LadiesGamers Rise of the Third Power

Rise of the Third Power Review

Game: Rise of the Third Power
Genre: RPG, Adventure, Strategy
System: Nintendo Switch (Also on Steam (Windows), PS4 & Xbox)
Developer|Publisher: Stegosoft Games | DANGEN Entertainment
Age Rating: EU 16+ | US Teen
Price: US $19.99 | UK £17.99 | EU € 19,99
Release Date: February 10th, 2022

Review code provided with many thanks to DANGEN Entertainment

Engaging Plot

Rise of the Third Power is a retro-themed RPG that adds a modern twist to the traditional formula. You begin the game playing as two rebels Rowan and Corrina. Off on a quest to kidnap princess Arielle, to help prevent a war from escalating in the land of Rin. Arielle begins as a reluctant captive. But after learning more about the cause and what’s at stake she begins to see the bigger picture. This only scratches the surface as there are many twists and turns as well as plenty of moments for humour and heart.

All the text is in text boxes with images of the speaking character expressing their emotion. The story is loosely based on the political climate of Europe in 1930. While I don’t know much about that era of history, this game really sucked me into the extent where I sure want to learn more. As you plod through the story, more characters will join your band of heroes. Each with their own personality and backstory and I quite enjoyed learning more about them.

Europe in 1930

My favourites easily are Rowan, who is a drunken scoundrel discharged from the Navy but has a good heart. Also, Arielle, the princess was born into wealth and luxury. She often feels her status puts her above other characters but is willing to learn about the new world she is suddenly thrust into. Rise of the Third Power probably has one of the best plots I have played for some time in an RPG of this style.

LadiesGamers Rise of the Third Power
The story has plenty of humour and heart

Graphically this is yet another pixelated RPG. The character sprites look unique but this certainly feels like a world I have visited many times before, despite the clear attention to detail. It’s not bad, just familiar. The soundtrack also follows similar RPG beats, emotional highs and lows and tense battle scores. But I will say I still liked this a lot and it seems to do a pretty good job sending my 6-week old baby to sleep so it scores praise there.

LadiesGamers Rise of the Third Power
You can pet various animals


Rise of the Third Power plays similar to traditional RPG classics like Final Fantasy 6. Quests and side quests are highlighted in the main menu and the game does a pretty good job pointing you in the right direction of the main mission provided you pay attention. You’ll do the usual beats like explore around the world, invading peoples houses and stealing the contents of treasure chests within, something I have always found amusing in video games.

There are of course zillions of NPCs to chat to, to learn more about the world and lore with some even providing you with handy battle tips. Battles are however not random encounters. You are able to see enemy placements on the map so you can choose to engage or attempt to avoid them. In some settings, certain enemies will show a line of sight allowing you to try stealthily sneak up on them to battle them with a starting advantage.

LadiesGamers Rise of the Third Power
Nothing like raiding a nice person house for a treasure chest

Battle System

Battles are turn-based, you control three characters but you can spend a turn to swap in another hero. It’s here where things didn’t really click with me initially. This is probably the very first RPG I have played where one of my party members was KO’ed in the very first battle. I very quickly learned that this is not a game where you can just mash the standard attack move and hope to win the day. You are expected to really pay attention to your enemies weaknesses and choose the right moves to gain the advantage.

Unlike most RPGs of this style, the enemies stats are displayed to you from the beginning. That’s a bit like using the ‘Scan’ ability in a Final Fantasy game only it’s always active here. You can monitor the enemies health and weaknesses, so you can try to plan your next moves carefully. The trouble for me is I’m not used to going at this very slow pace as I’m used to quick grinding.

Lots of Enemies

Things started to click with me about 10 hours in. But that felt like a long time for a battle system to click. This battle system to me also made sections of the game incredibly slow. There are a lot of enemies to get through before you reach the inevitable boss fight. But I did appreciate that once an enemy is dispatched it is removed from the map completely unless you rest at an Inn, in which case enemies revive. 

LadiesGamers Rise of the Third Power
This is not your typical gaming bug

Story Mode Difficulty

Now if you’re totally hopeless like I was in some battles, there is a Story Mode difficulty that does quite literally kill enemies instantly if selected. While I appreciate the gesture from the developers I kinda wish there was a middle ground to the difficulty. Allowing some wiggle room for me to learn the mechanics over time and get better naturally rather than just giving me the win button. To me, the game just jumps in a little too hard too quickly which may leave a bad first impression for some gamers.

LadiesGamers Rise of the Third Power
Analyze enemy stats before you make a move

A Different Approach to Upgrades

The upgrade system is quite unique in this game. When you level up you are given points that you can use on each of the characters’ individual skill trees. You don’t have to fight with characters individually to level them up. You upgrade equipment by simply collecting blueprints and crafting resources instead of simply buying or finding a better weapon or armour.

Still, you can buy resources at shops in town. But it’s a pretty unique approach to upgrade that seems to simplify the process. It also prevents you from wasting money on a new weapon only to find a better one dropped from an enemy soon after. You can also equip relics to characters to give them buffs that individually level up with use which kinda reminded me a little of the materia system from Final Fantasy 7. Yes, I’m aware at this point I have compared this game a lot to Final Fantasy games.

LadiesGamers Rise of the Third Power
Craft new gear instead of just buying replacements

Conclusion – Rise Up

Rise of the Third Power is best suited to those looking for an RPG that requires a lot of thought and attention and have plenty of free time at their gaming disposal. The plot is very good in this game and the upgrade system is quite refreshing. But the battle for me was a slow grind to get to grips with.

Maybe I’m just stuck in my retro RPG ways. But that’s not to say it won’t click with those that have the time to spend on this. I liked what this game was trying to achieve. I think the developers have done a very good job trying to step out of the traditional RPG formula. That in itself deserves extra praise in my book. 

Final Verdict: I Like it a Lot

I like it a lot

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