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Last Story - Personal Review

Onilink89

Nyanko Sensei
Joined
Oct 18, 2007
Location
The Netherlands
For all those Americans over there who is looking forward to Last Story, I’m going to give you guys a little personal review about Last Story. I know that there isnt a release date for US…yet. But seeing that Nintendo is finally releasing Xenoblade in US, I get the feeling Last Story is sure to follow. Or read this is you are just curious about the game.

As most of you guys know, Xenoblade, Last Story and Pandora’s tower are the three most anticipated JRPG on the Wii. Xenoblade delivered enough satisfaction, so lets see if Last Story also did a good job. I’m going to compare some things with Xenoblade.


Last Story focuses more on the storyline and you play the game in Chapters. Between most Chapters, there is some free roam in this huge castle city filled with NCP. There are some small sidequests, but its not much compared to the huge amount of sidequests of Xenoblade. It isn't a bad thing, but for a JPRG the main story of Last Story is quite short.

The visual style and the music of the game is great. The game forces you to set the Wii screen settings on 60Hz. It is pushing the Wii to the limit, so much that the game sometimes lags when there is too much action involved while the Wii is scratching away like a DJ.

The gameplay of the Last Story has some unexpected elements involved. You can hide/sneak and surprise attack your enemies. You can diffuse magic of your allies to get certain effects. At a certain point in the game, you can give commands to your allies. That’s the only strategic elements in the game.
To be honest, I’m disappointed about the gameplay. They tried to” mix turn based with real time” like Xenoblade but failed big time. For starters, like 80% of a battle is about “Auto Attacks”, which is simply executed by walking towards the enemy. There are some skills that you learn by leveling up, but it does not drastically changes the gameplay. Even the animations of skills/characters are the same. Like Casting Magic or performing an Spirit Attack and even Auto Attacks have the same animation. It just feels too repetitive.
Another disappointing factor about the game is, that you only control the main character. There are some scenes in the game that you control your allies for very short while. Implying that it was possible that the developers could have given the possibility to control other characters as well, like in Xenoblade. The only time you control them is with commands, which has no variation at all. The huge flaw in commands is, that its unpredictable who performs the attack first. Meaning that you can’t combo the attacks like you wanted. Basiclly, your allies execute the attacks after you given commands to all of them. In Xenoblade, there is a similar mechanic called "chain attack", but it works way better. In Xenoblade, you give a command to execute a certain attack and the ally executes it immediately and then the next ally kicks repeating the same thing. As an result, you can chain and combo for what you are aiming for.

In this game there is also a Wifi feature. Its not something big but it does add a little bit of replay value. There are two modes; deathmatch and co-op. With deathmatch you battle against each other with a maximum of 6 people. You can either choose a free-for-all or team battle. In this mode, all of your characters are reflected by appearance only. The levels and stats are equalized and even the attributes of weapons are removed to keep the match fair. In this mode you can play with every character from your team (implying again that it was possible that the developers could have given the possibility to control other). You can also choose some enemies and NCP in this mode. With co-op, you basicly batlle against some bosses with a max of 6 people. Levels are equalized but you maintain your stats/attributes from your weapons and armor. You can also choose every character from your team in this mode. As a reward, you unlock some weapons, materials and visual special effects that is only obtainable with these wifi features.

Positive points
The game is lip synced to match the British voiceovers
The British voiceovers does match with the medieval fantasy themed game.
There is a lot of weapons to collect.
All weapons and armor are upgradable.
By upgrading armor, more accessories/armor parts are unlocked (which is removable)
You can re-color the armor
By upgrading weapons, some attributes change.
By upgrading weapons, the color changes and most of them gain a visual special effect.
You can transfer all weapons/armors/money/materials to your second playtrough.
Some enemies and all bosses are stronger in your second playtrough.
You can play this game with the classic controller

Negative points
There is no option to switch to Japanese voices
Armor is divided only into two parts (armor and greaves)
There is no huge amount of armor to collect compared to weapons.
Huge quality difference between cinematic and normal cutscenes.
You cannot skip normal cutscenes, instead you have to press and hold the button to fast-forward the scene.
Cannot create back-up data to SD card, because it has a wifi feature.

My verdict about this game. The game is not bad and it is worth to buy it, but it did not pull off a good job like Xenoblade. I expected more from Mistwalker, simply because its the creator of Final Fantasy. Its just feels that there went a lot more effort to visual and music while the gameplay felt a little bit neglected.
 
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Actually, at last month's Nintendo Direct, summer U.S. release date was confirmed for The Last Story.

All of these Operation Rainfall RPGs seem to be pushing the Wii to its limits and are definitely a nice refresher not only for the dying Wii but the JRPG genre in general. This isn't a genre I'm into but I will definitely check this title out if only for greedy and selfish collectible's sake. The gameplay sounds poor to me, however, it's been awhile since I've dug myself into a deeper story (although as I understand a simple one and not nearly as complex and varied as that of Xenoblade Chronicles). Overall, there is nothing that vaguely interests me following Kid Icarus: Uprising until maybe 1 or 2 summer releases as well as a slew of excellent fall titles and this should get me past my boredom.

Also, maybe not good to ask the person who declared it as his GOTY last year but is Xenoblade Chronicles truly the gem it's claimed to be ad a jumpstart revival for Japanese role playing games in general?

I appreciate this thread, Oni. :)
 

Onilink89

Nyanko Sensei
Joined
Oct 18, 2007
Location
The Netherlands
Also, maybe not good to ask the person who declared it as his GOTY last year but is Xenoblade Chronicles truly the gem it's claimed to be ad a jumpstart revival for Japanese role playing games in general?
If i would make my own review about Xenoblade, it would be very very VERY long review how good this game is.
To keep it short, its like Chrono trigger but with real time elements. The real time and turn based elements are balanced out, which is good. The game may look complex, but you won't be overwhelemed by everything. As you progress you learn something new step by step, changing the feel of the gameplay. Not only are the battles rewarded with EXP and SP but also the sidequest, achievements and the exploration are rewarded with EXP,SP and sometimes weapons, armor and gems. This way, you do not have to grind for EXP and money all the time. This way it feels more satisfying and most importantly FUN!. I have played this game for over 500 hours, it just proves how much replay value it has and how much i enjoyed the game.
 
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