Video Game Review: Record of Agarest War (XboxBest60)

Article, Video Games — By on April 19, 2013 1:50 pm

This post was written by Dark_Sage. He is Dark_Sage.

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Huge snowstorm in Minnesota yesterday, so I thought I’d curl up with a blanket and play some vidya.

Unfortunately, I didn’t have many options.

Of the 360 games I actually wanted to play and hadn’t beaten yet, I was left with a field consisting of Bayonetta, Castlevania, Dead or Alive 5, and Record of Agarest War.

Bad decisions made simple

Bad decisions made simple

Short story short, the coin landed on the equivalent of a loaded chamber in Russian Roulette: Agarest War.


Image related as both this creature and Agarest are abortions.

‘course, I wasn’t about to get myself into an S-RPG without a little bit of research. Japan’s well known for fucking gamers over who want to play games instead of checklists.

So I moseyed on over to GameFAQs to get the information I’d need. And this is what I found:


Alignment System

"I'm a chaotic-evil bard, no desu."

“I’m a chaotic-evil bard, no desu.”

God do I fucking hate alignment systems. And based off the board’s comments, it fits all of my do not wants:

  • Unclear choices (Oh, you chose “blue” as your favorite color? So evil!)
  • Forced “best path” (You miss out on characters/events if you don’t choose the alignment path the game wants.)
  • No demon lord ending (I maintain the only good thing about Catherine was the True Chaos ending.)

Now that I think about it, I haven’t ever played a game with a good alignment system. Try and find me one and I’ll tell you why you’re wrong (SMT fags, your fedoras can’t save you from the truth).

Timed, Hard-Mode-Exclusive True End


S-RPG fans out there: if you haven’t looked into this game, you know enough to stay away by now. You’re limited to 500 actions over the course of the entire game if you want to get the true ending.

No pre-post-game grinding, no random battles, no exploring, no figuring out your own strategies… SOUNDS FUN, HUH?

Yeah, back to FFT it is. Wait, gotta finish this article first. :/


Essentially Mandatory DLC

so ojou

There’s over $100 of DLC for this game, and apparently if you want to avoid 60 hours of grinding when you get to the true final dungeon, you’re gonna need to plop down $20 minimum for it.




Never gonna play this shitty game. It’s not that I don’t have the patience and money to invest in getting the ideal experience here — it’s that I have better things to throw my time and money at.

For not even getting past me opening the plastic wrap, Record of Agarest War gets a


Okay, now it’s FFT time. Agrias, you’re too good to me~

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Sheep says:

I don’t even have a fedora, but come on, Nocturne’s align- oh shit wait there was that one choice point, but hey I thought it worked! MOST OF THE OTHER STUFF IN THE ALIGNMENT SHIT WAS FINE.

That one choice point is infamously unclear, but I like what it conveyed, and I didn’t have any problems with it. Speaking vaguely because spoilers

Dark_Sage says:

How is that good?

A few key choices will get you one of these:
lolending 1: Everyone gets mushed together — human instrumentality.
lolending 2: Everyone gets silo’d and spends their lives jerking off to themselves. I already do that, so why would I need a world created to do so?
lolending 3: Only the strong survive. I guess it’s the better of the endings, but it’s so cliche.
lolending 4: reset!~“
lolending 5: Humans go bye-bye… for a while.
lolending 6: You become Lucifer’s bitch.

And you, of course, have to play through the game 6 times for all these endings.

Lame. Or were you saying you liked the Maga alignments?

Sheep says:

I meant the way the alignments were set-up, not the actual endings themselves.

It’s mostly clear-cut which you side with and there’s not really a “true ending” (though TDE end had some amazing writing and shit) unless you count the fact that the Neutral End is considered canon throughout the series, which I don’t think invalidates the other endings in the continuity of the game itself,plus it’s pretty much the same “reset” in the end

The alignment system isn’t as fucking convoluted as what you detailed in this review and set-up pretty well and has different ideals for each Reason, that’s pretty much all the system needed to do. Anything about the alignments themselves would make this long-winded.

Sheep says:

meant to put a spoiler tag in this comment, but lol.

Firebird says:

I’m super nice, so I edited them in for you.

Sheep says:


risho says:

did you just give it a negative zero?

Dark_Sage says:


aoihakurei says:

You can’t do that!

Firebird says:

I actually enjoyed this game, and haven’t got any of the premium DLC. I even went and bought the collectors edition as a result. I also own Agarest Zero and Agarest 2 collectors, along with an art book from Hirano Katsuyuki. They are very time-consuming, I haven’t evens started 2 yet… and you can’t hope to beat them on difficult unless it’s NG+ (or you buy the premium DLC).

Battles are very much about positioning rather than brute strength, though ultimately it leads to the same thing as you position your characters and perform your combo attacks in the same turn. It does add some tactical flavor, but for the majority of the battles, not much. Discovering all the combos is where most of the fun is to be had, seeing just how many hits you can get. It’s not really a game you can play without some reference material, you’re not gonna learn all those combos yourself, and the books you find in game are too slow-paced a lot of the time.

Where it does fall down is the turn limit and that you can’t really complete the game, get all the beasts and titles without NG+. And that is a pretty damn major turn off. I don’t mind NG+ or grinding, but a game spanning tens of hours requiring you to NG+ which then offers little to no difference in story from the original isn’t my kind of thing. I’d rather grind in the first instance. There’s only two NG+ games I recall actually completing. FFX-2 (yeah… that wasn’t worth it) and Kamidori… which was epic, and had three distinct storylines (in later chapters) with plenty of little extras in NG+.

Alignment, well, it’s not really alignment, but how well you can charm your way into the pants of any three chicks. Ultimately the same sort of system, just for a different reason. The actual girl you choose makes a good deal of difference to your offspring, and thus your next main character. The happier your mate, the better his stats associated with that mate. Your choices make certain potential-mates happy but cause others distress and possibly stop an event happening at all.

All in all, I thought it was a good game, with a rich storyline. I also felt that given the ‘alignment’ system actually had a big impact on your character, it was a little better handled then many other games.

Agarest Zero, from memory, drops the turn limit and I seem to recall the ‘dungeon’ system changing too. But really, there were no vast improvements to the gameplay that stick in my memory. Just fewer generations and visually more appeasing… though some of those facial expressions are just awful. Vacant and lifeless.

As for DLC, I disagree with it being essentially mandatory. Though I don’t like these kinds of DLC, the game is doable without, but then I don’t really mind grinding so much. It is a bummer you’ve got to play at normal difficulty before being able to play hard properly, though. These games are always riddled with DLC for item packs, PP, TP CP, EP and whatever other points they want to throw at you. It is annoying, I can’t disagree, additional characters are one thing, even the odd dungeon but paying to make your character OP just doesn’t sit right with me. It’s much the same with most freemium games. And with mobile & facebook gaming continuing to grow, I can only assume freemium will become more and more common. These sorts of DLC are merely another form of that. Ethically, given you’ve just paid £20-60 for the game it’s wrong imo, but while ever people are daft enough to buy this stuff, companies will be smart enough to sell it.

Anyhow, I digress. Though I agree it has its fundamental flaws, I still think it’s an enjoyable game. I’d give it a 6½, ultimately fun, but it limits itself too much. The following games (though I’ve yet to put #2 in my PS3) are a little more welcoming, so perhaps they’d score a bit higher. Try #2 out, that might suit you better.

Dark_Sage says:

I bought the LE on day 1 because I wanted to show that I support ridiculously stupid collector’s editions full of otakubait. NISA makes their living off people like me.

Unfortunately (or fortunately) it is possible to get everything done in one play-through. But you have to follow a sketchy wikia walkthrough to the letter, and I dunno, that doesn’t seem all that fun to me. When a game makes it this hard for me to get into it, something’s wrong. And this is coming from a guy who put 20 hours into fucking Operation Darkness.

temp_late says:

(Vanilla, non-modded, though quality of mods is suspect too) FFT kinda sux. Might as well go back further in time and play Tactics Ogre instead.

Beckett says:

(Vanilla, non-modded, though quality of mods is suspect too) Tactics Ogre kinda sux. Might as well go back further in time and play Pong instead.

Firebird says:

(Vanilla, non-modded, though quality of mods is suspect too) Pong kinda sux. Might as well go back further and play with yourself instead.

temp_late says:

Somebody find me some doujin Pong-based SRPG.

Dark_Sage says:


(Tactics Ogre sucked BTW.)

2ColouredEyes says:

What? Did you played and gone through the fork? Which did you not liked? I honestly find the game fun.


temp_late says:

What? Atropos? You talking Knight of Lodis? Nah. That’s not even before FFT btw.

ofc by law it must be reiterated: a D_S “shit taste confirmed” .

Nyangoro says:

“(Tactics Ogre sucked BTW.)”

I hope you die a horrible, painful death by the hands of every single character in Ragnarok Odyssey for your heinous blasphemy.

Beckett says:

Actually I kind of like Tactics Ogre it’s just not on the same level as FFT. None of the Ogre games can ever live up to the original Ogre Battle.

temp_late says:

Sure, FFT is a bit richer and more advanced, but it’s also too easy and even more imbalanced, as well as dumbed down by having fewer units on the field. With TO you can at least have a non-braindead difficulty by just going through without wasting time on any random battles or training.

Original Ogre Battle: MotBQ was the best though.

Dark_Sage says:

I enjoyed FFT’s storyline, gameplay, and characters far more than I enjoyed TO’s. Guaranteed boredom is, unfortunately for TO, not a selling point to me.

Firebird says:


Sam says:

Hi, any idea when Shingeki no Kyojin ep 2 will be out for Lag-Taka?

Dark_Sage says:

Oh what, they haven’t released? Ugh, I’ll check later.

psie says:

should’ve just fapped to Bayonetta

Omex says:

castlevania? like lords of shadow?

you dodged a fuckin bullet then GOOD SHIT A+

Mari says:

DLC isn’t really mandatory, it only makes the first and second generations go by a bit faster. I guess if you wanted to shave like 5-10 hours off you can spend ~$10 to get some weapon and point DLCs. Managed to platinum just fine on PS3 without though.

Dark_Sage says:

That’s because the PS3 came with extra DLC to make up for it being DDL only. Or did you play the PAL version?

Mari says:

NA version, back in 2010 I believe. I think the PS3 version did have some free point and item DLCs that the 360 version didn’t have, but nothing really gamebreaking. (This can also be blamed on Microsoft being a bunch of greedy jews and charging a lot to put DLC on XBL though.)

Did the 360 version have more strict time requirements (like time being spent if you go in dungeons or just moving around or going into towns)? I managed to grind on the PS3 ver just fine, crafted a good amount of shit, and entered True End route (where turn doesn’t matter anymore) well before I hit 500 turns. More than enough time to learn battle strategies too, mostly composed of keeping in formation and abusing combinations (Abyssal Fear is the best). A lot of the game’s strategy really lies in executing a lot of combination attacks, EX combinations too.

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