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Generation Gap- Record of Agarest War Review

While the last two generations of consoles were showered with a number of illustrious strategy role-playing games, ranging from Final Fantasy Tactics to the Disgaea series, our contemporary systems have had a meager amount of middling tactical diversions. So far, multi-core CPUs and a high-definition output have given owners of contemporary systems an unimpressive selection of titles. Certainly, titles like Spectral Force 3, Zoids Assault, Band of Bugs or Operation Darkness won’t attract the fanboy fanaticism that has followed venerated favorites like Front Mission 3 or La Pucelle: Tactics.

Sadly, players can add the recently released Record of Agarest War to the growing list of unexceptional tactical battlers. While the game doesn’t have the faults that have tarnished other SRPGs of the current generation, it joins Disgaea 3: Absence of Justice in offering competent skirmishes along with an antiquated visual aesthetic. Those expecting a now-gen game with increased intricacy or graphical sumptuousness may be slightly disappointed.

More Links that a handful of Zelda games.

Record of Agarest’s main contribution to the genre is the title’s generational system. At the commencement of the game, players take control of Leonhardt, a soldier growing increasingly distrustful at the jingoist determinations of his countrymen. Although Agarest’s account of a just insurrection isn’t novel, the title’s execution is elevated by allowing players to control Leonhardt’s lineage – each of the game’s five chapters is led by the hero’s successive offspring. Dialog with potential suitors raises or lowers an affection quotient, culminating with an heir conceived with the most compatible woman. One interesting element is that your successor’s starting stats are based on the congruency of the parents. Unfortunately, selection in mates feels restrained, as it’s hard to determine a suitor’s reaction to your responses.

Less innovative, but still proficient is the Agarest’s battle system. Although the title makes a distinction between movement and action turns, every activity uses a common commodity- Action Points. Therefore each character repositioning, attack, magic spell or even item use has a cost associated with it. This system encourages players to plan ahead as points can be banked for future turns. Like the Disgaea series, the title offers devastating linked attacks; characters don’t even have to be adjacent to one another before releasing a barrage of assaults. Whereas most SRPGs allows for terrain of varying altitudes, all of Agarest’s battlefields are uninterestingly flat.

“‘Cause I see some ladies tonight that should be having my baby”

Players expecting the developers to flex the graphical muscle of the Playstation 3 will be disappointed by Agarest. Although the game’s character portraits are displayed with high resolution fidelity, the game’s sprite-based characters display a lack of detail, and are stiffly animated, recalling the look of classic PS2-era SRPGs. Although the game forgoes an English dub (Japanese voice with English subtitles are the only option), I wouldn’t expect Agarest’s target audience to resent the omission.

Record of Agarest’s salivation may be found in its sheer depth; the title will offer SRPG enthusiasts at least eighty hours of playtime. Those that aren’t smitten by the genre will likely become fatigued long before the midway mark, by the title’s straightforward strategies and plodding narrative. Until a developer makes a now-gen strategy role playing game which captivates our minds and eyes, Agarest is a respectable, if not dazzling alternative.

About Robert Allen

With over 35 years of gaming experience, Robert 'DesertEagle' Allen is Tech-Gaming's resident worrier/warrior who spends his days teaching at three colleges and his nights devoted to JRPGs.


  1. Numb from the Rum

    How much is it? If I can get it for cheap, I may pick it up.

  2. was this the one with the boobies mousemad?

  3. Damn, I love those sexy chicks. Is that all throughout the game?

  4. I love SRPGs. Thanks for the review.

  5. Nice Biggie quote, bay-bee!

  6. Dude, you forgot to mention the 8 hour download this takes!!!

  7. Is there a disk for the PS3 or just download? I only have a 60 GB and dont have room for a big dl.

  8. Ive heard the same isn’t nearly as sexual as the marketing and these pics would indicate. Really tame stuff.

  9. Ok, I bought it (it was $44.99 on the PS3, but comes with free DLC) but I cant find a manual of any kind. Where did they hide it in the game?

  10. What the difference between a straight up RPG and a SRPG? Don’t say an “S” or I’ll make fun of your mother.

  11. RadioactiveMouse

    Thanks for the review. I remember hearing about this one.

  12. I really wish there was a demo for this. I like these kinds of games, but only certain ones.

  13. I’m in the 3rd gen right now, and the game in finally growing on me. At first the random battles were annoying, but they are strating to get intersting.

    One thing- the games does look like a PS1 era game at times.

  14. Is this what the podcast fight was about? I haven’t listened yet.

  15. Is the sound compressed in the 360 version?

  16. I’ll hold out for $30. Still a bit pricey for me. Glad to hear it’s nice and long.

  17. Good review. Told me exactly what I needed to know!

  18. come hither you flirty anime wenches!

  19. Why the hell does the PSN version NOT come with a digital manual?

  20. I bought it last night and my download kept stopping- whats up with that?!?!

  21. 30 is still pricey, might get it if it was on sale

  22. You got a really useful blog I have been here reading for about an hour.