Home > Review, Video Games, Wii > The Last Story Review

The Last Story Review

Hironobu Sakaguchi.  It’s a name some may be familiar with.  Famed as the one who created a franchise that some claim saved a company and launched a saga, Final Fantasy.  Hironobu Sakaguchi has since left SquareEnix, and formed his own company called Mistwalker.  From that company came not a swan song title, but hopefully the beginning of something amazing.  Originally release in Japan in 2011, it was published in North America by XSEED Games.  The Last Story, begins now.

Story
The Last Story follows Zael, a mercenary with ambitions to be a knight.  He and his band of mercenaries are hired by the Count Arganan of an island kingdom called Lazulis.  Their job was to take out some monsters who had been showing up since the building of their large cannon.  During a seemingly routine mission, Zael is bestowed an unusual power by an unknown source.

The story in this game is very top-notch.  Throughout the game it manages to keep your attention while pacing the storytelling in a great way.  There was just so many parts of this game where I nearly wanted to stand up and clap as something amazing happened.  It brought to life it’s many characters in a way that had you cheering for them.  I enjoyed how sometimes characters will have you agreeing with their goal, but not necessarily their means to gaining it.  Leaving you conflicted yet entertained.    It also managed to build a great romantic tale that just seems void in most games these days.

Gameplay
More than just a third person action role-playing game, The Last Story manages to bring in some very interesting elements.  With default settings, your character initiates an auto attack functionality when in melee range of a target, however this can be switched (and recommended) to support attacking with the A button.  Which makes it feel much more engaging in my book.  The game also supports the standard controller instead of WiiMote/Chuck (which also recommended).  Your character can also crouch behind cover, sneak up on enemies, aim and fire a crossbow, block, and roll dodge.

One of the more unique elements in The Last Story is the ability to control enemy aggression.  For those familiar with MMOs, it’s a sort of “Tank Class” element.  By activating your special aura, any enemies that can see your character will focus on you.  This element in effect draws attention away from your allies, which are mostly casters and cannot cast while being hit.  This in turn provide an interesting factor in that you must weigh the risk of dying yourself, as your character is still quite mortal.

Another neat feature is in that you can initiate commands to your allies.  Seeing an enemy archer on a cliff, you can tell your caster to blast the cliff below them.  Having an enemy weak against fire, you can have initiate a well-timed fire assault.  While they are still capable, it adds more on demand control for you.

Outside of missions you spend most of your time in the town of Lazulis.  This significantly large town has a host of quests, vendors, dialog, and an arena.  The vendors supply weapons, armor, and even the ability to upgrade them.  Rather than have hundreds of armor, the game sticks with around 6 armor classes that can be upgraded to perfection.  Each armor class provides magic or physical defenses but also attributes that appear when upgraded to a certain point.  These attributes are also available for certain weapons when upgraded as well.  A neat added feature is that each character can dye part of their armor to either match or create an interesting style.

Overall, every element of gameplay and features comes together to create an awesome packed game.  The combat was very addicting and never felt repetitive.  Each encounter provided its own challenges and element of weighing priorities in targets and defense.  Added to that is a great element of customization and quite a bit of quests to achieve that never feel stale.

Graphics
Visually, there’s nothing really to complain about The Last Story.  It’s one of the most visually stunning titles on the Wii.  The environments are well designed, the artistic direction is great.  In combat, the spell effects and animations are rather smooth with some minor issues.  The only part where The Last Story actually falls short is slow down.  It does seem as if the game was asking a bit much from the Wii console.  During spell heavy battles the gameplay will have periods of time where it slows.  It’s not game breaking, however it’s there.  Also in some cut scenes you’ll see some occasional frame rate issues in large environments.

Sound
With the amazing talents of Nobuo Uematsu, The Last Story comes to life with incredible musical scores that produce both life and emotion to the deeper moments of the storytelling.  I can’t tell you how much time I have spent listening to Toberumono at the opening screen.  Not just the music, but the voice acting was excellently executed as well.  My only issue I’ve really had with the sound is that during some bosses, characters will repeat hints over and over which can get annoying if a fight drags on.

Conclusion
While this game does suffer from slowdown issues it doesn’t break the game.  The amazing storytelling, character design, music, and strategic gameplay far overshadows this fault.  There’s just so much to like here.  It’s rare these days that I find a game that really just grabs me from start to finish.  The Last Story manages that, and I really can’t wait to see what Mistwalker does next for the JRPG market.

Family Friendliness-While not gory, the game does deal with war and murder.  There’s a few scenes depicting the slaughtering of innocence and silhouettes of hangings.  There is an excessive amount of characters that over indulge in drinking and a bit of suggestive dialog.  For language, while I notice no use of swearing, there’s quite a bit of use of the word “ars”. (ESRB Teen)

4.5 Paws Out Of 5

Pros:

  • Great Characters and Storytelling
  • Fun and Addicting Gameplay
  • Beautiful Music
  • Great Visuals

Cons:

  • Suffers From Slowdown
  • Arena Could Have Used More Depth
  • Lack Of Quest Log For Side Quests
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Categories: Review, Video Games, Wii
  1. August 21, 2012 at 10:23 am

    I’ve been thinking about getting this game–I’ll have to try it out based upon your review. Great post!

    • August 21, 2012 at 2:39 pm

      Thanks for the kind words! I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. ^_^

  2. August 23, 2012 at 1:55 pm

    Got it in the mail the other day and am waiting to blast through some of it this weekend! Also, it just dawned on me how “Final Fantasy” and “The Last Story” are describing practically the exact same thing…

  1. January 3, 2013 at 12:23 am
  2. March 29, 2013 at 10:56 pm

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