Lord of the Rings Conquest (NDS) First Impressions!

It never hit me while playing the PS3 version, but the Nintendo DS version of Lord of the Rings Conquest plays a lot like the old PC favourite, the Warcraft III mod known of as DOTA.

Not convinced? Well, you get to control a hero unit, walking around a map, killing hordes of of enemies while you have your own horde to back you up. Unlike DOTA though, the hordes are finite, you can actually diminish the enemy horde to zero by killing them and taking over control points (where they usually spawn).

Character Classes

Unlike the PS3 version, choosing what character class to play is really really important here. The control scheme works against you especially when you choose to use the buttons over the stylus (yup, you get to choose). Because of this, using ranged characters such as the mage or the archer in a tight firefight equals to inviting defeat.

You can change characters throughout a level, by simply holding down the X button at any of your control points.

The View From Up Here

Interestingly, the game takes place in a 3D isometric view, the special effects are a nice touch (you get to see a ring of fire around your mage and stuff like the archer’s multi-shot can be seen as well). Due to the camera distance, it is difficult to see which unit among the scores of units (your horde + the enemy horde) is yours.

Too bad the sound effect are crap. Your mage sounds like a poor-man’s Star Wars sound effect when he is discharging lightning bolts on the enemy.

Frantic Action

The game is challenging in a way that if the enemy takes over a control point, you are given 30-seconds to wrest it back, to this makes for pretty frantic stuff. So, always remember to clear out any remaining enemies before taking your character and your horde to the next control point.

There are a variety of game modes available. The Campaign mode levels are filled with objectives, where as the Conquest and Instant Action modes just require you to chop, chop, chop through enemy hordes.

All this fighting leads to being awarded medals and badges. An example of a medal would be Public Enemy #1: Ended 1000 lives, and are accumulative in nature. Badges on the other hand are on a per battle basis, an example would be Squad Leader: Less than 10 allies die for every player death on average. These achievements are a pretty nice touch, emulating the game’s console counterparts.

The game has support for local WiFi matches (I’m sure that would make for interesting sessions), but no WFC connectivity.

The Bottom Line

The Lord of the Rings Conquest for the Nintendo DS is a pretty good way to start the year in the case of NDS games. Tolkien fans may complain that the game deviates from the books, but hey, it makes for a pretty good action game, and that in my book, doesn’t harm anyone.

The game should be available this month. Click here to pre-order a copy.

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