Wow I seem to be in a start up a bunch of different games mood this week. I picked up Nier and Record of Agarest War this week. Sadly, I did this right around the time my XBox live gold account renewed, and didn't realize it, which left me pretty much broke for another week. At least I actually went grocery shopping so I'll live, but its a boring end to a vacation. Anyway, games.
Nier is cool so far. I mean, I'm not that far in. Went to another town where the people didn't like me. Fought a giant thing. That's about it. Pretty enjoyable though. Fighting is fun, and I like that the main character doesn't waste any time getting anywhere. I really like the music so far too.
As for Record of Agarest war... I'm not sure. Its a fun enough game, but I'm not sure I can feel the story or not. I mean, I'm not normally the sort to let how I really feel about life influence whether or not I enjoy a game, but this one is pushing that way. See, the main character is about to die when this lady shows up and says she can save his life, but only so long as he agrees to become a spirit vessle and help restore the seals on the old gods (this is a good thing to do, according to the game). Okay, that's all well and good, but he also has to promise not only his soul, but the souls of his decendants. That's a bit much. He agrees so that he can keep his promise to protect this young elf girl he was protecting, but still, that's a bit much. Anyway, the game takes place over five generations, and each one has to sacrifice themself to become part of a seal. During each there are three women you could potentially marry. Certain decisions you make will affect how each one feels abou you. You decendant for the next generation will be affected by which choice you make in that their combat style will be similar to the mother's, and the higher the mother's affection for you, the stronger the base stats. From what I've read, though, you pretty much fight to destroy the dark influence (its a war between light and dark), marry which ever girl you want, and then go off to become the new seal or what have you. I'm not there yet, but as I understand it other characters agree to raise your child for you.
So here's what you get. You've decided for yourself and the next four generations of decendants that they're going to give up their soul to become a seal. You do what you can to try and get a woman to fall in love with you just long enough so you can make sure she can carry on your line, and then you sacrifice yourself. I don't know if you wait until the child is born and she comes with you, or if you just do the deed and go off. Either way sounds like a sore deal. And what about your son or grandson? Maybe they like their soul. Maybe they want to keep it. Well, too bad. You've made that decision for them. I don't know, that kind of thing just doesn't sit well with me. Sure, the world will be destroyed if you don't do this, but it just seems like a heavy handed way to go about things. Also, the girls are described as being chosen by Dyshana (the lady who saves your life and starts you on this whole deal). So you have to choose from a short list put together for you by someone else. Maybe I'd have to describe way too much of my own psyche to really explain why this bothers me. In short, I'm huge proponent of free will, and I don't believe in destiny, and here you have decisions being made for people and the so called destiny of your children and their children decided for them without them even having a say. I just don't like it.
Okay, so it's not something that should stop me from playing a game. I'm not a raging, violent psychopath, but I sure enjoys me some God of War. And of course the concept of fulfilling a destiny isn't exactly a new thing in games. I guess to me its just one thing to sacrifice yourself, and another thing to make that decision for someone else. Of course, I'm taking this too seriously. The battle system is fun. A lot of stuff was carried of from Cross Edge as far as item creation goes, and there's a neat system that combines certain moves in battle to create unique combo moves, which can either be performed by one character or a group. The battle system is pretty much a tactical RPG, but relatively simple. Still, these fights can make grinding tedious, and I feel like I'm gonna have to put in the grind. Don't get me wrong, it's a fun game and I don't mind relationship stuff in video games. I guess it's just kind of depressing. Well, I'll give it some more time. I at least want to finish the first generation and see how it all plays out. And I mean if the characters don't mind sacrificing themselves then I shouldn't really be worrying about it.
Of course, I wish they would give you game over dialogue options. Just letting me have Leonhardt say no to Dyshana and die and seeing a little cutscene about the world being doomed would make me feel better. Or saying that I don't want to marry any of these three girls, just to make problems, and once again having the world end. I mean, of couse you'd have to make the decisions the game wants you to make in order to defeat it, but man at least let me click yes or no so I feel like I have some say over what's going on.
Or maybe I just want to be stubborn.