Monday, May 3, 2010

Record of Agarest War | Review

Synopsis: Aksys provided me with a review code for the PlayStation 3 version of the recent racy Strategy RPG, Record of Agarest War. Although it isn’t the limited edition with all the creepy goodies the Xbox 360 version got, it is downloadable via PSN to save the embarrassing look you would get for the store clerk. Though not your typical strategy RPG, RoAW also brings in a dating simulation element and a story that varies on your interactions and how you choose to play through the story. The story is based on your typical light vs. dark and good vs. evil, but each section or record is referred to as generations and each generation is determined by your actions in the previous generation. This title also boasts over a hundred hours of gameplay so let’s get to the review and see if this is your next title to pickup and play.

Praise: To start, I am not a huge fan of strategy RPG’s but have been known to spend a ridiculous amount of time with Disgaea and Final Fantasy Tactics, so I am pretty familiar with the genre. What I do like about this title is that grinding is helpful and you aren’t able to just blow through the story on normal without thought and effort. Also being able to level up your character’s attribute the way you want and equip them as you see fit custom tailors the gameplay to your liking. The gameplay is turn based and focuses strongly on placement of your characters, you can place your character in specific formation for joint moves to take out the larger or more difficult enemies, but so can your opponent, so come prepared and bring your “A” game. The soul breed system is very unique and I think it may bring the most to this title as I was able to start a relationship with a selection of women and was able to see how they felt about me based on my actions and was given the choice of who to have a child with that possesses the abilities of the two parents for the next generation to continue the story along.

Gripes: For starters, having to download the title and the size of the download. To download you need ten gigs of free space, and to install, you need an additional 8 gigs free. This mainly affects those without an internet connection and low hard drive space as you need to purchase over PSN and are unable to purchase a retail copy that includes a disk, like it is sold on the Xbox 360. The gameplay and controls take a few hours to get used to as the hand holding tutorial is rather lengthy and takes about five minutes to get through before every battle in the beginning. You are also able to go back and view the notes and tutorials as there are many aspects to the gameplay that I did not retain the first time it was explained and as the battles get more difficult I had to go back through them to make sure I was not missing anything as there was a lot to take in over the first few battles and quests.

Overall, I had fun with the fifteen plus hours put in so far. Being someone that wants to complete and find everything, there will be a lot of time spent looking at scantily clad anime women, breeding new generations, and grinding. This is a unique game that may not have the replay value other titles have, but with the amount of content Record of Agarest War offers, it will take a long, long time before being done with it. Also the good thing about having to install this game to the console, you don’t have to get up off your couch to change disks and launch the game. Strategy RPG fans won’t be disappointed as it focuses a lot on character development but unfortunately not as much on variety. gives Record of Agarest War 7 out of 10.

Record of Agarest War is available now for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.

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