However, it is basically a tight passageway that funnels you to the next fight.

    This wouldn't be so bad if the "passageway" wasn't so twisty and the camera angles so bizarre. This game could take some serious lessons on when NOT to enforce cinematic camera angles. Most of the fights had serious problems with this and more than once I had to "take hits" just to avoid some stupid camera placement. For example, in the fights with trolls it is possible (very easy) to place yourself such that the troll takes up almost the entire tv screen! Since the area where the fight takes place has little space to move around, you are basically screwed for most of the remainder of the fight.

    Yup. Great production values, crappy game level design. I make that distinction from "artistic" level design... which is actually really nice.

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    [August 1, 2004 10:08:57 PM]
    I saved Frodo! (unfortunately I wasn't able to save Boromir. :-) )

    I finished the Amon-Hen (spelling?) level. It took me a few attempts until I was able to understand what I was supposed to do. (and at what speed). This was a level like many in which you are racing against some "clock" that is only partially clear. It sort of takes a little bit of trial and error before you can get it right. In my case, it meant rushing to the end, killing everything at the end and then making my way back until I had taken out 60 orcs. When I tried to kill most on the way to the end...I failed.

    The boss fight (with the nasty orc with the white hand on his face) was pretty cool. I was positively surprised that there where different ways to "take him out". Personally I favoured placing large stones between me and the boss. That way, a few of his strikes caused his sword to get stuck (and I could get a few hits in).
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    [July 26, 2004 11:07:00 PM]
    I friend of mine bought this game some months ago and I had a chance to try it out. I was also very interested in it when it first came out. Only recently was I able to get a copy for a reasonable price ($10) so I gave it a shot with my wife on the couch. (she wanted to see what it was like).

    The first time I played it I got to the gates of Moria. There, I died miserably many, many times. On this ocasion, playing Aragorn, I was able to clear the lurker in the deep. The "trick" was to use the parry button! (I never do...) Sigh. It would have saved me some annoyance the first time through. Nevertheless, I proceeded to keep on playing.

    I like the way the game integrated the movie with cinematics and then the game itself. This game is most definitely an experience that is similar to the movie. Since I really liked the movies...this makes the game all the more enjoyable.

    I also discovered that EA maintains its high production values by including lots of cool extras. Interviews, behind-the-scenes, etc. These are just like Medal of Honor:Frontline!! Awesome!

    Finally, and this is a semi-minor gripe, once you have cleared a level with a character you can't go back and play it again! This REALLY sucks actually. I wanted to go back and improve my score (and remember the controls of the game). No such luck. I wonder why they made a decision like just seems weird.
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    jp's The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (PS2)

    Current Status: Stopped playing - Got frustrated

    GameLog started on: Monday 26 July, 2004

    GameLog closed on: Saturday 26 February, 2005

    jp's opinion and rating for this game

    Very cinematic and well produced. Gameplay is good enough, nothing spectacular. Expect sore thumbs from excessive multi-button combos.

    Rating (out of 5):starstarstarstar

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