Nov 8, 2013This is a game with an intriguing premise that you can shape your own personalized hero by playing through the generations of characters, aided by a dating-sim-mini-game, and selecting out the heroines who will become your final hero's (great-great-great-grand)mother. The story is basically dead-set upon tick every RPG cliche it could off the checklist, and features a generic war-of-the-light-versus-dark story, but makes up for it with colorful characters. Oftentimes characters more scantily clad in their colorful-but-threadbare outfits than may necessarily be comfortable, but at least the dialogue did its job of entertaining me as I played through it.
If it was just an average RPG with the same story and gimmicks, I would have been happy to give this game an above-average rating. The problem is that the game falls flat on its face when it comes to the actual "game" part of the game.
I have never seen so much need for an auto-battle feature before in my life. The auto-battle exists (barely), but is so mind-numbingly stupid that you generally have to go a third of the game backwards to find opponents you can auto-grind against, but it's still far superior to having to spend the hundreds of hours it takes to beat the game gaining XP the normal way.
Grinding is excruciating and necessary. On Hard, bosses will kill your characters in one hit, no matter even if you spent every single character point on NOTHING but getting more hit points. (And I did, for every character, because there's little point in anything else.) When they use their super-moves, (which they can do at will,) they often get the "overkill" bonus for dealing triple the HP of my characters in damage. Survival is a matter of packing max recovery items and spreading out so that only one character dies at a time.
Because every combo you can do has to be not just pre-planned before battle, but pre-equipped and oftentimes grinded for, itself, the theoretically tactical grid-based combat basically always comes down to getting into the exact same formations, using the exact same combos you've metered out exactly to take advantage of the exact amount of AP you can spend. There is nothing in the game to make any one given battle any seriously different from another, besides maybe the bosses, but even every boss starts looking the same after a while. (In fact, at the end, they just outright keep reusing the same boss.) Hence, auto-battling just to keep from drooling boredom. (And because the auto-battle is awful, you have to grind more on auto-battle to survive auto-battling.)
When "playing" the game usually entails just putting a weight on the button to walk upwards, and then leaving for a while so that auto-battle auto-levels your characters, just so I can do something else while "playing" the game, it's a problem.
Worst of all, there's basically no way to get the good ending without using a guide, and if you screw up anything (and the game gives you basically no hints as to how you're screwing yourself over, or even where to look,) you have to start the WHOLE GAME OVER TO TRY AGAIN. That's right, 500 hours down the drain. When you DO finally beat the game, the game says, "Congrats, now onto the TRUE FINAL BOSS, which incidentally, is level 700. What, you're only level 100? Here's a new place to grind forever in, and all your old characters back, back at level 20. No, of course there's no experience sharing. Grind harder, sucker." I estimate "beating" this game will take roughly 1,000 hours, and I'm not even exaggerating.
That's roughly where I figured I was just completely not having fun anymore, and abandoned the game for good.
Oh, but as a bonus, they include "free DLC" that they originally charged people for, which basically includes just plain BUYING exp. Yeah, that's right, their business model was to make a game where you grind forever, and then sell people exp.
In summary, the story and style of the game may or may not be to your taste, but the actual mechanics of the game get downright masochistic. When a game is best played by having a book to read to get you through the boring parts, (read: 99.999% of the game,) then it's not exactly something I can in good conscious recommend to any but the most rabid of JRPG dating-sim fans.… Expand
Oct 6, 2013I wanted to like this game, I really did. I love tactical RPGs, but this one is severely subpar. The system is simplistic and boring. The combat and story both are sluggish and dull. All this game managed to accomplish was making me want to go back and play older games that are better in all regards. When I say all regards, that includes audio and visual elements. This game has no redeeming values, it feels more like a prototype for a game that could be good eventually.… Expand
Oct 19, 2013This is a jrpg. if you do not like jrpgs, then run. if you really like jrpgs, then get rpg maker on steam instead and make your own. The story is horrible. It sufferers from too many borrowed elements from older jrpgs. elements that I hated. They drop you off in the middle of an invasion that shows very little action, and suddenly, the hero no longer likes the war. I cant continue, the story is just bad. they try to make up with this by having anime girls with big appear as a plot device to move the story along, which is only nice if you are 12 or into that sort of thing.
they were very sneaky with the pre-orders, if you pre-ordered the game on steam, they gave you a discount plus a bunch of dlc. the dlc seems to be just a bunch of equipment. At least i got a discount.… Expand
Oct 18, 2013the game has a pretty interesting premise and the character and art are quite well done but the game play mechanics are just god awful. The game is a strategy tactics game that goes out of it's way to overcomplicated the game which not only frustrates you for the first couple hours you play it's compounded by how ridiculously slow the combat takes. Even with animations and movements off you'll still be wasting several minutes on random mob encounters which are quite numerous not to mention the game has a quest location which also drags in random mobs. Luckily there's an autoplay for the combat which allows you to get by it without torturing yourself but what it ultimately leaves you with is reading a visual novel with large breaks in between to wait through the combat.… Expand
Oct 15, 2013High expectations lead to disappointment. If you've played other games by Idea-factory, you might be disappointed. Story is not linear by far, but it's too predictable. Battlefield graphic design is dated, repetitive and annoyingly bland. Combat feels sluggish. You are not given total "control" of linked unit's spells and attacks. Trying to finish this game will feel like a chore instead of good 'ol fun. You love it or you hate it. Guess how I feel.… Expand
Oct 15, 2013Truth be told, Agarest isn't bad. It just isn't that good, either. The presentation is dated, but not quite dated enough to conjure up nostalgia. The battle engine is functional, but far from inspired. And the core concept (building a relationship with one of three female companions, which then determines the traits of your main character for the next generation) could be really interesting, but instead just feels tacked on as an afterthought.
Bullet point: for $20.00, you can do better.… Expand
Nov 20, 2013I don't play JRPG's often. That being said, in my lifetime I have played quite a few: FF3,4,5,7,9, FF Tactics, Chrono Trigger, Tales of Symphonia, The Last Remnant. I mention these off the top of my head, I may have played more. My point in this list is to say that I don't play JRPG's often, but when I do, I always throughly enjoy them. I love the story, combat, and character progression. Japanese games present a direction and viewpoint not always met from American or European game designers.
JRPG's do not make it to PC very often and since I'm a PC exclusive gamer I pre-ordered it on Steam with much anticipation. I waited on launch day to get the download started. Which happened later than it should have btw. The forums where filled with angry and anxious gamers all who were waiting for a chance to play.
Once I got the game up and running I was immediately confused. The story begins halfway and explains very little. The graphics were something out of a PS1 launch title. SMALL SPOILER: It launches you into a fight with no explanation and auto-battles, but doesn't tell you that's what happens, and you die, but doesn't really explain why and you're left wondering if you need to restart because the controller didn't seem to work or if that was supposed to happen or what!?
From that point on it's nothing but a mindlessly slow grindfest where you battle the same enemies on the same board with the same background 30 times while uncovering only small bits of story with not much explanation as to the motives of the characters.
I've only played for 2 hours. Perhaps the story takes 3 hours to develop, I doubt I'll ever find out. I just can't be bothered with a game that has no redeeming qualities for a 2 hour investment. Oh and the DLC is basically equipment that allows you to cheat. If there was any strategy to the battles to be had it will be erased once you equip your first DLC item. It's sad to say, but this is the first JRPG that I've ever played and genuinely didn't not like at all.… Expand
Oct 5, 2013Initial impression are pretty bad. I feel like im missing out on a good portion of the game because the audios are all Japanese (which isnt always bad), but the main problem is that the vast majority of them are not subtitled. You'll often find yourself just watching events unfold without knowing what's going on, just two characters on screen, no animations to try to figure it out, just Japanese audio. The localization effort on this was extremely poor.… Expand
Oct 4, 2013If you are hardcore into strategy jrpgs then you will definitely like this, heavy on story and a good battle system, you will spend many hours playing this. And with difficulty options even casual players can speed through the battles to get through the story. The story system is like a typical Japanese Visual Novel, with a battle system similar to other grid based strategy rpgs. The PC port seems to have been done pretty well. mouse and keyboard controls are good, and you can still play the game via controller.… Expand
Oct 7, 2013Good storyline, great battle system, and addictive gameplay, it's what shapes it up to be a great JRPG. I started playing and I immediately loved it. For those people who complain about all Japanese audio, stop complaining because what do you expect from a Japanese RPG? Sure there could be translations, but it adds to the mood... I mean, in my opinion. There's always Japanese class (Kidding). There may be better ones out there, but this one is close to be among the best, and it's certainly a great pick for any JRPG or RPG fans in general.… Expand
Oct 5, 2013If your looking for something to take with on a vacation, a.. Long vacation, Then this is it, This JRPG is in a league of its own. Every detail is finely crafted, from the story to the characters, to the setting and the features. It stands out as this year's finest JRPG.
Oct 29, 2013This game is a Hardcore Strategy JRPG, which means it's not for everyone. So if you can't stand turned-based battle systems, pandering anime styles, Japanese audio, reading, or drawn out progression don't bother with this game. These are probably the major instant turn-off. If you like FFTactics you might enjoy this game.
Before I continue, I'd like to say I have played this game for 55 hours on hard and still have not beat it.
About The Game (No Spoilers)
The Story telling itself is very slow and anime inspired. I personally like to think of it as an anime version of "The Lord of the Ring". The audio is in Japanese, so if you don't like reading subtitles you definitely won't like the story telling. I personally like that it's a Japanese "Lord of the Ring", but I will say the "Lord of the Ring" did it better. Sad to say, this story is not for everyone
The game is full of politics of it's world and a variety of races and enemies. Though, the politics probably could be done better, especially considering how slow the game burns. The story mostly focuses on the main protagonist, and the country politics are just one of many obstacles in his way. I wish I could say how, but I feel that it could have been done better. Perhaps if they gave us more political choices.
The overarching story doesn't have as much to do with particular warring countries as it does with miscellaneous politics of various countries. While the story instantly starts out with a country at war it quickly changes focus to the promise the main character makes, where he gives his life and the lives descendants to another character in exchanged for being rescued. Then throughout the generations you are fulfilling that promise and you need to pick a wife so that the next generation can fulfill his destiny.
To be honest, while every choice you make effect who likes you, there isn't that much dating-sim in the story. The artist uses a style that panders to the horney Japanese teenage boy, but it doesn't really shove that much of it in your face out side of some costume design. Out of the about 40 hours I've played WITHOUT GRINDING, I've maybe seen 5 minutes of cut scenes that shoved ecchi in my face
I can break the game down into 5 parts: the over-world, combat, Dungeons (quests), town menu, and camp menu
The over-world has two purposes I've found. One, to progress the story, and two to have set enemies that you can farm from for particular items and objectives. Each area on the map takes up one turn, and the number of turns you take effects the game. I have yet to figure out how exactly for myself, but apparently it can effect the ending you get.
These are area where you can grind without increasing your turn count. They are in a 3D environment, and each one has significance to the lore. These are also the only place where you can find free loot and find certain monsters. For some reason the game calls them "Quests" but don't have quests in them.
Combat is a simplistic turn based strategy, but if simplistic and turn based meant bad then chess would be bad. Like in most strategy games of this kind, each unit you control has a certain amount of actions he/she can do, and take its own turn pending on the AGI Stat. There is no plain "Attack" Action. You Equip each character with "Skills" and each skill takes up actions. Where the Combat really shines is in the variety of "Skills: and the ability to combine skill, especially of those of other characters. If you position your characters correctly you can use multiple characters on the same turn. Every time a character does something or is hit, it gains "SP" and SP is needed for some special attacks. The biggest down side is the amount of time it takes to execute your turn
There is an Auto-Combat option if you Press "Q" during combat, but I don't recommend it unless you're grinding in a very easy Dungeon. The plus side is that it makes decisions faster than you can navigate the battle menu.
Here is where you can buy and make various items and skills. If you like getting loot and making stuff out of it there is a lot of that, and it's one of the stronger parts of the game. For most things, you have to make it at least once before you can just buy it.
Basic menu where you manage your characters, items, and skills. There is a lot to manage in my opinion.
THE BAD (Art is personal preference)
The worst thing about this game is it's pacing, the fighting takes a long time and there is more story progression than there is story. The game is begging you to use it's DLC and the DLC makes the game way too easy. On top of that, the act of grinding is very time consuming. The game Vanilla does not respect your time, on hard at least. Port problems, made for console, not much Ghostlight could do to better the port. Read manual from steam page for controls.
Great depth to the story, combat, and items… Expand
Nov 16, 2013To start off with, this is a Jrpg through and through; and is regrettably thus the focal point of a lot of negativity on Metacritic. Low scores based on "voice acting in Japanese" or "Old plot devices and predictable story lines" or "un-innovative gameplay" .
Prior to my review, I would like to debunk some of the negativity; "IF" you like j-rpgs, then you will find no fault with this title; the story is your tried and true save-the-world montage, however, a old story concept can be just fine as long as it is told RIGHT, and it is my opinion the writers did a fine job of integrating previously known plot devices and character personalities and making for a enjoyable experience. Despite it feeling glossed over at points (due to it taking place over many generations), there is a undercurrent through the whole story that adds depth and feeling to the long term characters. For example, the game feels episodic; but you can tell from their behavior how the characters grow and change from beginning to end; they are not as two dimensional as some characters have been in other stories.
Also, as an afterthought the translated script is more or less accurate (some inconsistencies, but nothing major), but my favorite aspect is that conversations are mature and thoughtful, some philosophy mixed in at some points and humor at other points, but no-head-slamming-against-a-wall derp conversations that tend to occur in a lot of official translations (NA translators trying to appeal to younger, broader, audiences etc).
Diverging storyline based on choices, light/dark focus, provide for multiple playthroughs and provide some sense of "control" to the story (limited, but still some to an extent).
Gameplay is your standard fair nothing great, nothing horrible there is a large selection of skills, all with their own animations and can be combo'd and many turn into group skills etc, making for a diverse experience. For those that can't stand animations (esp. when you seen them a hundred times) you can turn them off to speed up the game play. The battle maps offer some variety through positioning of characters as each character has a tactical formation they can have others join in on (to creat combo attacks and chains) based on where on the grid you place your party members.
Not as polished as the Disgaea series, but comparing the gameplay of Agerest to Disgaea is just unreasonable as one is a accomplished developer with many big sales hits under their belt, whereas
Agarest: Generations of War was the founding title for the devs; later titles show clearer progress, from the imports I have played.
But that is not to say the combat is by any means poor in Agarest: Generations of War, it is intelligent, tactical, and dynamic you need to think, plan, and adapt to every fight and unlike what people claim, grinding is not required to see the ending(s) of the game its all about placement, members, and skills chosen.
As for audio and visuals there are over 100 unique cgs, diverse sprite emotions for every character (the portraits that represent the characters), and you can tell effort was put into every character concept. Music is engaging, and effort was put into giving the tracks proper ambiance and feeling and not super-annoying the way a lot of other j-rpgs are (they mix up the battle musics so its not the same thing over and over). Voice acting is rich and emotional they feel "in character" and not just rehearsed lines, mind you these voice actors have tremendous experience under their belts from prior projects. (though bear in mind if you're a "English first" kind of person, you may have greivances but at least, everything but combat voices are subbed unlike what some other reviewer here wrote.
An amusing concern/gripe is the scantly-clad girls and innuendo, as there are many people that label this an "eroge" or "hentai" game. seriously? would this make it to Steam or port over to PS3 if this had "that" level of adult content? Get a brain people. The artstyle is a sales ploy through and through and personally i'm enough of a perv to appreciate those half-naked anime girls. :P (not just for horney teenagers!) Ultimately it's up to personal taste if your a prude or delicate sensibilities are offended by sexualized artstyles, move along.
The next point for me is there are multiple endings (varied, not cookie-cut like ME3 heh), and a "true" ending all based on wives married, the blance between light and dark by the end of the game- and other factors. And while each generation is fairly linear there are branching choices that add to replayability for new game+'s. And the obvious mechanic of creating your linage, and the skills/appearance they share amongst the parents.
Those are the core points I can think of at the moment; as for why this game should be considered more favorably; if you enjoy j-rpgs, I believe you will have fun with this game.
I'm glad I discovered this gem on Steam and hope they bring the rest of the serie… Expand
Nov 19, 2013I've been playing Agarest for only a few hours so far, but it's enough for me to decide I really like this game.
Agarest: Generations Of War seems to be all about the tactics, pretty much like some of the Shining Force games, specifically the game(s) for the GameGear and SegaCD (partly the same games packed differently). It means that generally, the game is linear. While you can move around and go back and fourth between locations you've already visited and cleared, it's not like you need to explore territories, pick up battles or find treasures or clues, with the exception of the specific locations with that exact purpose. Coming up on mere 6 hours in-game I've only come across one such location, but it's safe to assume there are more.
The back-story does seem rich and deep, although I admit I'm still kind of confused about what's what. There's that Light Darkness gauge, which is still a mystery for me.
The graphics and animations are sweet, japanese style. One thing that bothers me is that the characters' lips don't move when they speak. Also, the voice acting is all in japanese. The written text in all in english, though (obviously).
The battle system looks complex and deep, yet easy enough to learn (there quick and easy tutorials).
All in all, the game looks good, so far. If you like Japanese Tactical RPGs, you might want to get this one, it definitely looks promising. I'll update this review as I keep playing and have a better perspective.… Expand
Dec 4, 2013As a JRPG&SLG hardcore player, this is my first time that I have to give up new game so quick(within 3h).
Yes, I only played for a while and found some exactly same issues mentioned by other reviewer.
When I began at hard mode, I got so many powerful weapons&items automatically, which completely destroy any fun of game in earlier stage. So, you have to restart game and disable them to make the battle a bit balance/harder.
In the battle field, you will kill almost same monsters at the same ugly battle filed(BG) in most of first 2-3h playing time.
Our main character are willing to risk his life for saving an elf child he just met meanwhile being against his partners. I can take the cliche but not this kind of stupid setting, especially without introducing anything about the background setting of the main story. Btw, unnecessary horizontal transition during the conversation make the dialog longer and boring.
4 Aid/Link atk system:
It make the game much easier since it ignore other char's atk range/type, but if the aid atk role would be repositioned and you cant manage that part why the system don't even show the grid my roles will be assigned to. I believe this is gonna ruin the benefit we gain from the link when we experience a hard fight at later game since we basically lose the control of my roles and that's fatal to a strategy game.
This is prepared for player's endless farming, which also means the game designer could get a "reasonable" excuse to level up the boss. However, due to the fact that their DLC's weapons are over powered, this grinding period are no more than eating your time.
So, finally, we may still restarted the game with DLC items and experience a long long boring time until enemies can match our weapon power, and then find the great combo and grind it, and use it on each fight, only need to worry about when the link system will put our characters into a unpredictable dangerous place in which they got raped in one turn and can't be revived soon enough due to the next wave.
In one word, the bad setting buried the interesting skill system and the game fun.… Expand
Dec 8, 2013Dreadful effort of game design in 2013. Looks and feels like a bad Playstation 1 title. And feels like a bad port from a Nintendo DS. Graphics are 8-bit quality. Voice work is Japanese with the female parts mostly squealing like nymphomaniac pre-teens. Game play is painfully slow, as you watch the slide show of manga-dialogues and endure a horrible 1985 Japanese RPG combat system. You will feel that you are wasting every minute of your time with this crap, trying to figure out the menus and controls in order to slowly grind your way through the slide show of terrible plot points. This game is strictly for the fans of its genre, and even they would be better off wasting their time with anything else.