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Found 2 results

  1. Royzoga

    Review: Record of Agarest War

    Developer: Idea Factory Publisher(s): Aksys Games Platform(s): Playstation Network Digital Download, Xbox 360 Release Date: April 27th, 2010 ESRB: T (So, I recently made an extremely long reply to a news article pertaining to this game possibly being added to Steam. After conversing with a few friends and reviewing the post I decided to make the post into an actual review. It is my first of hopefully many for the site and I haven't really written one in a while, so if you believe I can do better, please message or speak with me detailing how I can be a better reviewer.) Record of Agarest War can be easily described to those whom haven't played it before. Imagine Disgaea was combined with the most simple aspects of a dating simulator. Throw in a few light side/ dark side decisions as well as some risque static pictures of girls scantily dressed just for some flavor too. The end result is a game that can be equal amounts of pain as it can be pleasure. Pain feels like it sticks out a bit more obviously in the beginning, middle, and end of the game, however one cannot exist with out the other, or at least in this game they cannot. The intro to the game provides an interesting and fresh idea unheard of in the JRPG universe, in terms story that is. A general in an army decides to break orders to try and save a young elvish girl and is thrust into a destiny that forces him and his next four generations of children to fight an unknown evil. The story actually proves to be one of the most enticing things about the game. That being said though, combat is where the game starts feeling a little bland, and in a Tactical JRPG, a bland combat system can doom it from the start. The grid based system should be all too familiar to people whom have played games like Disgaea and Final Fantasy Tactics, but the newer things, AP costs, SP, combined attacks, EX fields, feel a bit overwhelming and unmanageable until much later into the game. Sadly, combat also fails to be much of an eye catcher as the beautifully rendered character models. Instead of hi-resolution models the characters and enemies look like PS2 era pixelated sprites, similar to the early Atelier games. This aspect is relatively disappointing because when in town or conversing with party members involving the main story or just even purchasing things at the shop, they are represented by attractive character models. That being said though, after playing the game for long enough, the story and music and even the level of customization outweighs the sub-par graphic level. Customization can even be seen as one of the highest and best parts of the game. Throughout the entirety of each of the five generations, the main hero, you, make choices that will result in different battles, different character relations, dialogue, and can even impact the next hero! For example, at the end of generation one, based on whom you decide to wed, if you can even, will result in a different character model, weapon types, and even skill affinity for the hero of the next generation. And luckily, this feature is apparent up until the very last generation. An even further level of customization permits pertains to party members. Not only does each generation yield multiple heroes and heroines of different shapes, sizes, colors, and skill sets, but also monsters. Record of Agarest War has a unique monster capturing system introduced later on in which you actually use monsters in battle or in exchange for useful items and equipment. Unfortunately, being that there are five different generations, as well as a secret true ending generation, the game can start to feel like a massive time sink at times. Completion of generation one typically takes between 15-20 hours, and by the end of generation five, players are more than likely to be in the hundreds of hours. That doesn't even cover the end game content which can then stretch on even longer! Furthermore, plenty of the fights in the game can feel like they drag on, especially towards the end. Especially if the party you're using is under-leveled. Generation five for example, can have multiple boss fights, single bouts, that lead into hour long wars, maybe even two depending on what the party's level is. Even random encounters in dungeons can lead into the half an hour region if you're not careful, and might not even yield even one level for any party member. Not to mention the game fails to explain what each level stat does or how each one works in sync with each character. If you're not careful, you could accidently turn a tank character into a glass water gun, instead of a rough power house. Sadly, messing up character's stats early on in the game can almost make them useless for later on. In the end game especially, if any boss senses a weak character, they're usually the first target. Record of Agarest War can definitely be classified as a hard core JRPG in that sense, and very similar to Disgaea even as the game goes on, enemies stats, as well as damage output becomes so ridiculously high that in the end, the player will only be able to measure it as 'a lot,' or 'not enough.' This aspect though made the last hundred or so hours more enjoyable, and even the start of the second play through. New Game Plus mode does exist for the game and it is glorious, almost enticing players to try again. If players choose to play on the same difficulty they will receive pretty much everything they had in the last play through, minus levels. If they choose to go up a difficulty tier then they will be able to retain money, extra skills, and upgrade points for characters and equipment. The player can also complete a certain in game tasks that will net them extra equipment, money, skills, and even upgrade points. What's really great about those is, all the rewards reset after a new game plus, but are still technically completed and just need you to claim the reward back at town. All in all, Record of Agarest War had the potential to be something incredibly, truly redefining for the JRPG genre with it's intricate story and bride customization, but ultimately lacks the proper base components to make it amazing. Pros: +Intricate and original story + Expansive customization +Large array of party members and monster system +Beautifully done voice acting and background music Cons: -PS2 Era graphics while in battle -A huge time sink -Not for casual JRPG Gamers Overall: 6.5/10 Decent Record of Agarest War proves to be an okay JRPG with a ton content that will definitely soak up large sums of time. However, due to flaws with combat and non-newbie friendly battle systems, the game seems as though it can only really appeal to the hardcore Tactic style gamers.
  2. Whether they“re called collectors, limited, or special editions, these more expensive editions of video games have become an even bigger part of the gaming landscape since the start of the seventh generation of consoles. In the past, only a select few titles would be lucky enough to get multiple versions. With this current generation, however, we have seen the amount (and price) of special editions skyrocket. Every triple-A title has one, and even more niche games are beginning to get them. With so many special editions vying for people“s attention they sometimes get a little... weird. Just take the recently revealed Dead Island: Riptide Zombie Bait Edition. Although the edition was never meant to come out in America, many discovered it and instantly started reacting negatively. The set came with many expected tchotchkes but also a “bust” of an unfortunate vacationer from the game. The negative reaction was so big that it even caused the developer to issue an apology (although they have yet to state if they will cancel production of said product). With that in mind, let“s look back at some other eyebrow-raising, creepy, and downright bad special edition that have appeared before. F.E.A.R. 3 Collector“s Edition What is something to truly fear? Apparently the Collector“s Edition of F.E.A.R. 3 which included, among other things, a statue of antagonist Alma. It wasn“t just any Alma though. Nope, this is Alma post F.E.A.R. 2 - adult, nude, and pregnant with a glow-in-the-dark fetus visible. While it could be argued that this was very relevant to the game, it doesn“t change the fact that it was totally creepy. This edition of the game was available in Europe and probably inspired a great deal of nightmares. Record of Agarest War - The Really Naughty Limited Edition Here is an example of a very Japanese-style special edition which was actually brought to North America. Not only was the box adorned with seriously eyebrow-raising pictures on every inch of it, but the contents inside were questionable as well. There was a pillowcase decked out with an anime gal from the game as well as a mouse pad with “breasts” for wrist support. While it may have prevented some gamers from getting carpal tunnel syndrome, it most certainly did not help anyone to become less creepy. Since this, a few other games have taken to bringing over similarly awkward wares. Rez Special Package The PS2 music/shooter hybrid Rez actually had two special editions in Japan. First there was the rare Kanzentousui Set, which included headphones, but that“s not the one we“re going to talk about. No, I'm referring to the “Trance Vibrator” package. While it is amicable to want a rhythm game to really entrance a player, a small vibrating block doesn“t seem exactly the way to do it. DualShock controllers already vibrated to begin with, after all. As such, the peripheral has amused immature gamers for years, and with good reason. Rez“s port on 360 gives players a taste of the Trance Vibrator by allowing other controllers to vibrate in place of it. Give it a shot if you“re interested but unwilling to pick up the actual device. Dead Space 2 Collector“s Edition There are actually a great deal of collector“s editions with goodies that have sexual or creepy connotations. Let“s move away from that now and discuss the depressing Dead Space 2 Collector“s Edition. It came with a few standard extras, but the item which most intrigued fans was the replica plasma cutter. There was no description of size prior to launch and pictures were not the best at showcasing size. When the time came to open sets, gamers were disappointed to see the toy was not only tiny, but also cheap plastic adorned with a "Made in China" sticker. It also didn“t help that the replica was later sold separately as well, making the whole draw of this Collector“s Edition fairly worthless. Cardcaptor Sakura Tomoyo no Video Daisakusen Special Edition Box This obviously Japanese special edition wins the award for being one of the strangest out there. Sure, there are a lot of strange items available across expensive game editions, but the items within this one have not been replicated often to the best of my knowledge. Included with this edition was the expected pillow case but also a fork, spoon, decorative plate, and clock. What exactly does eating have to do with Cardcaptor Sakura? Your guess is as good as mine, and it“s for that reason that this game immediately comes to mind for weirdest collector“s edition out there. As you can see, there have been bad special editions available in all regions. Sometimes they are bad because they“re absolutely disgusting but other times it“s because of how horribly they are attempting to rip off customers. As of now, the trend in special editions seems to be moving towards digital content, but we still see many physical items available. Let“s hope that there is never a time where all collector“s editions are DLC because bad sets are so much fun to look at! What are some of the worst special edition sets you have seen? Which ones were a total rip off or hilarious?
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