E3 2012 Preview: The Last Story - Gematsu
E3 2012 Preview: The Last Story
posted on 06.16.12 at 04:02 PM EST by (@sqexgal)
Final Fantasy creator's upcoming Wii RPG.

European fans have already been enjoying the upcoming Wii-exclusive Japanese RPG, The Last Story, and this summer North American players will too. It’s the product of famed Final Fantasy creator Hironobu Sakaguchi and his studio Mistwalker, also known for creating Lost Odyssey and Blue Dragon on Xbox 360. Combine it with the musical works of Nobuo Uematsu, another infamous Final Fantasy contributor, and you no doubt have a mixture for storytelling success. 

Just as you would imagine, the story is dark and fantastic with beautifully rendered visuals to match. You take on the role of Zael, an orphaned mercenary, living in the last island untouched by war, who dreams of becoming a knight. Through his adventures, he discovers his own power and naturally, the trouble and tribulation that follows.

The game’s interface is rich, with the gritty influence of war and age in everything from the environment to Kimihiko Fujisaka’s character designs, the same artist who worked on the Drakenguard series. Unlike what you’d expect from such a pretty game however, the style breaks the boundaries of the usual detached feeling you get from RPGs and instead invites you into an interactive world where you can physically engage by sneaking behind walls, breaking bridges, collapsing pillars, and casting magic on your surroundings.

My first impression of the title visually reminded me a lot of Resonance of Fate, tri-Ace’s modern grunge RPG. And after examining the battle system, I‘d say it’s a fair comparison. Except that The Last Story ditches the complications in trying to incorporate a real-time battle system that relies on limitations, which frustrated me in Resonance of Fate. Rather, the real-time battle system adopted in The Last Story is intuitive and interactive, and more than simply relying on an attack to follow through. The player has to make tactical decisions, as the lay of the land can impact the battle just as much as the placement of the enemies.

Whether you’re ducking, dodging, or rolling, the battle’s action sequences are also much smoother – when the characters move around and interact, they seem conscious of one another. You will be able to command secondary characters in real-time as well, which aids in making the sensation of battle seamless. Far from a typical hack-and-slash action RPG, the player is challenged to overcome numerous obstacles that make a successful battle.

Since it’s hard to have a real idea of how the game plays, I fear that it might be overlooked by better known titles in the sea of RPGs coming into the market. Fans might take a look at the visuals and the creators and expect a Final Fantasy knock-off (or more so, the title), but I urge all I can to say that it’s much more than that. For me, The Last Story offers an attractive fantasy universe that is unique and reflective of its own creation rather than relying on assumed archetypes. Though some are not fans of it, I’m also happy to hear that the voice cast in the North American release is the same as the European one. From what I’ve seen so far they’ve done a wonderful job fleshing out the characters, which everyone knows can be a challenge, especially for imported games.

I’d fully recommend picking it up when it launches later this summer, but there is more incentive than just my recommendation. XSEED Games has recently announced a special bonus item for fans who pick up the title at launch. The game will come with a 44-page softcover art book, wrapped securely in a special packaging. With all the great titles coming out this summer, I think I’ll need to find time to dust off my Wii – just for this one.

If you missed the E3 trailer and screenshots, see them here.

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  • Malcolm Reynolds

    The gooch is going to have to pull his head out of his, well…..his gooch and work with Sony if he wants to have any kind of success next gen.

    As for this….I will buy it day 1. Grumbling the whole time about its existence on inferior HW.

  • Locksus

    I would have bought this ages ago.. if it was either on the 360 or the PS3 as it looks very interesting to me. They’ve really captured the spirit of old Final Fantasies, which isn’t surprising considering Sakaguchi and Uematsu are involved.

  • chinglee

    I liked the game. It wasn’t great but it was good fun(especially the combat). Story was predictable and tame. The world didn’t have much variety but the one hub-town in the game felt very much alive. Some nice little sidequest although nothing special sept 2 or 3 main character related ones. Great humor and very likable cast(especially Syrenne the lovely drunkard bird. I love her :3). Framerate dips in certain areas(mot many)were very noticable. Using crossbow to shoot banana peels on NPCs gave me a good laugh once in a while. Character customization was done nicely. The music was nice but nowhere near as good as his best but it’s understandable since Sakaguchi asked him to try something different that what Uematsu usually does(although one of the boss battle themes really sounds like the beginning of FFVII’s boss battle theme xD

  • I prefer play Final Fantasy XIII-2

    • Miranda Lawson

      @mateuspradosousa: Me too.

    • dart2087

      @mateuspradosousa: I pass…

    • @mateuspradosousa: XIII-2 is a total mess

    • xMCXx

      Not sure if troll or serious…

    • chinglee

      @mateuspradosousa: Same here. I thought I’d actually like The Last Story better but I enjoyed XIII-2 much more.

      The things that Last Story did more better than XIII-2 was:

      -Having a wonderful character like Syrenne grace the game x3
      -A much, MUCH better Theme Song(not that I absolutely hated the one in XIII-2, it just didn’t do much for me and they could have found a way better vocal Theme Song)

      And that’s about it.
      The game(The Last Story)failed to evoke emotions and create surprise and shock with it’s story. Nor did it leave room for fun and interesting speculation.

  • stealth20k

    people should get this

  • Grandia

    time to get a Wii ;)

  • @mateuspradosousa XIII-2 is a total mess