Review: The Agarest War Races Record of Indifference

Review: The Agarest War Races Record of Indifference

Agarest’s War Diary is a game that wants to be several things at the same time. It is primarily a turn-based strategy game with RPG features. It also includes visual novel-style narration with light dating simulation elements. Although it is not Character On that front, having a romance and choosing a partner for your protagonist is an integral part of the game. These elements tie into the titular generations, as the story is told through five different generations of the line of the initial hero, Leonhardt Raglan.

Immediately after pressing “New Game”, you have the option to activate one of the multiple DLC packs that have been released for the PS3 and Xbox 360 versions of Agarest’s War Diary. These DLCs range from very powerful weapons and abilities to extra gold and resources. Activating any of these will make the game a breeze, as you’ll immediately get a ridiculous amount of resources right from the start. I imagine these would be better suited for a second or third part of the game, when it comes to seeing new generations of heroes and other endings.

After choosing between Easy, Normal, and Hard difficulty, the game begins by offering a considerable amount of exposition in a simplistic-looking introductory scene, explaining the Age of Mythos and the war that led to the creation of ‘Agarest. This immediately leads to the very abrupt and unceremonious introduction of Leonhardt, a minor aristocrat and member of the army of the country of Grimadas, who is the game’s first protagonist. The eerie pace and cheap feel of this intro is representative from the rest of the game. Shortly after meeting our first hero, Leonhardt opposes his country’s war against the high elves by trying to rescue a high elf boy named Ellis.

Leonhardt is then mortally wounded and, in an attempt to survive, makes a pact with the mysterious Dyshana to become a spiritual vessel. The pact grants him great power and allows him to fight Grimadas’ soldiers, but also puts him in debt to Dyshana. Due to her deadly nature and relatively short lifespan, her Spirit Vessel pact is passed down to her offspring, which is tied into the game’s core mechanic: the Soul Breeding system. As the name suggests, it’s…uncomfortable, but never as uncomfortable as the Design Games. The player can and must romance one character from each of the game’s five different generations. Each typically has three different romance options.

Depending on which woman you choose for your current protagonist, the main character of the next generation will be something different. The mechanics of generation Agarest’s War Diary are never as interesting as fantasy star III. While subsequent gameplay may change parts of the adventure for the next offspring depending on parents, Agarest take a simpler approach, changing only the child’s appearance and combat properties. Otherwise, these descendants always have an identical name and personality. The game has five generations, and each can last between 10 and 20 hours, depending on how much secondary content you play.

Dialogue and exposition are presented in a visual novel style, with static backgrounds and anime-style character portraits. The art style is useful. The game uses desaturated colors for character sprites during combat and exploration, which can look a bit dull. The character designs, however, are very straightforward. If the oddly-named soul breeding system and all offspring still being male was no treat, the choice to design female characters who look junior (but are actually century-old elves) in wacky, revealing outfits looks downright gross, and it directly reflects on other parts of the game. Although the story is a pretty serious war drama, the amount of sexual fanservice is incredibly shocking.

The other main selling point of Agarest it’s its combat system, and it’s interesting, if terribly bloated. Encounters are split between the movement phase and the action phase. The move phase is self-explanatory. Turn order during the movement phase is determined by a unit’s agility stat, and to move you must expend AP. However, turn order in the action phase is determined by that unit’s remaining AP and Agility, so by conserving AP you can make slow and hard-hitting units act before the enemy.

One thing I quickly noticed about the combat is that it has some notable quirks. For example, the D-pad controls when navigating through tiles are reversed, and to attack you first select a target, then the skills you will use. It doesn’t take much getting used to, but I was surprised at how persistent things like these are in Agarest.

Agarest Review War Record

Due to the strategic elements of combat, character positioning is very important. Each character has a unique field that allows other characters that line up with it to launch their attacks in tandem, regardless of their distance from the enemy. Arts are special skill combinations, and they are really powerful and look great. Each art has a really flashy and long animation, but they can be skipped by pressing a button. Besides, Agarest’s War Diary it features a plethora of other smaller systems like extra skills, ultimate attacks that characters can use under very specific conditions, skill assignment system, weapon crafting and upgrading, and more. It can be a lot to learn and deal with.

Outside of combat, the game progresses through a world map similar to fire emblem awakening. Between each event are various combat encounters. Battles are very short compared to the length of a regular Tactic RPG encounter, making it quick and easy to progress through the world map. The other main form of exploration comes from dungeons. These are regular fare for any typical JRPG, with random combat encounters as you explore. However, dungeons can be very tedious, as the exits to each screen may not be immediately apparent and the encounter rate is quite high.

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One funny thing I noticed when I first started playing the game is that the default audio balance is everywhere. Luckily, by pressing the R button anytime during playback, I was able to access the settings menu and tweak the audio to my liking. Voices are only available in Japanese. They are fine, but the recording quality is very uneven and poor quality. I would suggest turning everything down a bit except the vocals and making them louder as they are very quiet by default. The soundtrack is usable as well, with no notable tracks.

Agarest’s War Diary is a generic version of a generational RPG. The experience feels dated even for 2007. While the combat can be fun, the gameplay is sluggish and its more questionable content is hard to ignore. Considering the price of a game that’s sixteen years old and the overwhelming length of the game, I’d only recommend it to someone interested in a slow, grating combat system, looking for quantity over quality. Considering the game received a prequel and two sequels, it certainly has the following.

Agarest’s War Diary is available for Nintendo Switch and Windows PC.

Brent Dubin
Brent Dubin, known as the Gaming Giant among Globe Live Media staff, is the chief Gaming Reporter for Globe Live Media. Having attended all the major events of Gaming around the World, he is sure to give you exactly the update related to gaming world you are looking for.Work Email: