Sunday, July 22, 2012

MashButtons’ cure for the JRPG itch, Record of Agarest War 2

The people over at Aksys recently sent us a review code for Record of Agarest War 2 on the PS3, probably because I enjoyed Record of Agarest War when it first came out 2 years ago. For those of you that didn’t get a chance to play the original, RoAW is a turn based JRPG in which you are timed to complete and includes a relationship system in which you are judged on decisions made throughout the story and your child’s stats are determined by your choices. I took on the role of Weiss, a character that has amnesia and later learns from a woman named Eva that he committed deicide and to atone for the sin, he must become the “Vessel” to which the power of the downed deity will be stored. Let’s see how this huge 14 Gig downloadable title handles.

There has been some good RPG’s out this year with Disgaea 4, Final Fantasy XIII-2, and Hyperdimension Neptunia Mk2, so Record of Agarest has some pretty bug shoes to fill. In my experience with the title, I was strangely glued to the TV, trying to talk myself into turning it off and going to bed. The reason for this was largely due to the story and the combat system. The combat systems upgrade has moves mapped to the controller as opposed to the more traditional selection from a list.  Along with the faster, more fluid combat, the graphics have gotten a significant HD upgrade. Lastly, there is no wandering aimlessly to grind your character levels up, all you need to do is press R1 and you will engage in battle, which streamlines grinding greatly.

I did not immediately get sucked into the game, there were a couple things that took away my interest from the get-go, luckily the above features were eventually introduced and I quickly wanted to keep playing rather than how the experience began, feeling like I was forcing myself to keep playing. There is a LOT of dialogue, almost as much as combat, and no, you cannot skip them, it is also a bit distracting when I was trying to read the subtitles, but listening to the interactions in Japanese. As I said earlier, 14 Gigs, it’s a pretty big download, and during my time spent, I never thought, ah-ha, that is why they needed all the memory, what I am getting at is that it has very little animations and looks like it could be a Vita title

Like I said, I had a lot of fun and the further I got into it the more I enjoyed it. Sure, it did take a good four to five hours of gameplay to figure out what I was doing in combat, fighting more than I was reading, and enjoying the characters and story taking place. I would suggest this to fans of JRPG’s and grinding, because it has just about every known clichĂ© surrounding the genre, but you have to keep your focus on the story so you don’t run out of time.

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