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Battles Take Place In A Strategy Mode Not Unlike
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The plot is not entirely novel: the gods of Agarest are at war, between the light and dark sides. Sieghardt is a captain for the forces of light whose goal is to end the war so people can live in peace. His life is saved by a mysterious girl, who transfers her power to him in the process, and their fates become tied together. The story reaches a point where Sieghardt is unable to continue and the burden falls onto his son Leonis. Leonis’ appearance, weapon of choice and stats will vary, depending upon which girl his father marries, the choices you make throughout the game, and what stats you chose for Sieghardt at the start. In a way, when you create Sieghardt, you’re also starting to shape Leonis, so forethought is an asset from the get-go.
The actual gameplay consists of three components: exploration, battle and events. Exploration takes place on the world map where you can save your game, customise your characters (e.g. stats, weapons, skills and accessories), change formation and which units are in battle (up to 6 characters). Remember to drop into towns, as they have shops, the occasional event, and sometimes ‘vacation days’. Vacation days are exactly how they sound: a break from travelling and war for you and your battle-weary character. Points you receive from certain story events determine how many conversations you can have in a vacation day. You then pick areas from a list to explore with the hope that there is someone of importance to talk to. These vacation days aren’t necessary for story-line and are only there for fun, but are nice little breaks that often bring a laugh or two.
Battles take place in a strategy mode not unlike Final Fantasy Tactics, where your characters fight on a grid whose size and shape are determined by starting formation (unless the story calls for a fixed grid). Events progress the story, unlock new areas or pictures for your gallery, change the affection of the women, or just give you a good laugh. All three aspects seem to be balanced so as not to get monotonous, though I did find one point of the game to be extremely battle heavy.Battling is slightly complex, and as with most of these games there is a learning curve. Each turn is set into two phases: movement, where you move your characters into different positions and have them face a direction; and action, where you use abilities on enemies within range. At the start of each turn, all characters gain AP (action points) which allows you to move and use items or abilities.
Each Skill has its own AP count, as well as skill type like basic, fire, thunder, power, etc. Enemies can absorb certain skill types, yet there is no way of knowing who absorbs what, which I find terribly annoying as it broke my strategy more than once. Strangely, there is no simple attack option, as each skill is either an attack, a magic, or a heal/buff that has its own range that the enemy must be in for it to be used (unless you’re in an fifa 14 coins Extended Area). Each character has a formation around them called an Extended Area, and if an ally is within this area you can attack a target regardless of attack or weapon range; it also allows you to string large combos between characters and enables you to combine certain abilities into larger more powerful ones. There are also your willpowers, which are character-unique buffs which remain active at all times (such as not taking magic damage when under 25% HP).
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