Just RPG - Reviews, PC and PS2 Walkthroughs, Previews, and RPG News!





HOME

Reviews
Previews
Walkthroughs
Strategy Guides
Articles
Interviews
Editorials
Links
About Us
Past Issues

June 14, 2011
March 22, 2011
Feb. 28, 2011
Dec. 14, 2010
Nov. 23, 2010
Nov. 9, 2010
Oct. 26, 2010
Oct. 6, 2010
Sept. 21, 2010
Sept. 14, 2010
Sept. 7, 2010
Aug. 31, 2010
Aug. 24, 2010
Aug. 17, 2010
Aug. 8, 2010
June 15, 2010
January, 2010
Dec. 21, 2009
Past Issues

Age of Conan: Unchained
Dark Souls
Dreamlords: Resurrection
Final Fantasy IV In-Pack Items
Mount and Blade: With Fire and Sword
League of Legends: Co-op V.S. AI
Final Fantasy IV
Duke Nukem Forever
Divine Souls Open Beta
inSANE
Mass Effect 3 Unveiled
League of Legends: Cassiopeia
League of Legends: Trundle
King Arthur: The Druids
Majesty 2: Monster Kingdom
RIFT Closed Beta
Deus Ex: Human Revolution
Magicka
Pandora Saga
DC Universe Online Screenshots
Fallout: New Vegas Add-On Content
League of Legends: Lux
Bloodline Champions: The Nomad
Majesty 2: Battles of Ardania
League of Legends: Battle Training
League of Legends: LeBlanc
Iron Cross
Prinny 2
Crusade Kings 2
Lionehart Kings' Crusade
Borderlands Game of the Year Edition
Castlevania Harmony of Despair DLC
Ys: The Oath in Felghana
Spiderweb Software's Birthday
League of Legends: Swain
Gormiti: Lords of Nature!
Disgaea 4
Castlevania: Lords of Shadow
League of Legends: Magma Chamber
League of Legends: Sona
War of Angels
King of Kings 3: Mage
Legend of Edda
Lionheart:Kings' Crusade
Cladun
Dreamlords
TERA
League of Legends
Silkroad Online Battle Arena
Grand Chase Thunder Hammer
Aika Global
The Shadow Sun
Saw ll: Flesh and Blood
TERA
Neverwinter
League of Legends
Castlevania Harmony of Despair
Smash Your Food
I SPY Spooky Mansion
Hexyz Force
World of Tanks
League of Legends
Mass Effect 2
DOFUS 2.0
DOFUS Screens
FFXIII Box
Puzzle Chron.
Gyromancer
Warhammer OL
Star Trek OL
Lost Saga Scr
Marvel DLC
League Legends
Poxnora
Demon's Souls
League Legends
League Beta
Fort Zombie
Arc Rise Fantasia
Arc Rise Screens
Mimana Iyar
League Screens
Marvel DLC
Free Realms
Adventures To Go
Fusion PR Group
Demon's Souls
AdventureQuest
Witch's Tale
League Legends
Half-Minute Scr
Half-Minute
Freaky Scr.
Valhalla
Dragon Quest
Vandal Hearts
Mytheon
Risen
Gemini Lost
Freaky
Gyromancer
FF Crystal
Dragon Quest
Star Trek OL
Fort Zombie
Disgaea 2
FF Crystal
Champions OL
Wizard of Oz
Star Ocean
League Legends
Valhalla Scr.
Dragon Age
Marvel Ultimate
Risen Website
League Legends
Adventurequest
Final Fantasy
Agarest War
Agarest War Scr.
Demon's Souls
SMT: Persona
Pangya
Dragon Age
Warhammer
Mana Khemia 2
Runes of Magic
Cursed Mtn.
Cursed Mtn. Scr.
Freaky Creature
Phantom Brave
Runes of Magic
Aion Goes Gold
Free Realms
Wizards Exec
Freaky Creature
Arma II
Champions
Aion CG Movie
Marvel Ultimate
FFIV Dev Diary
Steambot Chron.
League Legends
Phantom Brave
Runes of Magic
Champions
Champions Vid.
League Legends
League Trailer
Risen Screens
Freaky Creature
Star Treak DAC
Phantom Brave
Demon's Souls
Geneforge
The Witcher
Free Realms
Runes of Magic
Demon's Souls
Aion Screens
Fallout 3 DLC
Marvel Ultimate
PuchiPuchi Virus
League Legends
Fallout 3 DLC
Mytheon
Wizard of Oz
Oz Screens
Marvel Ultimate
La Tale
Asda Story
Avernum 6
Battle Fantasia
League Legends
Adventurequest
Warpforce
New Nintendo
Aion
FF Crystal Chron.
Mind Twist
Little King's
Stan Lee, Marvel
Elf Island
Ether Saga
Wizard101
Demon's Souls
League Legends
FFXI Trailer
Champions Online
Free Realms
Aion Preorder
BioShock/Elder
Silkroad Online
Warpforce
Warpforce Scr.
Runes Screens
Runes of Magic
League Legends
Marvel Ultimate
FF XIV
Knights
Asda Story
Champions
League Legends
Runes of Magic
FF XIV Online
Time of Shadows
Kingdom Hearts
FF IV
Demon's Souls
Lunar
League Release
League Trailer
Cross Edge
Runes of Magic
Phantom Brave
Crimson Gem
DC Universe
Freaky
SMT Devil
Steal Princess
Steal Screens
Wizard101
SMT Devil
Runes of Magic
Warrior Epic
Fallout 3 DLC
League Legends
League Screens
Bounty Bay
Bounty Bay Scr.
Ragnarok Scr.
Ragnarok Online
Runes of Magic
Time of Shadows
Time Scr.
Steambot Chron.
Adventures
Adventures Scr.
Warrior Epic
Sacred 2 Ships
Disgaea 2
Last Rebellion
Mana Khemia 2
Sakura Wars
Witch's Tale
Runes of Magic
Runes Screens
Class of Heroes
Sacred Trailer
Valhalla Knights
Wizard101 Gift
Freaky Creatures
Playboy Manager
Blizzcon 2009
Champions
Little King
League Legends
Wizard101
Wizard101 Scr.
Neverwinter
Warrior Epic Beta
Elder Scrolls
Warrio Epic Beta
Sacred 2
Utopia Kingdoms
Wizard101
Tweet in Games
Star Trek D-A-C
Champions
Champions Vid.
DragonSky Scr.
DragonSky
Free Realms
Free Realms Scr.
FFXI Vana'diel
DC Universe
Warrior Epic Scr.

 





Developer:
Electronic Arts
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Platform: PS2, XBox, Gamecube
Release Date: November 02, 2004

by Justin Granfield




Jumping from the big screen to the little screen, LOTR has became an instant classic in any home. EA Games' latest take on the series adds a bold new flavor to the already hit story. This time, instead of the action-adventure type game, we get a traditional RPG.


At first, you will think The Third Age has stolen a chapter from Final Fantasy X. Not so. The game has very many unique aspects that the Final Fantasy series does not usually have (with the exception of Final Fantasy X-2), such as a familiar world, inhabited by characters we love and creatures we despise.


The story, in general, focuses around a ragtag group of adventurers making their way across Middle-earth. Along the way, they fight in the series' most epic battles alongside Aragorn, Gandalf, Legolas and Gimli. However, the real story focuses on the battles behind the scenes that the Fellowship did not fight. This unique story adds a very different perspective on the events of Middle-earth. EA does a wonderful job adding to the already wonderful series. I would have to say this is the best LOTR game EA has put out thus far.


As said before, The Third Age will seem a lot like Final Fantasy X. The battle system uses the character queue system we saw in FFX. Characters will wait for a turn (as will enemies), and will have to strategize which attacks to use, before the enemy can act. Allies also have enemies that they excel in attacking, just like in FFX. That said, The Third Age still has many unique traits.


Thankfully, this game doesn't have that horrible sphere system. Characters build skill by using skill. Sound confusing? Simply put, characters have different skills they can use to attack, heal or support. Every time they use a skill, they gain a skill point (SP) that helps charcters learn new and better skills. So, it pays off using every skill in a fight. Also, at every level up, you can boost your stats a couple of points, just be wary of where you put your points. It won't help to have a strong character who can't hit the enemy.


The combat system's biggest kick is the “Perfect Mode.” It is best described as a Limit Break... on steroids. These attacks do an insane amount of damage to any enemy. From raining arrows to Ents beating the living daylights out of enemies, Perfect Mode is definitely a big plus for players.


Magic (or Spirit Powers) aids you in the fight against Sauron and Saruman. Just like skills, the more you use your Spirit Powers, the more you will receive in the long run. However, there are abilities that appear in every character, which makes characters seem like they are all the same. There are some skills that are very beneficial though for any fight. But, I won't ruin that for you. You need to unlock those to see for yourself!


There is equipment to be found everywhere, especially after major battles. There isn't a place you can't find treasure, equipment and various key items. There are no shops, like in other traditional RPGs, so you carry every single piece of equipment with you, which leaves you scrolling through a list of collected swords at times, if you want to change swords. Thankfully, EA saves us by creating an option for newly acquired equipment, which lets you equip new items without scrolling through a list.


There are few NPCs. They will just sit by and complain “Woe is me! Doom is at hand! Oh no!” and so forth. You will look most forward to the very brief conversations with Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli. They provide the most dramatic speeches in the game.


There is a feature that I have not personally seen in any RPG before. There is Evil Mode. It is a mode in which you can play as the Sauron's baddies in a chance to collect excellent equipment not found in the game. Yes, you can play as Balrog and Grima Wormtongue. This is a very fun game to play, and you'll find yourself playing it again and again, even after you've collected the goods.


The controls handle very well. There is almost full camera control, which is nice to have when you're lost in the long dark of Moria. The load times are very fast from screen to screen, which doesn't allow any of the action to be hampered. The only long load times are between different sectors of Middle-earth. This doesn't happen often, so do not panic!


The graphics are superb, period. The Third Age switches between game scenes and scenes from the movies. This allows the player to feel like they are part of the story. These scenes are usually narrated by Gandalf, voiced by Ian McKellen. The art and texture of the landscape keeps the player in awe of the majesty of Middle-earth. The cutscenes are plentiful, but are short and add needed details to the game's story.


The sound puts you right in the forest, with all the critters, or in the battle for Helm's Deep amongst clashing steel and destruction going on around you. Character voices are excellent, and definitely sound like they belong to the denizens of Middle-earth. Music in the game is taken from the movie's soundtrack, with symphonies and orchestras narrating the drama that threatens to take hold of Middle-earth.


Average game time runs about 50 hours (that's with stopping to access weapons in Evil Mode). The game definitely has replay value. You'll want to go back and finish every mission, smite every foe and look for every treasure chest. Then there's co-op mode. This was a bad idea, in my opinion. Players can work together to help smite the foes of Middle-earth, but you can only control specific characters. Player 1 will control the first, third and fifth characters received in the game, and Player 2 will play as the second, fourth and sixth characters (I keep their names secret, so as not to spoil the game!).


This game is worth the $50 you will spend. My general overall experience with the game was great. I loved it. This is definitely a game to get that LOTR fan in your family or community. With a familiar world to explore and many ways to do so, you play The Third Age over and over.


Final Grade: 98%




All materials © 2000-2010 Just RPG
RPG Network: Free MMORPG | RPG Music