Saturday, 17 July 2010

Why Didn't I Pay Any Attention to This Before? - The Last Story

I'll be honest, I may love RPGs but the I'm not that big into the Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest, big RPG publisher Square-Enix's two largest franchises. I'm more into the experimental stuff like The World Ends With You and Disgaea. Of course, these games are all big on handhelds as turn-based RPGs, RTS' and Strategy games. The vast majority of modern home console RPGs are out on the Xbox360 and Playstation 3, but are scarce on Wii; In fact, the only role-player on Nintendo's console I can think of straight away is Tales of Symphonia 2, and that's practically impossible to find in shops. This is why I've suddenly gotten hyped-up about The Last Story.

The truth is, I didn't really pay much attention to The Last Story, a new RPG from the original creator of Final Fantasy, Yuji Naka, when it was first revealed however long ago. While I said before I'm not that big into the Final Fantasy series, this new game looks like it will devour my time. When The Last Story was first revealed along with some concept art, I checked out the art that and thought, yeah, this looks pretty neat but it'll just be yet another turn-based game or whatever system they come up to hide that fact. I wouldn't get too excited even if it did end up great. At least that's what I thought back then. How wrong I was. As it turns out, The Last Story is a real-time action RPG, with many extra elements.

It was the first trailer for The Last Story that got me pumped about it. Why? I'll begin by saying the game visually looks absolutely stunning, close to a PS3/360 game (minus the HD of course). The locales first shown in the concept art are beautifully translated into fantastic 3D environments and the hustling bustling town looks great. So far, the ears also seem to be treated to a 5-course meal here, as the music in the trailer was insanely catchy and more than a little bit epic. As well as these promising features, Yuji has also clearly put a lot of effort into the character design for The Last Story. There appears to be quite a few heroes in the party, and each looks like they'll have an interesting story. I'm particularly fond of the young kid in a eye-patch we saw.

Of course, what matters most in a game is the gameplay. As I mentioned previously, The Last Story is driven by a real time battle system, involving several weapons on the character you control. These weapons appear to be all equipped onto the hero, and switching between them looks pretty seamless. A Metal Gear Solid-like stealth system helps drive the battles system, as a character can press against a wall and shoot a crossbow round the corner into the unsuspection face of an enemy. How satisfying that looks is unexplainable. Going close up also looks to be fun, slashing away at beasts and all that. So far the game world seems a lot like Yuji's other games, but the way it plays seems to be a great alternative to a turn based system. The stealthy bits look really fun, as they also involve character interaction. As you and one of your fellow party members hides against a wall, they will talk to each other. What about you ask? Well, if you speak Japanese, which I don't, head on over to Youtube and check out the trailer for yourself.

But in the end the most important question, considering this is a Japanese game, will it ever get a UK release? Hopefully. My expectations will be shattered if The Last Story never comes out over here. Let's hope those expectations aren't destroyed then. The game is coming out in Japan at the end of the year. We'll just have to wait and see if it turns out as good as it looks.

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