In LEGO The Lord of the Rings for the PS Vita, players get to explore Middle-earth in an epic and thrilling LEGO videogame adventure for the entire family. Based on The Lord of the Rings motion picture trilogy, LEGO The Lord of the Rings takes players through the epic events from the classic story, reimagined with the humor and endless variety of LEGO play. Trusted with the dangerous task to destroy an ancient magical ring that threatens all that is good, Frodo is forced to leave his peaceful home. Players relive the legend through the LEGO minifigures, as they explore wonders, solve timeless riddles, and overcome endless foes in their quest to destroy the Ring.
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Lego Lord of the Rings retells the story of the three films which in turn were taken from the Tolkien trilogy which is made up of The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers and The Return of the King. The game does not adhere strictly to the plot but has been presented in a form suitable for gaming. The game in no way attempts to copy the stunning cinematic experience of the films in the same way that the films do not copy the lengthy and pretty much non humorous saga telling of the books.
The variety of character groups is retained, the Hobbits, Dwarfs, Elves, Ents and others as well as individual characters such as Gollum, alias Smeagol, and monsters such as the (mini)Balrog and Shelob the giant spider. All of course in Lego format and each of the characters having one or more special abilities.
The action takes place in Middle Earth, a very large and varied open world forming as background against which the epic journey and adventure takes place. As with the original saga format the from start to finish the plots moves on forward to a final climax and is never lost sight of.
The heroes are the Hobbits, Sam, Merry Pippin and Frodo (and later Bilbo Baggins) short in stature and friendly and home loving by nature, who are in no way naturally equipped to undertake such a momentous adventure. They have been chosen to recover and destroy a magical ring by casting it into a fiery mountain, the Mountain of Doom, the only way that it can be destroyed. As they journey, the Hobbits form a fellowship consisting of Aragorn the Ranger, Gandalf the Wizard, Legolas the Elf, Gimli the Dwarf, Boromir a Man of Gondor who they meet along the way. The ring has a magical power which, when reunited with two others of its kind, will bind their magic together and bestow upon the holder of the rings supreme evil and destructive power.
The play can be switched between the story lines of different heroic characters such as Gandalf the wizard, Redegast (who was not in the films), Saruman and Frodo. The characters can collect a variety of weapons such as swords, bows and the axes which are the favorite weapon of the Dwarfs, and also magical items such as the Light of Earendil and Elven Rope. Other weapons are character specific such as the broadsword wielded by Boromir and Faramir, and the Elven Knives used by Legolas, Saurons Mace and the humble sling wielded by the Hobbits. There are may character specific armors and shields and a useful invisibility cloak. There are also more mundane items such as buckets for putting out fires or a broom which doubles up as an arrow. Other items may be forged from the magical material called Mithril by the Blacksmith who lives at Brill. The list goes on and on.
There are eighteen levels as well as a completion bonus level and a secret ending, and over eighty playable characters to be discovered and unlocked, each with at least one ability or special weapon. The game can be played with others by using the drop in and out gameplay facility.
The graphics are fine but as nearly everything is composed of Lego pieces there is not really a standard to judge them by, and of course they can never even approximate to the stunning portrayal of the film series. The same can be said of the voices and sound effects, the dialogue supposedly taken from the films. And all done in the best possible Lego taste with a touch of Lego humor. A great deal of fun can be had from this story of epic proportions if you don't take your epic proportions too seriously.