First, this game is short and easy. For anybody who's played through the Legend of Zelda games, this will probably take less than 10 hours to beat and you will probably die only once or twice. There aren't really any puzzles, and even if there are the game system has a clue system that makes sure you never get lost. Even within that much of it is spent with boring "fetch" quests, i.e. Aragorn has to find something and return to somebody for a reward. Only in front of the Black Gates do you get the sense of an epic battle. In many other stages, the number of enemies is fairly low and things move pretty slowly.
Graphically, the game is a mixed bag. I love the mix between the realistic and cartoonish styles. The pastel color schemes are particularly beautiful. Also, the Hobbiton cutscenes and levels are stunning (for the Wii). However, most of the other levels and characters have good, not great, graphics. The non-Hobbiton cutscenes are abysmal, with some sequences in which the characters' mouths don't even move.
Another thing the game gets right is the Wii controls. The swordfighting is pretty intuitive and works pretty well. This game isn't Motion Plus, but it does allow to to swing your sword left or right, up or down. I thought the bow and arrow and spear could have been used a bit more, but as it stands they work well with the Wii remote. You might even find yourself getting a bit of a workout.
I imagine for kids and casual gamers though this will be a nice, short romp through Middle Earth. It retells the story of Lord of the Rings succinctly and allows you to replay the key moments. Also, getting to see Sam's kids is neat. However, I really do hope Nintendo manages to get an epic LOTR game, if not for Wii than for Wii U (sadly, War in the North isn't slated for Nintendo).
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About the reviewer
Dominic J Nardi (FreeDom4)
I am a recent law school grad with an interest in Southeast Asia legal issues. Unfortunately for my checkbook, ever since high school I have been addicted to good books. I have eclectic tastes, although … more
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The Lord of the Rings: Aragorn's Quest is an action-adventure game for Wii in which younger players are introduced to the excitement, characters and lore of J.R.R. Tolkien's "The Lord of the Rings" (LOTR). Framed in-game by the storytelling of the hobbit Sam Gamgee to his children, the game features the ability to play as the future king, Aragorn, as he fights his way through the key battles and events of the War of the Ring. Additional features include: co-op gameplay as the wizard Gandalf, multiple weapons, the ability to fight from horseback and an in-game economy that facilitates item and skill upgrades. Story It is now the Fourth Age of Middle-earth; a time of peace. Yet though the great battles and deeds that eventually lead to the destruction of the Ring of Power are a distant memory for most, they are not forgotten. Preparations are underway in Hobbiton for a great party to welcome the legendary Aragorn, now king of the united lands of Arnor and Gondor, and to honor Samwise Gamgee for his service during the War of the Ring. With Aragorn’s visit to the Shire imminent, Sam’s children are eager to learn more about this great man and so Sam, now Mayor of Hobbiton, embarks on a tale of the revered warrior, Aragorn, and the valiant deeds that transformed a Ranger of the North, into the last great king of men in Middle-earth.
Relive the great deeds of Aragorn during the War of the Ring as told by Sam Gamgee. View larger.