Lego Lord of the Rings: A Trilogy of Fun

SARUMAN: Moria. You fear to go into those mines. The Dwarves delved too greedily and too deep. You know what they awoke there in the darkness of Khazad-dûm: Shadow and flame.
A creature of Lego and FIRE!
     As many know already, Traveller's Tales Lego games are pretty much always awesome.  Not perfect, but always fun and entertaining, as video games should be.  Lego Lord of the Rings is still improving on the formula for a typical Lego game. 
     I like the new "Hub world" system.  It's the map of Middle Earth and you can roam all over it, from level to level.  There is also "Map Stones" making fast travel between far points swift and easy. 
     There are now plenty of side missions to do as well.  Instead of just doing full story mode and free play, there are small puzzles and things to accomplish all over the main map hub world. 
     The addition of a "Treasure Trove" box of items in the inventory wheel is nice as well.  It gives access to a plethora of items aquired throughout the game.  I am liking the preorder bonuses in this catagory- particularly the Morgal Blade of the Ring Wraithes and the tiny Eye of Sauron's Tower Hat that causes everyone nearby to cower in fear when you look at them.  The Balrog helmet is nice and the 3 Elvish Rings of Power are nice as well.

     I have just made it to Rohan and freed Theodan of Saruman's influence and sent Grima Wormtongue on his way.  Throughout this play time I must say there are a few annoyances in gameplay mechanics.  ANY time you pick something up, it must be "placed" in your inventory.  Even if it's a single item.  EVERY.  SINGLE.  TIME.  This wouldn't normally be an issue, but it gets to be a a huge inconvenience when you're being attacked by a pack of orcs right after you pick up an item.  Seriously, why can't I just grab the object and go- like other Lego games.  Simply make the first item auto carry, then all subsequent pick-ups go to "inventory storage."
     Also- the mechanic for wizards floating items, formerly the Jedi tricks or telekinetic powers from previous Lego games, is still wonky and poses a fair amount of frustration.  Just targeting the proper piece you want can be an ordeal if they're in a pile too close to each other.  Almost a decade of Lego games and this mechanic still has the same issues.
     And my last complaint- the pick up/build/select inventory item button should be separated.  Roughly 60% of the time I want one action it does one of the others- let's say I want to build a pile of Legos, and I'll hold the button, and it opens the inventory, even though I've got the action symbol above my character- specifying the "build function," not the bring up inventory.  It quickly gets bothersome when it happens constantly.  Since there are multiple character selection buttons (on PS3- it's L1/R1 for quick change, and hold triangle for the character wheel) why not have hold L1/R1 bring up the wheel and triangle be the inventory???

     Other than these few small problems this game is still worth buying and playing the crap out of.  Typical Lego awesomeness.  Keep it up TT, I'm already looking forwards to Lego Marvel Universe.  These games may need a small bit of work, but they also continue to provide tons of entertainment value for both young and old players.  In an earlier post about an achievement/trophy in game I said I didn't believe this was they're best Lego game (http://joshuabarsody.blogspot.com/2012/12/lego-lord-of-rings-best-playstation-3.html)- I may retract that statement.  While it does have some issues, this is on par with Lego Batman 2: DC Superheroes.  It feels like a better game after I've put more time into it.

     Considering that I was wondering about this game way back in 2008, before they had announced or thought about making it, I must say it was worth the wait: http://joshuabarsody.blogspot.com/2008/11/why-hell-isnt-there-lego-lord-of-rings.html

     Now I wonder will we be getting "To Lego and Back: A Hobbit's Tale?"  Maybe "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Lego."  We'll have to wait and see when the third Hobbit film arrives in a couple years.

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