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Author Topic: LOTR: The Third Age RPG: Going to be good?  (Read 4123 times)
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Scott
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« on: October 27, 2004, 08:02:22 PM »

Any chance that this turns out to be a really good RPG?  I'm a bit tired of Japanese RPGs, with the bizarre universes and odd monsters to fight.  The Tolkien fantasy/standard fantasy stuff looks better to me, and in a similiar wrapper to the Japanase games.  Plus, it will have the fun LOTR music.  Are there going to be random battles?

Anyway, what does everyone think?  Any really good previews beyond Gamespot or IGN?
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« Reply #1 on: October 27, 2004, 08:07:36 PM »

Nope  :wink:
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« Reply #2 on: October 27, 2004, 08:09:42 PM »

If all they do is copy KOTOR but put it in the LOtR universe then I will be happy with it. Of course that would mean that the writting would have to be excellent, I have my fingers crossed and I will be playing it on Tuesday.
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« Reply #3 on: October 27, 2004, 08:24:09 PM »

Keep in mind it is more of a Final Fantasy type RPG (turn based battles, etc.) than it is KoTOR.  Not that it won't be good - I expect it to be very good, but just don't expect KoTOR type fights.
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« Reply #4 on: October 27, 2004, 08:59:51 PM »

Quote from: "farley2k"
Keep in mind it is more of a Final Fantasy type RPG (turn based battles, etc.) than it is KoTOR.  Not that it won't be good - I expect it to be very good, but just don't expect KoTOR type fights.

That's good to hear, 'cause KOTOR-type fights sucked!
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« Reply #5 on: October 27, 2004, 09:05:22 PM »

I expect it to be a basic dungeon crawler with a bare-bones retelling of the LotR saga. I figure the structure will be very similar to the other LotR RPGs, where you go from one set-piece dungeon to another interspersed with FMV from the movies as a transition. In addition, the game will probably have a lot of item collecting, where collecting an arbitrary object unlocks additional movies and character abilities.

I don’t see the game as having a character-driven story like Japanese RPGs. It’s just a get-to-the-end of the dungeon type thing, leveling up along the way. Keep in mind however that I haven’t really been following the game that much, so this is just based on the one or two bare-bones previews that I’ve read.
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« Reply #6 on: October 27, 2004, 09:21:43 PM »

Quote from: "Andrew Mallon"
I expect it to be a basic dungeon crawler with a bare-bones retelling of the LotR saga. I figure the structure will be very similar to the other LotR RPGs, where you go from one set-piece dungeon to another interspersed with FMV from the movies as a transition. In addition, the game will probably have a lot of item collecting, where collecting an arbitrary object unlocks additional movies and character abilities.

I don?t see the game as having a character-driven story like Japanese RPGs. It?s just a get-to-the-end of the dungeon type thing, leveling up along the way. Keep in mind however that I haven?t really been following the game that much, so this is just based on the one or two bare-bones previews that I?ve read.

Granted I haven't read much on it, but the impression I get is that it is much more akin to the Kotor style of RPG.  i.e. A free roaming one with a plot on rails.  I think it is much less like the previous LotR games than you are describing.

s
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EddieA
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« Reply #7 on: October 27, 2004, 10:28:21 PM »

There will be two stories going on in the game - the basic story of the movie and the story of your characters.  You don't play the characters from the movies (except in select battles).  You have a group of 6 new characters who are following the actual fellowship.  It seems like an interesting way to stay within the movie license, while still providing some new narrative.  Also, rather than the set pieces of the earlier action games, you'll be able to travel all over the world, exploring many of the locations of the films, some of which were only glimpsed in the movies.

The designers have made no attempts to hide the fact that the game is heavily based on the mechanics of Final Fantasy X.  The battles (both random and set) will be very similar, although there will be options to move your characters around in different tactical formations.  As for skills, the game uses a skill tree for each character, presumably like Diablo 2.  There will be things to collect, but these will be sidequests, such as getting ultimate weapons/armor, etc.  There will also be story "spheres" to collect that play reedited footage from the movies (including some from the EE of RoTK) with new voiceovers by Ian McKellan.

Overall, if you're a fan of FFX-style RPGs, this is like a match made in heaven.  If not, the game probably won't change your mind, unless you're a huge LoTR fan.  There's a great site with lots of information on the game here.
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« Reply #8 on: October 28, 2004, 05:47:41 AM »

What you're saying sounds really, really good, EddieA. For whatever reason, I'm hoping that this game turns out to be a strong one, since I'm more than ready to give my $50 for it.
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« Reply #9 on: October 28, 2004, 10:14:00 AM »

Eddie, yeah I agree what you described sounds pretty appealing. When I saw the style of the game at their webpage and read a bit abotu it, I instantly thought "oh it's gonna be a KOTOR like game where you're in the world, but not in the 'main world storyline'" - and it looks like that's pretty much the case.

Even though some of the character models are a bit creepy on their webpage (IMHO some of the face textures look a bit unsettling) it seems like it'll be a fun game!
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« Reply #10 on: October 28, 2004, 03:55:27 PM »

What ? No Hobbitss ??
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olaf
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« Reply #11 on: October 28, 2004, 06:08:16 PM »

Quote from: "Scott"
Any chance that this turns out to be a really good RPG?  I'm a bit tired of Japanese RPGs, with the bizarre universes and odd monsters to fight.  The Tolkien fantasy/standard fantasy stuff looks better to me, and in a similiar wrapper to the Japanase games.  Plus, it will have the fun LOTR music.  Are there going to be random battles?

Anyway, what does everyone think?  Any really good previews beyond Gamespot or IGN?

There is a thing on IGN today with some video clips of the designers talking about stuff.  Nothing great, but decent.

Anyway, I think this game could be a lot of fun and I am looking forward to getting it next week.  It sounds to me like it has the mechanics of a japanese RPG, but the look and feel of something more western, more traditional sword and sorcery.  IE. no cutesy talking animals, no little kid looking characters, etc.

olaf
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« Reply #12 on: October 28, 2004, 06:32:26 PM »

Quote from: "-Lord Ebonstone-"
Quote from: "farley2k"
Keep in mind it is more of a Final Fantasy type RPG (turn based battles, etc.) than it is KoTOR.  Not that it won't be good - I expect it to be very good, but just don't expect KoTOR type fights.

That's good to hear, 'cause KOTOR-type fights sucked!


yes, and shadow hearts: covenent was SO complex and layered...

"hit button....NOW....hit button....NOW...hit button....WAIT....NOW"

 :lol:
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« Reply #13 on: October 28, 2004, 09:06:23 PM »

I'm juiced for this game, but I still have too many RPGs on the plate as it is... I'm gonna pull a bender starting in about 20 minutes and I hopefully will be able to wrap up Tales tonight, and then Knock out Command Mission...then Paper Mario...iy just keeps adding up.
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« Reply #14 on: October 28, 2004, 09:26:26 PM »

Quote from: "hepcat"
Quote from: "-Lord Ebonstone-"
Quote from: "farley2k"
Keep in mind it is more of a Final Fantasy type RPG (turn based battles, etc.) than it is KoTOR.  Not that it won't be good - I expect it to be very good, but just don't expect KoTOR type fights.

That's good to hear, 'cause KOTOR-type fights sucked!


yes, and shadow hearts: covenent was SO complex and layered...

"hit button....NOW....hit button....NOW...hit button....WAIT....NOW"

 :lol:
At least we got to actually press buttons, make character development choices that mattered, and engage in fun, balanced combat.  That beats the sh!t out of watching your l337 j3|)1 jerkily swing his litesabo, pause for a few seconds while bouncing foot to foot, then finally swing again, all without any sort of input from the user.

The only strategy to overcome difficult fights in KOTOR was grenade spamming.  'Cause if you developed your character wrong, nothing else worked.  And good god don't bring anyone who uses ranged weapons into fights--you could give Canderous the Super Flaming Laser Gatling Gun of Immense Death +5 and he'd still suck ass against melee fighters weilding, like, a dairy spoon.  And if they have a litesabo?  Oh, you're f!cked, because THEY'LL DEFLECT EVERY SINGLE ONE OF HIS SHOTS, even if he fires a gigantic burst of 300 or so while you already have the litesabo dude engaged.

The combat system in KOTOR was Neverwinter Nights without attacks of opportunity, any feat/skill/force side balance, or any freakin' COMMON SENSE at all.

Oh, and :LEWL:
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« Reply #15 on: October 28, 2004, 09:29:46 PM »

Um... It's lightsaber, not litesabo.  Kids these days have no respect for the classics.
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« Reply #16 on: October 28, 2004, 09:32:42 PM »

Quote from: "Rowdy"
Um... It's lightsaber, not litesabo.  Kids these days have no respect for the classics.
Wow.  Do I really have to bring out the sarcasm tags again?

Yes, I know it's supposed to be a "lightsaber" (perhaps "lightsabre" if you're feeling rather English).  But litesabo... oh, that fits so much better with the uberl337-ness of KOTOR.
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« Reply #17 on: October 28, 2004, 09:35:27 PM »

l337?

people actually write like that still?

i thought that had gone the way of feathered hair, the fonz, and multi-colored combs.

go figure
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« Reply #18 on: October 28, 2004, 10:12:22 PM »

Quote from: "hepcat"
l337?

people actually write like that still?

i thought that had gone the way of feathered hair, the fonz, and multi-colored combs.

go figure

According to Revelations 13:37

"His return shalt be heralded by a lackith of grammar."

http://www.somethingawful.com/jeffk/gtasaasasasas/index.htm

biggrin

s
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« Reply #19 on: October 29, 2004, 01:04:47 AM »

Quote
At least we got to actually press buttons, make character development choices that mattered, and engage in fun, balanced combat.

Unfortunately in those 'balanced' games, you ended up fighting toy ducks, wooden lions, and all sorts of bizarre creatures that are just there and don't have any backstory at all.  I'm tired of fighting strange/bizarre Japanese monster creations these days.  None of the bizarre monsters have any sort of backstory or history, just random odd little creations.  Blah.  At least KOTOR was set in a well chronicled universe.  LOTR will as well, which is what I'm looking forward to.

There were plenty of ways to win without grenade spamming in KOTOR, you could survive with quite a few builds.  And yes, Jedi's were much more powerful, but it is a Stars Wars game.  The whole point was to make and use Jedi's, so that was expected.

Shadow Hearts has a decent combat system, but it isn't that far beyond and of the others out there, let alone KOTORs.  At least KOTOR tried to stray a bit form the same formula that has been used for years in console games.  Shadow Hearts adds a wheel, big deal.  Same old generic fight setup, same old random battles, etc.

Speaking of which, random battles in the Third Age?
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« Reply #20 on: October 29, 2004, 01:14:43 AM »

Quote from: "Scott"
At least KOTOR tried to stray a bit form the same formula that has been used for years in console games.
KOTOR was built using the Aurora engine, which was originally designed for Neverwinter Nights.  That's why the game plays like a Star Wars mod for NWN.

In short, it's no more 'revolutionary' to console RPGs than Morrowind's port to XBox was--it was just a PC RPG that got released first on a console.
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« Reply #21 on: October 29, 2004, 03:22:10 AM »

Quote
it was just a PC RPG that got released first on a console.

But KOTOR was different then most console RPGs.  Especially for the people who don't play PC games on the computer.  Some of us like computer RPGs and don't mind playing one on a console.  I've played a lot of Nev Nights, so I'm familiar with it strengths and weaknesses.

I'm just currently down on Japanese RPGs now, not that they are not good, but they all feel identical to me.  Random battle after bizarre random battle, etc.  All the interesting twists to the combat systems like Shadow Hearts all just cover the same basic fighting engine that has been used for years.  KOTOR just changed the pattern a bit, at least for me.  I have loved some of the Final Fantasy games, etc., but right now, I want something a bit more high fantasy (elves, wizards, orcs) or something with an established universe (KOTOR 2).  I know the places and the locations I visit have backstories to them, not just some random village with wooden lions attacking me smile.

Honestly, you complain how easy KOTOR was, in that you can grenade spam stuff or just use sabers, but what was the last RPG that challenged you at all?  I've found games like Shadow Hearts, the Final Fantasy stuff interesting at times, but really challenging?  Not really.  Stuff like Disgaea is a bit different, that is more strategy then RPG, at least to me.  You say you love those other games, and that KOTOR was to easy/bland (maybe I misinterpret your comments), but how challenging are the other ones to you?
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« Reply #22 on: October 29, 2004, 03:55:46 AM »

Yeah KOTOR was a PC style RPG, no doubt.  That is a plus in my book though, not a minus.

I agree with Scott on japanese console RPGs.  I try lots of console RPGs, but I have never finished a single one (aside from KOTOR) and very rarely get past the half way point in any of them.

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« Reply #23 on: October 29, 2004, 04:08:26 AM »

Quote from: "Scott"
Honestly, you complain how easy KOTOR was, in that you can grenade spam stuff or just use sabers, but what was the last RPG that challenged you at all?  I've found games like Shadow Hearts, the Final Fantasy stuff interesting at times, but really challenging?  Not really.
I agree, Square's games are pretty easy--at least, the 'required' fights are.

The last RPG that challenged me was actually Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne which I'm playing through now.  It's actually a remake of an old Super Faicom RPG, so its roots are firmly in the 'hardcore, high-difficulty' vein... which is great fun, imo.

That being said, I encourage you to not to give up on Shadow Hearts: Covenant.  The first five-six hours are a little... strange, as they concern themselves with introducing some pretty humorous, absurd characters--but past introductions, things do get serious and interesting.

Shadow Hearts: Covenant is like Bard's Tale in some ways in that it makes fun of itself and traditional RPG conventions, such as the scantily clad, amazingly hot female lead or the Batman-esque masked crusader who eventually joins your party.  I was weirded out by the toys in that small town too, but looking back, I can see how that was part of the humor too--once you storm that chapel and learn more about the quirky character behind the demon, it's hilarious in a sense that he, as this big dark evil demon, would send animated toys to thwart your advance.
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« Reply #24 on: October 29, 2004, 05:10:16 AM »

"It's actually a remake of an old Super Faicom RPG, so its roots are firmly in the 'hardcore, high-difficulty' vein"

AFAIK Nocturne is a sequel to the SNES SMT games (it's SMT3), not a remake.

As for KoTOR, it did a great job of blending PC and console RPGs, but leaned more heavily toward the console side.  Story and characters were paramount, which is what I would consider the hallmark of console RPGs.

LoTR : T3A seems to fall heavily on the console side as well, but it looks like you'll have more control over your characters' developments.
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« Reply #25 on: October 29, 2004, 05:17:51 AM »

Quote from: "EddieA"
"It's actually a remake of an old Super Faicom RPG, so its roots are firmly in the 'hardcore, high-difficulty' vein"

AFAIK Nocturne is a sequel to the SNES SMT games (it's SMT3), not a remake.
Yeah, you're right.  Apparently I mis-read the back of the strategy guide.   Tongue
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« Reply #26 on: October 29, 2004, 02:35:59 PM »

Will this game be like Demon Stone b/c the same people will be making it.  I've really liked the LOTR games and Demon Stone, so if these will all be similar, I oughtta like it.
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« Reply #27 on: October 29, 2004, 03:00:56 PM »

What system(s) is it coming out for ?

Release date ?
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« Reply #28 on: October 29, 2004, 03:06:01 PM »

GC/XBox/PS2

Release Date: Nov 2
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« Reply #29 on: October 29, 2004, 03:46:28 PM »

Quote from: "-Lord Ebonstone-"
Quote from: "Scott"
At least KOTOR tried to stray a bit form the same formula that has been used for years in console games.
KOTOR was built using the Aurora engine, which was originally designed for Neverwinter Nights.  That's why the game plays like a Star Wars mod for NWN.

In short, it's no more 'revolutionary' to console RPGs than Morrowind's port to XBox was--it was just a PC RPG that got released first on a console.


That's about as valid as saying a book released today is a ripoff of a book from a year ago, cuz, you know, they both have pages, and, um, a spine.

There is something to be said for the story and interaction. As I understand it, games are in the entertainment industry, not the technical industry.

But, rather than dealling with random encounters with troll; I'm gonna stay on topic here.

I really hope this game can deliver; the LOTR universe has had it's share of commercial success but since MiddleEarth is an common source of some of today's RPG staples I look to it to put out quality. It's too bad the last couple of games, although done alright, we're little more than mediocre action games.
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« Reply #30 on: October 29, 2004, 04:31:11 PM »

Just to try to steer this thread back in the direction of Third Age...   Tongue

I have two main concerns about this game:

The first is about the plot: given that it runs parallel to the events in the movie and that you're playing a group of unseen secondary characters, how does the game make you feel like you're playing an active, impoprtant role in the story, rather than just being a bunch of tagalongs shadowing the Fellowship?  After all, when you play a game where you know Aragorn and Frodo and Gandalf et al are the ones who do all the "real" work, then how does it make you feel like your characters are anything more than bit players doing busywork?  [It's exacerbated by the fact that EA's pretty limited by license restrictions as to what from Tolkien's mythos they can use.]

The second concern is about the execution: It sounds like Third Age pretty shamelessly rips off a lot of Japanese console RPG gameplay conventions, but what does it offer that's unique and compelling?  E.g., the "classic" turn-based RPG combat engine pretty much bores me to tears at this point; I prefer the tactical complexity of, say, the Grandia series.  If Third Age's combat plays out like, say, FF7, only prettier, I'm personally not going to find it very engaging for very long.  [The fact EA hasn't done an RPG in ages - much less a good one - doesn't reassure me either...]

I admit I haven't been reading too much about Third Age, because if and when I play it, I'd like at least a few surprises.  So maybe some of the previews mention elements which address my concerns.  But I am a bit worried that it'll end up more tedious and reptitive than epic...

Sure is purdy, tho.
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« Reply #31 on: October 29, 2004, 04:38:06 PM »

Quote from: "Purge"

But, rather than dealling with random encounters with troll; I'm gonna stay on topic here.


Please refrain from name-calling and personal attacks.

LE, please stop baiting people into off-topic arguments.

Others: Stop taking the damn bait smile I'm seeing a lot of recent threads go off-topic and onto arguing about unrelated things.
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« Reply #32 on: October 29, 2004, 06:44:59 PM »

Derailing? I think not!

So how about them Red-Sox?

But seriously though, where're the damn reviews for this??  Do I have to wait 'till release date for them to start popping up, or what?
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« Reply #33 on: October 29, 2004, 07:19:55 PM »

Quote from: "jimmyorr99"
Will this game be like Demon Stone b/c the same people will be making it.  I've really liked the LOTR games and Demon Stone, so if these will all be similar, I oughtta like it.


Nothing like Demon Stone and its not the same group either.  The group that developed Demon Stone, Stormfront Studios, developed The Two Towers for EA.  They then let EA develop Return of the King internally using the TTT engine while they went off to do Demon Stone.  The group inside EA that made ROTK is the one working on this RPG I believe.  

As mentioned- gameplay is styled on Final Fantasy X not the hack and slash gameplay that comprised TTT and ROTK.
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« Reply #34 on: October 31, 2004, 06:38:49 AM »

Over on the Gamefaqs board for this game, there is a link to a UK website review for the game.  It was 85/100 I think.  Short review though.

Anyway, not having played the game, I will make an educated guess that the biggest difference it will have between a typical japanese console RPG is the look and feel.  The graphics are traditional western fantasy and the tone is more serious.  Almost everything else looks exactly the same as one game or another.

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« Reply #35 on: November 01, 2004, 02:22:40 PM »

I'm guessing this is the review olaf mentioned.

The game sounds promising, but I'll probably wait for a few more reviews before picking it up.  Final Fantasy gameplay in a LotR setting sounds perfect to me, and I'm hoping they can pull it off well.[/url]
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« Reply #36 on: November 01, 2004, 04:08:17 PM »

Quote from: "Kevin Grey"
Quote from: "jimmyorr99"
Will this game be like Demon Stone b/c the same people will be making it.  I've really liked the LOTR games and Demon Stone, so if these will all be similar, I oughtta like it.


Nothing like Demon Stone and its not the same group either.  The group that developed Demon Stone, Stormfront Studios, developed The Two Towers for EA.  They then let EA develop Return of the King internally using the TTT engine while they went off to do Demon Stone.  The group inside EA that made ROTK is the one working on this RPG I believe.  

As mentioned- gameplay is styled on Final Fantasy X not the hack and slash gameplay that comprised TTT and ROTK.


Thanks fpor clearing that up for me.  I get sort of confused with all of the LOTR games that are out there right now.  I'm into Demon Stone, but I think a change of pace would be cool too.  I might try this out.  The trailers look very cool.
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