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Tutorial - 'A Look Back Part 1' by Rowain

An item about General posted on


An interesting look back at an old snes game. Good and funny read.


The crap of yesteryear: Part 1
The Lord of the Rings, Volume 1 for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System


Isn't it amazing? Whenever someone releases a movie, and some overhyped developer says they're making a game BASED on the movie, you get this strange, burning feeling in the bottom of your stomach. We all know why, too.

Games based on movies always suck. (The reverse applies too.)

I challenge you to name three movie/game or game/movie adaptions that didn't suck. Of course, you've got the Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (and the upcoming Return of the King) games for the PS2 by Electronic Arts. For some reason, these games don't suck. But that's two, and now they don't count, so the challenge still stands.

Anyway, let me get to the point. About twelve years ago, Interplay, a talented PC developer with a mixed history of console titles, released a pile of bullshit. This bullshit was very putrid in scent, and was pasty in colour. All those who gazed upon it developed accute lameritis, a very harmful disease that causes you to enjoy shitty games. People afflicted with this syndrome were known to write rave reviews for Enter the Matrix, proving that this disease still had power. Many victims of accute lameritis now work at PSMagazine.

I'm getting off topic again. This bullshit I mentioned earlier had a name. It was called The Lord of the Rings: Volume 1. And it sucked. Hard.

Long before the "polygon" was known to provide extreme graphical pleasure, there was the "sprite." Drawn on the computer using basic graphic programs, the "sprite" is still favoured by some RPG fans due to the extremely colourful and polished look it is known to provide. However, after spending even seconds of their life viewing The Lord of the Rings, even sprite enthusiasts can be known to lose their sanity. Fetid blobs of blue and red constitute your "hobbits" while a few splotches of green and a few pixels worth of height transforms that blob into an elf. Add a white blob to a blue blob and make it a little taller again, and you have Aragorn. Sadly, these blobs aren't even really animated. Your character has the exciting options of moving or attacking, or, gasp, opening your clunky menu screen. Once there, it's a guessing game as to how to use items or check character status. Don't worry. You're likely having more fun randomly switching between character portraits than you would be if you were actually playing the "game."

And strangely, despite the fact you have up to EIGHT (yes eight, Boromir is strangely absent) people in your party at times, you can only carry one of any item. Come on. Are you telling me four hobbits, two humans, one elf, and one dwarf can only manage to carry one health replenishing mushroom? GIVE ME A BREAK. Is this a heroic quest to destroy the One Ring, or a bumbling quest to make it to the Special Olympics Bathroom stalls to destroy the one bowel movement.

Speaking of your party: they're USELESS. The back of the box says that "each character has their own unique personality and decision making skills." This is true. Your party can "decide" to do one of two things.

A) Wander off screen as if magnetically pulled to some distant enemy and die.
B) Stand by you. Literally. They just stand there and die as slightly less braindead enemies run back and forth and hit them. It fucking amazes me. The enemies attack patern consists of moving back and forth in a horizontal or vertical line and yet my entire party can't manage to kill a wolf.

Unfortunately, it gets worse. Once Aragorn joins your party, your control switches to him, leaving control of Frodo up to the computer. And Frodo isn't allowed to die, since he's the Ringbearer. Don't worry about this too much: you have to beat the Barrowdowns to get this far, and the chances of making it out of there is about one in seventy million. But if you do, prepare to enter a world of hurt. Frodo is almost MORE braindead than the other hobbits. In fact, I was considering mass genocide of the entire hobbit race after he wandered off for the thousandth time and I heard the distant ARGGGGH! of his death (I was cheering on the inside.)

Lastly, the entire story is bullshit. This game was supposed to constitute the entire Fellowship storyline, but it ends with Balrog fight (which is battled like a final boss.) Hell, the back of the box even states " your quest to conquer the Balrog and destroy the One Ring of Power." WTF. When was it ever Frodo's quest to "conquer the Balrog?" FRODO DIDN'T KNOW WHAT A BALROG WAS!

So there. Why The Lord of the Rings sucked. I hoped you like it.

Oh, and download a rom for this game if you don't believe me.