Record of Agarest War Zero – More Waifus, Less Strategy

By Ethan . May 25, 2014 . 5:00pm

I feel like Record of Agarest War Zero is trying to cheat.  The market is supposed to incentivize creators to make great creations.  More people will watch a good movie than a bad movie, more people will play a good game than a bad game.  Record of Agarest Zero is not a good strategy game.  The interface is clunky, the music is grating, and even unimportant fights drag on WAY longer than is fun.  The story is painfully generic.

 

But I don’t think that’s the point.  Record of Argarest Zero aims to sell not based on the strategy component, but based on the many girls in the game.  Young innocent girls, shy childhood friend girls, dark mystical girls… any type of anime girl you could desire is present and available for dating and mating.

 

Agarest is not alone in taking this shortcut.  We’ve all seen the other games that take the exact same fanservice-over-substance approach.  And all of these games have found themselves an audience despite scathing reviews and derivative mechanics.  Why?  Because they have waifus and there’s always an audience for waifus.

 

So, if you enjoy strategy games, let me be clear: this is not a game for you. There are far too many unimportant combat scenarios and they take far too long to clear.  Especially in the beginning of the game, the miss chance on attacks is so high that misses alone tack on an additional couple of turns per battle.  There’s also a noticeable and increasingly annoying delay as the computer figures out opponent’s turns.  The skill animations are far longer than necessary and get especially tiresome during extended battles.

 

The most effective strategy in Record of Agarest Zero is to place your units on designated “combo tiles” from which they will be able to participate in other units’ turns.  This is necessary in even small scale battles, so the player is going to find a formation that works well and stick with it until the game forces a party change on them.  Not only is it counterintuitive to be sending units far away from the enemy  to stand on a combo tile so they can participate, but the same formation works in every single fight.

 

Ideally, a strategy game offers a variety of viable tactics and rewards the player for a thoughtful approach to battle.  In Record of Agarest Zero,the only meaningful choice the player makes on a tactical level is what weapon type to equip to the protagonist.  Whatever you bring to battle, though, the strategy remains the same.  Sit still on the first turn to build super meter and AP, spread your units out into formation onto combo tiles, and then unleash 20 hit skill strings on any enemy that comes into range.  It’s a one-size-fits-all strategy, it requires almost zero thought to execute, and it leaves the player sitting through similar skill strings over and over again.

 

There’s no shortage of quality strategy games on the PC, and Record of Agarest Zero does not impress comparatively.  XCOM makes the player feel attached to the characters through close calls and mechanics rather than promises of panties.  Banner Saga presents a mythological/fantasy strategy setting that is far more distinct than the warring light gods and darkness gods in Agarest ZeroCompany of Heroes II is quietly the best RTS game to come out in the last two years.  I genuinely cannot think of a compelling pitch to try and draw a strategy game enthusiast to Agarest.

 

The outlook is definitely better if you’re interested in Agarest for the girls, though.  Trips to the beach to get the girls in swim wear, accidentally walking in on girls wearing their undies, and naive male protagonists who get impossibly confused when girls indicate romantic interest are all present and accounted for.

 

The dating-sim content is solid for the fans that are being served, but I think that the plodding strategy game portion of Agarest Zero isn’t a great fit for that content.  When the main attraction in a game is the girls, then the actual gameplay should revolve around the girls.  Senran Kagura is all girls all the time and incorporates disintegrating clothing and 3D bouncing boobs right into the gameplay.  By comparison, Record of Agarest Zero has a lot of girls in the cutscenes between battle scenarios but in battle there’s precious little.  The girls fight, but their sprites and abilities aren’t significantly different from any other character.

 

Record of Agarest War Zero is mostly strategy battle scenarios.  These scenarios are not only tedious, but they don’t focus on the girls.  The girls are the only part of the game that I think anyone is going to like about it.  If the majority of the game is something the player has to endure just to get to the good stuff, that’s a problem.  Also, combat can get tough in this game!  There’s no just rushing through the bland gameplay in Agarest; you’ve got to pay attention.

 

One upside is that the game is on Steam.  There have been a good number of girl games on other platforms these past months but Steam doesn’t have particularly strong genre representation.  Even though I don’t think this is the best game of its type, it might just be the best option on this particular platform… for now anyway.

 

I’m not sure who Record of Agarest War Zero is for.  The strategy is too clunky to compete with other strategy games and it also gets between the player and the girls.  To really enjoy this game, a player would need to have really limited strategy game experience or just really low standards.  He would need to be into romancing anime girls, not mind grinding though a lot of subpar strategy RPG to do it, and not mind if some of the girls in question look distinctly too young for such relationships.

 

Food for thought:

 

1. You can get Steam trading cards for playing Record of Agarest Zero.  I’m not sure why this surprised me, but it did.  I don’t expect to see too many others to trade my girls with, though.  Which is a shame, because I got three of the same girl.  Typical.

 

2. For the record, I think that not providing English voices was the right choice in this game.  The folks this release is aimed at are likely to look down their noses at a voice track in their native language and demand the original Japanese anyway.  Why waste all that time and money for a dub?

 

3. There’s a real strange breathing animation applied to all the talking head portraits in this game that makes the chests heave ever so slightly more than they really ought to.  This is applied to both male and female portraits, but let’s be real—it exists to draw eyes to the boobs.  I was originally going to rip on this, but it turned out to be one of my favorite features.  The up and down and up and down of the various chests is strangely hypnotic.

 

4. One of the central ideas in this game is that who the player mates with alters the next generation’s stats (the game is quite long).  It’s a good idea that ties together the date sim content and the strategy content.  Except that the strategy content is bad.  If there was ever a game that had compelling romantic content and also compelling strategy RPG content, I think that idea could really blossom into something compelling. (You know, like Fire Emblem Awakening.)

 

5. There is an awful lot of content in the game.  Item crafting alone could add 15 hours to completion time.  I’m not a fan of how this game turned out, but I don’t think it was because of an incompletely realized vision.  There are tons of skills, areas, and side quests.  Even without straying from the beaten path the game takes a long time to beat.  Anyone who does get into this game will be well served for 70 hours at minimum.


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  • IS | 桂木

    Waifus… Waifus everywhere

  • biskmater

    Honestly as far as I can tell what really brings Agarest down is the way you move, just for the enemy to move at the same time, it makes trying to set up an actual formation just about impossible, had they stuck to the usual turn sequence I probably would have no problem saying the combat section is perfectly fine. Still, I shall be playing the game anyway, though I hear 2 fixes things in some way.

    • Helios373

      same for me, if the “move phase” didnt exist, something like Disgaea, the game would be a lot better to play and enjoy both waifus and strategically.

    • revenent hell

      Two makes it worse haha … In my opinion. I actually like the gameplay in the first game and this one in 2 it is completely changed. Its funny the one redeeming part to the games I enjoyed ripped out and replaced with something….. awful. In my view anyway.

      • MrTyrant

        In YOUR opinon. Because I think the second did it better. Still it get repetitive by those huge ammount of battles like the whole series …or anything made by Idea Factory.

        • revenent hell

          Wanna point out a few more times it was my opinion and that I don’t speak for the world’s populace? Yes it was MY opinion, as I stated twice and now thrice, it should be mentioned a few more times so people know the comments section is for people’s opinions and not world facts.

          • MrTyrant

            In your opinion! mine are facts.
            -
            -
            -
            -
            -

            (don’t mind what I said before I like playing arrogant lol)

          • revenent hell

            Hey, as long as you don’t mind your “play arrogance” making people intolerant of your comments, have at it and have a blast! I know I will!

    • http://burnpsy.wordpress.com/ burnpsy

      2 plays completely differently. Unlike revenent hell, though, I actually really like the gameplay in 2.

  • DesmaX

    I honestly felt like shit when I started playing this. Ghostlight let me in the Closed Beta, so I wanted to help in any way I could… But I just coudn’t stand it. Seriously, I dropped the game on the first dungeon (After I found out I went the wrong way… All that work for nothing).

    At least when I played the first one I could laugh at how bad it was (Holy shit, those dungeons; That was the laziest way to make one)

    • MrTyrant

      You don’t have those dungeons in Zero anymore neither are they in the second game.

      • DesmaX

        But you have those dots things. ugh

        • MrTyrant

          What dots? I think most SRPG have it if you mean the ones that trigger events/battles in some maps.

          • samsneeze

            I can’t think of a single SRPG that bogs itself down with twenty or thirty drawn out fights between events. It feels like padding and laziness in the balancing department.

          • MrTyrant

            Thats another thing and I really agree with you there. I hated that among events you have like tons of obligatory battles it’s funny because these are not random yet they were more annoying that any random battles in other RPGs.
            To make things worse some events were so short and unimportant that felt like they were making fun of you.

  • BlackC#Bro

    This is how I felt about generations. The only thing I was doing while playing the game was saying “X is best girl” and auto battling through actual fights.

    The gameplay was so bad, I wish it just ripped off FE or TO :(

  • JohnNiles

    Ughhhh. I have this game on my shelf, untouched. I purchased it first before a few other Idea Factory games, until I realized they don’t go the extra mile, or even the final mile. I have a big backlog to work on, so on my shelf it will stay.

    You’re right; the breathing feature (which is also present in the Neptunia games) is done pretty well considering all the other things that are done poorly. So I have no complaints about it.

    So, are there any game freezing or save-killing glitches?

    • revenent hell

      None that I encountered but I played mine on the ps3 not a PC

    • Ethan_Twain

      None that I encountered. Good thing too. If I’d gotten a couple hours into this and then had to redo it all like I did for Thief then I might have contacted the boss and tried to weasel out of the assignment entirely :P

    • Tyler Beale

      Breathing feature? I’ve played through Neptunia Mk2 and Victory and have never heard of this….

      • Scourge626

        Been there since the first game.

      • JohnNiles

        The character portraits aren’t static- not only do they blink (common in a lot of games), but the characters “breathe” too – like Ethan said, the chests go up and down. I can’t think of a better way to explain it.

        You’ve probably gotten used to it, and thus, didn’t notice it.

  • http://www.thejaystack.com/ Jon Stachewicz

    “More waifus”
    “I’m not sure who Record of Agarest War Zero is for.”

    I’m getting mixed messages here

    • notentirelythere

      “Record of Agarest War Zero is mostly strategy battle scenarios. These scenarios are not only tedious, but they don’t focus on the girls.”

    • Hentailover

      To me article is fairly clear. Strategy element suffers dude to focus on waifus, but focus on waifus is not… focused enough to make even that appealing. Therefore it fits nobody.

      • Arrngrim

        Fits plenty as the game/s sold quite well and are on multiple platforms, this is merely an opinion of someone with the power to write a scathing article on this website.

        • http://www.gamefaqs.com/features/recognition/21421.html?type=4 Kashell

          Didn’t someone else from Siliconera review the game before?

          • Arrngrim

            Sure did, a better review, posted a link above that another person posted below.

        • Hentailover

          I wouldn’t know, I haven’t played it. He said he was confused by the article, I said the point of the article was clear. I never said I agree or disagree with it, as, obviously, I haven’t played the game.

          • Arrngrim

            “Therefore it fits nobody.” – Then you base this opinion onnnn…? The opinion of someone else? o.O Or merely stating what you think the writers opinion of this game was? Note, I keep using the word opinion.

          • Hentailover

            Oh god… You are very defensive over nothing. I have no opinion on the game. I summarized the opinion of the article. My point was “this is what article says” not that article is right or wrong -_-. It’s like somebody shows me a review on a exotic dish. And reviewer says he liked it. I can understand and explain that article is about how reviewer likes the dish. I don’t have to agree with the reviewer, I never tried the dish. But I have the basic reading comprehension to understand what reviewer wanted to say. -_-

  • KazukiNanbu

    is this game better or worse than agarest 1?

    • revenent hell

      Its probably the same but for a few story differences. Kind of depends whether you liked the first one or not really. If you liked it this will probably be enjoyable if not slightly irritating do to all the similarities.

    • Ethan_Twain

      Didn’t play the original, sorry. This is a prequel so I figured I’d be okay without the background.

  • Heartlesswithaheart

    I agree with this, for the most part. The gameplay isn’t exactly good (X-COM is great if you want an SRPG on the PC) and was fairly boring. I found myself just setting battles to auto and doing something else so that I could get through them. The story, from what I played, is forgettable, though this may be due to the game boring me enough to have me stop playing before I finished the first generation. A few Guide Dang It situations with events were there (though I didn’t know until later) and…it’s not a very good game. Save your money and get something else.

  • http://www.themogblog.com/ Edward Walton

    Oddly enough the games systems made more sense in Zero and a few useful features were added that weren’t in the first one. It also included the story of the first game as well. Overall, I liked it more than the first and worth a buy if you wanted to play the series. This is coming from someone who played all 3 titles on PS3.

  • Shippoyasha

    At least the game’s girls’ interaction is pretty fun. Not to mention the series is renowned for having a good sense of humor. I do agree the gameplay could be better and combat visuals especially needs a huge boost (Idea Factory is a really low budget studio after all). The story, characters and music in the series is generally pretty good though. I played it years ago and it was an okay enough addition to the Agarest line of games. Agarest 2 still stands the test of time better though.

    Also, I don’t think the girls really look *that* young, as it’s that a lot of them have a really petite look to them.

    • Loli Summoner

      Agarest war 2 had a good story [: I just didn’t like the main characters much, like they were cool but they didn’t have a main character vibe to me; especially grey >.>

  • Nicholas Perry

    “not mind if some of the girls in question look distinctly too young for such relationships”

    That’s entirely subjective my friend. There are plenty of women IRL that are small ,petite and have naive,innocent and soft features that are perceived as “Looking young”.

    No one seems to have a problem with that. The more variety, the better I say.
    (Plus, DFC is a bit of a fetish on it’s own)

    Just because someone likes this kind of stuff. doesn’t mean they like children either, or are pedo’s .

    I’m not personally into these kind of women or DFC, but that doesn’t make it any less valid a choice.

  • https://twitter.com/DocFishz Jack

    On that realized vision point, Senran Kagura Burst was absolutely stuffed with extra content. If I didn’t think the game was awful, I could lose like a month button mashing mobs while the framerate janks out. Yet looking at the sequels seems to show that a lot of effort went into making the gameplay better and more fluid since then.

    I really do think a lot of these games being bad is less to do with a guaranteed waifu audience and more low budgets/bad business climate. Otherwise they’d be cranking out games with little to no engine improvements like Capcom is famous for doing. Unfortunately gameplay takes a lot more time and money to get right than waifus, so they’re stuffed into everything as safety nets. Senran in particular got pretty big as far as niche audiences go, so they had the money to improve. Doesn’t look like Agarest was so lucky.

    I’d love to see an interview with someone who works on fanservice games like this or Senran. Like a real one, not that “ass is life and/or hometown” crap that feels scripted for marketing. An interview with someone who actually worked on designing the gameplay portions and what their goals and compromises were. Maybe it already exists and I missed it, but that would be interesting.

    • Ethan_Twain

      Honestly I wish that there would be a really good fanservice game soon because right now these playtests are making us look like a bunch of haters. I went back into the archives to look at a few other playtests on similar games and we’ve been down on like all of them. You ripped into Senran Kagura and didn’t like Conception II either. Hyperdimension Neptunia PP got a rough playtest. I held no punches here talking about Agarest.

      I really want to give one of these games a good playtest now just to show that we’re not hating on fanservice games because they’re fanservice games. But what’s coming that might qualify? Bullet Girls? Senran Kagura 2? Nothing’s jumping out as particularly promising :(

      • Kumiko Akimoto

        Honestly I’m pretty sure it’s the fanservice that influences your opinions about the games, because while most of those games aren’t 10/10 quality games they are at least solid and fun to play.

      • darke

        Demon Gaze had a pretty decent review as I can recall, and it’s a bit ‘wifey’. Though ironically I’m finding Conception II to be the most fun out of the two even if it had a ‘worse’ review. I find it much more quick and easy to play as a ‘pick up and play’ game between other tasks, or walking to work and back and so forth; combat drags on for less time too. :P

      • Shippoyasha

        To be fair, Bullet Girls fanservice element looks really good. Some games will lean more heavily towards fanservice than others. I think Senran games hold up pretty well though, as it’s one of the few fanservice games with a lot of budget going into it. Senran Kagura 2 looks like a massive improvement over Burst for example. Shinovi Versus was also a huge step in the right direction as well, gameplay-wise.

        And though Neptunia games get a lot of bum rap with some reviewers, I think it’s holding up better and better with each new canonical release.

        Speaking of Demon Gaze, it’s actually one of my favorite releases this year. It has a lot of fanservice, but it’s all just cheeky and fun. The core combat and dungeon crawl system is very hardcore (almost overwhelmingly so) for the first few hours. It could afford to have more story twists and a hardier end game, but I think dungeon crawl fans are going to like it, even if fanservice may not be their thing.

      • https://twitter.com/DocFishz Jack

        Don’t worry about it too much, man. Even if we all collectively liked like 99% of the fanservice games coming out but gave one negative write-up, I’m sure there’d be a similar faux-outrage in the comments. All we can do is work on a game-by-game basis and give our honest impressions.

        I don’t mind people disagreeing with our playtests, but too often there are people here who take it personally and start to make really rude, false assumptions and bad arguments. I think a lot of people in this article are way worse than anything I’ve gotten so far. Don’t let them get you down, they’re not interested in civil discussion or accepting other views. They’re going to exist whether you liked the game or not.

  • Duo Maxwell

    “When the main attraction in a game is the girls, then the actual gameplay should revolve around the girls.”

    I don’t know. Maybe if you play Sengoku Rance then you would understand that is not always true.

    Good games will always be good games no matter what’s its main attraction.

    • Juan Andrés Valencia

      The big difference is that Sengoku Rance is relatively well written and the gameplay is pretty decent. Even if it feels utterly mysoginistic at times.

      • Duo Maxwell

        That’s my point. The main point of Rance games are the girls, that doesn’t mean the gameplay should be bad and only revolve around the girls. That is not an excuse for being a bad game.

      • Shippoyasha

        Heh, I wouldn’t say Rance is ‘misogynistic’ as it just doesn’t have a sense of political correctness to the extreme. The point of the series is that you can really go all out with pursing a girl right through to the sexual parts instead of blacking out the screen and ‘inferring’ it happens like in Persona. There’s some risque stuff in the game for sure, but I don’t think it is really malicious or anti-women. Just extremely politically incorrect.

      • darke

        To be honest, a female-collecting porn-game is probably difficult to not make feel at least a little misogynistic. :?

        Then again, otome games have pretty terrible examples of the male gender at times as well; and most military shooters seem to portray males as bloodthirsty savages as too. Honestly I think most males in games suck. :(

        • Shippoyasha

          Some otome games have pretty cool cast of hunks though. Hakuouki, as popular as it is, actually has some pretty good characters. La Corda is another major franchise and it has a pretty good cast. Their anime adaptations turned out pretty decent as well.

        • Juan Andrés Valencia

          Hakuoki has relatively normal characters. Want terrible examples of the male gender in videogames then give Gears Of War, School Days, Killer Is Dead, Spec Ops: The Line (It’s intentional though), Grand Theft Auto IV and V (Again, it’s intentional) and obviously Sweet Pool a shot (Unless you are against anal worm babies).

          • darke

            I’d almost consider Killer is Dead intentional parody as well; I don’t quite think anything in that game can be taken seriously. :?

          • Juan Andrés Valencia

            Killer Is Dead is awkward (I don’t think anyone can contradict that) since it’s standing on that thin line of being funny and kind of offensive. It’s not as bad as what Michael Bay did with Rosie Huntington Whitely in Transformers 3 where you can see the point where he realized she couldn’t act so for the remaining 90 minutes of film he keeps shoving the 3D camera rig towards her buttocks.

          • darke

            That… is a remarkably good analogy. :)

  • Anesia Hunter

    honestly, i couldn’t care less if the RoAW series doesn’t compete well in the strategy game department. i don’t deal with the series for that anyways, it’s the story, the characters, the girls… oh so many girls…

    • Tyler Beale

      And that’s why we have pay-to-win DLC gear. (which kinda pisses me off when it comes to Neptunia, as well as CH’s bad habit to re-re-re-re-recycle shit. Over. And over. Again.)

    • Lynx

      I actually really like the story in the Agarest games. Hell, half the time I rarely ever go for the bonus stuff and actually stick with the main story.

      Sure, it’s generic and not unique in any way but sometimes that’s what you need. I generally like the gameplay in all of them. 1 and Zero get really good once you start to build up everything (Screw monster capturing though) and 2 is fine for the get go although it could have used better optimization. (That start-of-battle lag…)

  • ronin4life

    How can the combat get too hard at times and also tedious do to 1 strategy being how you beat the entire game?

    ? _.

    • Scourge626

      If it’s anything like the first, there are dramatic level spikes and the new people you get are often weaker than the people you have.

    • Ethan_Twain

      Sorry, it’s tough to describe the intricacies of combat mechanics and rule sets in a playtest without making it SUPER boring. Basically, you need to get all your peeps in the correct scattered formations so they can combo with each other and you can wipe enemies out all at once. But the turn system is set so that you input all of your units moves and the computer puts in all the enemy moves and then at the end of the “move” phase everyone moves at once.

      What this means is that a lot of the time bad guys will squat on your combo block. There’s no way to predict where they’ll move and the combo mechanic is absolutely essential. So it’s just kind of luck of the draw whether you can get people in position or not. If everyone’s in a good spot then the combat is pretty easy. Slow, but easy. If you can’t then it’s slow and aggravatingly easy to die.

      Throw in difficulty spikes and some poorly concieved boss and enemy designs and the whole thing manages to somehow be mind numbingly repetitive AND hard enough to force you to input effort. It’s like the anti-dragon quest, which has that wonderful balance of infinitely repeatable simplicity.

      • ronin4life

        I see.
        Thanks for the additional info.
        ^_^

      • http://henrikblomgren.net Henrik Blomgren

        From what I know there are certain enemy types and depending on that they move differently. Everything from being evasive to rushing straight into you. So it´s not “pure luck”. There is a system behind it.

  • new_tradition

    I bought the game without realizing it was a “waifu” kind of game, but the gameplay really was what turned me off.

    I got 20 minutes in before stopping. I’m not great at srpgs, but I can usually get through them well enough, but I just couldn’t get the handle of what they were doing here (it’s been a while, I remember some kind of arching energy beam. Didn’t know what I was suppose to do with that :/)

    • Tyler Beale

      It sucks that not only can you not run away from those 10+ minute battles (and that’s just a normal encounter!), but you have to fight 3-5 of those battles to move to a new spot on the World Map or in a dungeon.

      Agarest 2 added the ability to run away, but that’s a completely different battle system….

      • Maksim Tsirulnik

        I don’t know what I was doing when I played but most battles, unless really strong grunts were popping up, didn’t usually take 10+ minutes to complete. I mean, it’s going to take a while to get used to the gameplay with all of its mechanics but once you do…everything should come through rather much more smoothly and faster to set up and execute.

        Even in the first game, which was a bit slower in pace, I never really found it to be the case either.

        Strange.

  • Scourge626

    Games like these feel like they are two games in one and they often get in the way of each other especially if you only like one of those aspects of the game and dislike the other (the RPG aspect and the dating sim aspect). What ticks me off about these games is that the RPG portion has potential in their story, gameplay, characters, etc. but they never fully realize them because they put most of their effort into the dating sim portion. Why not just make two games; one RPG and one dating sim? I know at least Compile Heart could do that seeing as how they make 5+ games a year (no wonder they are a budget company) and I know they could make a really great RPG if they tried even if it was a budget project.

    • Tyler Beale

      They actually do that. All the Neptunias that aren’t PP are RPGs, and Neptunia PP is the dating sim.

      Date A Live is a dating sim (I think?) too. One that has never come out of Japan.

      • Scourge626

        If Neptunia is the example then they need to try harder.

        • Tyler Beale

          It was the one I came up with. Really, I only say that because from what I understand, PP basically IS a dating sim.

          Which is fine by me, because the more time I get to spend with my lovely lady Noire, the better!

          • Scourge626

            I meant the RPG version of the games. I didn’t even know about the dating sims for those games until you said something.

          • Tyler Beale

            Yep. Neptunia PP is really the only idol/dating sim in the series, and it’s coming out next week (that’s here in the US).

            Oh and it’s for PS Vita.

      • DyLaN

        Both DAL game is a pure dating sim.

  • Tyler Beale

    Um….Victoria is from Agarest 2, not Zero. Nonetheless, she’s hot!

    • Ethan_Twain

      You know, Isshan wanted to cut that image. Wanted some boring gameplay still to replace it. But no, I would not have it! I fought for you Siliconera, I kept that hot girl picture right in the middle of the playtest.

      You’re welcome.

  • Audie Bakerson

    Hopefully they at least port+translate Marriage after bothering with all 3 games.

    • Tyler Beale

      Ask Aksys. I’d love to see it happen myself, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they end up not doing it. Not because of the series, but rather due to the fact that it’s a PSP game.

      • Audie Bakerson

        Ghostlight is already translating and porting a PSP game, so who knows.

  • Warboss Aohd

    As a fan of both RPGs (Western or Japanes) and Strategy games (Sim, RTS, or Turn Based) or a combo of the 2.

    go buy a different Strategy game, i have all 3 games (i like the idea of a Generation System and like having control of how a character turns out), but these games aren’t all that good, they aren’t BAD per se, but not good.

    Your better off getting Shining Force 1 and 2, which the latter at least is on Steam (which is kinda weird, but not complaining.) or XCom (Old or New.)

  • So why is there an image of Victoria in this review when she is not in this game? (such a dumb question but it bothers me a bit)

    • Ethan_Twain

      My bad – I was just looking for a racy picture to put in the middle of the playtest and didn’t pay much attention to my choice.

      • Maksim Tsirulnik

        I’m sorry but I’m just trying to understand this.

        So you threw in a random picture of a character who isn’t even in the game for a “review” of said game in which you are trying to prove is an overly racy game. And you didn’t notice that said character isn’t actually from the game…despite having played it.

        For some reason, this is heavily reminding me of that one “review” which was bashing “Hyperdimension Neptunia MK2″…but all of the screenshots provided were from the first game.

        • Arrngrim

          He really had his try-hard hat on for this one friend…

          I’m certainly not attacking him, just his in-eloquent and biased review of a game I enjoyed very much.

      • Arrngrim

        It’s quite obvious you “didn’t pay much attention” to more than just the racy picture you searched for. This review almost seems as if you had made up your mind about the game within the first 15 minutes of gameplay…

        Did you even get the True Ending on this game? o.O

  • Joshua Myers

    Probably gonna be buying it eventually hate xbox XD

    • Arrngrim

      PS3 has the entire trilogy bundled and cheap…something like $45 for all 3 games on PSN.

  • M’iau M’iaut

    Glad to see no one has claimed dibs on Ellis-chan. Wouldn’t want to ban someone over her.

    • Callonia

      that’s what you think ;)

      • M’iau M’iaut

        You can have the version of Ellis above if you wish.

        • http://henrikblomgren.net Henrik Blomgren

          I thought Ellis was from the first game. Image above is from Zero, thus not Ellis but Alice!

          • Luke Blackwood

            If you pronouce it in a japanese-ish fashion, it will sound somewhat like “Erishu”, which can be “”translated”” as Eliss. Since this is a waifu discussion, he may have written Alice as it would sound in Japanese because that’s a waifu-ish thing to do rs

  • FitzpatrickPhillips

    Haha, I don’t think its very professional to put “Waifus” In the story.

    • M’iau M’iaut

      Yet that is pretty much why folks play the series. They ain’t in it for the finely tuned TRPG system :P.

      • Lynx

        I’m in it for the politics and setting actually.
        -_-

        Why this series has such a horrible reputation of being ‘fanservice driven’ when you actually have to go out of your way for the CGs for the most part, sometimes locking you out of certain endings is beyond me.

        • M’iau M’iaut

          Then go read any Tolkien clone fantasy series from the 80s or 90s. Better writing and fewer underage girls.

          Save the early Shanarra books, of course.

          • Lynx

            That was a blanket statement though.

            And who’s to say I’m not a fan of high fantasy to begin with? That’s exactly why I’m a fan of the series in the first place.

          • M’iau M’iaut

            Misplaced joke, sorry. I’ve got 2 copies of the EU version of Agarest 1. And I still like Elfstones, even if its not the best writing in the world.

          • http://henrikblomgren.net Henrik Blomgren

            Hm. Question. Where are the underage girls?

          • M’iau M’iaut

            Ellis certainly doesn’t start out at 18/180. And we don’t talk of Agarest Marriage here.

          • http://henrikblomgren.net Henrik Blomgren

            and you can´t marry her or anything untill she is in the fifth generation which would make her 180 or something?

            That she joins the party at a young age and idolizes Leonhart is pretty much not the issue here.

            But that´s just my two cents.

        • Ladius

          I feel the same, regardless of the series’ marketing (especially for what concerns the first game’s US release) I have an hard time considering this franchise’s first entries as fanservice-driven as some people paint them, since the vast majority of the actual playtime will be spent reading story events (most of which are painted in a rather serious light), customizing your characters and fighting enemies, while fanservice events are mostly optional and often have unintuitive requirements.

          The high fantasy vibe Agarest has is also a nice touch, and it was actually a big part of why I liked Zero as a prequel.

        • http://henrikblomgren.net Henrik Blomgren

          So far I haven´t stumbled across a Agarest game that doesn´t allow for a 100% CG in one playtrough. But you need to know what you are doing for it to work.

      • FitzpatrickPhillips

        Yeah I mean thats pretty much true but still lol

      • Arrngrim

        Many years ago, I was enticed to RoAW by a girl with a banana and promises of a boobie mousepad. After playing the game all the way to the True Ending, I fell in love with the story and the characters who were fleshed out and well done. I discovered the fan-service was a small part of the story.

        Anyone stating the story in any RoAW is bad…is wrong. Period. :)

    • Ethan_Twain

      Man, I didn’t know how to talk around that :/

      I mean, the game is designed around chasing anime girls. Browsing through the comments here, that’s what a lot of people play it for too (though there are those defenders of the story). So I felt like a playtest that didn’t talk about that was a pretty worthless playtest.

      But how to talk about that stuff? You don’t wanna refer to it as a visual novel type game because visual novels can be and often are about so much more than romancing anime girls. I also didn’t want to get people super defensive so I settled on inventing the “girl game” genre. That’s kind of a neutral way of saying it, right? But that didn’t work for everything, so eventually I gave up and decided to call the waifus waifus.

      • http://henrikblomgren.net Henrik Blomgren

        Chasing anime girls? Weird. it´s the girls that end up chasing you…

        And the one flaw in the game is that we do not know how much times passes. We only get to equip so few characters when there are whole armies out there and we fight for what seems to be months and years.

        During this time they discuss, talk and fight in battles together. Obviously there will be feelings between them.

        The way you say it here makes it sound like the one sole reason SIeghart has is to create a harem… which is simply not the case.

        I could agree with you complaining about the battle system and everything but with comments like this I am starting to lose the respect I had for the article.

        • Ethan_Twain

          No, it’s definitely not about the protagonist chasing girls. In universe there’s nothing at all to parallel the game with harem anime or anything else from that sub-sub genre.

          But I think that the game is about the player chasing girls. That’s what I meant – I think that people don’t choose Agarest for the strategy. That isn’t what sets Agarest apart. So it’s sort of a weird situation where the game on it’s surface is a strategy RPG, but maybe just writing about it as a strategy RPG wouldn’t be the most meaningful playtest. If you’re gonna write about Agarest in terms of the audience it’s aiming at, I think you’ve gotta talk about the girls. It was figuring out how to present that without making it seem something it isn’t that was tricky.

          Apologize for mixed messages.

          • http://henrikblomgren.net Henrik Blomgren

            Well. If I was the commander of an army and one girl interested me enough to make me want to marry her then I would very much like to talk with her and spend time together with her outside of battle.

            Is that what you would call chasing after her?

            I have chosen to buy all 3 agarest games because of the gameplay mixed with the storyline as all the politics and such make for a wonderful game. The one flaw I see in it all is the time aspect. Times passes between the events and as the player I´m left out of what happends there.

            So setting, story, gameplay. That I get “rewarded” with some nice CGs if I play my cards right is a bonus but not needed.

      • FitzpatrickPhillips

        Sorry I made a typo. I meant to put “waifus” in the title, haha. I mean obviously the main draw here are the girls, so i get what your saying.

        I mean in the end, you’ll bother people either way. Though even if the game is centered around the girls, its still an RPG and should be called as such. Even if it is crap. Just what I believe anyway.

        • Ethan_Twain

          Oh, that wasn’t me. Ishaan never takes my suggested headlines. I like his better though :)

        • http://www.siliconera.com/ Ishaan

          I mean in the end, you’ll bother people either way. Though even if the game is centered around the girls, its still an RPG and should be called as such. Even if it is crap. Just what I believe anyway.

          The beauty of playtests at Siliconera is that there are no “standard guidelines” we follow. There’s no written set of rules regarding how a game should be “reviewed” because we aren’t scoring them, and nor are we attempting to make any sort of penultimate statement on the quality of any given game.

          So, with that in mind, considering who this game is aimed at, I think using the language that audience relates to makes the most sense. As another example, long ago when I did a playtest for Dead or Alive, I used the word “kunoichi” in my write-up. I wouldn’t have used that word had I been covering another game, but for DOA and its audience, it made sense to use familiar language.

      • Arrngrim

        “the game is designed around chasing anime girls.” – This is more than enough proof that you did not really “play” the game. I mean…wow…

  • Tenno Seremel

    Well, duh, it is Agarest. It was never about anything else. I feel bad for those graphics, though, they are damn good. Should have hired a good writer and made a VN.

  • Landale

    Just going to go ahead and point out the older review of the game here on the site.
    http://www.siliconera.com/2011/07/05/record-of-agarest-war-zero-playtest-more-than-fanservice/

    • http://www.youtube.com/user/EnvyMizuhashi Garyuu (& Spyke)

      And? It’s not even done by the same author.

      • http://www.youtube.com/user/EnvyMizuhashi Garyuu (& Spyke)

        typo*

      • Landale

        That’s kind of the point. A second opinion, and one handled with a lot more grace than this one if you ask me.

        • http://www.youtube.com/user/EnvyMizuhashi Garyuu (& Spyke)

          So which is it, you posted a second opinion or a “better” one? Neither of it is going to demeanor this review any less just because you happened to not like how Ethan went about it.

          Also, Jenni’s version is too descriptive of the game, Ethan’s is more experienced based and critical, and I see little wrong in the review in this regard. The result being one who practically made him/herself a strategy guide rather than a helpful reviewer and one who finds that it’s not good and doesn’t stand up to many other, better TRPG’s unless you’re just in it for the fanservice (and pray that you’re into the genre to even get there). Which leads me to believe that it ain’t worth the money if what I want is an exceptionally good and polished game worth the price. That’s a more trustworthy review as far as I’m concerned.

          As for one of your other replies, it’s a review. What part of it isn’t judging a game?

          • Landale

            I posted a second opinion. An opinion that, in my opinion, is better composed. Not necessarily actually better. And regardless of my opinion on the opinions, hearing more than one view point is a much better method of informing potential buyers of what they’re getting into. I don’t see why you’re apparently irritated by this.

          • http://www.youtube.com/user/EnvyMizuhashi Garyuu (& Spyke)

            It was apparent that I was irritated, but when you noted one opinion as “ungraceful” compared to another led me to respond accordingly. It’s why I asked in the first place. But it seems I gave you the response you didn’t deserve. The more context I see to how you’re going at this review, the better I would have approached this.

          • Landale

            People were already, and still are, picking apart issues with this. I was simply pointing out another to look into, there was no need for me to jump on in and repeat what has been said. But here, I’ll repeat it: The review failed to touch on the story, the review overstates the nature of the fanservice, the review uses images not representative of the game being reviewed. My statement of one being more gracefully handled than the other is well grounded.
            The only reason this discussion is even a thing right now is because you took offense to that. I don’t think I’m the white knight here that you’re implying.

          • http://www.youtube.com/user/EnvyMizuhashi Garyuu (& Spyke)

            I only took offense in your redirecting to another person’s review. I couldn’t tell if you were posting a second opinion or just leaving a “better” opinion made and leading people to that instead. We’d be doing just fine if we were tackling Ethan’s review alone (which again I didn’t mind much at the moment). This became an issue because I didn’t take it step by step and made accusations even though I asked for more context, which is ultimately my fault.

          • Ethan_Twain

            Hey there cool dude – I think we’re okay here. Landale doesn’t think much of this playtest, but that’s okay. I mean, (s)he didn’t even accuse me of being paid off – as far as criticism goes for a video game playtest this is like… it doesn’t even register.

            So reading you say nice things about my playtest made my heart warm and fuzzy and I might just save this comment to pull out some time when I want to give Jenni a hard time. But don’t fight over it :P

          • http://www.youtube.com/user/EnvyMizuhashi Garyuu (& Spyke)

            This is no fight I’m making, it’s more that I’m helping set something straight, from what I saw, with how one reacts to a more critical opinion compared to a more accepting one. Granted, I may not have needed to bring Jenni into this, but given the situation, it felt crucial to do so anyway.

            But whatever, I apologize. All too often I get annoyed when critique is slapped in the face or shrugged off instead of being discussed, because for some reason people feel so obligated to play the white knight in the face of it all (see: Time and Eternity, Conception II).

          • Nightmare637

            “because for some reason people feel so obligated to play the white knight in the face of it all”

            so people having a different viewpoint from the reviewer is white knighting now?

          • http://www.youtube.com/user/EnvyMizuhashi Garyuu (& Spyke)

            White knighting is people somehow needing to defend something in an extravagant, unpolished manner because someone has either a critical or negative opinion (constructive or otherwise) and professing it as something far beyond that like a precious treasure. It welcomes just as less discussion as overly hating something.

            This particular comment chain with me and Landale doesn’t indicate that he’s leaning towards that from the way things turned out.

          • Arrngrim

            Sooo, that would make you the white knight of Ethan…? Yup, dogmatic logic fits every time.

    • Go2hell66

      Im gonna side with this article. this game is not good

      • Landale

        It’s not a matter of good or not. It’s a matter of this review is just so poorly composed and hardly even touches on the game in the first place. Jenni actually talked about the game in detail, simply putting the information out there without really judging one way or the other.

        • samsneeze

          Entirely objective reviews are honeslty more misleading than anything and dont really help in the purchasing department. Simply saying what a game does and not explaining it or how it ties back into the game overall is not a good way to write a review.

          • Shippoyasha

            I guess it depends. I’m more for the style of gaming media that informs and I would normally assume people do their own research through word of mouth (nowadays more easy to do so on the internet), watching let’s play videos, promotional material for the games, etcetera. It can get a bit more dicey with these kinds of games since the fanservice elements will be a hit or miss with people. It’s good that many games have demos as well, as Conception 2 did a pretty good job of gauging gamer interest.

          • Luke Blackwood

            I believe the problem with the current review is that it barely touches what the game is but waifus (and well, I guess the game does have a plot – you know, not the heroines PLOT).

            Aside from the combo system and the affection one, this review here does not touch any gameplay feature, and if anyone would go by the review here, this game has no story. It’s like one of those simulation games where you get waifus, but the whole story is completely untouched.

            I’m not trying to say which review is “right” or “wrong”, but reviews are a very misleading thing, even more so if the author wants to be misleading. Not touching many things that are tied to the core of the game (which is, theoretically, strategy) makes the review kinda biased, IMO.

          • Arrngrim

            I’ll say it, this review is wrong. And it’s clearly one persons’ opinion compared to….how many people who have bought the game and enjoyed every aspect of it? However, they merely do not have a website where they may go to post their misleading reviews…

    • http://henrikblomgren.net Henrik Blomgren

      Good call! And from what I´ve heard the games on console and PC are basically the same.

    • Ethan_Twain

      .

    • Amber XLeonhart

      I agree with the 2011 you posted, sounds more like that game I enjoy. Kinda funny how they changed their mind. Isn’t it the same game or is the pc version that different?

      • Arcana Drill

        Different reviewers = different people = different opinions.

  • Impressionnant

    “X-COM”
    You can keep your artificial difficulty, and I’ll have my waifus.

    • samsneeze

      Lol, artificial difficulty.

      • Altin

        100% Hit Chance and your character still misses? Guess which game it is:

        • Maksim Tsirulnik

          I was thinking of a different game entirely. More specifically, “Super Robot Taisen A Portable”.

          Where even if you had a 100% to hit an enemy, they could still completely avoid it with 2-3 other skills and mechanics. So that 100%…was more like a 20% depending on which enemies you were going against.

      • Shippoyasha

        I adore the new X-Com but some of its ‘difficulty’ is definitely artificial. There’s some moments in the game where it feels like a fair fight. Then there’s moments that just feels like the game trips up the player with unfair and unforeseen mechanics. It’s much like how in some Dark Souls games, there are some invisible or nearly-invisible bottomless-pits that you can’t avoid on reflex.

  • http://www.destructoid.com/blogs/RenaudB90 RenaudB90

    4.
    One of the central ideas in this game is that who the player mates with
    alters the next generation’s stats (the game is quite long). It’s a
    good idea that ties together the date sim content and the strategy
    content. Except that the strategy content is bad. If there was ever a
    game that had compelling romantic content and also compelling strategy
    RPG content, I think that idea could really blossom into something
    compelling. (You know, like Fire Emblem Awakening.)
    Read more at http://www.siliconera.com/2014/05/25/record-agarest-war-zero-waifus-less-strategy/#GmUJOdRXFpe76evQ.99

    took the words right from my mouth.

  • http://henrikblomgren.net Henrik Blomgren

    I am a bit let´s say confused. I´ve played all 3 agarest games on console. Loved them all. Laughed like a bloody maniac at some of the scenes.

    Yes battles are tedious in the first two games. I agree. But if you notice the extra damage certain types do to certain enemies then you start to realize what a pretty deep strategic system Agarest has. Sure it doesn´t do well in the game to explain this but you have everything from enemies weak to magic to more heavy hitting single attacks than multiple quick attacks.

    and vice versa.

    During my first playtrough of Agarest 1 I did not see any of the raunchy scenes at all. It took me a guide to choose right in the conversations to aquire that. So unless you start out following a guide you are most likely to get stuck with the more “normal” playtrough.

    It´s easy to see who Agarest Zero is for. People who want a strategic game with quirks in that most often your teammembers are female.

    I played Xcom. I finished one playtrough of. While watching the ending I went ?_? Really? That´s it? After all those hours of resetting thanks to losing the whole team or missing with 99% probability to hit or getting one shoted by the enemies that turned it into permdeath Agarest comes out as a nice system.

    Extended Area for battles is interesting as it opens up you being able to attack enemies further away or saving a character in trouble. So it´s not the easiest system to get into. But I still think it has it´s own strategic points. Attack range, AP usage and everything are things you need to consider for when you build your attack plan.

    So while I had a weird face on when I read this I can still see where all of the quirks that you dislike come from so yeah. I´ve said my thoughts on it all.

  • Strain42

    I think the staggeringly high popularity of the Senran Kagura series has indeed confirmed there is always an audience when “waifus” are involved.

    As for Agarest, I dunno…it just never appealed to me. Even from a fanservice perspective it didn’t seem like it was fun or interesting fanservice.

    • Ladius

      As much as people (and marketing, especially Aksys’) like to paint it that way, this series isn’t really about fanservice, and if you go in expecting that part to take the lead in terms of story or gameplay you will likely be disappointed. In a sense, I always felt the Agarest series was an attempt by IFCH to combine some of the traits of their old Neverland saga with a new setting and some fanservice to see if people would receive it better.

      The Agarest games feature rather long-winded (though this is an issue in the first Agarest and Agarest 2, rather than Zero) high fantasy storylines that take themselves very seriously, and expect you to fight tons of minor battles and customize your characters in order to overcome the difficulty spikes of some bosses, especially in the last stretch.

      Fanservice takes the backseat here, with an event unlocked when you marry one of the heroines at the end of each generation and some short, mostly optional fanservice events that often have requirements in terms of affinity and events that make them difficult to get for those who aren’t following a walkthrough. Even then, the walkthrough’s main use would be to meet the requirements for each game’s true ending, since they can get a bit tricky.

      • M’iau M’iaut

        You hit on an important thing. One must put much of the ‘guilt’ on the marketing of the original games directly on Aksys. The series was very clearly meant to be Neverland 2.0 — hell the later Neverland games look like Agarest games :P. But that said, they are indeed very much children of Ralph Bakshi’s attempt at LoTR.

        A mess of neat things which for some folks works and others, things just won’t click.

        • Ladius

          It’s really a shame the Neverland saga has been written off by Idea Factory after Spectral Force Legacy’s flop, while it was far too convoluted to be continued without some kind of reboot (or at least a heavy remake effort, and Legacy sadly wasn’t enough even in Japan) it was also one of the longest running jrpg series set in the same world, with a surprising amount of lore.

          The fact that Neverland’s demise also factually meant the end of grand-strategy jrpgs as a genre is even worse, and sadly i felt Sting’s Generation of Chaos 6PoR wasn’t really able to capture that particular subgenre’s essence despite having its own set of quirky ideas. Ironically, that game was heavily based on Yggdra Union’s DS spin-off, which from what I read had more grand-strategy mechanics than their GoC game.

          • M’iau M’iaut

            Another of the many ideas which would have been served by being more more proactive in bringing them West. And CH/IF were the one group in the niche who understood the need to ‘go west’ :(.

            Don’t get me started on the amazing ideas the Japanese modified from Western tabletop gaming and then just stopped or never brought home in any meaningful manner. Neverland, Growlanser, Project Heaven — those were the ideas I grew up playing until the sun came up the next day. Shit, Queens Blade is a direct port of a series of high fantasy battle game books — just where the cute girls lose their clothes along the way.

          • Maksim Tsirulnik

            A little off topic but whatever.

            I don’t know about you, but I found all those games mentioned above to be rather surprising dark at times. It’s usually never really spot lighted but if you read between the lines…wow.

            Even “Queen’s Blade” falls under this. If you know where to look, there are freaking political conspiracies and betrayals, demonic possessions and curses, rape and murder, broken dreams and wills, race discrimination, etc.

          • Shippoyasha

            Speaking of Queen’s Blade, the few PSP Queen’s Blade games made in the Super Robot Wars style was actually pretty damn good. They were very lengthy, challenging games with some insanely intricate sprite-combat animations.

            A very overlooked gem. Fanservice was nice too. Quite a few animation sequences as well.

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZX0fs8jEl30

          • MrTyrant

            Was one of the few SRW clones made it right because seem like Heroine Chronicles was a disaster. Other one is the fanmade Battle Moon war.

      • Maksim Tsirulnik

        I remember that marketing for the first game. It was absolutely awful. If it was to be believed, that the game was essentially a porno game in the making…which it was anything but.

        Were there suggestive images? Yeah. But if someone wants to tell me that the maybe barely even 5% of the game, which almost all were completely optional and easily missable constitutes as the main selling point of the actual game…I just have to call bull.

        • Ladius

          At the time, I found the Aksys marketing somewhat hilarious in its extreme cheesiness, but that was because I already knew what this game was about and (rather naively) thought most people would research the game and recognize it as a willful misrepresentationexaggeration instead of taking it at face value.

          When I saw people starting to treat Agarest as a nukige reject and assuming it was a game completely centered on fanservice it was already too late to argue on it being a really small part of the actual game, and even Zero and 2′s far tamer marketing push weren’t able to change anything regarding the series’ perception outside of a small niche.

  • Pedro Rosas

    If I wanted waifus I would play Fire Emblem thanks

  • Amber XLeonhart

    I have the game for ps3. In the beginning I didn’t like it as much but once you know how it works you tend to really enjoy it. This game is not for everyone, it’s challenging and you need patience. Like most strategy games. For example: Resonance of fate & Tactics Ogre. I have really bad patience sometimes..so I tend to have a big gap before I continue playing them. Seriously though Agarest war zero is not that bad of a game. The psp version of the same developers was way worse in the battle system in my opinion. I really tried to get into it but it felt like every time I tried I’d end up backwards. I know it sounds weird, but that’s how it was for me. =/

  • scdk

    I’ve always found Japanese SRPGs to be lacking in strategy across the board. Very few games actually have strategy that matters. Most of the time, even if you have a brilliant strategy, things like damage and difficulty are so closely tied to your level that if there’s more than a very minor level disparity, you’ll get steamrolled. Yes, this includes the fabled Tactics Ogre. They’re almost always more RPG than strategy, and after a while this becomes obvious, and it becomes tedious to go through the motions of positioning characters and such.

    There’s also the problem of obtuse and obscure hidden mechanics, like certain Tactics Ogre character stats not displaying or working like they should (or how you think they would), but that’s a bit of a different problem.

    • Ladius

      Regardless of personal opinions about tactical and strategy jrpgs as a genre (or as a group of subgenres, I feel), I think It’s also an issue of understanding what each game and battle system is aiming to do.

      For example, even ignorning Agarest 2′s drift toward a Cross Edge-style battle system, it’s heavily debatble Agarest can be considered a tactical jrpg franchise in the same sense as series like Fire Emblem, Shining Force, Tactics Ogre or Front Mission, since it features lots of short, quick battles on small, samey arenas and heavily focuses on locked formations, combos and character customization rather than moving your units in huge maps while planning each turn in a long engagement with trial and error variables regarding enemy reinforcements, event triggers and so on.

      In this kind of context, someone could argue the series employs a turn based battle system with some positional elements (something other series have been doing since a long time ago) rather than aiming at adopting a traditional tactical-strategical jrpg formula.

      • M’iau M’iaut

        Agarest 1 at least was far more akin to what passes for small unit tactical operations ala Front Mission or Vanguard Bandits.

        Of course coming from a Squad Leader/Strategic Simulations gaming background, none of them even reach the level of chess or go :P. (i.e. All that matters is can you hit harder than the mook in front of you.)

        • Arrngrim

          “Front Mission or Vanguard Bandits.” – Excellent referencing! (~.~)/

    • Shippoyasha

      To be fair, Tactics Ogre had a MAJOR problem with the ‘steamrolling’ issue. The level progression was awkward and enemies would hit for monstrous damage while you can’t seem to land a hit on them. The game is a classic, but it was incredibly wonky as a battle system. Games like Final Fantasy Tactics made it a lot easier to actually hit an enemy and deal a fair amount of damage.

      I kind of agree with the obtuseness of some battle mechanics, but there’s always a few games that rise above the rest. That being said, games like Agarest is really mostly about the dating sim elements for the most part.

      But if games are built with the strategy as their foremost mechanic like with many Nippon Ichi strategy games, I think they hold up better than usual.

  • TheCynicalReaper

    You know that girl with the green hair is from another game, right?
    Record of Agarest War 2.

  • Nightmare637

    I actually really like the Agarest stories, I find them interesting with all the politics and stuff.

    and I didn’t mind the Gameplay at all, I actually thought it was fun. >_>

    especially some of the Rift Bosses.

    and as others have stated you really need to look for that fanservice.

  • Chef Chef

    why is victoria from 2 on the images? also id like to say zero is the worst. 2 is ok and 1 is fun but tedious. i”ll still recomend the first one to those that have patience

  • Mir Teiwaz

    I picked up the first Agarest for PC when it went on sale like last week…is it just as bad as this one, or did they hit a better balance on the first game?

    • MrTyrant

      No, this game is exactly the same. They change a little the style and art but the gameplay still the same. If you want something different that might suit you wait for the second because it has a different style.

  • Maksim Tsirulnik

    I just have a question. I don’t mean to be mean why asking this…but why does this opinion piece exist?

    I mean, the game was already “reviewed” a long while back on this site when the game first released and I don’t recall there being any significant news regarding the series coming to light recently that warranted a retreading…so this opinion piece really seemed random.

    Was it just a random “I felt like ‘reviewing’ this” kind of thing? Just to get out a second opinion years after the first one?

    • M’iau M’iaut

      Because a second look at at game after 3 years is a more than valid thing to do. Especially on a re-release when the community then is not the community now. And Jenni’s or my thoughts on the game need not be Ethan’s or anyone elses.

      • Maksim Tsirulnik

        Ah, okay then.

        I remember hearing about the PC release. I could have sworn that it was already released a while back though. I guess I must have been thinking of the original then.

      • Arrngrim

        It seems quite a few people disagree with the authors “thoughts.” Perhaps the article should have (nay, it should have) begun with….”My thoughts on this game” or “My opinion of this game”…this article attempts to make it seem as if this is an unbiased, fair review. (Which it is not.)

    • http://www.siliconera.com/ Ishaan

      Because the game was recently re-released for PC via Steam. Reading the playtest would have made that perfectly apparent.

      • Maksim Tsirulnik

        I somehow missed that the game released recently on PC.

        I thought that the game was already out for a while (well over a month ago I think) but that was probably me just confusing news and release dates.

        Again, I meant nothing rude or mean, I was just confused.

      • Arrngrim

        A far more accurate, and fair, “review” of this game was posted years ago, perhaps it would have been better to repost or recreate the original “review”? The author for this “opinionated article” did not do a good job, period. This has been apparent from reading the comments.

        • http://www.siliconera.com/ Ishaan

          With all due respect, I don’t think you’re in any position to comment on whether a “review” is “fair” or not. I don’t see very many people trying to pass down holy judgement either, so it would be nice if you refrained from doing so yourself.

          In light of the way you worded your statement, I also find it amusing that you posted this above:

          “But Trotsky is posting an opinion as if it were a truth. He’s wrong, so very wrong. The truth is Ladius summed it up, everything is relative.”

          A little introspection might be good for you. :)

          • Arrngrim

            I am very glad you found that humorous and you must then know that I was fully aware I was being hypocritical. Furthermore, it is perfectly fine for me to lay down judgement however others cannot. I will end there, as anything further would be categorized as “baiting” or “flaming”. Suffice it to say, many who have posted here did not see eye-to-eye with this “playtest.”

  • Ninurta

    I agree that people get turned off by the difficulty combined with many random battles that you can’t run away from. But the gameplay itself is pretty good for an SRPG game (hooray that you can turn off battle animations!). The thing that I liked in Agarest games is the post game content, it is fun to build endgame equipment although it can be tedious at times. The stories are decent enough for me to keep interested and I liked the humour in both games.

  • Trotmeister

    Well, lookie here. At long last someone had actually bothered to play the game.

    When I’ve pointed out how crappy Agarest was in the past, lots of people here would tell me that I’ve no idea what I’m talking about, that I’m being overly negative, and that I should just crawl in the corner and die.

    The truth is, though, these games are indeed stupefyingly bad. The story is bad, the battles are bad and the graphics are simply abominable (those moving portraits still creep the hell out of me).

    • Ladius

      You’re obviously entitled to your own opinion about the game (provided you played it, of course), but acting like a negative review immediately makes the game objectively bad and cancels out any possible discussion about its merits (or lack thereof) doesn’t really make sense, regardless of the game we’re talking about.

      For instance, as Landale pointed out, Siliconera’s own Jenni had a different impression of this game in her playtest when it was released on console, and most of those who defended the game also “bothered to play it” and probably had legitimate impressions to share, albeit from their own perspective.

      Of course this doesn’t mean the game is great, or even good: in fact it’s a really low budget niche game that’s bound to be divisive for a variety of reasons (and that’s not even factoring the fanservice and its actual relevance, or it being a prequel), but attempting to belittle it without actually discussing any specific points isn’t really a meaningful criticism and makes for a very poor debate.

      • M’iau M’iaut

        You should damn well remember Trotsky. There are few things out there he doesn’t hate. :P

        • Arrngrim

          Hating things is fine, I actually hate virtually everyone. But Trotsky is posting an opinion as if it were a truth. He’s wrong, so very wrong. The truth is Ladius summed it up, everything is relative.

    • M’iau M’iaut

      Hello again.

  • Amber XLeonhart

    -sigh- have to rewrite my entire comment because of the random email verification. Anyways I have played that game. It’s a challenging tactics game, but I honestly enjoyed the concept, art, and story. Bosses can be very difficult. The harder game I was really upset about was blazing souls for the psp, same developers, but the environment puzzles stopped me from playing. I only realized now that you can actually pick up a tree to solve the map…yes a big tree. Point is I don’t agree with the review that the game is as bad as it sounds. It’s just a different opinion and it’s not for everyone. In the beginning i had a hard time accepting it, but later I just ended up liking it a lot.

  • NeoMosko

    What about the soundtrack?

  • Arrngrim

    Wow…Ethan…your opinionated write-up on one of my favorite games is rather…disheartening. Merely because you did not enjoy the game-play does not mean you should come here and slander it with your opinions. I happened to enjoy the strategic RPG elements, the player had to plan where to position units and where they would land if performing combo’s. Glad you did like some features, but the game-play was perfectly fine with me and many others who have bought multiple iterations of this game.

    To add, you really should preface your entire article with “My opinion on this game is:”

    • MrTyrant

      I hated the comparison in my case. I mean it’s obvious that most JRPG fail to reach the same strategy elements that a western RTS game and less if you mention the best ones (there are a lot of boring and repetitive RTS out there too) or with something like Fire Emblem for example. With this I’m not saying the game deserve a great score because it’s niche and we have to defend it. The flaws are obvious but still the comparison feel off to me.

    • revenent hell

      What do you think a review is there buddy? Its an article written up with someone’s opinions not facts. Hence why I don’t hold to much stock in most reviews.
      People can call a game utter garbage and I find it fun or vice versa. All a “review” is sis a written documentation of a persons opinions about something.

  • https://twitter.com/A_Beast_of_Prey Equinox K

    I’m just here for the boobies.

  • Yan Zhao

    Pretty much. Terrible game, with the only appeal being the girls.

    I still am in disbelief that Agarest fans praise the first 2 game but hates on Agarest 2, which has an actual FUN combat system, despite also being repetitive later.

  • http://www.gamefaqs.com/features/recognition/21421.html?type=4 Kashell

    Did this numbskull even the play the game? Zero has the same amount of strategy as the first Agarest and less “waifus” than either the first or Agarest 2.

    • http://www.youtube.com/user/triniking1234 Trini The-King

      Not sure WHAT your point is.

      The reviewer avoids making comparisons to the first game and A2 which may suggest this is his first step into the series.

      The amount of strategy and “waifus” wasn’t the problem but rather the application. The “build meter and abuse combos strat” is the only thing you really need. As for waifus for being the main draw of the game, their exposure is only limited to cut-scenes and events outside battle (hence the comparison to Senran Kagura).

      • http://www.gamefaqs.com/features/recognition/21421.html?type=4 Kashell

        My point is that the “More Waifus, Less Strategy” makes it sounds like he/she has dabbled in some way in the Agarest series. Also, I played Agarest Zero on the PS3 a few years ago, and this was after playing the first game on the 360. I know just as well as anyone that the fan-service and suggestive shots of the female cast takes a backseat to the rest of the game.

  • http://www.gamefaqs.com/features/recognition/21421.html?type=4 Kashell

    For actual information and insight on Agarest Zero, I suggest reading this:

    http://www.gamefaqs.com/PS3/959077-record-of-agarest-war-zero/reviews/review-152278

  • Qunton C.

    Please stop letting just anyone with a keyboard write reviews, Siliconera. As soon as this was compared to XCOM I stopped reading. Two entirely different games for different niches. And the food for thought points were painfully bad.

  • http://twitch.tv/Mogarane Mogarane

    I couldn’t even finish the first gen on the first game. The battles were way to long (20-30 mins each). I hate that Exp wasn’t shared with Standby party members so I couldn’t switch up my setup to brake the bordom. Those were the only major problems I had with the game. Maybe also the story didn’t really pull me in at all. Usually a good story will want me to pull through even if its “bad”.

  • rurifan

    This sure is a lot of words about an awful game that sells purely based on the nice (smutty) artwork. Pretty sure it does not rate the analysis.

  • http://hanzoadam.tumblr.com/ Hanzoadam

    I just found these games a massive grind vest all the time,

    Agarest 2 wasn’t as bad though

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