Hot on the heels of Agarest: Generations Of War an SRPG, Ghostlight have released it’s prequel Agarest: Generations Of War ZERO bringing it’s multi-generational storytelling to Steam! A lot of old content has been reused from the original game. The story of Agarest: Generations of War Zero or Agarest Zero for short is the typical JRPG cliché. You stumble across a woman who in turn saves your life and gifts you her powers. Your made stronger than ever and are summoned to fight a war on the frontlines, assemble your army, meet new characters and ultimately win the war.
Agarest Zero is a Tactical turned based RPG which will feel very familiar if you have ever played Disgaea or Final Fantasy Tactics. First off I will start by saying the game in some parts is so unbalanced, it’s insane. Bosses In this game are SO overpowered, it’s almost as if the developers made it so you had to buy the stat boosting DLC to progress. As you would expect this is massively frustrating, I thought “oh this is one of those fights you cannot win”. No you need to grind like crazy in order to win it. So I gave in and used the DLC, which I got with the game. The DLC makes you way overpowered for the start of the game so really you just feel like your cheating.
Putting all these issues aside, there’s a pretty good, solid battle system here. It’s very complex as you would expect but every Tutorial is laid out well enough for you to understand and grasp the concept of each mechanic of the game. One thing I enjoy about the game is the Co – Operative attack system. Managing your AP (attack Points) by missing a turn, waiting on standby just so you can let the enemy have it next time is both kind of satisfying and annoying.
The game uses a Very specific art style in the form of Anime characters, who for the most part act as eye candy, which leads me to the next part of this review. A system has been implemented called “soul System” as you go through the Generations In the game, an opportunity arises to marry one of the three women in the game and have a kid with them. Throughout the game you make certain choices which affect characters affections towards you. The result of this decides who it will be that you marry. I feel this is a missed opportunity, really the characters don’t have a massive personality and you choose more on looks than anything else. This is a real shame, because it’s a neat idea. Depending on your choice though, you get a different character (your kid) that fights with you In future Generations. Which is pretty cool, but again I feel they could have gone a lot more into depth with this.
Music In this game is probably one of its strongest points. It’s really not bad, it does the job and it fits the mood of what is happening in the event or battle scene. Sound effects are very familiar to me as I have played numerous games from Idea Factory, I can appreciate these games are made on a budget though. A new feature to the sequel is Characters are brought to life by moving animations during cut scenes as they talk and breathe. However one massive disappointment is the game is Japanese dialogue only, This will put a lot of people off.
There is so much dialogue to this game that it just simply overwhelms you. The tired formula of dialogue then battles repeat over and over again and you will soon tire off it unless you take a break. The combat is really strategic, pretty much everything you do requires AP, be it healing or even using Items so you really have to be mindful of what you’re going to do. You can invite the enemy to attack you and preserve your AP or go all out from the start it’s up to you.
Now I go on to one of the best features of the game, the crafting system. You need to acquire recipe books in order to unlock new combinations. This gives the game a little bit of depth and a reason to keep playing. It was satisfying seeing my characters getting stronger and stronger through hours and hours of hard work. You can gather the items by beating select monsters and doing other tasks.
The fact you can later on capture monsters and use them in battle is a nice touch as well. Although the characters at your disposal are likeable to the point you probably won’t use it. In the end Agarest: Generations of War Zero is one of those games for a specific audience, it’s certainly hard as nails without the DLC and the fact you have to grind so much in order to progress with the game just isn’t fun.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary PC code was provided to Bonus Stage for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Gameplay - /10
Graphics - /10
Sound - /10
Replay Value - /10
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