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Lego Lord Of The Rings Review

Cart: Lego Lord Of The Rings
Cab: Xbox 360 / PS3 / Wii / Vita / 3DS / DS
Coin: Traveller’s Tales

Come in, my friend! Please, sit down! How the hell are you?! And the family? Great, that’s just great ! So can I get you anything? Some coffee, maybe, or tea – juice? Ah, good, Simone, some tea for our guest please. Thank you, Simone.

OK, so I can tell by the look on your face that you’re wondering why I brought you here so urgently and I know that you’re a very busy person so I won’t waste your time by beating around the bush. I’ve got this concept – this wild, crazy concept and you were the first person that sprung to mind when I was thinking of a potential partner.

Ready? Good.

I want to pitch you a game franchise. Yes, yes, a game franchise. Yes, it is a tricky business. Yes, there are huge risks. Yes, I know we need to be confident of a return on our investment and you will need to brace yourself because – and I’ll get this out of the way right now – what I’m about to say does sound a bit insane but trust me: it’s crazy enough that it just might work!

It’s going to be based on films. I know, I know, film franchise games basically died a death a few years back but I reckon the world’s ready for a fresh start, you know? And not just one film, mind you, but a whole range of blockbuster titles from different eras, genres, directors and studios. How hard could it really be to bring it all under one roof? I can’t believe no-one’s even thought of it before: cherry-picking the best possible source material known to man! It’s a total no-brainer, right?!

We’re not going to use any of the source material literally. Yes, I know, studios and directors are prickly beasts at the best of times but I’m sure that once they see that we’re basically going to take a tongue-in-cheek approach with the whole thing, they’ll soften up soon enough. I mean who wouldn’t want a parody to be made of their life’s work and crowning achievements? It’s like the greatest complement that we could ever pay them, right?!

Just in case this isn’t enough for us to work into the mix, I reckon that we should also theme the games around a popular line of toys just as a fall-back position. Not any old toy though. It needs to be something that’s been around for decades that’s aimed at everyone from pre-school toddlers to enthusiastic adults, y’know, something that pretty much everyone on the planet can relate to even if they’re in foul mood? Yes, I know, it makes the shortlist, well, rather short – and it puts the rights-holders in a powerful position, but I’m confident we can pull it off.

We’re going to stick to a very basic formula and not really change it a great deal for each new game. To be perfectly honest, we’ll have enough on our plates churning a new game out each year without worrying too much about cutting edge mechanics. We might tweak it slightly here and there but wholesale re-invention is off the cards no matter how much anyone moans about it. And we’re going to pump these bad boys out for a good decade of or so. I can’t see anyone complaining so long as we just keep giving them a solid product. It’s not like the gaming community’s a fussy bunch, forever obsessed with the emperor’s new clothes, right?!

Did I say that it’s going to appeal to almost anyone? Good. We want the widest possible demographic. This is going to be the first gaming franchise that’s played universally by dads and boys, mums and girls – even husbands and wives. And if the wives don’t like it, it’s going to be the only game that they don’t mind the rest of the family playing in front of them because it’s based on some film they once liked when they weren’t such a hard ass. Kevin in Marketing had done some serious homework on this and he assures me that it’s a fool-proof plan.

Oh and we’re not having any online or social features whatsoever. Look, I know what your analysts are saying but to hell with that crap. This is local multiplayer only, baby and split screen at that. Who says the 90s got it so wrong!? Let’s just go for that whole retro, party vibe – it’s the new black! And anyway, online just means more work, more coding, more support and we need to keep our efforts focused on the next project as soon as the last one is out of the door.

And seeing as we’re on the touchy subject of any extra features that we can monetise: we’re not going to do any micro-transactions, subscriptions, expansion packs, downloadable characters or any other of that crap. Look, I know you’re pretty big on that right now but trust me: we’re going for the reverse psychology dollar!

The critics? Oh, man, trust me: the critics will love it! I reckon we’ll comfortably get a Metacritic average of 80+ across the board. Not enough to set the world on fire, mind you, but a comfortably secure score nonetheless. We’ll be bullet proof, man!

You look blown away, dude! So what do you think? Hit me!

Hmm. Understood. Yes, I fully appreciate that. Yes, but if…no even on the…OK. OK. Yes. I get it. No, really, I see what you’re saying. No, it makes a lot of sense. Haha – yeah, I’m sure we will look back and laugh about this in years to come!

Well, look, thanks for at least coming to listen and give my regards to Heather, okay, and the girls too?

Simone, cancel that tea would you sweetheart and get me Clive on the phone. No not that Clive, the other one. Yes, I know, I thought that he was going to be a bit smarter than all the others too. You can lead a horse to water…

And don’t worry, Simone, we’ll get this project off the ground, I just know we will – because it’s precious to me.

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Husband. Parent. Gamer. Go figure.

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  1. There is something very ‘more-ish’ about these games. Don’t find them particularly engaging or funny but once you start it is hard to stop.

  2. I just think they’re the most underrated toy / game / entertainment medium out there. They still get great reviews but are never held up as a shining example as such. If you stop and think about how many boxes they do and don’t tick, it’s quite remarkable.

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