Record of Agarest War - First Impressions

Posted by ttocs (782 posts) -

 
Record of Agarest War was a title that was on my radar for some time, mainly through seeing it in magazine ads and on websites.  I'm a pretty big fan of JRPGs so I was excited to see what AKSYS would bring to the states with this release.  After picking up the limited edition yesterday, I've put in a solid 6 hours or so and I'm here to let you know what the game is like in the beginning.  If you are on the fence about purchasing this title, you may use this as a guide to see if it will suit your taste (since there aren't many reviews out there for the game).  So, without further adieu, my impressions...
 
 Record of Agarest War is
 The world map view
a Japanese SRPG (Strategy Role Playing Game).  What this means is that you have a team of characters strategically placed on the battlefield and one by one you move them to a position and attack.   The enemy will be doing the same.  With Agarest though, they treat it a little different than the big boys (namely Disgaea).  For starters, turns are broken into a couple steps.  You begin your turn by moving all of your characters.  When you are finished moving, you and the enemy move at the same time (so where an enemy is standing when you begin moving might not be where he is when you finish).  After the movement phase, comes the action phase.  You are given action points to do certain things.  There are no free attacks, each attack will use points, as does using potions, and items.  You can chose to bank points and do nothing that turn and use them for the next round, but you can never go above your maximum point count x2.  Sometimes this is a good strategy on bosses, but on small mobs you won't need to do this.  Another important part of attacking is that you can link up attacks depending on where you are standing in regards to other players.  So, when you move, be sure to pay attention to not only the enemies position, but also where your teammates will be positioned.  This all sounds a little complicated but there are some tutorials that taught it well.
 
 So that is the quick and dirty description of the battle system (which in my opinion is the biggest part of a SRPG game).  It's not the best, I'll be the first to admit, but I feel it's adequate.  Disgaea does it better with obstacles and blocks, plus the maps in Agarest are pretty boring, but for some reason I had fun playing Agarest.  The battles never lasted too long and I never felt I was at the end of a cheap attack by a computer.  You can upgrade your characters individually after each level they receive, which is a welcome addition to any RPG fans playing the game.  The system reminds me of Mass Effect where you have a couple different options and you receive a certain number of points per level you need to sink into each level of your character.  As you level up you will unlock more skills and such.   It's nothing revolutionary, but it works.
 
 The lines between characters shows that a joint attack is possible.
The other draw of the game is the dating sim that is apparently present.  I haven't encountered much of it since I'm still very early in the game.  I have met on e of the girls you can woo and a decision I made to go around a fort instead of threw it made her like me a little more.  I'm sure there will be more choices down the ro ad with girls who like different actions at different times.  I doubt you can please them all.  The story also ranges across generations.  So, at the end of the first generatio n (first of five parts of the game) you will need to pick a woman to have a child with.  This will then move into the next generation where new girls will be present and new characters to continue your journey.  This was one of the major selling points for me in getting this game, so I'm excited to see how this works.
 
So, there you have it, my quick and dirty first impressions of Record of Agarest War.  If you aren't a SRPG fan, avoid this game.  If you are an SRPG fan and ha ven't played Disgaea 3, maybe you should start there to experience one of the best SRPG games out.  This game is for the rest of us.  We've played Disgaea, maybe it wasn't our thing and wanted something a little toned down, not as serious...maybe you like the dating sim aspect, whatever it is, there is a lot to like with Agarest.  Unfortunately, there are also some things to not like and if you are one to be brought down by the small things, you may not like this game.  
 
So, has anyone else picked up the game?  What do you think of it so far?
#1 Posted by ttocs (782 posts) -

 
Record of Agarest War was a title that was on my radar for some time, mainly through seeing it in magazine ads and on websites.  I'm a pretty big fan of JRPGs so I was excited to see what AKSYS would bring to the states with this release.  After picking up the limited edition yesterday, I've put in a solid 6 hours or so and I'm here to let you know what the game is like in the beginning.  If you are on the fence about purchasing this title, you may use this as a guide to see if it will suit your taste (since there aren't many reviews out there for the game).  So, without further adieu, my impressions...
 
 Record of Agarest War is
 The world map view
a Japanese SRPG (Strategy Role Playing Game).  What this means is that you have a team of characters strategically placed on the battlefield and one by one you move them to a position and attack.   The enemy will be doing the same.  With Agarest though, they treat it a little different than the big boys (namely Disgaea).  For starters, turns are broken into a couple steps.  You begin your turn by moving all of your characters.  When you are finished moving, you and the enemy move at the same time (so where an enemy is standing when you begin moving might not be where he is when you finish).  After the movement phase, comes the action phase.  You are given action points to do certain things.  There are no free attacks, each attack will use points, as does using potions, and items.  You can chose to bank points and do nothing that turn and use them for the next round, but you can never go above your maximum point count x2.  Sometimes this is a good strategy on bosses, but on small mobs you won't need to do this.  Another important part of attacking is that you can link up attacks depending on where you are standing in regards to other players.  So, when you move, be sure to pay attention to not only the enemies position, but also where your teammates will be positioned.  This all sounds a little complicated but there are some tutorials that taught it well.
 
 So that is the quick and dirty description of the battle system (which in my opinion is the biggest part of a SRPG game).  It's not the best, I'll be the first to admit, but I feel it's adequate.  Disgaea does it better with obstacles and blocks, plus the maps in Agarest are pretty boring, but for some reason I had fun playing Agarest.  The battles never lasted too long and I never felt I was at the end of a cheap attack by a computer.  You can upgrade your characters individually after each level they receive, which is a welcome addition to any RPG fans playing the game.  The system reminds me of Mass Effect where you have a couple different options and you receive a certain number of points per level you need to sink into each level of your character.  As you level up you will unlock more skills and such.   It's nothing revolutionary, but it works.
 
 The lines between characters shows that a joint attack is possible.
The other draw of the game is the dating sim that is apparently present.  I haven't encountered much of it since I'm still very early in the game.  I have met on e of the girls you can woo and a decision I made to go around a fort instead of threw it made her like me a little more.  I'm sure there will be more choices down the ro ad with girls who like different actions at different times.  I doubt you can please them all.  The story also ranges across generations.  So, at the end of the first generatio n (first of five parts of the game) you will need to pick a woman to have a child with.  This will then move into the next generation where new girls will be present and new characters to continue your journey.  This was one of the major selling points for me in getting this game, so I'm excited to see how this works.
 
So, there you have it, my quick and dirty first impressions of Record of Agarest War.  If you aren't a SRPG fan, avoid this game.  If you are an SRPG fan and ha ven't played Disgaea 3, maybe you should start there to experience one of the best SRPG games out.  This game is for the rest of us.  We've played Disgaea, maybe it wasn't our thing and wanted something a little toned down, not as serious...maybe you like the dating sim aspect, whatever it is, there is a lot to like with Agarest.  Unfortunately, there are also some things to not like and if you are one to be brought down by the small things, you may not like this game.  
 
So, has anyone else picked up the game?  What do you think of it so far?
#2 Posted by trophyhunter (5800 posts) -

it's good to see someone not shitting on this game

#3 Posted by Karkarov (3284 posts) -

My only problem is alot of people seem to have forgotten about this game called Phantasy Star 3.  Sure it didn't have an actual dating sim but the "continuing through three generations" is literally a direct rip.  I haven't seen alot of reason to believe the game is really all that good though and a idiotic mouspad and a pillow case are being used to fluff the cost.

#4 Posted by ryanwho (12082 posts) -

Ebert I found that proof you were looking for.

#5 Posted by ttocs (782 posts) -

Just because a game continues through the generations doesn't mean it's a direct rip off of another that did the same.  It's an idea that is being used more than once.  Hell, when the second game came out that added grenades to the arsenal, it wasn't considered ripping off the first, it was just an evolution.

#6 Edited by DokiDokiBawanga (52 posts) -

i have it (PS3 Europe edition) and i really like this game! Of course in is not a disgaea but it have it's moments. Agarest war not too hard and soul breeding system is fun too , building your character is interesting. it's a definitely a must buy for SRPG fans!

#7 Posted by Terry_Bogard (303 posts) -

It's cool that you like this game.. but it's lame that you like Disgaea 3! I've never seen  game try so hard to be funny.  Anyways.. I might pick this up tomorrow.

#8 Posted by Sparky_Buzzsaw (6398 posts) -
@ttocs:
Nice write-up.  I'm going to be keeping an eye on this one.  Maybe when I have a bit of scratch in my pocket, I'll pick it up.
Moderator
#9 Edited by Meteora (5787 posts) -

I tried to pick this game up today but it wasn't present at any of the local large hardware stores (BestBuy and Future Shop). I might look at Gamestop, but chances are that I'll wait until it becomes cheaper (which shouldn't take too long; its generally the case when a game isn't a massive hit).
 
And yes I am frustrated with the lack of any reviews.

#10 Posted by BattleShinobi (78 posts) -

I love Disgaea, played hundreds of hours. So you have to play a boy in this game? Do you get to choose your character?

#11 Posted by Shirogane (3581 posts) -

The soul breeding thing sounds interesting, having a game continue across generations. However, i absolutely hate SRPGS. Actually, i hate Turned Based Strategy type stuff full stop. And any even remotely similar. 
I won't go anywhere near a Disgaea. Sadly, this will have to suffer the same fate...
#12 Posted by REDRUN (1410 posts) -
@ttocs:  Great write up. I am a SRPG fan fan since Final Fantasy Tactics on the first PlayStation. I am willing to give this game a try when the opportunity allows it.
#13 Posted by Symphony (1912 posts) -

Nice write-up :) Won't be getting the game myself, but was wondering as to what the actual game part was and you've done a great job answering that.

#14 Posted by ttocs (782 posts) -

I've put in a couple more hours with the game and so far, it's still pretty good.  It's nothing amazing, but it's not bad.  The only concern that I'm seeing now is that the gameplay could possibly get old after a while.  Thankfully, I got a couple new skills last night and I figured out how to upgrade weapons (you max them out and then destroy them to make a powerful component for another weapon).  The story is starting to pick up as well and I finally got to see a moment where you woo one of the girls.  It's very basic, but you do get to chose which one you want.  I'm curious to see if it affects your next generation character.  I think it does because you can go to fortune teller and she can look into the future and depending on how much a woman loves you, depict how your child will look.  It helps you decide on which woman to chose.  I think that's how it works, hopefully it is.
 
So yeah, about 10 hours in or so and I still like it.  It's very basic and I will reiterate again, if you don't like SRPG games, you will HATE this game.  That's pretty much all there is.  Battle after batrtle.   This game will get bad reviews because of it, but a niche group of people will like it (myself included).

#15 Posted by Lind_L_Taylor (3966 posts) -

Yeah, it sounds like crap.  The dating sim in the game sounds ridiculous.

#16 Edited by mutha3 (4986 posts) -
@Lind_L_Taylor said:

" Yeah, it sounds like crap.  The dating sim in the game sounds ridiculous. "

And so does the SRPG part IMO, from what I've seen it looks like a broken poor man's Disgaea.
 
PS. I love SRPG's
#17 Posted by Yummylee (22568 posts) -

Wow. I initially thought this was just some hentai dating sim.
#18 Posted by mutha3 (4986 posts) -
@Shirogane said:
" The soul breeding thing sounds interesting, having a game continue across generations. However, i absolutely hate SRPGS. Actually, i hate Turned Based Strategy type stuff full stop. And any even remotely similar. I won't go anywhere near a Disgaea. Sadly, this will have to suffer the same fate... "
Ever played a Fire Emblem? I personally feel that one fixes a lot of issues people have with SRPG's in general(IE: poor map design, poor pacing , bad UI,actual strategy etc.)
#19 Posted by Shirogane (3581 posts) -
@mutha3:
Yeah, i've tried Fire Emblem. It's somewhat less annoying, but i still hate it. Just can't get past the whole turn based thing, and waiting around. Odd that i'm fine with it in RPGs though. Just not like this.
#20 Posted by Catolf (2653 posts) -
@Lind_L_Taylor said:
" Yeah, it sounds like crap.  The dating sim in the game sounds ridiculous. "
Yet Persona 3 and 4 did so well with the dating Sim aspects
 
I plan to get this game I like SRPGS a lot and dating sim's so this is right up my alley.
#21 Posted by onan (1286 posts) -

I for one came for the pervy promo items and stayed for the SRPG action. I don't even like SRPGs, but the promise of cheesecake wins out.

#22 Posted by Lind_L_Taylor (3966 posts) -
@Catolf said:
" @Lind_L_Taylor said:
" Yeah, it sounds like crap.  The dating sim in the game sounds ridiculous. "
Yet Persona 3 and 4 did so well with the dating Sim aspects  I plan to get this game I like SRPGS a lot and dating sim's so this is right up my alley. "
 
How tough are the achievements?
#23 Posted by ttocs (782 posts) -
@Lind_L_Taylor said:
" @Catolf said:
" @Lind_L_Taylor said:
" Yeah, it sounds like crap.  The dating sim in the game sounds ridiculous. "
Yet Persona 3 and 4 did so well with the dating Sim aspects  I plan to get this game I like SRPGS a lot and dating sim's so this is right up my alley. "
 How tough are the achievements? "
For Record of Agarest?  They aren't too tough.  A lot are story related so you will get them in one playthrough, but a bunch others will involve multiple playthroughs.  For instance, you have to pick a bride after each chunk of the story (called generations).  If you pick x bride, you get x achievement and miss out on y achievement because you didn't marry y bride.  So, don't expect to easily 1K this game.  It just won't happen. 
#24 Posted by Catolf (2653 posts) -
@ttocs said:
" @Lind_L_Taylor said:
" @Catolf said:
" @Lind_L_Taylor said:
" Yeah, it sounds like crap.  The dating sim in the game sounds ridiculous. "
Yet Persona 3 and 4 did so well with the dating Sim aspects  I plan to get this game I like SRPGS a lot and dating sim's so this is right up my alley. "
 How tough are the achievements? "
For Record of Agarest?  They aren't too tough.  A lot are story related so you will get them in one playthrough, but a bunch others will involve multiple playthroughs.  For instance, you have to pick a bride after each chunk of the story (called generations).  If you pick x bride, you get x achievement and miss out on y achievement because you didn't marry y bride.  So, don't expect to easily 1K this game.  It just won't happen.  "
Look's like I'll be playing a few times to get all the ladies XD
#25 Posted by Romination (2777 posts) -

yeah, yeah, yeah, but how's the booby mousepad?

#26 Posted by ttocs (782 posts) -
@Shirogane said:
" @mutha3: Yeah, i've tried Fire Emblem. It's somewhat less annoying, but i still hate it. Just can't get past the whole turn based thing, and waiting around. Odd that i'm fine with it in RPGs though. Just not like this. "
It's an acquired taste.  With RPGs, you are constantly doing something.  SRPGs are more like chess where you take your turn and then wait for the other person/computer to take theirs, all the while thinking of your next couple moves.  This isn't a good game for people new to SRPGs to get familiar with the genre with.  They will be jaded since there are other SRPGs out there that are a lot better (Disagae in my opinion).
#27 Posted by Catolf (2653 posts) -
@Romination said:
" yeah, yeah, yeah, but how's the booby mousepad? "
it works nice, thanks for asking. ^^
 
@ttocs said:
" @Shirogane said:
" @mutha3: Yeah, i've tried Fire Emblem. It's somewhat less annoying, but i still hate it. Just can't get past the whole turn based thing, and waiting around. Odd that i'm fine with it in RPGs though. Just not like this. "
It's an acquired taste.  With RPGs, you are constantly doing something.  SRPGs are more like chess where you take your turn and then wait for the other person/computer to take theirs, all the while thinking of your next couple moves.  This isn't a good game for people new to SRPGs to get familiar with the genre with.  They will be jaded since there are other SRPGs out there that are a lot better (Disagae in my opinion). "

This is true, I do enjoy the Disgaea game play more than this but I'm enjoying so far.
#28 Posted by Romination (2777 posts) -
@Catolf: I ask because I care (seriously, though, it seems like they made it and it wound up being accidentally ergonomic)
#29 Posted by Catolf (2653 posts) -
@Romination:  XD well, as long as it gives my wrist support i'm all for it. My dad got a kick out of it too lol
#30 Posted by dropbearGSH (76 posts) -

Is this game related to the Record of Lodoss War anime in any way?  The titles seem to similar to be a coincidence, but I guess the Japanese can be pretty unoriginal sometimes.

#31 Posted by Bam_D_Leprechaun (795 posts) -

so wait, is it related to the Lodoss War anime?

#32 Posted by Eelcire (367 posts) -

The game has no relation to Record of Lodoss War, though if you're wanting a Lodoss War game there is one on the Dreamcast.

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