Record of Agarest War Mariage - Opening Movie Trailer (STEAM)
Who it Caters to
2019 has ushered in a lot of new opportunities for gaming companies to take the initiative and create something impactful for the gaming audience. With technology and ideas continuing to evolve at a rapid pace, we only hope to see fresh new content created to stimulate our minds. While Record of Agarest War: Mariage is a direct port of its PSP counterpart, there’s still something fun about it in spite of its age. Yes, it’s not as impactful as it was when it made its debut on the classic handheld, but the Steam version does give it a little extra kick in the visual and performance department. Anyone who fancies strategic RPGs will find their fulfillment in this game because there’s an abundance of things to discover, lots of enemies to defeat, and plenty of hours you can invest into a fun experience.
What to Expect
Record of Agarest War: Mariage comes with the typical RPG nuts and bolts that you’d expect, plus plenty more. There are two generations and two protagonists that you’ll have a chance to experience, with main character Rain carrying the torch for the most part. Once you’ve managed to complete the first generation, you’ll be able experience the second generation with either Larc or Ciela. The second generation characters will also receive all of the buffs that Rain originally had, along with the chosen maiden across all roles. While there’s a limit for this, it still gives players the opportunity to take advantage of the buffs and experience a much more rewarding gameplay outcome in the second portion of the game. With special features such as Link Attacks, the Unification System, and taking advantage of Sacred Art Skills, Record of Agarest War: Mariage is sure to provide a lot of strategically action-packed fun.
We’ll have to be quite honest here and say that visually speaking, a lot could’ve been done to really improve in this area. It’s very apparent that the game is a direct port of the PSP version, as character models reflect that of the time, along with overall movement in the game. While everything is quite colorful and the Steam version does in fact provide a more defined experience, it’s nothing quite new and as such, takes away from the experience at times. Yes, the game does run faster than its PSP counterpart due to the PC specs, it just saddens us that nothing really substantial has changed and feels a little lazy in our eyes. Perhaps if the game was rebuilt from the ground up to serve the current climate of the gaming world then things would be better, but this is one flawed area we have to point out.
On the plus side, Record of Agarest War: Mariage does come with great voicing, which helps to bring the story and characters to life, especially during cutscenes where a lot of interaction tends to take place. The music also does benefit the game in a lot of ways, which makes impactful moments in battle feel meaningful and rewarding. It’s by no means a perfect concoction but it most certainly helps to give life to the gameplay when you’re grinding through hordes of enemies. Another merit is that in the Steam version, you now have the ability to choose your preferred language, which in the PSP version wasn’t included. This allows for players to create a more immersive experience with the language that suits them best.
As with any RPG title, the main goal is to grind as much as possible to ensure that future battles aren’t as strenuous as they are in the beginning. In Record of Agarest War: Mariage, that same principle still exists but with cool features that help to instill a strong feeling of reward, if players learn to take advantage of the system. One example is the powerful Sacred Skill Arts that players are able to take advantage of in battle, due to their very strong comeback mechanics and ability to shift the tide immediately. Learning how to effectively master your Sacred Arts are what will help carry you to success a lot faster than simply grinding the same area for long periods of time. Leveling up your characters to the appropriate level is of course of great importance, but knowing your roles, carefully managing your skill trees and properly implementing the right enhancements will make those grinds much less taxing, and more satisfying.
Skill trees allow you to enhance your character to become a formidable opponent to enemies, and so learning how to properly manage your materials to upgrade nodes is essential. As we said before, grinding will always be a part of the RPG experience but skill trees play such an integral role in this game that your focus should be planted there. Another cool feature that creates more robust gameplay is the Unification System, which to put simply is you having the option to choose a maiden to elope with. Once you fall in love with said maiden you gain perks which help you during battles, such as allowing you to use Sacred Arts more frequently in high stake scenarios. Making sure to take advantage of every area in the game is what will make your experience that much more satisfying, especially towards the end game.
Honey's Gameplay Consensus:
In the end, while the gameplay certainly hasn’t changed in any significant way, Record of Agarest War: Mariage still lacks in the visual department. Playing a direct PSP port with visual enhancements just didn’t seem to impress us too much, and we honestly would’ve loved to see some added features that make the game feel truly different. As mentioned in the early portion of the review, 2019 is the year in which companies should take initiative to create something fresh for fans around the world, and so we hope that future titles from Idea Factory will serve that purpose splendidly.
The same experience that you received in the original PSP version.
Gameplay is full of surprises and rewards you for taking advantage of the system.
Great characters and overall solid story.
A lot of hours can be invested in the game.
You’re pretty much playing a more visually enhanced PSP game which isn’t very impressive to say the least.
Honey's Final Verdict:
Every game will always have its flaws and Record of Agarest War: Mariage falls into that category. In spite of those flaws the gameplay still provided us with a fun and rewarding experience, with a cast of characters that are entertaining. We look forward to more exciting titles from Idea Factory this year and for many years to come, and we hope you enjoyed this review as well. Be sure to hit us up on social media and show your support! We’ll always do our best to send that love back!
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Author: Rob "NualphaJPN" B.
A passionate fan of gaming, writing, journalism, anime, and philosophy. I've lived in Japan for many years and consider this place to be my permanent home. I love to travel around Japan and learn about the history and culture! Leave a comment if you enjoy my articles and watch me play on twitch.tv/honeysgaming ! Take care!