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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good but also annoying
LOTR the 3rd age is a cross between arcade style hack and slash games and true RPG's. Game format is based on building a party of adventurers and more or less following the route taken by the Fellowship of the Ring in the films.
Initially, you start out as a single character who is then almost immediately joined by another. As a pair you work your way through a fair...
Published on 29 Dec 2004

versus
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Plays very well - until you finish it
For those who do not have the game, this is nothing like the other games in the LOTR franchise (read: bandwagon). Those games are in the nature of platform games, after the fashion of Dynasty Warriors. This, on the other hand, is a Role Playing Game (RPG) where you take turns to attack enemies.
The rough story of the game has cleverly given itself a lot of freedom...
Published on 27 Jan 2006 by Bill Morris


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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good but also annoying, 29 Dec 2004
By A Customer
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Lord of the Rings: The Third Age (PS2) (Video Game)
LOTR the 3rd age is a cross between arcade style hack and slash games and true RPG's. Game format is based on building a party of adventurers and more or less following the route taken by the Fellowship of the Ring in the films.
Initially, you start out as a single character who is then almost immediately joined by another. As a pair you work your way through a fair number of scenes and quests, collecting magic items and experience until joined by a third member and so on until there are 6 of you.
Game play allows for 3 of the characters to be on screen and active at any time, though occasionally you are joined by a member of the original Fellowship if a particular baddie needs despatching!
This is a fairly long game (it took me 35 hours of gameplay to complete - gameplay excludes the times your party is wiped out)!
It has a number of brilliant features, such as the excellent cut scenes (109 in all which help to explain the story and also expand slightly on the films) and the development of the characters which is similar to PC RPG's. It also has superb graphics and excellent sound.
So why did I give it four stars instead of five?
Well, there are a number of features which I found annoying though this is only IMO.
1. Normally the game progresses in a failry linear fashion with regular save points. On certain occasions, however, a battle will be immediately followed by another battle without the opportunity to save, upgrade characters etc.
This is where you lose game time through dying and is really frustrating as on completion of each battle you are given experience and treasure. This means that you can complete a battle, get a "level up" or more powerful weapon but not be able to apply it to the character as you are pitched straight into the next battle (still suffering damage from before).
If you now die, you're back to wherever you were last able to save!
This particularly seems to happen when you have just fought your way past a really nasty enemy!
The other frustration is that the designers seem to favour a couple of the characters over others, thus you end up with one character carrying around 20 different swords (which only they can use) and another struggling along with a swiss army knife - ok, so it's not quite that bad but there is a big difference in terms of say what the ranger gets and what the gondorian warrior has.
Well that's about it. Overall this is an excellent game and I really enjoyed playing it but it's not perfect or maybe I'm just too picky!
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27 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lord of the Rings: The Third Age (Xbox), 26 Nov 2004
By 
K. Voiles - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Lord of the Rings: The Third Age (PS2) (Video Game)
I am an avid gamer and every once in a while, a game comes along that really captures my interest and becomes a game I grow to love. 'Lord of the Rings: The Third Age' is now on that short list of games I consider a 'must have' game for any serious gamer. My wife and I have played this game for approximately 30 hours on our XBox, and we're only 76% of the way through it (or so the game tells us). We have been playing in co-op mode and have thoroughly enjoyed it thus far. We find ourselves playing it 2-4 hours at a time, it's that much fun to play!
You can read game descriptions in the other reviews or elsewhere online (try the official website), so I won't bore you with what you actually do in the game (although I don't find the game boring by any means!). What I will say are these things...
It is a role-playing game (Final Fantasy games are a good comparison...if you haven't played one of them, think of 'Dungeons and Dragons'). This means that it is turn-based. In every battle you enter, every single character (good and evil) gets a turn to make an attack or defensive move on one or more characters. If this doesn't sound like what you're looking for, think very hard about it before deciding you don't want it. My wife thought it would be like the other LOTR games and was initially disappointed that it was an RPG and not a pure 'Halo' type action game. I can tell you it took about 10 minutes for her to change her mind about this game, and she loves playing it!
The graphics are second to none (Xbox owners will love the detail their Xbox gives to the Balrog!!), the animations are fantastic and the weapons/armor/items and spells are many. There are so many different ways to go about a battle, that the possibilities are endless for gameplay. Evil characters are varied, so you're not fighting the same old 'bad guys' throughout the entire game. The levels are well designed and gorgeous! Like the movies, you feel as though you truly are looking at the world of Tolkien in this game. You can also play as evil characters once you unlock certain levels in the game, but I have yet to play as those characters so I can't comment on that half of the game yet. Sound quality is fantastic, and is in Dolby Digital so you know it's going to be of high quality.
In short, the graphics, sound and gameplay all make this game something every gamer out there should own. Highly recommended!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Plays very well - until you finish it, 27 Jan 2006
By 
Bill Morris "Jazz Dragon" (St. Albans, Herts England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Lord of the Rings: The Third Age (PS2) (Video Game)
For those who do not have the game, this is nothing like the other games in the LOTR franchise (read: bandwagon). Those games are in the nature of platform games, after the fashion of Dynasty Warriors. This, on the other hand, is a Role Playing Game (RPG) where you take turns to attack enemies.
The rough story of the game has cleverly given itself a lot of freedom by making it about a set of characters who are not in the game at all. It follows a man named Berethor on his rather shaky quest to find his captain Boromir. Along the way he picks up various companions and friends, sometimes fighting alongside the members of the fellowship. You can also build up your skills, eventually earning new ones, which look really cool.
It is all tremendous fun, and the game reaches a climax on the pelennor fields. You fight a LOT of mumakil, then you fight an improbable number of Nazgul, and finally he Dark Lord himself. Lord knows how you got there. Once you have defeated him, there is lots of cheereing and celebration, and then...nothing. There is actually nothing you can do once you have finished the game. You can redo the end of the game again and again, and that's it.
It would be much better if you could do the whole game again, complete with special battle and bosses. There is a "travel" feature, which lets you go back to places and have random battles, but it is not nearly as fun. One feels that there is a whole lot more to do (in the respect of skills and such) and nothing to do it in.
So this is indeed a good game, but rather annoying once you have finished it.
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25 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, 12 Nov 2004
This review is from: Lord of the Rings: The Third Age (PS2) (Video Game)
This game is not like the other LOTR games, this is an RPG very similar to final fantasy X. If you are like me and love the LOTR films and previous games you must buy this. You are a fellowship very similar to the original fellowship, but the characters have different names and different stories behind them.
You follow in the tracts of the film and some points you meet up with the original character, I have just helped Gandolf kill the Fire Saromon in the first film.
There are 109 film scenes that you unlock hundreds of weapon's and items to find.
I have played this game for 8hrs now and can't stop playing it.
As I am only 20% of the way though I would assume that this game would last 40hrs.
Finally if you do not like final fantasy X you will probably not like this game. But otherwise this is a wonderfully game and if definitely a must buy.
Gameplay 10/10
Graphics 10/10
Story 20/10
Lifespan 10/10
Overall a huge 10/10
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great game but mainly for real LOTR fans, 28 Aug 2005
By 
C. Rice (London, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Lord of the Rings: The Third Age (PS2) (Video Game)
As a huge fan of LOTR I love this game and look forward to playing it. I'd never played Final Fantasy before so was new to the way the game play worked but it's very user friendly and I picked it up straight away. Its an RPG (Role Playing Game) where you take control of a number of characters from the Middle Earth. However these are not the characters in the books/films - they are made up characters which bare some resemblance to those in the books/films. So 1 of your characters in a Dunedain warrior, 1 is an elf, 1 is a warrior of Gondor, etc. This may annoy some gamers - not playing as Legolas, Gandalf or Aragorn. But do not fear - they will join you in crutial fights and you get to love the characters you've got anyway. You choose how to develop your characters as they get stronger. So you decide whether to focus on magic abilities, leadership skills or sword skills. I liked this aspect because it was like customising your own characters.
Some more detail about the gameplay: Fights are acted out on a turn basis, so you will choose your move (or to use an item) when it is your turn, this will be performed and then it will be another characters turn, maybe one from the other side. You can see whose turn is next from a chart on the screen, and there is suprisingly a lot of tactics that need to be learnt when fighting. You will travel through different parts of Middle Earth with your characters, on your quest and you get to fight cavetrolls, Balrogs and loads more. The only thing not so great about the gameplay is that it is all pretty similar which was also responsible for me giving the game 4 stars not 5. I never found myself wanting to play it every night after I'd played it a bit because it was kind of repetative. But I've had the game a while now and I still come back to it about once a week for a go, so its still very enjoyable on this basis.
Now to the graphics: They're not amazing to be honest and that was 1 reason for me only giving this game 4 stars, but they're far from terrible and there are lots of cut scenes taken from the films which are quite nicely done. This is another reason I only recommend this game to fans - you will eventually have watched a large proportion of the films! This leads me onto saying the lifespan of the game is quite good, probably around 15 hours.
Overall this game if for fans of LOTR who want a RPG - you will not be involved in furious button pressing fights. Instead some tactics must be deployed but I think this makes an intelligent, unique and enjoyable game.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars good but not great, 19 July 2005
By A Customer
This review is from: Lord of the Rings: The Third Age (PS2) (Video Game)
Well i'm almost finished this game (on the last chapter), quite good but you have to be a fan of Lord of the Rings i think. There are a LOT of film cut scenes. Almost the entire 3 films! Although some of them are not done well as you find that what the developers have done is simply cut out a piece of the film which seems to fit what they want to say storywise. This is annoying if you have seen all the movies and realize the cut-scene visuals have no relation at all to what the story/narrator is saying!
Like others have said it has a similar battle system to the FF series except i felt FF system is more fluid and dynamic and informative(certainly regarding planning of attacks and initiative). Also the perfect mode here in Third Age (similar to the special limit attacks in FF) is more limiting because you have the same perfect mode attack for all the characters and not an individual attack. So if you use the perfect mode attack for one character then you have to wait to build it back up again. Its a party based pool limit system which is more limiting than FFs.
On a plus point each of the characters you can play have their own specialities and so you dont find yourself just using 3 characters for the whole game and maxing them out (a fault of FF). The only character i didnt bother with at all was Morwen as i found her superfluous. Best powers ive used the most are: Arrows of Sleep, Flames of Ruin, Mountain Shield, Mecthwelian(sp?) Wrath.
A really good thing they did implement in the battle system is the switching of characters. In the future i think most games of this type will adopt this (i havent played BG so maybe they do?) FF didnt have dynamic switching of character from off-field to on-field during the actual battle so this is a plus in favour of Third Age as it allows maximizing of character abilities when needed in the battle or allows you to pull out a weakened character and bring in a reinforcement.
One criticism is in the environment. The only thing you can interact with in the environment are items of treasure. It makes wandering about the splendiforous scenery rather bland. FF gets more points for interactiveness and its sub-games. I have to mention that i havent tried evil mode yet so perhaps this will help in the longevity stakes.
So at the end of the day you spend most of your time wandering about or in battle. Which isnt too bad because the battle is done quite well (not on a par with FF) although even the battles scenes can drone on a bit. A criticism of the plot is that it does feel a bit of a hatchet job. That is, things are pieced together quite crudely sometimes. For example after you complete the Osgillian chapter you *immediately* move onto defending Minas Tirith with barely an intermission. There isnt much respite or variety. They need to inject a bit more flavour not everyone loves chocolate after the upteenth time.
You will like this game if you like Lord of the Rings and you like the FF battle and RPG system.
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32 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lord Of The Rings - The Thrid Age, 1 Jan 2005
By 
Michael Cawdrey "Codger" (England) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Lord of the Rings: The Third Age (PS2) (Video Game)
This game surprised me, because I have the other LOTR games for the play station, and they are a hack and slash melee, but this one, is an RPG. You take control of completely new heroes, including Berethor, the Gondorian soldier, and Idrail, a servant elf of Galadrial. You navigate the map by walking around, but the battle turns into a different screen like the Final Fantasy series. The game can be a little frustrating, because sometimes your enemies get several attacks in a row, and can kill your characters very quickly if you are not careful. The game's story follows behind the book and movie's, but your characters are 'following' the original characters. The two groups of characters sometimes join forces e.g. fighting the Balrog with Gandalf etc..
You can customize your characters with different amours and weapons, changing their appearance. You can only use three characters in battle, but can switch party members mid-battle. Some of the characters can use Spirit magic, these powers are very useful, and can save you from being Orc food several times over. There is also an Evil Mode option, where you unlock evil mode levels by progressing through the normal game. In this mode, you play as the evil characters, fighting against the heroes. This is very fun to do, and gives you special items for your characters in the normal game.
Overall, this game is very good, it is a lot different from it's hack and slash predecessors. If you are a fan of LOTR, or RPGs, or both, I recommend this game to you.
Graphics - 9/10
Game play - 9/10
Story - 10/10
Sound - 9/10
Graphics - 9/10
Gameplay - 9/10
Story - 10/10
Sound - 9/10
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31 of 36 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A very good RPG!, 16 Nov 2004
By 
Iceni Peasant (Norfolk, England) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Lord of the Rings: The Third Age (PS2) (Video Game)
If you like the RPG format of the Final Fantasy games, also love Lord of The Rings and the world of Middle-Earth, then you will love this game.
The playable characters, although are not the proper LOTR characters, are very similar and easy to spot who they are based on. The real Fellowship come into the game on and off at various points of the game, where your team of characters tries to assist them.
The graphics are stunning, the Balrog looks fantastic!! A nice touch with the graphics are when a character gains a new piece of armour or clothing you can see the visible change in clothing.
The gameplay is quite simple to negotiate, especially if you are familiar with Final Fantasy. Each object is clearly described so you can use it to its best. There is a nice map in the corner of the screen to help find your way around and where objects of interest are situated.
The storyline is pretty good, in places it mirrors the real LOTR story, and crosses the line in and out of the Fellowship.
If you're looking for a game similar to Return Of The King, you might be disappointed, this is strictly a RPG game with the strategies and gameplay of a RPG game only. That said, it IS a VERY good RPG game.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars addictive, 2 Dec 2004
This review is from: Lord of the Rings: The Third Age (PS2) (Video Game)
This game is LOTR meets FFX, if you played FFX and liked/loved it and you like the LOTR movies/games then you will love this game, but let me warn you that if your expecting another two towers or return of the king your in for a supprise. Also if you not used to the battle system of the FF games then it will take a while to get used to.............all in all a great game
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good game, if you've got patience!, 23 April 2007
By 
M. Singleton (England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
= Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Lord of the Rings: The Third Age (PS2) (Video Game)
As the title suggests, I think this is, overall, a good game. Having skill points to spend on each of your characters means you can play to their strengths, but it can be confusing if you've only just started and don't know what their strengths are... Also, some of the bosses are tough to beat (though, strangely, I found the ones later on easier to defeat than those at the beginning), it just takes a little bit of time, and some thought. If you're a hack and slash gameplayer, this probably isn't for you, this game isn't about button-bashing. I found it enjoyable and well worth a try though.
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Lord of the Rings: The Third Age (PS2)
Lord of the Rings: The Third Age (PS2) by Electronic Arts (PlayStation2)
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