Game 15: August 29, 2014the Initials Game

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The 2013 NFL season proved the importance of defense. No longer were linebackers and defensive backs ignored in favor of the high flying stunts of the offense. Players like Patrick Peterson, Joe Haden and Darrelle Revis lit up the highlight reels while Seattle’s “Legion of Boom” became arguably the most recognizable unit in current professional sports. EA Sports has taken notice of this and not only has plastered the outspoken Richard Sherman on the cover, but also emphasized the defensive end of the game.

In fact, Madden NFL 15 doesn’t waste anytime showing this. When booted up for the first time, players are put into a fictional 2015 NFC Championship Game between the Carolina Panthers and the Seattle Seahawks. With just minutes left to play, players take control of the Panthers for a march down the field against the legion of boom. Not only does this emphasize the power of a good defense, but also allows the game to download and install on the background of the PS4 and Xbox One. New players can than launch directly into the Skills Trainer, while veteran players can forge the tutorials and check out what’s new this year.

Title Developer/Publisher Release date Pictures Videos TitleID Disksize BD/NP FW Remark Aaru's Awakening: Lumenox Games: April 7, 2015: Aban Hawkins & the 1,001 Spikes.

Honest Game Trailers is a show that airs every Tuesday on Smosh Games. It originally aired every other Saturday but now does every Tuesday. In this show, fake trailers are created based on honesty of the game or series. They bluntly, negatively, but humorously review games while pointing out parts that lack common sense. This series is based on the Honest Trailers in the YouTube channel. Guy Fieri sends four talented chefs running through the aisles on Guy's Grocery Games. Browse top photos and watch clips of the show on Food Network.

Unsurprisingly, the lion’s share of tweaks this year lie in the defense. A cone now appears in front of defenders whenever a ball-carrier can be tackled, helping display when a play can be made. Making playing as a defender more entertaining, blocks can now be shed instead of simply being caught up with a blocker as was common in previous installments. Much of this is thanks to a prompt that now appears over the players’ heads when power or finesse moves are available.


Adding more intrigue, snaps can now be jumped by pressing R2, increasing the defender’s chance of executing a successful rush move. Mistiming the jump can cause the defender to become unbalanced, however, so care needs to be taken to time these correctly. Zone coverage has been enhanced this year to involve the defensive secondary more. When playing on offense, it’s apparent that top cornerbacks will read coverage and react before the ball is even thrown.

On the offensive side of things, pass variety (and catch animations) has been increased so that mobile quarterbacks like Cam Newtown don’t steamroll over defenses. One of the most useful new features is the ability to rotate the defensive camera before the snap of the ball, allowing players to play defense with an over-the-shoulder perspective. Although it takes some adjustment, playing with the new viewpoint proves advantageous in many situations.

The play call screen has been retooled this year to better allow the most useful plays to be selected before a snap. Calls are separated into three categories: strategy, community and favorites. Community picks are the most interesting category of the three, as they’re culled from online Madden games to provide suggested plays based on what’s been proven to work. Although veterans might prefer to dig deep into playbooks, this new interface allows novices and intermediates more choices for plays that might actually work.


On the visual side of things, Madden NFL 15 is a marked improvement over last year’s long in the tooth port. This is most noticeable in the players, who’s faces look more realistic. Uniforms also look great with some nice fabric dimensionality. It’s not the jaw-dropping experience we’re hoping to see from the series on current-gen, but it’s satisfying enough to bring the series into 2015.

Madden Ultimate Team — a mode harder to learn than perhaps football itself — has been improved to make it easier to figure out where to start thanks to a instant list of objectives to get players on their way. Players can also now be easier sorted thanks to the addition of “The Binder,” a central hub for management.

And now onto the part of the review where a dead horse is beat. Again this year, no licensed soundtrack appears, instead replaced by orchestrations which seem to get more boring by the year. Not only does it make leaving the game on in the background or sorting through menus grating, but it makes the entire experience seem less immediate. EA Sports are doing themselves a great disservice by continuing to exclude interesting music in the franchise.


Closing Comments:

Madden NFL 15 marks a noticeable improvement for the long-standing franchise. This is a solid game of football, both on a technical and visual level. Much-needed resources have been allocated into improving the defensive side of things, while it visually looks more like a current-gen game than last year’s ports. Commentary and music remains stagnant, the product placement is inexcusable and anomalies creep up here and there, but Madden NFL 15 remains a step forward for the series that even the most staunch Richard Sherman detractors will find difficult keeping this off their shelves.
Version Reviewed: PlayStation 4

The Lord of the Rings is a massively popular franchise. Outside of the novels and blockbuster movies, we also have a slew of video game titles to enjoy as well. In this list, we’re going to showcase some of the very best video games based around The Lord of the Rings.

#15 The Lord of the Rings: Adventure Card Game – Definitive Edition

Platform : PC

Release Date : August 29, 2019

Genre : Adventure, RPG, Strategy

Card games may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Lord of The Rings, but if you’re a fan of digital card games like Hearthstone then you might want to check into The Lord of the Rings: Adventure Card Game. This is a game based on completing challenges rather than fighting off random opponents. Players will be crafting their decks to fight against Sauron’s forces through three different story-driven quests.

It’s worth pointing out that the base game only came with the single campaign mode, but the title has since received a Definitive Edition. Those that already own the game will receive the Definitive Edition for free which comes packed with two additional storyline campaigns along with a brand new game mode called The Mirror Of Galadriel. This is essentially a mode that allows players to compete in randomly generated quests.

Likewise, there is a cooperative game mode that will allow two players to join together in quests as they attempt to free people. As you can imagine, this is an online gameplay feature, but it’s at least something a bit unique when it comes to card battling games.

#14 The Lord of the Rings: Conquest

Platform : PC, PS3, Xbox 360, Nintendo DS

Release Date : January 13, 2009

Genre : Action

The Lord of The Rings franchise is quite cherished. It’s a great high fantasy storyline that has appealed to book readers and movie watchers. However, The Lord of The Rings: Conquest decides to make a few changes, in particular how the narrative ends. Rather than the Ring being destroyed, it’s kept and a slew of battles for the Ring continues on.

It’s an interesting storyline that’s appealing, but the gameplay is actually the weak spot here. The game follows a similar pathway to Star Wars Battlefront or even Dynasty Warriors. That’s not to say those games are bad, but you might find the title a bit repetitive after a while. Within the campaign, you’ll take control of generic characters for each side of the war. Fortunately, during certain points of the game, you’ll get to take control of the more high profile characters like Gandalf. While the campaign has a cooperative game mode, this title really opens up with multiplayer. The battles are a bit more intense and there are various game modes to go through.

#13 Helm’s Deep

Platform : PC

Release Date : November 20, 2013

Genre : MMORPG

Left 4 Dead 2 might have launched back in 2009, but it’s still being supported by a community of fans. The video game is a first-person shooter with up to four-player cooperative gameplay. Players typically are fighting against a horde of undead zombies, but as mentioned, the fan base community has brought out plenty of new levels and content for other players to enjoy. One of those fans created maps is the battle of Helm’s Deep. You’ll need a copy of Left 4 Dead 2 on PC but from there you can go through a makeshift battle. It’s not a long game but it’s certainly a neat take on the iconic battle.

#12 Lego The Lord of The Rings

Platform: iOS, Android, PC, Nintendo 3DS, Nintendo DS, OS X, PS 3, PS Vita, Wii, Xbox 360

Release Date: PS Vita, Nintendo 3DS, Nintendo DS October 30, 2012

PC, SP3, Xbox 360, Wii November 13, 2012

OS X 22 February 2013

Game 15: august 29 2014 the initials game on ebay

iOS, Android 7 November 2013

Genre: Action-adventure

The Lego-based video game titles are typically well-developed pieces that are more family-friendly. Really, every big movie typically gets some kind of a Lego video game treatment and that holds true for The Lord of the Rings. Released back in 2012, the video game release combines the narrative of The Lord of the Rings trilogy. Of course, as you can imagine, the narrative is toned down for a younger audience.

Just like with the other Lego-based video game titles, Lego The Lord of the Rings has players going through a more comical narrative of our heroes attempting to destroy the One Ring. You’ll be battling against an assortment of enemies, collecting Lego pieces, completing mini-games, and solving puzzles. Throughout the campaign, players will get to swap around to other iconic characters of the franchise, each with their own unique attributes. Since this game features the entire trilogy narrative, it will only take players about ten hours to complete the main storyline.

#11 The Lord of the Rings Online

Platform: PC OS X

Release Date: April 24, 2007

Game 15: August 29 2014 The Initials Game On Christmas Day

Genre: Massively multiplayer online role-playing game

The Lord of the Rings Online is an MMORPG that launched in 2007 which you can play for free right now. The video game is set within The Lord of the Rings time period but with the focus based around the novels rather than the cinematic blockbuster films. As a result, you’ll probably notice some small differences between the two. Overall, this is everything you would expect to find in an MMORPG based on the franchise.

There’s a range of classes to choose from before you embark on a grand adventure filled with NPCs to meet, quests to partake, and battles to win. Since this game launched back in 2007, there are several expansions released to give players more content to play through. For instance, the latest expansion came in 2019 so the game is still being supported. Furthermore, there’s been rumors that we would see The Lord of the Rings Online get a big visual update which may help bring in a new resurgence to the community.

#10 The Lord of the Rings: The Third Age

Platform: PS2, Xbox, GameCube

Release Date: November 2, 2004

Genre: Role-playing

The Lord of the Rings: The Third Age is a bit of a unique kind of game. This is an RPG that’s split between exploration and turn-based combat. Developed under EA, the narrative is aligned with the film trilogy, but it’s a bit more loosely based on the material. Overall, the game hits certain beats of the plot points while also throwing players into new events such as battles that were not shown in the films. This is due to EA not having the rights to adapt the novels so any content made had to be either directly from the movies or tied towards the film narrative.

Overall, the narrative is centered around another group of heroes that are aiding the quest in saving Middle-earth as our star cast goes through their journey of destroying the One Ring. Even then several of the characters in the party resembles much of the stars of the Fellowship such as the ranger Elegost and the dwarf Hadhod.

As mentioned, this game is split between two modes. Players will be able to freely explore areas until they trigger a battle in which case the game transitions into a turn-based RPG. There’s even a leveling system attached that allows players to fine-tune their playstyle just a bit.

Game 15: august 29 2014 the initials game on tonight

#9 Lord of the Rings – Journeys in Middle-earth

Platform: PC

Release Date: April 19, 2019

Genre: Adventure, RPG, Strategy

Lord of the Rings – Journeys in Middle-earth is an app and it’s not really a game you can play on its own. This is a companion application for your mobile phone that requires the Lord of the Rings – Journey’s in Middle-earth board game. If you own the board game then this application will help players go through different campaigns all while playing out battles and keeping everything in check such as XP or your inventory.

Even if you’re not much of a board game player then this could help ease you in as it can be played solo or with a group of friends. You’ll find the companion application is free to download for both Android and iOS platforms. However, keep in mind that if you want anything outside of the first main campaign then you’ll need to purchase the additional DLC packs.

#8 The Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle-earth

Platform: PC

Release Date: December 6, 2004

Genre: Real-time strategy

The Lord of the Rings: The Battle For Middle-earth is a real-time strategy game and a pretty decent one that fans have been enjoying since 2004. Released exclusively for the PC platform, this game doesn’t put much focus directly on the Fellowship as they attempt to destroy the One Ring as it instead offers both a good and evil side campaign to play as you attempt to overtake the map.

Much like other RTS titles, players will be presented with a map and from there will control their various units as they attempt to capture certain points of interest. Depending on the campaign side you choose to play will determine what missions you’ll have available. For instance, if you pick the good side you’re going to have some iconic battles from the films featured. Meanwhile, the evil side will start to tell an alternative story of Sauron’s success. Unfortunately, it’s a game that’s not supported as the servers came to an end back in 2010, but there is a community that’s keeping the title alive unofficially.

#7 The Last Days of The Third Age of Middle-earth

Platform: PC

Release Date:

Genre: Mod

We have another mod for you much like Left 4 Dead 2’s mod of Helm’s Deep. Instead, this game mod is for Mount & Blade: Warband. Mount & Blade: Warband came out in 2010 as an action RPG strategy title and you can take the same type of gameplay but replicating The Lord of the Rings with this particular mod. It’s a single player campaign where players are able to pick from a range of characters.

This is all about the War of the Ring where players can take control of a soldier on either side which you’ll take control of either a man, elf, dwarf, orc, Uruk, or an Uruk-hai. While the mod offers a new storyline and settings for Mount & Blade: Warband the combat is mainly the same with just a few key differences. For instance, you won’t be able to start a siege but instead can aid in sieges. Likewise, troops will remain stationary at the start of battles until the order of attack is given. In terms of the storyline adaptation, while there is the ability to go through the game fighting for either side of the war, the developers behind the mod choose to go through the novels as their source material rather than Peter Jackson’s film trilogy.

#6 The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King

Platform: PC, PS 2, Game Boy Advance, GameCube, Xbox, Mobile, OS X

Release Date: PC November 3, 2003

PS2 November 4, 2003

Game Boy Advance, GameCube & Xbox November 5, 2003

Mobile December 1, 2003

OS X April 10, 2004

Genre: Hack and slash, action

When it comes to video games being adapted to movies, there are usually quite a few misses than hits. However, The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King is one of those games that was a must-buy back when it launched. As the title suggests, this game is based around the events of The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King, the third installment to Peter Jackson’s trilogy. From the start to the very end of this game, there’s non-stop action as you take control of various members of the Fellowship. Levels do a great job of throwing players into these large battles with familiar characters from the film.

As you progress through the campaign you’ll earn more experience points that can be used to purchase new attacks or increase stats like your health, which will be used across all the characters in your party. The gameplay is also pretty accessible allowing anyone to pick up a controller and get into the game rather easily. To top it off, there is cooperative gameplay support so you and a friend can go through the game entirely.

#5 Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers

Platform: PS2, Xbox, GameCube, Game Boy Advance, mobile phone

Release Date: PS2 October 21, 2002

Game Boy Advance November 12, 2002

Xbox December 30, 2002

GameCube December 31, 2002

29,

Mobile May 1, 200

Genre: Action, hack and slash

You could easily swap this game with our previous point, The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King. It’s more or less based around the narrative as the gameplay mainly is the same between the two. With Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, you’re thrown into the heat of the battles featuring the Fellowship as they attempt to destroy the One Ring.

This, as mentioned above, is a hack-and-slash type of game where you’re constantly thrown in front of a barrage of enemies and iconic battles from the film. In fact, this game came out before the film so in a lot of ways, there was plenty of players jumping on the game at launch as they got to see Peter Jackson’s vision before the movie even released. You had the iconic battles, various characters to take control of, all while having scenes from the movie to help tell the storyline. While the game may have been released back in 2002, it’s still just as fun today as it was when it was first released.

#4 Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor

Game 15: august 29 2014 the initials game on sunday

Platform: PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox One, Xbox 360, Linux, OS X

Release Date: PC, PS4, Xbox One September 30, 2014

PS3, Xbox 360 November 18, 2014

Linux, OS X July 30, 2015

Genre: Action-adventure

One of the more recent releases on this list is Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor. It’s a game that brings players into a new storyline, one which follows a ranger named Talion who gets slaughtered with his family by a group of Orcs. Without dabbling too much into the lore and backstory, Talion is connected with a spirited Elf Lord named Celebrimbor. Talion is then given a new lease on life as he attempts to seek revenge for his loved ones.

Released back in 2014, the game is often compared to the Batman Arkham video game titles for its combat. Talion is able to drop down into a group of Orcs and deliver a barrage of attacks while pulling off counter-attacks rather fluidly. Of course, with the help of Celebrimbor, Talion also comes with a few unique powers and abilities that can allow players a more stealth approach.

This game also had a particular feature that plenty of players found enjoyable and that was the fights you lose, thanks to the Nemesis system. If you managed to lose out on a battle and some random Orc gets the kill then they’ll actually get promoted in their clan. It’s when you cross paths with this enemy that they’ll reflect on the previous battle.

#3 Middle-earth: Shadow of War

Platform: PC, PS, Xbox One

Release Date: October 10, 2017

Genre: Action role-playing, hack and slash

Middle-earth: Shadow of War is the sequel to Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor and it does everything that we loved from that first game and expands on it. A lot of what I mentioned above holds true at this point, you have the intense Batman Arkham style combat with a range of upgrades to further buff your character up more. Likewise, the Nemesis system is attached once again and it’s just as fun as the first installment. Every character that happens to get the edge on you will make some kind of a return and could even hold some battle scars from the first bout.

Once you get past the learning curve of the game, it’s really an enjoyable experience. I think if you went into Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor then you’re going to find an easier time getting used to things with Shadow of War, but that’s not to say there weren’t a few issues with this game when it first launched. Like a lot of titles, this game was filled with microtransactions. At the time, every game was featuring loot boxes and some type of in-game purchases, fortunately, that’s not a thing for Shadow of War anymore. It wasn’t too long after the game launched that the developers went back in and removed all the microtransactions.

#2 The Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle-earth II

Platform: PC, Xbox 360

Release Date: PC February 28, 2006

Game 15: August 29 2014 The Initials Game On Netflix

Xbox 360 July 5, 2006

Genre: Real-time strategy

The Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle-earth II is the sequel from the 2004 release of The Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle-earth. Just like before this is an RTS video game but you can expect bigger and more expansive battles than before. You’re getting two campaigns again as well with the story either focusing on an Elf’s attempt to eliminate Sauron and restore Middle-earth to a peaceful state. Likewise, you can take control of Sauron and attempt to destroy the remainder of Middle-earth.

Unlike the last installment, EA was able to gain the ability to adapt the novels alongside the movie franchise. This means that there are more battles featured which were not included in the movies. You’ll be controlling units around the map while building up structures, fortifying their defenses, gathering resources, and making upgrades during your battles. It’s a game that’s been widely well-received when it launched in 2006 but similar to the last installment, official severs have shutdown. In fact, much like the first installment, the servers for the sequel came to an end within 2010 for PC players with Xbox 360 seeing their servers shutdown a year later. However, the community of players has been able to get the game running through unofficial game servers.

#1 Third Age – Total War

Platform: PC

Release Date:

Genre: Mod

Game 15: August 29 2014 The Initials Game On The Internet

For our number one pick, we have another mod. This time around we have Third Age, a game mod for Medieval II: Total War. Coming out back in 2009, the title was a community hit as the developers behind the project really nailed a great LOTR experience. If you’re familiar with Total War then the gameplay should be easy to get through. For those of you who may not be familiar with Medieval II: Total War, then this is an RTS title but now instead of historical medieval battles, we’re getting to enjoy this game set in a high fantasy world of Middle-earth.

Third Age brings in a map that’s filled with over 100 settlements featured in the lore of Lord of the Rings along with complete fictional locations. Players can stumble upon Minas Tirith to Isengard all while battling against different factions. Speaking of factions, there’s quite a few of them scattered across the lands and each will have their own strengths and weaknesses. The group behind this mod even reworked the AI to make it a bit more of a challenge.