Ambition Record is a JRPG that was developed by Exe Create and published by Kemco. It saw a mobile release in September 2019, before coming to consoles in February 2022.
When Balthazar absorbs the soul of the King Dragon, he gains immeasurable power. He then uses this power to start a war against the Kingdom Of Francis, to not only get rid of the royal family, but to also take what he thinks is rightfully his. Being the leader of the impressive Avenir Mercenaries, Rafael, you are chosen by the kingdom to do battle on the field, alongside the Royal Army and help stop the war from crushing the Kingdom and all who live in it.
Honestly the story moves so fast right at the beginning of the game, it was hard to get invested. Considering right off the bat you’re just thrust immediately into a war without any buildup to it or anything. It doesn’t help that you’re jumping from battlefield to battlefield immediately, one after the other. It’s not until about halfway through the game that it actually slows down a little, starts to expand on itself, and builds upon its character. At that point I started to get wholly invested in the story that it was trying to tell.
Between learning more about the backstory of the main characters, like Henry, or Rafael himself, or more about the side characters like Vilna, I started enjoying everyone. The only thing I really did not like is that when any character was faced with a sudden revelation that suddenly changes their outlook on a person or event in the story, they just immediately roll with it. There’s no pondering on it, or battling with themselves internally because this information is ground shattering, it’s just immediate. “We’ll help you if this one person lays down their life.” Without even thinking it over, it’s an immediate “Yea, of course. Whatever it takes!”.
The characters themselves were pretty funny. Especially Alexia, considering she’s literally horny 24/7 for Rafael. Any chance she gets to talk about him giving her children, she takes. So I had some good chuckles throughout the game, because what’s some dialogue without a dirty birdy all the time? The rest of the characters are sort of your run of the mill bunch. The leader who’s fearless, his best friend who lives in his shadow, and the random girl they pick up to help them fight against EVILLLLL! Not to say they’re not all great in their own right, but it’s also fun to break away from the stereotypical party.
The gameplay is a turn-based JRPG that unlike other Kemco games actually had me paying attention to what I needed to do in battle. I wasn’t able to just mash X and win the battles immediately, because if I tried, I’d end up at a game over screen. Later in the game I was able to use skills that usually immediately killed the enemies, but the downside to this is that they required a huge amount of MP, and my MP pools were honestly pretty small, even at the end of the game. I was always making sure I was stocked on MP restoring items more than anything else, or else I’d end up leaving myself screwed.
The game has a job system in it that helps you sort of flesh out your party of four. You can choose to be your standard classes. Warrior, Thief, Wizard, so on and so forth, but there’s also a chance to unlock new classes. Usually through completing side quests. Only problem is, I finished all but three side quests in the game and I only ended up getting one new class. I did find out that two classes are locked behind the RNG premium shop, which to get this currency, you had to get it from defeating enemies. Any time I’d save a good amount of currency to go into the shop, I’d back up my save to see if I could get something good. If I didn’t, I’d download my save and try again. Except here’s the thing, I don’t think the RNG shop is as RNG as it claims to be. So I’d get 11 rolls in this shop and get the same stuff over and over and over again, no matter how many times I tried again. It made no sense at all. It doesn’t help that some of the content in the game is literally locked behind the classes that you get in this shop! So good luck hoping to get them.
In battle the game had a weird system to it that would eventually let you do high amounts of damage to an enemy. This was usually saved for the boss fights, but not every boss fight had this. So when you use a skill, it would “target” a specific part of the enemy. It would either hit the body, leg, or arm. If you used a skill to hit the corresponding body part that was shown on the bar, the bar would decrease until the enemy went into a “break” phase. You would then use an ability called “Lune” abilities that were acquired by equipping Dragon Gemstones to your characters. So you’d use these super powerful skills and deal super high amounts of damage. The downside is that you would now lose 10 MP per turn. But if you ended up using a Lune ability, you’d have to rebreak the boss again, so there was never a reason to activate it for multiple characters all at once. It was a fun system, but it wasn’t used enough unfortunately. Even the final boss didn’t have this system. Just a stupid large health pool, especially the true ending boss. So there were some battles that just went on for far, far too long.
The one last thing I’ll briefly mention is the map system that this game has. The first one being that there is no open world to it. You get a map screen, and you select where you want/need to go next on your journey. So sometimes you’ll just jump from dungeon to dungeon, or from town to town, but it just lost that sense of immersion when I didn’t actually get to look around at anything. If you’re going to make a JRPG, give me a world to explore. Second is that when you walk around a dungeon, the minimap that shows on screen disappears. So as I’m trying to navigate these mazes, I’m finding myself stopping constantly just so I can see what’s around me, as opposed to it just being there, like it should be!
- Engaging Story When It Slows Down
- Interesting Break System
- Story Starts Too Fast
- Content Locked Behind Premium Store
- No Open World Map
This bite sized little adventure has me torn. When it slows down, it starts to finally build upon its world and becomes quite engaging. With a fun battle system that makes you pay attention and is exciting when you finally kill the bosses, even if it’s only because you’ve been fighting them for 20 minutes. But at the same time, there’s so much wrong with it, it feels like a general step backwards for Exe-Create. So I’m scoring this right in the middle just because it feels like the right thing to do. I still encourage you to play it, but just be prepared for what it has to offer.
Game & Developer Information
Developer Website: Exe-Create
Developer Socials: Twitter
Publisher Website: Kemco
Publisher Socials: Twitter
PSN Store Links: £11.99/€14.99 Europe / $14.99 North America
Trophy Information: 33. 1 / 5 / 7 / 20