Here we have another 'RPG' (role-playing game) that quite fails to deliver on the promise of role playing at any level. Characters do improve through the game, however the ludicrously difficult strategies required to do so will mean most players have given up before the improving characters have had any time to develop.
Some beautiful (if somewhat risque) artwork accompanied the game, but the game itself was a real let-down.
Fans of Manga (and other Japanese-style works) might find this appealing, but Westerners brought up on good, old-fashioned graphics & gameplay mixed with enough simplicity to keep it enjoyable will never find the pleasure in this too-arty, too-underworked style of gaming.
I can't honestly give a full-featured review, as I'm not very far into the game, but I will give you my impressions so far. Agarest War itself is a fairly challenging (for me) turn-based combat system, with some innovative features based on how your characters are positioned relative to each other. The voice acting (in Japanese) is charming, the characters are likeable and fun, and the hand-drawn art is lovely. I'm a sucker for 2D anime art stuff, so the game and the collector's edition goodies are welcome additions to my collection. The collector's edition comes with postcards, a small hardcover artbook that fits inside the slipcase with the game, and a mini-poster folded up inside. I like that everything fits inside the slip-case, but a larger art book might have been nice.
As for the story, this is something of a throwback to 'old school' JRPG stuff. You have names practically lifted from Tolkien and other sources, a hero who drops everything to save a maiden in distress without thinking twice, and strange gods influencing the fates of men(and Elves). The story plays out over 5 generations of a Heroic family, and you determine how each generation is shaped by how you play the previous one. You get 3 potential 'mates' for each Generation, and in dating-sim-like fashion you woo each of them according to your in-game choices. The one who becomes your bride helps determine the stats and special abilities of the next generation, as well as the appearance of the character! Pretty neat, actually.
There are several english-language FAQs out there, but I'm still looking for a good strategy guide to help me get through some of the basic combat elements. The instructions in the game are competent, but I still find some of the random encounters to be difficult at this early stage in the game. The game includes the now-typical 'Item Making' recipes and weapon upgrades, similar in many respects to Cross Edge, but I haven't been able to tap into those yet.
All in all, this is a good purchase for people who like 1) Dating-sim type games, 2) Anime-style RPGs, 3) Playing Heroic characters as opposed to Anti-Heroes, 4) Turn-based Strategy games.
Ok first of this game doesnt really promise anything so you get what your given and you just deal which is fair enough. this is a good game but fails on to many critical points: this is a tactical turn based so called RPG (i say so called as an RPG now days means if you can level up for 5 hours straight your apparently playing an RPG) only the turn based system seems very set and not very tactical at all, if one person is out of place your simply going to fail. The battle system is also far to hard to even want to get into, the first few battles will constantly leave you with the question of why your still playing, for a game that is based around battle this is possibly the worst idea anyone could ever want in a game such as this, the battle makes this game as enjoyable as licking a wet puffer fish thats been slowly baked in one of your nans socks, however, discarding the battle this game has its good points, the artwork is great and will have you wanting to take your time to look around for more than too many hours, the voice acting is actually well done and in times leaves you wanting to talk to people more times than needed, the character designs are well thought out and will turn you into an in game stalker just to veiw the npcs running about on more than several occasions. all in all if this game had a better battle system it would be more than worth buying but as it stands id say to either get it if you can find it cheap or look for another game.
Please note this is my personal opinion and others have fully enjoyed this game right to the very end.... my advice would be to youtube this game first or rent it. id also like to point out that no animals where harmed during the typing of this review and that i agree adding this was pointless yet worth reading.... (also my own opinion).