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The Last Story Review

A lot of people were under the impression that when Sakguchi left Square-Enix, their beloved Final Fantasy franchise would come to a crashing end. While that isn’t the case, the series has taken a bit of nosedive after Final Fantasy X. However despite his departure, Sakguchi held onto the sacred power of giving us amazing titles and even though he isn’t with Square-Enix anymore, he still continues to deliver astounding and captivating games and The Last Story is one of them! The game was developed via collaboration by Mistwalker Studios and AQ Interactive. It was originally released in Japan on January 27, 2011, then released exclusively in Europe on February 24th of this year for the Nintendo Wii. However, due to the massive fan-base aptly called “Operation Rainfall”, the awesome people at XSEED Games localized the game and released it August 14th, 2012.

The game takes place on Lazulis Island, governed by Count Arganan and located at the entrance of a harbor serving as the only entrance to a mountainous continent. The player controls a group of mercenaries that have come from the desolate continent to the island seeking work. The main hero of the game is named Zael, a young man who longs to be a knight, but currently rolls with a ragtag group of mercenaries in order to make ends meet. I guess even in video games the job market sucks, amirite!? Lol! Anyway, the other characters each have there own uses and abilities whether it be melee or magic. Of course each character’s skill set is different(i.e. Ice magic, Healing magic, etc.),so you really need to think before adding members to party at random. Character development is very rampant, which is a rarity in games nowadays. All things considered, you will thoroughly enjoy the dialogue between characters and even NPCs!

The battle system is very unique this time around. The game includes abilities such as “Gathering”, which allows Zael to draw the attention of enemies to buy time for his allies to cast spells. Another ability called “Focus” allows you to make long range attacks and see the weaknesses of enemies. Pointers show which allies are being targeted at any given time.

The game also features a “cover system” and over-the-shoulder viewpoint, while making use of rapid fire crossbows in a manner similar to third-person shooters. In addition, the game also features real-time strategy elements, allowing the player to issue commands to other characters in real-time. This includes directing allies, telling magic users to destroy bridges, or archers to attack specific enemies, for example. The game also features stealth elements, such as the abilities to “hide behind cover and pepper unsuspecting guards with arrows, luring them out on their own for a stealth attack, or pick off dangerous mages and healers from a distance”. So in a sense, it’s an interesting system. While it may sound complex, it really isn’t and it’ll take you all but 2 or 3 battles to get used to it all.

The game also contains 6-player cooperative and competitive online modes, where users either team up to face monsters or battle each other. The game also features online multiplayer modes such as Suppression, where players team up to take on a boss for special rewards, and Fray, a player-versus-player battle royale deathmatch or team deathmatch mode which allows up to six players to fight each other using the character of their choice and even enemy monsters. I find this funny as you can’t even play an online match on Super Smash Brothers: Brawl but you can easily play against people in Mario Kart Wii or team up with people on Monster Hunter Tri. What is this I don’t even…

Overall, the game is great. Then again, I expect no less from the man who gave us Final Fantasy…well, the good ones anyway. If you’re curious about the music, the great Nobuo Uematsu composed the soundtrack to this game and released a a 3-disc OST through his label, Dog Ear Records, and is available for purchase from various outlets. The game blends action, strategy and character development on par with some of the greatest RPGs. If you are looking for a game to redeem the slowly dying Nintendo Wii console, then this is the one for you.

9.5 out of 10

Until next episode…

1 Comment

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  1. Jason Burns says
    August 21, 2012, 3:38 PM

    There are few games that make me wish I had a Wii. This is one of them.


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