Release Date: Aug. 17, 2012
While researching the various fan petitions that were circulating over the internet I ran across Operation Rainfall, a petition to Nintendo of America to import three role-playing games that had been created for the Nintendo Wii. Those games were “Xenoblade Chronicles”, “Pandora’s Tower” and “The Last Story”. The last of which we are taking a look at today.
My interest was piqued when I discovered that this game was produced by Mistwalker, the video game company that was founded by Hironobu Sakaguchi, the creator of “Final Fantasy”. Having played one of the company’s previous outings, “Lost Odyssey”, I had some mixed feelings coming into this game.
The story of the game follows Zael, a young member of a mercenary group that is determined to become a knight. After a successful job, Zael encounters a mysterious young woman while wandering around town. It turns out that this woman is the daughter of the Count that hired him in the first place.
From what I’ve played so far the story follows several JRPG clichés. However, what makes the experience enjoyable is the likable cast of characters that comprise your first party. The story, from a visual storytelling standpoint, starts out slow but it does so in order for the player to get acclimated to the controls.
The battle system in this game is definitely a unique system. It takes the fast-paced action of most action RPGs and combines with strategic elements lifted from more real-time oriented RPGs such as “Final Fantasy XII”. One of the key elements is the use of your surroundings to turn the tide of battle, as a great deal of combat relies on stealth and manipulating the position of enemies such as luring them away from spellcasters or areas you’re trying to protect.
Outside of combat the game plays like a fairly traditional RPG. However, there are the occasional challenges to break up the flow, such as scanning areas and towns for treasure and some story-based minigames.
Another key draw to the game is the ability to customize the appearance of the characters you control. Not only does the equipment you give them change their appearance but you can also change the color of the armor based on what kinds of dyes you have available. This is great for people who like that extra degree of customization.
In the case of online play there are two primary modes, Deathmatch and Co-op. In the online mode it uses the characters from a game file, meaning whatever equipment or levels they have in the game are the same as seen in the online mode. While in Deathmatch, a lower-leveled player may be able to outsmart a stronger player. In Co-op, having a full party is key, as the bosses you fight in Co-op are incredibly difficult to beat.
Overall, this is a great game and definitely one of the more accessible role-playing games on the market. If you’re a JRPG fan, or even a fan of western RPGs, you’ll enjoy this game. It may have its clichés but it still makes for an enjoyable adventure. On my personal scale, I give “The Last Story” a 4/5.