Honestly, an English dub might do Agarest some good. Some of the voices are absolutely horrendous. Noah and Thoma come to mind immediately, young Ellis, Valeria, and Hidegard would benefit from it as well.
After playing the game more, I have to say that movie probably showcases the worst character's voice. Nanaca is just annoying. The males are decent all around; JYB did a different voice than his usual two or three instantly-recognizable tones and it took me a bit to recognize him because he was so wispy and breathy. Harry, Kieth, and Juris are all good in spite of a few script issues. Wendee Lee as Regina bothers me a bit, but she's not horrible, just that she's overused and suffers a few lines from the script - the same can be said of Michelle Ruff as Marion. Julie Anne Taylor is fine, much better than the Japanese actress in my humble opinion, as Linca except for the fact that I recently played BlazBlue and can't think of her as anyone but Tsubaki. Ayesha feels miscast.
Overall I'd give the voice acting a "decent" rating rather than the initial impression of "bad" or "horrible."
More on the subject of the game itself, I'll be blunt: After 10 hours of playing I'm convinced this is the best Atelier since Violet.
For those who dislike how open and non-goal oriented the games are, this one is definitely more strongly story-based and you always have a clear goal. when you don't, you just wait a few days or synth an item and it'll give you some hints on where to go next. The time limit is exceedingly
lax to the point where it's pretty much pointless beyond dates for yearly competitions and monthly events. For example, delivery quests say they have a time limit, but in truth it's something like 2 years. I considered Totori and Meruru lax, but this is even moreso.
In contrast to many of the games in the series, Ayesha is world-centered
rather than character centered. I mentioned the atmosphere before, and it remains consistently impressive. GUST has spent a lot of time building up the lore. It's not near Ar tonelico on the lore scale, few games are, but it's still engaging and I enjoyed seeing the locales and learning the mysteries. Unfortunately, because of this, I'd say it's the characters who suffered overall, but to be quite honest, that's been happening since Iris 2 where the games have become less character-centric overall.
And, on the music side of things, I was shocked to hear some Ar tonelico-esque songs. For example, this is a dungeon theme:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IkU1pUEVQ70