Normally, when a game gets brought over from Japan, I'm skeptical to say the very least. Yet, when I saw the Aksys logo for this game, and found an unopened copy of the Limited Edition, well.. I had to buy it, even if just for the novelty value. (Google the game's bonus if you don't get the joke.)
Anyway, I'm pleasantly surprised at just how good this game is; yes, it is VERY long, and while some bits can get monotonous, I can't help but get drawn into the story. And while the story isn't the most expansive, it's quite entertaining--it's a lot like what you'd get from a visual novel (I have about 40 halfway translated ones on my PC, so trust me on this one.)
The game's combat system, I have to be honest, I hated at first. After about 3 hours of getting used to it and getting used to the fact that it's nowhere near as free-form as Disgaea's, I started to really get good at it. (Finishing a fight in two rounds never ceases to make me chuckle.)
Now then, if you've read this game's synopsis, the premise is that you try to save a little elf-girl, and die in the process. But, this being a Japanese game, a magical woman (???) comes along to bring you back to life. And then you must bark on this epic adventure that spans several lifetimes to stop the forces of darkness from winning.
Essentially that's the story. A simple good vs. evil story. That's all. And it manages to work out very well, because it uses such a cliched backdrop, and lets character interactions carry the story on. Simplistic style, yet very well done.
In short, do not believe IGN or Gamestop. This game easily deserves an 8, however, I'm giving it a 9. Why? Because it's a sleeper hit like Valkyrie Profile was, way back when.
Do I recommend this game? H to the ell yeah. (Ha!)
Okay, I recommend Record of Agarest War to: fans of Japanese games (obviously), RPG fans who were dissatisfied with FFXIII (so, everyone), and strategy game fans. (It's no Sid Meier game, but~)
posted by Piratespee (HOOD RIVER, OR) Jul 30, 2010
Member since Sep 2009
I played this game for about 5 hours and I had very little desire to continue. I really was hoping that this would entertain me for a long while. In fact, it did the opposite.. I couldn't wait to get rid of it.
I think there were some excellent ideas here, but it was bogged down by some very poor systems. The fighting didn't flow well. It was difficult to walk through some quest areas.
Hopefully a company with some strong backing will take the ideas from this and make it into a solid game. This isn't it.
First I'd like to point out the good of the game: it works.
Now that I've done that, here's the bad:
Graphics are poor, and I don't mean poor as in "Hey its not top of the line modern graphics!" I mean poor as in games had graphics better then this on the PSone (See Star Ocean). It wouldn't be that big a deal however if they were at least consistent in how they choose to render the game. This becomes painfully obvious when you start to fight "large" creatures and see they used cell shading where the rest of the game is sprite based.
Audio/Music score is also poorly done and chosen. Music is a mishmash of several different genres which don't really convey any sense of consistency. Also the Voice overs are constant and FORCED. Nothing sucks more then turning off the move and combat animations to save time, then having one of your characters die only to be trapped in a 20 second death speech. ALL the characters have the exact same problem, they die = you have to hear them whine for 10 seconds with no way to skip/fast forward it. Which brings me to...
Game play quickly becomes boring and repetitive with no "real" strategy involved other then make sure you have everyone attack the same enemy. There you go, I just told you how to beat the game. Always have everyone attack the same enemy. Doesn't matter who is in you party or how you choose to level them up.. just do that = win. The only "real" problem with the game is that the computer uses the same tactic, so you will often end up with 1 dead party member after the enemies turn.
Finally, the choosing of a bride has no lasting impact on the story, and has a minor impact on character development. Here's a hint, DO NOT USE THE "HERO" OR THE "WIVES" IN YOUR PARTY! Their levels and stats do not affect your offspring in any way, and they leave your party entirely when the new generation starts. So don't bother leveling them or using them, use the other party members.