Game Review: Record of Agarest War
Release: April 27th 2010
Genre: Strategy Role-Playing
Developer: Idea Factory
Available Platforms: PlayStation 3, Xbox360 and PSN Network
ESRB Rating: Teen
Website: On AKSYS or PSN
I know what you’re saying… “What on earth took her so long to get this up?!?” It’s a long damn game. It takes quite some time to get to a point in the game where you’re actually doing something other than wandering around like a lost puppy. You will spend at least 60 hours on it, and that’s without doing all of the side items.
So, is it worth it? Well, if you’re an RPG lover, a strategist and patient, it’s up your alley! I hope that after reading this you’ll be able to make your own informed decision.
Record of Agarest War is centered around Leonhardt and his future generations. Right from the beginning you learn that Leonhardt is a soldier but doesn’t really believe in what they’re doing. When he sees some of his soldiers torturing a little girl, he comes to her defense, which starts his exile from the military. After dying while saving her, a strange woman appears and offers him strength and power in return for Leonhardt’s soul and the soul of his descendants.
Your goal of every chapter is to marry one of three woman and have a child. The way the child turns out is all determined by good breeding, as in normal life.
It’s a very interesting story line, but overall it’s your normal fantasy mixed with war and, of course, the gods. Anyone ever notice that it’s always the gods that cause all the problems?
First thing that you notice is that everything is in Japanese with English subtitles. This is nothing that bothers me in any way, but it becomes comical when your character dies (no English subtitles) and all you get is “Yoshioko waaa oooh!” (NOT exactly what was in the game, I totally made that sentence up.) None of the characters look Japanese though, which is normal in most of the RPG’s I’ve played.
Your battles are what take up the most of your time, and there are a lot of them. There are two different modes in battle. You have your Movement mode where you choose the space that you want your character on for that round. Spacing is key because if you’re linked with another character you can use both your skills and theirs at the same time. Then you have your Action mode, where obviously, you act. Very repetitive and some of them can be very long.
Difficulty in battles is random. One spot you’re breezing through, then you get some boss that will kick your ass quicker than you can decide where to move your characters. Then back to completely random.
Two things suck about the battle system. One, you have to use AP for EVERYTHING. To move, to fight, to use items, all of it, and it sucks. The lowest amount you need is 8, so if you have 7 or less, you’re stuck with nothing to do, and you can’t combine AP with other characters. You do regain your AP at the beginning of each round, but that is the only time.
The second thing that will become extremely annoying is the fact that even after a bad guy dies, your characters continue to attack him if you have them “set” to attack. This is a massive waste of AP. In most of the RPG’s I’ve played the next character either uses those attacks on the next monster, or doesn’t use them at all.
You can set it on Auto Battle and walk away, but I can’t promise that all of your characters will live through it. For some reason the AI doesn’t realize that there is a stock of potions available to them. Also, there is no way to escape a battle aside from turning off the PS3, so you’re in it for the long haul!
On the lighter side, whomever wrote this script either had a crazy sense of humor, or no concept of English grammar. My favorite example? Your first “boss” once you get into the game. Jumbo Cock. Seriously? Yes, seriously. I’m not normally your perverted type of person, but come on!
On the grammar side of things you will see things slightly out of line, such as “Force Generation” instead of “Fourth Generation.” There also seems to be no difference between the words to, too, and two, or hear and here.
Graphics are a bit outdated (maybe I’m just spoiled) but they don’t hurt the gameplay at all. It reminds me of a mix between Civilization Revolution and Valkyrie Profile. Don’t expect to see a nice mixture of backgrounds during battle though, they will stay the same select few throughout the game.
Music is good but not varied. You see that in most RPG’s though, when you win a battle you have the same music, same music during a battle, when saving, etc… It’s not annoying enough to get irritating, you probably won’t even notice it, but if you did pay attention you’d catch it.
There are more ups and downs throughout the game, though it’s still a very likable game to play. I was a bit upset with the fact that you don’t have the ability to explore at all (it’s kind of like a board game where you just move from space to space) and the shops are terrible. They make up with that though in the different side items you get like crafting, synthesis and monster capturing. This is how you get your leveled up weapons, so make sure to keep the items you obtain!
All in all it’s not a bad game. I played it on normal mode, and yes, if I had the time I would go back and beat it through the hard mode. This is a game you will put some time and effort into, so be prepared ahead of time. If the price lowers I would say go ahead and get it, or, for now, if you’ve got the money to spend, it’s a fun “time waster” in-between your other games.