by Preston Dozsa
reviewed on PC
War and Jacuzzi
A tyrannical nation is invading a smaller, less militarized country in order to eliminate its citizens. You are a hero trying to save that country, by reaching out to potential allies and fighting the good fight on the frontline. By battling monsters and enemy soldiers, the hero grows stronger with each skirmish, gaining more and more confidence along the way. But the war is still ongoing and the longer it drags on, more innocents will be exposed to the pain and suffering that accompanies it.
So why am I currently sitting in a hot spring trying to woo over my female companions? Isn’t there a bloody war going on? Shouldn’t we be helping people? Geez, we must have a lot of spare time on our hands. No wonder the war has lasted this long.
Developed by Compile Heart out of Japan, Agarest: Generations of War is a strategy-RPG that follows five generations of male protagonists as they seek to bring peace to the world. Each hero is confronted with a new quest that in some way causes chaos, and he goes on a journey to gather companions and solve the problem at hand. Very traditional fantasy tropes and clichés are present throughout the story, yet it is not so much of a detriment as it is an expectation. If you were looking for an innovative and original story, please continue your search for another game that will satisfy your definitions.
Mixing the Gene Pool
Yet what Agarest lacks in terms of story it makes up for in how it is structured. Put simply, as you play through the game you have to romance and win over the hearts of at least one of your female companions in each generation. Whomever you choose in each generation affects both how the next protagonist will look like and what kind of character archetype they operate under. Romance a rogue in the first generation and the protagonist in the second generation will wear a red suit of armor and wield daggers in battle. And since Agarest contains multiple fantasy races, including multiple kinds of elves, your children will inherit characteristics of those races should you choose one of them for marriage.
It is a great, albeit limited feature that helps Agarest stand out from other RPG’s currently on the market. But one of the main difficulties that I encountered when reviewing the game stems from the dating sim elements that are incorporated into the story. Agarest contains content, especially during the romance scenes, that could be classified as erotic. Now in practice, the most erotic content that can be found within the game is a shot of cleavage or female characters wearing skimpy outfits that have no practical use. It’s most definitely not a game that could be rated PG, yet it’s not even close to being called a porn game.
So what’s the problem with that? If the content is not pornographic, why do you need to worry? Because by not tilting to one extreme or the other, Agarest ends up feeling like it’s trying to have the best of both worlds. It wants to be edgy, but also wants to be tame in order to obtain a larger audience. This means that the more adult scenes ended up feeling extremely childish, and makes them laughable in their attempts to be mature.
Dating sim elements are interesting, Long story, Gameplay works well
Tries too hard to be mature, LONG story, no variety in battlefields