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XBOX 360 Game Review: The Last Remnant

Posted by Mister Random on November 25, 2008

Game Details

  • Title: The Last Remnant 
  • Developer: Square Enix 
  • Released (UK): 20/11/2008
  • Typical Price (UK) : £40
  • Age Rating: 12
  • Game Type: Japanese Role Playing Game
  • Online Multiplayer: None

    One Sentence Summary

    A good turn based JRPG let down by a flawed combat system and irritating protagonist

    Overview

    Graphics

    I thought that the graphics for the game were very good and the main flaw was that in a few of the early cutscenes the walking animation was slightly strange and occasional texture pop ins.

    Sound

    On the whole the sound is of a high quality, and the music suits the game though it does start to get repetitive after a while. Environmental noises are useful as they can tell you if any enemies are close and if treasure is nearby.

    Gameplay

    The game is a turn based Japanese RPG, with a unique combat system which I found to initially be very complex and later on too simple as there are limited options available and often the one you want is not there. The complex part of the system is that rather than having a standard party system, your party is broken down into “unions” of up to 5 characters and each Union has a mix of leaders (typically quest related characters) and soldiers who make up the numbers and your total party size is limited by main quest progression. The simple part of the system is that in combat each union is given a limited number of options based on the number of Action points available and character skills with you having no control over what the options are each turn. This means that even if you have sufficient action points you may not be able to do a certain attack move the enemies are weak against or, resurrect fallen characters in another union even if you have the skills. This does get frustrating after a while.

  • The world is a series of areas that you travel between via a map and going through some exits in areas can unlock new regions. The monster encounters are non random and with the exception of a few quests seem to regenerate on a long timer or when you exit or re-enter an area with there seeming to be a few variations on the monster composition when you re-enter areas. The main quest is very linear, but there are plenty of side-quests that you can do in any order so long as the main quest has not passed the point determining their availability

    Learning Curve

    I found the initial learning curve to be fairly steep and it was a few hours before I was used to the combat system and unions.

    Difficulty

    The initial part of the game can be difficult if you dont recruit team members quickly, and there are a few areas with monsters at a relatively high level avialable early on, after that the only difficult parts are boss fights, rare monsters, and giant birds with the curse ability which is an over powered move that I have yet to be able to cure and can kill off your entire team within 4 turns

    Lifespan

    The main quest in itself is probably only 10-15 hours in length, but there is easily 40 hours worth of play in the game when side quests are taken into account

    Flaws

    The main flaw is the combat system as I was left frustrated by it once I mastered its fundamentals due to the lack of options. Another major flaw is that at the start of the game the protagonist is very irritating, and his behaviour IMO does not match the situation he is in, once the story gets going he gets less annoying though I still wish I did not have to play the game as him.

    The achievements in the game are also badly designed as few if any are linked to main quest progression and the side quest associated achievements are random in nature, this is also exacerbated by achievement descriptions that do not tell you what you need to do for achievements that are potentially missable being side quest related, and while I think for non missable (i.e. main quest) achievements or grinding achievements vagueness is fine for missable ones a description should leave you no doubt what is for

    Overall

    An above average JRPG but I would rank Lost Odyssey and Blue Dragon higher, if you like JRPGs you will enjoy this game. I also suspect some people will get frustrated by the game mechanics early on and stop playing, and miss out on a good game.

    Rating 

    3/5 – Recommend trying before you buy unless you are a fan of JRPGs in which case buy

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    2 Responses to “XBOX 360 Game Review: The Last Remnant”

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