Agarest: Generations of War Zero (PC) Review

By Ian Soltes 14.10.2014

Review for Agarest: Generations of War Zero on PC

Cubed3 recently reviewed the predecessor to this game, Agarest: Generations of War, and for better or worse, most of that review could be copied, pasted, had a few names changed, and still be one hundred percent accurate. Detailing events prior to the original game, Agarest: Generations of War Zero is a JRPG developed by Idea Factory, which has made the move over to PC through the team at Laughing Jackal. Again like the first title, expect throwbacks to older JRPGs, sprite-based graphics, pre-rendered character designs, and a game that is unlikely to ring in others outside of its established audience.

That isn't to say that Agarest: Generations of War Zero is a bad or uninspired game. As certain movies have shown, deviating from the source material too much can result in a horrible outcome that drags down both the new and old. AGWZ (try pronouncing that out loud) firmly avoids that. It firmly avoids everything to the point that it could have, potentially, been grafted on to the former game as either a different chapter or simply part of the 'actual' game, and no one would have noticed. While the characters are different none of them really break the mould to the point that they seem unique enough to have not fit into the prior title. This is merely another chapter to its predecessor in almost every meaning of the word.

Instead of recapping what can be said about the game, it would be easier for readers to read the review of the previous game and mentally replace the names. While the prior review offers a great summary (and the link cuts down on the word count and re-typing that would be done), AGWZ does bring some improvements that deserve some mentioning. As such, they will be contrasted against the prior game instead of explaining that which has already been explained.

Screenshot for Agarest: Generations of War Zero on PC

Firstly, and by far the best, difference is that, unlike its predecessor, AGWZ does not divide itself up into five multiple generations, and instead sticks to two generations, which works out much better on the whole. Previously it was entirely likely to find one of the characters (usually female) whom was solid and good at combat, stick them on the team, then have it all be ruined by a new generation coming up with the character having vanished away. While they could be replaced with a golem/doll with the same stats, not only would this require an, admittedly relatively nominal, sum of gold to do so, it felt frustrating and awkward. The beings upon the battlefield, the ones tearing apart enemies, were not the ones with whom an individual's character was seeking to form a relationship with, making them feel like a play being performed in between battles as opposed to part of the same game, for example.

Another positive change is that the developers sat down and worked a bit more with the linking system. In the first game, while very potent, using the linking system to the fullest of its potential required a lot of planning and detail work to get everyone in the right spot, with some of the positions just being weird. This time around the positions were placed in a way that feels far more natural than before, making the linked attacks far easier to plan and perform.

However, there were some changes that were somewhat questionable, as well. In Agarest: Generations of War, the conversations happened on the go as the player moved across the overworld map. While this may have had some problems and/or issues, aside from a small series of questions near the end that could be used to try and nudge the relationships one way or the other, they did not feel as forced as the new addition. The overworld conversations still happen in Agarest: Generations of War Zero, but in addition, there are now 'vacation days' in which the player can enter a town with the rest of the cast and engage in a series of conversations with the various characters. While not a downgrade, and possibly even better as a mechanic for building the relationships between the girls, these days stick out like a sore thumb against the background of the world. Although not necessarily a 'bad' thing, further thought should be given as to how they're implemented if this mechanic returns, if only in the timing of when they happen, so that they don't stick out as… 'dating sim-y' as they did.

Screenshot for Agarest: Generations of War Zero on PC

Cubed3 Rating

7/10
Rated 7 out of 10

Very Good - Bronze Award

Rated 7 out of 10

Agarest: Generations of War Zero is, for all practical intents and purposes, the exact same game as Agarest: Generations of War. The game retails its distinct… flavour… and hasn't moved much from its roots. While the character names and story may be different, it is just another chapter in the story. Why the better verdict, then? The shorter length works heavily in the game's favour as it feels less drawn out, the improved linking system works better, and things are generally smoother on the whole. There's not too much separating them in the end, and the margins are minor, but Agarest: Generations of War Zero's small improvements edge it just above its predecessor.

Developer

Laughing Jackal

Publisher

Ghostlight

Genre

Strategy

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  7/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date Out now   

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