To me, this game is awfully bad. The only point that I find quite interesting is the art, and it is the one that decided me to buy the game.
So basically, Agarest Zero takes some element of the classic turn-based RPG and some other of the average heroic fantasy Visual Novel in order to offer its content ; in the same way as Kamidori Alchemy Meister for instance. (Alas, Agarest is well worse than this one…)
At the moment, I didn't play much but for what I have played… not once have I had fun.
So, firstly, the RPG aspect of the game :
— The turn-based gameplay is interesting with it's mechanics but most of the strategic part of the game is left behind by the fact that the fights are heavily gear-reliant.
— The battles are repetitive ; if the few first one can make you think about some strategies, you quickly make one or two that will work in most occasions. In the end, the lack of diversity and the massive amount of “long” battles transforms the battle in some sort of torture sessions.
— The character creation is too confusing. Firstly, you have to choose between three classes (warrior, battle mage, sorcerer) which is quite understandable even if nothing tells you what these classes are really about. Next… you have to choose five cards that will determine the weapon you'll use and your stats growth. So… for the weapons, you have two icons on each card so you can more or less guess what weapon you will be given. Now for the stats… NOTHING actually tells you what these cards does. In other words, if running countless tries to get the char you want is your thing… this game is for you. Otherwise… well… Good luck.
Secondly, the VN aspect :
— The story is quite common for what I have seen. Basically, it's just a way to put the game in context but chances are you won't find it more than just average. It's not bad but we have seen way much elaborated stories in the RPG genre.
— As I said earlier, the art is well drawn. Backgrounds are well detailed and the fact that characters are not fixed during dialogs makes the game in itsel a bit more living.
— The one thing that I hated: the affection system. It… follows absolutely no logical rule. For example, I made some choice with a character, that got me +1 in affection with this one BUT on the other hand, I got -1 with another one that was not even here and that had nothing to do with this choice. It's as if it were totally random…
I'll probably update this review later if I progress in the game but for now, if you are seeking a JRPG/VN game, I could only recommand you to search elsewhere.