Freeola Internet Get Dotted Domains Blog Guides Chat
Menu

Viewing Thread:
'[GAME] The Last Story'

This thread has been linked to the game 'The Last Story'.
Sun 09/12/12 at 22:37:
Regular
Posts: 261
The Last Story is an RPG developed by Mistwalker, a company headed by Hironobu Sakaguchi who created the Final Fantasy series. It is little surprise then that the game’s name is a tongue-in-cheek reference to the highly popular series and also you can draw parallels between previous final fantasy games and the story of The Last Story.

Hironobu Sakaguchi once stated that his favourite Final Fantasy was Final Fantasy IX and this is the game that appears to have provided the strongest influence over the story.

The game is about a band of mercenaries that head to Lazulis Island as they struggle to get by on their unsteady income. For some reason this Island is healthy while other islands around the world are dying. The mercenaries wish to become Knights under Count Arganan for the steady pay and because the land is in peacetime it is a far safer job for them. Upon arrival to Lazulis City they hear the townspeople talking about an upcoming Royal Wedding between Lord Jirall and Lady Calista. The Island has the most powerful weapon in the world as a deterrent for war, the Lazulis Cannon. Eventually though the Island is threatened by a race called the Gurak who once lived in peace on Lazulis Island but was banished to a hostile volcanic island after the humans and Gurak fought each other over the scarce resources on the dying land.

Zael is the Protagonist of the Story and his wish to become a Knight stems from the desire to protect other people, as he felt powerless as his parents were killed in front of him during the war. As a kid he met Dagran who looked after him and convinced him to become a mercenary. Dagran is the leader of the group who negotiates the work contracts for the mercenaries. The other mercenaries are Syrenne, a foul-mouthed drunk who is caring but hates elitist noblemen; Lowell, a flirty ladies man who enjoys teasing Syrenne; Yurick, a silent and somewhat anti-social member of the group and Mirania, a mysterious and nature loving girl.

The best part about the characters is the rapport between Lowell and Syrenne which provides a fair few humorous comments when they are drinking in the Tavern and when during combat. The relationship between Zael and the Princess has some strong moments and Lord Jirall for a fair portion of the story is a character that is easy to hate, making the story more engaging.

However, it seems that some of the characters were an afterthought in terms of development. There is one event in the beginning which gives Yurick and Mirania some back-story and for Yurick completes their character arch and ultimately they play very small roles in the overall story. Although for a while I thought Jirall was one of the best videogame antagonists, he gets an interesting but, in my opinion, anticlimactic ending.

The combat system is unique in comparison to other RPGs that I’ve played. It plays out in real time and initially you can look around the battlefield for destructible bridges or pillars and order your team mates to take them out, which can give you the upper hand. By default you auto-attack automatically when you are in range of an enemy and moving, which you can change to manual if you wish. Zael has a “Gathering” ability which draws all enemy aggro onto himself which allows you to lure enemies to areas where you can gain the upper hand e.g. there are turtle-like creatures that cannot be killed in water, so you can use this skill to lure them onto land. This ability increases your allies casting speed, slows enemies and also resurrects fallen allies if you walk over them. Later on in the game, it will store damage you take from enemies and allow you to release it which also is capable of paralyzing the enemy, which is a crucial ability for one of the fights later in the game.

Not long into the game you unlock the ability to command what abilities your allies use. You only have a limited choice which is 2 standard abilities and 1 ultimate ability. Once you pick a standard ability the AI will only use that ability until you command them to change. This means that you may have to alternate between them to heal up and then change back to offensive magic.

Spells will have an initial burst of damage and an effect such as silence or slip, but they also leave behind spell circles. These circles will add bonus damage if you attack inside them, but Zael can also hold down the A button which pauses the game and brings up a targeting circle. If you put the targeting circle over the spell circle and press A then it will trigger a map wide status effect dependent on the magic type used. Later on in the game you can run up walls which will bring up a targeting circle to aerially attack enemies.

You can also take cover by pressing A near a wall or pillar. You can then press the nun-chuck stick toward the enemy and press A to do a powerful slash if they are close enough. If they are out of range you can hit them with a crossbow, which will cause them to approach you with a “?” above their head, causing bonus damage. A weird thing about this mechanic is that you will confuse the enemy if you decide to take cover while they are attacking you even if they can see you. You can dodge enemy attacks by pressing A while moving in a particular direction.

As you can see, the A button is used for cover, dodging and triggering spell circles. There was one fight where I found it pretty frustrating as I fought a boss in a fairly small room and I found myself taking cover against a wall when I wished to trigger a context sensitive A button prompt to kick a flaming brazier at it. Also during many fights I found myself wall running accidently and for the one boss where it is advantageous I couldn't pull it off.

Although the over-reliance on the A button and easily confused AI can take some of the fun out of combat, to Mistwalker’s credit they managed to create a variety of different strategies for each of the bosses, making them engaging e.g. a boss later in the game requires you to dispel barriers by casting magic which matches the colour of the barrier so you have to command the character that uses that particular magic to do so. The downside is that once a strategy is uncovered, then it is a case of repetition till the fight is over, but figuring it out in the first place is still fun.

For an RPG The Last Story is fairly linear and the city of Lazulis is the main hub throughout the game. The story has 44 chapters but there are optional chapters in the game. If you progress through a main story chapter, you won’t be able to do those optional chapters so it is fairly easy to skip portions of the story. There are a fair number of side quests to do in the city, but I didn't think they were particularly enjoyable. The worst part is that there isn't a quest log and you have to memorise the locations in the city. I skipped one chapter as I didn't know which of the six wells in the city I had to visit and I only realized I missed a major optional chapter of the story after reading about it.

There are many situations in the game where you are asked to make a major choice. However, due to the linear story the game never actually gives you to pick anything other than the one option that it wants you to. I always made alternate save files so that I could try all the options but you never get to make a real decision.

The story has some pretty good plot twists, but unfortunately the game drops not-so-subtle hints and ultimately I found them all to be too predictable. The game took me 25 hours to complete which includes the majority of the side quests and so it can be considered short for a typical RPG, but a good size for a typical game.

The Last Story has a multiplayer mode which allows for PVP and a co-op boss fight mode. The co-op mode can be fun if your team is willing to have a mixture of roles. The game allows you to pick a party without anyone having the ability to heal which means that you are likely to fail and waste time in trying. The number of bosses to fight is small, so once you figure out the strategy of each then this mode starts to lose replay-ability. The PvP mode is decent, but it has maps which cause balance issues, as some maps favour casters while others favour melee fighters.

In summary, The Last Story’s strengths come from the rapport between Syrenne and Lowell; the confrontations between Zael and Jarell; the enjoyable, if predictable, plot twists; and the interesting and varied boss fights. The story moves at a brisk pace and I was engaged for its 25 hour duration.

It suffers from a few one note underdeveloped characters; too many actions mapped to a single button; predictable plot twists; limited RPG customization; no quest logs and easily skip-able side quests.

Ultimately, if you enjoy RPGs and own a Wii then I can recommend The Last Story. If the twists hit harder I would have thought of The Last Story as a GOTY contender. Unlike Final Fantasy I feel that The Last Story isn't going to have any sequels but it shows that Sakaguchi still has what it takes to make a good RPG. Bring on The Terminal Tale…
There have been no replies to this thread yet.
Sun 09/12/12 at 22:37:
Regular
Posts: 261
The Last Story is an RPG developed by Mistwalker, a company headed by Hironobu Sakaguchi who created the Final Fantasy series. It is little surprise then that the game’s name is a tongue-in-cheek reference to the highly popular series and also you can draw parallels between previous final fantasy games and the story of The Last Story.

Hironobu Sakaguchi once stated that his favourite Final Fantasy was Final Fantasy IX and this is the game that appears to have provided the strongest influence over the story.

The game is about a band of mercenaries that head to Lazulis Island as they struggle to get by on their unsteady income. For some reason this Island is healthy while other islands around the world are dying. The mercenaries wish to become Knights under Count Arganan for the steady pay and because the land is in peacetime it is a far safer job for them. Upon arrival to Lazulis City they hear the townspeople talking about an upcoming Royal Wedding between Lord Jirall and Lady Calista. The Island has the most powerful weapon in the world as a deterrent for war, the Lazulis Cannon. Eventually though the Island is threatened by a race called the Gurak who once lived in peace on Lazulis Island but was banished to a hostile volcanic island after the humans and Gurak fought each other over the scarce resources on the dying land.

Zael is the Protagonist of the Story and his wish to become a Knight stems from the desire to protect other people, as he felt powerless as his parents were killed in front of him during the war. As a kid he met Dagran who looked after him and convinced him to become a mercenary. Dagran is the leader of the group who negotiates the work contracts for the mercenaries. The other mercenaries are Syrenne, a foul-mouthed drunk who is caring but hates elitist noblemen; Lowell, a flirty ladies man who enjoys teasing Syrenne; Yurick, a silent and somewhat anti-social member of the group and Mirania, a mysterious and nature loving girl.

The best part about the characters is the rapport between Lowell and Syrenne which provides a fair few humorous comments when they are drinking in the Tavern and when during combat. The relationship between Zael and the Princess has some strong moments and Lord Jirall for a fair portion of the story is a character that is easy to hate, making the story more engaging.

However, it seems that some of the characters were an afterthought in terms of development. There is one event in the beginning which gives Yurick and Mirania some back-story and for Yurick completes their character arch and ultimately they play very small roles in the overall story. Although for a while I thought Jirall was one of the best videogame antagonists, he gets an interesting but, in my opinion, anticlimactic ending.

The combat system is unique in comparison to other RPGs that I’ve played. It plays out in real time and initially you can look around the battlefield for destructible bridges or pillars and order your team mates to take them out, which can give you the upper hand. By default you auto-attack automatically when you are in range of an enemy and moving, which you can change to manual if you wish. Zael has a “Gathering” ability which draws all enemy aggro onto himself which allows you to lure enemies to areas where you can gain the upper hand e.g. there are turtle-like creatures that cannot be killed in water, so you can use this skill to lure them onto land. This ability increases your allies casting speed, slows enemies and also resurrects fallen allies if you walk over them. Later on in the game, it will store damage you take from enemies and allow you to release it which also is capable of paralyzing the enemy, which is a crucial ability for one of the fights later in the game.

Not long into the game you unlock the ability to command what abilities your allies use. You only have a limited choice which is 2 standard abilities and 1 ultimate ability. Once you pick a standard ability the AI will only use that ability until you command them to change. This means that you may have to alternate between them to heal up and then change back to offensive magic.

Spells will have an initial burst of damage and an effect such as silence or slip, but they also leave behind spell circles. These circles will add bonus damage if you attack inside them, but Zael can also hold down the A button which pauses the game and brings up a targeting circle. If you put the targeting circle over the spell circle and press A then it will trigger a map wide status effect dependent on the magic type used. Later on in the game you can run up walls which will bring up a targeting circle to aerially attack enemies.

You can also take cover by pressing A near a wall or pillar. You can then press the nun-chuck stick toward the enemy and press A to do a powerful slash if they are close enough. If they are out of range you can hit them with a crossbow, which will cause them to approach you with a “?” above their head, causing bonus damage. A weird thing about this mechanic is that you will confuse the enemy if you decide to take cover while they are attacking you even if they can see you. You can dodge enemy attacks by pressing A while moving in a particular direction.

As you can see, the A button is used for cover, dodging and triggering spell circles. There was one fight where I found it pretty frustrating as I fought a boss in a fairly small room and I found myself taking cover against a wall when I wished to trigger a context sensitive A button prompt to kick a flaming brazier at it. Also during many fights I found myself wall running accidently and for the one boss where it is advantageous I couldn't pull it off.

Although the over-reliance on the A button and easily confused AI can take some of the fun out of combat, to Mistwalker’s credit they managed to create a variety of different strategies for each of the bosses, making them engaging e.g. a boss later in the game requires you to dispel barriers by casting magic which matches the colour of the barrier so you have to command the character that uses that particular magic to do so. The downside is that once a strategy is uncovered, then it is a case of repetition till the fight is over, but figuring it out in the first place is still fun.

For an RPG The Last Story is fairly linear and the city of Lazulis is the main hub throughout the game. The story has 44 chapters but there are optional chapters in the game. If you progress through a main story chapter, you won’t be able to do those optional chapters so it is fairly easy to skip portions of the story. There are a fair number of side quests to do in the city, but I didn't think they were particularly enjoyable. The worst part is that there isn't a quest log and you have to memorise the locations in the city. I skipped one chapter as I didn't know which of the six wells in the city I had to visit and I only realized I missed a major optional chapter of the story after reading about it.

There are many situations in the game where you are asked to make a major choice. However, due to the linear story the game never actually gives you to pick anything other than the one option that it wants you to. I always made alternate save files so that I could try all the options but you never get to make a real decision.

The story has some pretty good plot twists, but unfortunately the game drops not-so-subtle hints and ultimately I found them all to be too predictable. The game took me 25 hours to complete which includes the majority of the side quests and so it can be considered short for a typical RPG, but a good size for a typical game.

The Last Story has a multiplayer mode which allows for PVP and a co-op boss fight mode. The co-op mode can be fun if your team is willing to have a mixture of roles. The game allows you to pick a party without anyone having the ability to heal which means that you are likely to fail and waste time in trying. The number of bosses to fight is small, so once you figure out the strategy of each then this mode starts to lose replay-ability. The PvP mode is decent, but it has maps which cause balance issues, as some maps favour casters while others favour melee fighters.

In summary, The Last Story’s strengths come from the rapport between Syrenne and Lowell; the confrontations between Zael and Jarell; the enjoyable, if predictable, plot twists; and the interesting and varied boss fights. The story moves at a brisk pace and I was engaged for its 25 hour duration.

It suffers from a few one note underdeveloped characters; too many actions mapped to a single button; predictable plot twists; limited RPG customization; no quest logs and easily skip-able side quests.

Ultimately, if you enjoy RPGs and own a Wii then I can recommend The Last Story. If the twists hit harder I would have thought of The Last Story as a GOTY contender. Unlike Final Fantasy I feel that The Last Story isn't going to have any sequels but it shows that Sakaguchi still has what it takes to make a good RPG. Bring on The Terminal Tale…

Freeola is a UK internet service provider offering the best value and extensive free services. Please compare our domain name registration prices or check out our UK high speed internet access. If you are in business please see examples of our free hosting at Freeola.com/customer-sites.

Safe and Secure Payment

Livechat - loading