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North America Details

Publisher: XSEED Games
Release Date: August 14, 2012
Genre: Role-Playing
Players: Single Player, Up to 6 players
ESRB: Teen


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Game Review


Shulk
Nov 07 2012 01:55 PM
First hearing about this game back in March of 2010, I spent the next two plus years waiting in anticipation for what I expected to be an aesthetically pleasing gaming experience.  Was the wait worth it? Well given the untimely release following what could very well be the game of the year, Xenoblade Chronicles, has labeled this game misleadingly as disappointing. However, I can assure you this is not the case. You must come at the game with an open mind and not expect an awe inspiring breakthrough in RPG gaming. Let us face the facts, when it comes to this genre it is quite hard to come up with something that is completely inspirational, innovative and unique.  With that said, as an advent gamer of the genre I was most definitely satisfied.

Last Story takes you on a typical adventure of a hero aspiring to be more. Jumping right into the game as you make your way through the underbelly of the island to barely escape with your head, you end up in the focal point of the story, Lazulis Island. Granted, the story is not one that will capture your soul. Yet we do have a nice charming ragtag team of characters headed by your main character Zeal. I have to say that the protagonist in this game is very amusing. Being voiced by the same actor as Avis from Xenoblade, this over reacting foe will crack you up. However, he is not the main threat, an overarching evil threatens your peaceful homeland and it is up to your mercenary team to show they are worthy of being knights.

While the story and character development may be lacking, this is all made up for in the games battle system.  Just picture yourself backflipping over your foe as you spin to slash him in the back. After that you make a quick dash for cover while your enemy looks around wondering where you had run off to. Spotting your target you then dash forward gliding over some fallen debris and striking your prey right in the heart.  Precision controls with epic animations give way to a realistic real time battle system. Implementing strategy into an action RPG, this system gives you a challenge in that it is not your typical button mashing game. If you do not plan your attacks, you are doomed to fail.

If one was to look at all the different aspects of the battle system before playing the game, it would seem overwhelming, however the nice simple tutorials that display when you learn a new skill are keenly implemented. They do not feel obtrusive nor are they long and drawn out. In fact I really appreciated that this game lets you get right to the story and game play without two hours of instruction.   The main aspects that make this system amazing is that it feels realistic and everything flows well. The downside is that through nearly the entire game you only have control of the main character. It would have been nice to allow players to choose which character they wanted to use in battle and to switch through them.

Now this game is pretty linear but there are a few side quests throughout that allows you to get acclimated with your surroundings. One of the features is the ability to change the color of your parties clothing, or as a special fun side quest make a dye to turn your clothing invisible. I have to admit, I did spend a good portion of the later game running around in my underwear just for kicks.

Breaking genre convention with not only the games structure but its mechanics as well, Last Story has a brisk pace adding chapter breaks for a more cinematic feel. This assists in keeping the player engaged and interested in the story along with the characters. Though you can rush through the game and finish in about 16 hours, there is more than just getting to the end and taking down the final boss. As a climax you actually have a relaxing epilogue to play through with a few added quests and even some co-op boss battling for online play.

As far as graphics and music goes, both were well implemented giving this game a look and feel that is naturally fitting for the characters and story. Looking at the game as an entire package, what would seem to be bleak dark shades of grey, actually set an undertone for the setting. Chatter in the streets, birds chirping, people living their carefree lives really makes you wonder about how much we miss out on as we see people go about their everyday lives.  Not only that, but the large scale design of the town is just perfectly done. Normally when buildings are so close together you don’t get to go and explore the finer details, however, in this game you can. Areas you think that are unreachable you might find a way there by doing a quest.

There is a lot more I could say about this game, but really instead of reading about it you should be playing it. I really hope that this isn’t the “Last Story” because I would love to see more with this style. Unlike how every Final Fantasy game changes the battle system, I would hope that perhaps we could start to have a system that carries through to more games. Granted, nothing is ever perfect and we always want to change so we can progress, but when something works the idea is to improve on it not scrap it completely. With that said, this game scores a solid 8 in my book.

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6 Comments

Thanks for the solid review. This is the first review I have read for this game and now I look forward to trying it out.

I recently ordered three copies of this game. Nintendo Nerds will be giving away two copies to its members and fans, and I will keep one copy for myself.
Thanks Kevin, it's an amazing game and that's pretty sweet for the community to do. I need to work on writing reviews for the other games I've played and beat this year. I use to enjoy writing reviews a lot, but when people don't comment or say anything about the writing it gets discouraging and has made me stop for the last couple years.
Nice review. You pretty much said what I think of this game.
I love the online multiplayer part of this game.
I also like how even after you beat the story there is still stuff to do.
Great RPG in my opinion.
I totally plan to play the online part once my friend gets finished with the game.
The review didn't make mention of the multiplayer functionality. How exactly does that aspect of the game work?

Kevin, on 09 November 2012 - 05:35 PM, said:

The review didn't make mention of the multiplayer functionality. How exactly does that aspect of the game work?

I had not had the chance to play yet. As I only have 5 friends on my Wii and only one has the game and he has yet to play it.