The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (GBA)

The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (GBA) is an action adventure RPG that was developed by Griptonite Games, published by Electronic Arts, and released for the Nintendo GameBoy Advance on November 11, 2002.

Developer: Griptonite Games
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Release Date: November 11, 2002
Platforms: GBA
JustRPG Score: 88%
+Great cast of characters.
+Fun action oriented gameplay.
+Easy to learn controls.
+Accurately portrays the movie.
-Poor graphics.
-Repetitive combat system.
-Appeal may be limited to fans of the franchise.


The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (GBA) Overview

The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (GBA) is an action adventure role playing game that was released on the handheld Nintendo GameBoy Advance. The game has a very enjoyable combat system that is easy to learn and fun to play. The story closely follows that of the movie which makes this game very fun for fans of the Lord of the Rings franchise. Overall for a movie based video game this handheld beauty is pretty good and worth a play especially if you are a fan of the books or the movies.

The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (GBA) Screenshots

The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (GBA) Featured Video

Full Review

The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (GBA) Review


The Game Boy Advance has a huge amount of potential stored within that tiny case, and it appears that Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, has unleashed that potential in full. With vibrant graphics, action-filled gaming, and even RPG elements, LOTR is a game that isn’t that easy to put down.


click to enlarge

When you first start a game, you have the choice of five characters. You can either be Aragorn the fighter, Gandalf the mage, Frodo the hobbit, Legolas the archer, or Eowyn, the woman that plays less of a role in the movie than the others. Picking a character doesn’t just affect who you are in the game. It determines what skills you have, the style in which you play (while running into the fray as Aragorn might be okay, doing the same with Frodo will get you killed), and at some points, which direction the game goes. You can either follow Frodo as Aragorn and fight off the Uruk-hai from Boromir’s dead body or play as Gandalf, wandering through the under-caverns of Moria. In addition to these five characters, in multiplayer, you can play as Gimli, everyone’s favourite dwarf. I found this quite annoying, because I would’ve liked to play as Gimli in single-player.


The premise of the game is simple: You follow (more or less) the storyline from the movie, picking up from right after the council decides that the ring must be destroyed. Your character says a few things, then you set out. Unlike the PS2 version of this game, there is a lot more adventuring involved, many more RPG elements as well. As you explore each area, which are quite large, you cut down anything moving in your path, trying to find the entrance to the next area. Every time you kill something, you gain experience, and when you get enough experience, you level up. Simple. You gain magic from acquiring herbs, and life from eating food (you know, just like in real life). As many games molded from movies, the gameplay is very linear. There is one way to go, and one way to get there. In fact, if one hadn’t seen the movies, they wouldn’t really know what was going on. There wasn’t enough dialogue or explanation in my opinion, but I suppose that people who wouldn’t know the story of LOTR don’t really play GBA. Or get out. Or socialize. Or live on Earth. But I digress.


Every time you level up, you get one skill point and five ability points. The ability points can be distributed among five stats: strength, which raises attack; accuracy which raises chance to hit; health, which raises…health; defense, which raises chance to dodge; and courage, which raises your spirit (mana) and health. Each are important, while some are more important for certain characters than others. The skills are an interesting point in the game, for each character has their own sets of skill trees (not unlike Diablo, but) that are divided between ‘active’ and ‘passive’ skills. Active skills are those that must be selected by cycling through them (something that can become problematic when you have more than a few skills), while passive skills are continuously working. There is an extremely wide variety of skills between all the characters, ranging from wielding two weapons at a time with Aragorn, to raising damage from magic by one with Gandalf, to using the ring of One with Frodo, becoming invisible and attracting the gaze of Sauron.

click to enlarge


Speaking of Sauron’s gaze, there is an interesting twist in the game. Some skills and items incur something called ‘corruption’. An eye in the top-right corner of the screen tells you how corrupted you are. When it starts flashing…the Ring Wraiths appear! And let me tell you, they are in no way easy to kill. This addition is an innovative way of balancing powerful skills like Frodo’s ring skill or Gandalf’s Lightning-Blast-Now-You-Are-All-Dead-Ha! skill. While there are no ‘stores’ in the game, so to speak, there were altars, pools, and forges. These are places scattered throughout the game where you can trade in items that the enemy has dropped for gems, and then trade gems for such things as whetstones, skills points, ability points, or ent water, which replenishes all health the moment you die. I was really glad to see something like this implemented in this game, because I’m something of a pack-rat, and if I see something impressive, like a piece of armor or a weapon, I’ve just got to pick it up.


click to enlarge

The moment the game started, I was surprised at the quality of the graphics. The GBA was able to emulate clips from the movies themselves, and while the graphics are obviously not perfect, it was still quite an achievement on a Game Boy. The game takes place from a top-down, isometric view, an obvious choice for an action-RPG. This presented no problems, though at times, I found I was fighting nothing more than a blurry group of pixels. I didn’t know whether I was fighting a goblin, an orc, or some other creature. I didn’t know whether it was a troll I was fighting, because although it wields a big club and is one annoying bugger to take down, I was squinting and trying to decipher the details out. Unfortunately, this is present all of the game, but it didn’t really detract from it. I mean, hey, if I hit it and it dies, I’m happy.


The animation was also quite impressive in this game. Aragorn’s cape flowed behind him, the troll’s hammer came flying down so seamlessly fast, and I watched as the arrows smoothly whistled through the air. Well, okay, it wasn’t that perfect. But one can tell that there were many frames of animations for each and every creature. The music and sound effects of the game were, in general, not spectacular, however there were some times, usually big boss moments, when the soundtrack really just shone with the quality. It sounded like there were actual choral voices on the soundtrack, not just midi effects. Definitely using the GBA’s potential.


The multiplayer was a fun and interesting new innovation to the game. With another friend, GBA, andLOTR cartridge, as well as a link cable, you can play two players in the game, following each other around and whooping orc butt. This added a new level of replayability to the game, as characters from single player can be played in multiplayer, and vice versa. However, I would have liked a little arrow that points where your friend is when he or she is off-screen. Finding them in the large areas can be really hard sometimes. And then, when the game ends (each character takes about a day of playing to beat), what is the best thing about the game is that there are either four more characters to play as, you can play a game with your friend, or you can play the whole game over with your leveled up characters! After you beat the game, you save, and then you can start a new game with that save file. Just like Diablo, there are three difficulties: Normal, Hard, and Grueling. Each of these difficulties grant you greater experience and a chance to reach even higher levels.

click to enlarge


Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, for Game Boy Advance is full of replayability, and despite its somewhat repetitive hack-and-slash style, keeps fresh and fun. A must for any RPG-er with a GBA.


Final Grade: 88%


The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (GBA) Screenshots


The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (GBA) Videos

The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (GBA) Trailer


Guides / Links

The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (GBA) Guides / Links

The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (GBA) Wikipedia Entry