Reviews - Updated on March 25, 2022

As you know, usually in games, especially in role-playing ones, we save princesses. But Rise of the Third Power, on the contrary, begins with the fact that the heroes kidnap the princess from her own wedding. Why, who ordered? And why has Rise of the Third Power become one of the best “We love RPG Maker” games in recent times?

Ritual of bride kidnapping for the sake of world peace

Small figures of heroes, isometry, “pixels” – formally, Rise of the Third Power really looks like another game from the Steam ghetto, above the entrance to which it says: RPG Maker. But in fact, it looks both more solid and prettier than most of these projects. And it lives not only on Steam. Juicy colors, nice pixel art, a scattering of special effects in turn-based battles…

Rise of the Third Power: Обзор

Everything is drawn with great attention to detail.

However, the first thing the game attracts, captivates and no longer lets go of its history. The action of Rise of the Third Power takes place not just against the backdrop of political conflicts – we take an active part in them. And kidnapping the princess is only part of a larger plan to establish… peace.

Yes, yes, we play as members of the resistance who oppose the marriage between Princess Ariel (no, this is not a parody of a Disney cartoon, but an ironic reference!) And the son of the Emperor of Arcadia, Dimitri Noraskov. The latter, in their opinion, uses this marriage for his own purposes in order to come to world domination and unleash a new massacre. And this is after the world of Rise of the Third Power has not really recovered from the recent Great War.

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Many people have bad memories of this war.

A former pirate who loves to drink rum and any other alcohol, as well as a sharp-tongued (and strong-handed) blonde who periodically pulls him out of booze, are sent on this suicidal mission. In general, the perfect company to save the world. And they snatched the princess in a pink dress right from the crown in the style of the hero Tom Cruise (Tom Cruise) from Mission Impossible.

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The character of the princess is changing before our eyes.

Ariel, of course, initially wants one thing – to return home to personally quarter her captors. But soon she becomes a full member of the party and fights side by side with our heroes – simply because there is no way out: otherwise they will be devoured by goblins in the caves under my father’s castle. And after they explain to her the true state of affairs and the intentions of Dimitri Noraskov, Ariel does not at all … Well, in general, you will find out for yourself.

The story, I repeat, is captivating – with colorful characters, well-aimed dialogues, scale, a sharp combination of politics, romance, comedy and drama. Ten minutes ago, we blackmailed the pirate captain by reading erotic impressions from her personal diary, and now the heroes who have already been ambushed and beaten to a pulp are put in the rain against the wall …

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Sometimes only the intervention of Ariel saves.

In addition, in addition to the plot events that are constantly kept in suspense, there are additional tasks – and many of them are solved more in the style of Western rather than Japanese RPGs. That is, it’s not just “go kill 10 fat fats and bring back 15 beast lizard ears”, but clear stories when, for example, we help establish a memorial in honor of veterans of the Great War or save monks supporting the resistance from Arcadians.

Finally, Rise of the Third Power is fun to explore the world itself. The plot here is in the center, but no one will forbid you to go on the global map not to the plot temple, but to some forest, go through it and eventually discover the treasure. Or look into the cave and find a strange key there, after which the question will appear in the journal: what is the key from?

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There is where to roam.

Many heroes, one balance

As the actual JRPG Rise of the Third Power also leaves a good impression. Everything seems to be standard. We communicate, fight, complete quests, trade in cities and towns, where you can also spend the night in a hotel and get a bonus for the next few battles, depending on the comfort of the room and the quality of the dinner. There is also crafting with recipes and finding relics with special properties.

But at the same time, there is a lot of everything, everything is implemented very high quality and with a twist. For example, the properties of accessories that we put on heroic bodies are activated only after the characters with them participate in battles for a sufficient amount of time. In addition, the format of such games allows you to fill the world with many locations where you have to fight, solve riddles, pull levers, and overcome traps.

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The battles are generally made in the tradition of JRPGs and please both with rich special effects and a good balance of difficulty. With the starting choice of this very difficulty, the authors honestly warn how much you have to grind.

That’s for sure – an atomic and very frisky blonde …

I chose Hard (and the highest – Expert) and did not regret it – the game keeps you on your toes, forcing you to explore the world, fight, search, gain levels, but without pushing you into the abyss of grind. Considering that the list of heroes is gradually expanding, and only three can be taken into battle, one has to make a difficult choice. Each of them is good in its own way and belongs to one of the classes, and there are non-standard ones – the same Ariel, for example, becomes a gunner in a skirt and, throwing off her wedding dress, picks up a ship’s cannon …

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Changing equipment, crafting, learning skills – everything is conveniently implemented on one screen.

There is also a piggy bank of experience, as well as skill points for pumping skills, the same for everyone (each ability has its own price). That is, you need to understand and choose who to bet on. And each fighter has not just his own style and set of abilities, but his own resource used to enhance these same abilities, increase damage, and so on. And it is also replenished in different ways. An alcoholic pirate, for example, builds rage as he takes damage, and Ariel gains energy, which, if you learn the appropriate skill, will be restored when killing enemies.

All this must be taken into account, especially since the set of especially powerful combo attacks, in which at least two fighters participate, depends on the composition of the party. They also have to accumulate a resource for a long time, which is completely reset to zero, and then it is not restored too quickly.

Looks impressive and works effectively.

It is clear that over time, lethal, as you think, combinations of characters and skills appear, with which we destroy more or less ordinary enemies. But, firstly, even in these cases, you can’t relax – health potions on the “hard” are constantly consumed. And, secondly, bosses are always ready to prove that there are no universal tactics. Before meeting with some strong enemies, you need to find special items – for example, protecting against poison.

Some combos also restore health.

The authors themselves call Rise of the Third Power a “love message” old-school RPG and say they wanted to combine the traditions of Western and Japanese role-playing games. And basically they did it. And most importantly, it turned out to tell an interesting story, where we see bright characters, a colorful combination of humor, political intrigues and real drama. And the music… in some places it seems that it is just from Disney cartoons. Perhaps it is not for nothing that Princess Ariel is still present here?

Pros: Captivating, large-scale plot that combines politics, romance, comedy and drama; bright characters; classic addictive gameplay with almost all the attributes of the genre; quite difficult and spectacular battles; chic pixel art; atmospheric music.

Cons: pixel art (again, yes!) will not appeal to everyone; sometimes it’s too easy.

4/5 - (1 vote)
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