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The Last Remnant Review

The Last Remnant Review

By Lee Guille

In the last few years Square-Enix has broken away from their Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest flagship series and spin offs. Unlike FF and DQ, these new standalone titles start dropping in price six months after release, giving poorer, Square-Enix starved gamers a quick and cheap RPG fix. Released in early 2009 on PC and Xbox360, The Last Remnant is an oddball offering from the usually solid RPG giant.

Gameplay: B
Square-Enix went out on a limb and found some interesting fruit. Running around on the world and area maps doesn’t offer anything terribly different from any other games on the market. Landscapes range from lush to utterly unbelievable as is the norm in the genre, but quickly become monotonous especially in dungeon and cave areas.

Credit: Joystiq

The player can avoid enemies, round them up to fight larger and more rewarding battles, and harvest crafting times using the help of a gatherer-creature named Mr. Digg that seems to have been put together by Frankenstein.

Unique leader characters and more generic soldiers of all races can be recruited to fill your army. Each unit shares the total hit points and ability points of characters in it. As the story progresses, unit allotments become larger and can be arranged depending on your preferred tactics (large, powerful groups or smaller, more numerous squads).

Combat is where The Last Remnant starts to shine. In battle, the player directs each unit to engage enemies with magic, fighting arts, items, and other abilities. Actions performed by unit members are determined by the total ability points, hitting timing buttons causes extra damage, critical hits, and advances your next unit in line to start a combo. Larger fights earn better bonuses, teach abilities faster, and are occasionally necessary for certain quests or to spawn rare enemies.

Story: D
Boy sets out to save his sister who was stolen by a Sith-like priest with a flying machine… blah, blah, blah. The world of The Last Remnant is on the brink of war, city-states built around giant, powerful relics are slowly being snapped up by a warlord called “The Conqueror”. As the main character, Rush (seriously, who names Square-Enix characters?), chases the man who stole his sister he befriends a minor noble, David (pronounced exotically as Da-veed) and ends up leading a small army all over the place. The Last Remnant is definitely missing the usual superior story-telling of other Square-Enix titles.

Characters: C
The world of the Last Remnant is rich in ruins, mysterious technologies, character races, and incredible landscapes. Each race has been lovingly designed and, aside from your generic human characters, holds no resemblance to anything seen before from the developer. Within each race, unique generals have a variety of personalities, abilities, and weapon styles, offering plenty for a player to choose from. Unfortunately, with such a variety it’s difficult give each character a chance and sticking with the same half dozen starting generals is an easy way to go.

Credit: NextGN

The most frustrating part of this game for me was the lack of control over party inventory. Aside from the main character’s gear, players have little say in what generals and solders use. They ask for bits and bobs to upgrade gear and occasionally make requests for items, training focus, and weapons or accessories that may be better than what they have. This aspect of the game was acceptable up to the point where party members started to downgrade for no apparent reason.

Music, sound, and voice acting: C-
This is a game that made me glad for the mute button. The upbeat combat music starts as a blood-pumping call to battle, but soon becomes a tiresome and repetitive din, especially since you’ll be hearing the same loop over and over and over again. The real fall down here is the voice acting. Accents and mannerisms from the various characters around the world don’t seem to mesh well, and the main character sounds annoyingly immature alongside the more stoic supporting cast.

The Verdict: C
If you’re hard up for a RPG and only have ten bucks to your name, this just might be for you. If time isn’t something you’re willing to burn, take a pass.

Pros:

  • Innovative combat system
  • Immersive environments
  • Adaptable fighting styles
  • Large list of craftables

Cons:

  • Irritating characters
  • Predictable and nonsensical story
  • Repetitive music
  • Buggy
  • Little to no control over party inventory
  • Significant number of missable quests, items, and achievements

Lee Guille had too much to drink last night and woke up beneath the bed. Does that make him hung-under?

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About janhutchings

Canadian Game Industry Blogger / Contributor for @Sonyrumors & @ShogunGamer / Communications and PR Professional. Voice of Canadian and Indie Gaming. http://jtmgames.com/

Posted on July 18, 2011, in Game Reviews and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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