Ambition Record Review thumbnail

Ambition Record Review

A retro-inspired 3D RPG

A.J. Maciejewski

Reviewed by playing an Xbox One on

Ambition Record is also available for Xbox Series X, PS5, PS4, and Nintendo Switch

Ambition Record is rated Teen by the ESRB

If you're fond of PS1-era RPGs then Ambition Record is here to bring you back to the good old days and it's quite charming to boot.

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Ambition Record screenshot 1
Sounds like a plan, Rafael!

Ambition Record has you play as Rafael who's an upstanding leader of mercenaries that nearly everyone in the kingdom respects. Right off the bat, I enjoyed playing as a renowned character for a change because many RPGs have you play as an everyman or some sort of nogoodnik-turned-good. Anyway, you're joined by a couple of youngsters named Amelia and Henry although the latter has the disposition of a much older fellow. There's also the skilled Alexia who excels at keeping the group on track although she can be impulsive at times which is always funny to watch. Meanwhile, the story involves trying to stop a rebellious Dragon King yet unexpected individuals' ambitions may get the best of them so there are some interesting twists. It's still a simple tale, though, and one that's definitely easy to follow. v1d30chumz 3-235-186-94

The presentation of Ambition Record makes it feel like an RPG that would have been right at home on the original PlayStation in about 1997 as it's fully rendered in 3D which is certainly nifty. I especially enjoyed the character models from the chibi-like humans to the enemy types that range from simple creatures to massive dragons. The soundtrack is very reminiscent of this era, too, with groovy dungeon tunes and energetic guitar-fueled battle themes. Overall, this indie RPG really sent me back in time and for that, I'm quite happy. 😄

Ambition Record screenshot 2
Slaying dragons is merely part of a mercenary's day job

Playing Ambition Record is intuitive with its self-explanatory battles and character customization elements. For starters, the battles have you choose from a selection of commands whenever it's a party member's turn so you can attack or use a variety of skills. There's also a system that lets you use Dragonstones which recharge over time and once it's adequately charged, you can unleash a powerful attack as well as transform into an enhanced dragon-like iteration of that character. Saving up this energy for a boss is always satisfying. 😊

The most rewarding aspect of customizing your party comes from crafting weapons and armour via synthesis and conversions. Whereas many similar games simply have you combine traits and level weapons up (which you can also do here), Ambition Record adds a layer of excitement to the formula as you can combine a couple pieces of equipment to forge something entirely different. As a result, I thoroughly enjoyed purchasing a ton of equipment from the shops then combining them to make some truly epic gear. ⚔️

Additionally, Ambition Record features character jobs although, to be frank, I didn't find them all that interesting and opted to just stick to characters' default jobs after a little experimenting. It's cool that you can alter everyone's capabilities but the job system isn't really involving or necessary. Similarly, the gameplay starts off very plain and can be a bit tedious at times but once you unlock the abilities to craft higher level gear and use Dragonstones, things become a lot more interesting. With that being said, the dungeons remain quite humdrum throughout from their uninspired designs to their repetitive layouts. There's plenty of hidden treasures to find but doing so is often more mundane than exciting. It's still an enjoyable game overall, though, that's sure to scratch your retro RPG itch.

Ambition Record screenshot 3
Haven't I already played through this dungeon?

Those who relish the simplicity of retro RPGs will love what Ambition Record has to offer, especially with its spot-on early 3D aesthetics. Sure, it could have done more to flesh out its gameplay systems and dungeons but what's here still makes for a good time.

  • + Simple yet satisfying old-school RPG gameplay that's reminiscent of the PS1 era
  • + Well-done character and enemy models
  • + Rewarding weapon upgrade system
  • - Dungeons are rather uninteresting
  • - Gameplay is kind of flat at the start
  • - Job system isn't all that involving
7.0 out of 10
Gameplay video for Ambition Record thumbnail
Watch A.J. play Ambition Record
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