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Gaming Evolution
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Gaming Evolution
Gaming Evolution
Published By: Aksys Games
Developed By: RED/Idea Factory
Genre: Strategy RPG
Players: 1
Rated: T (Teen)
Release Date: April 29, 2010
Screenshots: Link
Amazon: Buy Now!
Written By: Matthew Prunty

May 26, 2010 - Record of Agarest War is a tale of love, lust, deception and destiny as a group of individuals from different backgrounds come together in order to repel a horrid evil that is trying to return to the realm of the living to once again attempt to conquer the world. Though this formula can be seen in almost every conceivable SRPG released from Japan, it never gets tiring to see how this formula will be used in future titles. This formula isnít the only thing that Record of Agarest War has to offer as you will come into contact with more than a dozen scantily clad women, who will either want to join your party, become one of your future lovers or simply likes standing around talking and showing off her body. For those who are still interested in the game, read on to learn more about the epic tale of Record of Agarest War.

Aksys Games, who published this title on behalf of developers RED and Idea Factory, decided to release Record of Agarest War as a digital download via the PlayStation Network. While this certainly isnít the first retail title to be released via the PlayStation Network, itís only the second title that actually clocks in at over 9GB. For those who pick the game up on the Xbox 360, the game has been released via retail outlets under the name Record of Agarest War: The Naughty Edition. While games are practically the same, the difference comes in the fact that if you pick up the Xbox 360 version of the game you also get a pillow case depicting one of the female characters from the game stretched along the length of the case, a computer mouse page with a female characterís cleavage ready to burst outÖ and of course the game. All of this comes nicely packaged in a box covered with female characters in provocative positions. The PlayStation Network version will set you back $44.99 and the Xbox 360 retail package will set you back $59.99. Whatís interesting about the Xbox 360 packaging is that while the packaging and contents suggest the game will be packed full of sex, sex and more sex; there is none to be had in the game, only playfully suggestive snapshots.

With that out of the way, lets move on to what matters with this game and thatís the story. Agarest War begins with you taking control of a battle-tested soldier by the named Leonhardt, who confronts a group of his comrades cornering a female elf in order to kill her. Leonhardt rushes in to defend the young elf, which was both a shocker to his comrades and to the female elf. After a couple words are exchanged, Leonhardt does battle with his comrades to protect the young elf, which is against the law and forces him to become an outlaw/rebel/renegade. Before he can get a chance to defeat is former comrades, the Black Knight shows up and makes short work of Leonhardt. Knocking on deathís door, a beautiful, yet mysterious woman appears before Leonhardt and offers him a second chance to get back at the evil that almost killed him as long as he agreed to her terms. Though about to die, all Leonhardt could think about was making sure the your elf girl was safe and so accepts the terms of the mysterious women, which was that Leonhardt had to forfeit his soul and the souls of his descendants. This act of selflessness begins the epic journey which spans 5 generations and several continents.

Along the way, you take part in a couple hundred battles before you reach the finish, which is comprised of multiple endings. With some much time spent on the battlefield, learning everything you can about the combat system and utilizing special tacks in unison with follow comrades will be key to your survival. Within your first couple of battles, you will be greeted with several tutorials before the battles start. These tutorials help you understand how to attack enemies, move around the grid-based battlefield, support fellow comrades, etc. These tutorials can be skipped for those who just want to put caution to the wind, however the information provided within these tutorials is very valuable and could be the difference between a Game Over screen and a victory in battle. For those familiar with games like Disgaea 3 and Cross Edge, the learning curve for the battle system is a lot easier, though anyone can get a handle on things once they have a few battles under their belt.

Alongside the combat system comes the soul breed system, which allows the story to progress beyond just Leonhardtís adventures. As mentioned before, you will come across several women that will join your party. Of those who join, three of them are potential love interest for the main character. Along the way, these ladies will ask you questions or do things for you, which will result in them either favoring you or disapproving of you. Whatís interesting about the soul breed system; also referred to as a dating-sim system, is the fact that you must understand and know what each of these women like. One of the girls may be a nice and innocent, however if you do nice things for them, they may disapprove of your actions and vice versa. Once you have vanquished the evil on your continent, you tasked with choosing who you will marry and have your offspring with. For the most part, the character looks the same no matter who you mate with from that generation; however there will be differences in color of clothing, hair and attitude of the individual.

Record of Agarest War isnít something you would consider a beaming example HD gaming. Throughout the game you only see character sprits doing battle with one another. In between these battles, during dialog segments, you are greeted with high quality static images, which are very detailed. Considering the game isnít made for everyone, I canít and wonít compare it to games that are not within the same category. For what itís worth, the visuals work well with the design of the game, though we all would scream for some 720p, 1080p visuals along the lines of games like Final Fantasy XIII. In regards to the sound, be prepared for an all Japanese voice presentation. There is not a lick of English spoken within the game beyond the subtitles, which easily readable whether on a HDTV or a SDTV. Considering Iím a fanatic of foreign films, it didnít bother me that no English was spoken within the game. It was actually refreshing to be required to here a game only in the spoken dialect of the developers. Listen long enough and the intro song of the game will grow on you, having you speaking Japanese without you realizing it.

While many wonít play through this game more than once, there are reasons enough to come back time and time to make sure you complete the epic adventure. The first being that everyone from your party that wasnít one of the three main love interest join your new main character in the next generation a bit wiser (hopefully), more beautiful and a little older (I got my eye on you young elf girl). I doubt many would like having to start all over with a new roster of characters, especially when the battles are become harder and more intense. Another incentive is the fact that if you get attached to a certain character along the way, you have the ability to resurrect said individual to join your party in the new generation. So if you acquired one of the mysterious tomes and miss having Leonhardt in your party, you can visit one of the many shops to have him resurrected in your current time, though the individual wonít have a soul attached to his body (kind of creepy). Last, but certainly not the least, is the ability to acquire trophies/achievements for your accomplishments.

Record of Agarest War is one of those JSRPG titles that just wonít appeal to everyone. While the visuals are not on the same level as to what the masses are used to playing, they do suit the game quite well. While I canít recommend this title to everyone, those who love RPGs from Japan, this adventure is definitely worth picking up and exploring. Just remember, whether on Xbox 360 or PS3, expect spend upwards of 30-40 hours to complete your first playthrough.


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