As much as I love Star Wars (and clearly I love Star Wars a lot), I love Tolkien’s Middle-Earth even more. I was an enormous fan and sunk over a hundred hours into 2014’s Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor. It was such a great game, but it had its glitches and frustrations. The revolutionary thing in that game, and seemingly perfected in the sequel was the Nemesis System. That the orcs and other enemies you ran into, remember you, become stronger if they defeat you, bear scars from you and can be impressed into your service. It makes the world seem that much more of a living organism. The reviews for Middle-Earth: Shadow of War make it sound like they ironed out the kinks and this is my most anticipated game of 2017. It’s out today for Xbox One, Playstation 4, and PC. Cheevos below courtesy of the greatest site in the land: xboxachievements.com.
Continue reading Middle-Earth: Shadow of War Complete Achievement List (Xbox, Playstation, PC – 2017)
Since we just took a look back at the very first film in The Middle-Earth Saga (click here if you missed our look back on The Fellowship of the Ring), it’s hard to leave Tolkien’s world. CLS Videos has put together this brilliant dual retrospective at the most beautiful sights, the most memorable moments, and the most beloved characters from Peter Jackson’s six films in Middle-Earth. Drink it all in, because as long as Christopher Tolkien is alive (and granted the man is in his eighties), there is literally no chance that the rights to The Silmarillion or any of the other Middle-Earth ephemera not covered under the current rights agreement.
There is enough material in The Silmarillion for an HBO show to run for a decade, with major stories, like The Children of Hurin, are deep enough for a featured film. It’s a little bigger than The Hobbit in size, but it’s probably the densest book in terms of amount of potential story threads per page that I’ve ever read. It’s really a brief overview of Middle-Earth from it’s creation to the end of The Second Age. That’s THOUSANDS of years of stories. It’s inevitable that the family will turn over enough members that they will relent and a return to Arda will be possible. However, to make it as special as these films were to Tolkienites, it will need the same commitment and stewardship that gave us these six films. Enjoy the video, and a Happy Labor Day weekend to those in the States.
I really can’t grasp the gaming industry’s business model. Release all your AAA games within a few weeks of each other and then let all but a few drown each other as they compete to the death. There’s no better example of this than the complete gamer’s death valley that is the summer. You get Madden (which fortunately this year was the best installment in a decade) and NOTHING else for four months. Sure, people want games around Christmastime, but doesn’t it make sense to release a good slice of those games when the target market receiving those games at Christmas have nothing to do OTHER THAN PLAY GAMES! Continue reading NEW POLL: What Was the Best Game of 2014?
Earlier this week we got to hear “The Last Good-Bye” by Billy Boyd, but today the official music video for The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies was released. I think the song is a beautiful summation to The Hobbit trilogy and, assuming this film delivers as the others have, one day we’ll be able to have a marathon stretching from “In a hole in the ground, there lived a hobbit.” All the way to Sam sighing, “Well, I’m back.” The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies opens December 17, 2014.
Well, as far as I’m concerned, they’ve gone six for six on the end titles for the Middle-Earth films. Billy Boyd, the actor who played Pippin in the original trilogy and whose song in The Return of the King was one of the most poignant pieces of that film, will be singing “The Last Goodbye” for The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies. Here’s an early leaked copy (so listen while you can) along with photos of cast and crew. I can’t believe that we won’t be returning to this wonderland; my favorite place in all of fiction. Boyd’s song nicely ties up the lighter journey of The Hobbit journey as Annie Lennox’s “Into the West” lent a powerful end to the entire saga. The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies opens December 17, 2014.