By Spencer . February 1, 2008 . 6:01pm
Agarest Senki (aka Record of Agarest War) gained notoriety because of its soul breed system where you date and mate with female party members to create the protagonist for the next chapter. It reminded me of the system Sega introduced in Phantasy Star III, only more CERO C (teen equivalent). I don’t want to rehash what was said about the dating elements because there is more to Agarest Senki than wooing in the middle of a war. There is a war that Leonheart has to fight!
During battle Agarest Senki functions differently from other strategy RPGs. Players move all of their characters on the small chess-like battlefield in one round. Then all of the enemies move. After all the new positions are picked the move phase ends and all fighters walk to their new square. It’s a strategic twist because you will have no idea if your characters will be in range to attack or not until after the move phase ends. Fortunately, Leonheart and his
harem party usually have attacks with a radius of a few squares. As long as you spread your army out you can probably hit something, but maybe not with one of Leonheart’s skills if he is physically out of range. There is a trick to the system, characters are linked together by glowing extend area links. Leonheart may be out of range to hit a dragon, but as long as one of his linked allies is he can hit the dragon. The linking system also allows characters to do combo attacks as long as they have action points (AP). You can continue to link attacks as long as characters have remaining AP. This gives players the option to completely drain the AP of a few characters to eliminate a powerful enemy or to share AP costs between characters.
As a freshman SRPG attempt Compile Heart came up with some creative ideas for combat. Unfortunately, Agarest Senki hasn’t been picked up by a US publisher and the chessboard-like PlayStation 3 system remains in Japan. However, the curious can give it a go by picking up the free demo sitting on Japan's PlayStation Store.