by William Thompson
reviewed on NDS
“There and back again”
The Lord of the Rings trilogy has long since disappeared from the cinema screens and until Guillermo del Toro finally gets around to finishing a movie based on The Hobbit, the hype surrounding all things Middle Earth will slowly die down. On the small screens though, it appears as though Tolkien fans are still avidly playing games based on the fantasy world. And why wouldn’t you, when there have been some quality titles such as the Battle for Middle Earth games and Lord of the Rings Online (and its sequel Mines of Moria). Unfortunately, DS fans of Middle Earth have been shunned. But that has now changed with the release of Lord of the Rings: Conquest.
“Speak friend and enter”
The DS version of Lord of the Rings: Conquest is a 3D isometric action game set in; yes you guessed it, the lands of Middle Earth. The campaign game allows the gamer to play through a number of battles which occurred in Tolkien’s fantasy world. Anyone familiar with the movie trilogy will immediately recognise the campaign intros as scenes from the movies. This nice little touch certainly helps to put you in the mood for some Orc slicing. The player has the option of three units to choose from (warrior, archer and mage) as well a number of specific units which become available to the gamer as progress is made through the campaign. These special units include Gimli, Gandalf and Ents. The campaign game involves completing various objectives in order to win the campaign map. This could include capturing a command point, destroying various targets or just killing the marauding Orc army.
“The Age of Men is over. The Time of the Orc has come.”
The conquest game mode uses the same maps as the campaign game, but with a slight twist… gamers have the option of fighting for either good or evil. The three main units are still available and have the same functions for the forces of Sauron, albeit in Orcish form. Special units for the evil team include huge Orc trolls and Nazgul. The conquest game is basically a capture the flag scenario requiring the player to take control of all the command points (which act as spawn points for new troops) on the map and hold them for thirty seconds or destroy the opposing team’s army.
Whilst battling through the campaigns and during the conquest mode, players will be able to gain access to four different power-ups when disposing of enemy units. One enables the gamer to heal, one can be used to increase speed, one can be used to perform more potent attacks and there is one to reclaim the mana used in special attacks. Unfortunately, when switching characters in the middle of a battle, the speed and potency power-ups are lost.
“You shall be the Fellowship of the Ring”
Lord of the Rings: Conquest contains both single and two player multiplayer modes where two people can pair up to battle cooperatively alongside each other or directly against one another using the wireless technology built into the DS. Battling against a friend can certainly feel more rewarding than simply playing against the AI in the conquest mode.
No Pros and Cons at this time