The Wii may be on its way out in favor of the WiiU later this year, but XSEED
Games is looking to give the Wii one more great experience by releasing
The Last Story this summer. The Last Story is an RPG from Mistwalker,
the same team who delivered Blue Dragon and Lost Odyssey for the Xbox 360
earlier in this console generation. Hironobu Sakaguchi directed this RPG, which
varies from what you might have come to expect from Japanese RPGs. Thereís
cover, strategy, and a set number of lives that players must manage sparingly in
order to see the end of the game.
Encounters are not random, and once theyíre initiated, the active member of
the playerís team can take cover to survey the layout and plan attack strategy.
If a magic user is trying to cast a spell and falls under attack, then the
player may decide to pop out of cover and come to the mageís aid. There are also
battle zones that have dynamic environments; for example, an archer can be
directed to topple a pillar that causes a chain reaction of falling debris,
damaging an entire enemy party in certain areas. Active party members can also
use the Gathering skill, which operates like a taunt, to attract enemy attention
and free up other party members to attack or cast spells.
The Last Story offers a 25-30 hour experience. Itís not as epic a quest as
weíve seen in other RPGs, but itís certainly a fair amount of time to invest.
Expect a fair amount of challenge here; party members have five lives and there
are purposely few healing items available. There arenít any continues, so itís
going to be vital to monitor each party memberís health and status. There will
be online play here as well, with co-op and versus play available, to keep
player interest after (or during) the main quest.
I was impressed with what I saw. Yes, the standard-def visuals were a step
back from most of what Iíd seen at the show, but the new battle system drove my
interest and the Mistwalker pedigree is hard to argue against when it comes to
quality. The Last Story could very well end up being the last
great game for the best-selling platform of this console generation. RPG fans
already have plans to get this, and it may be worth a look for other players
when it hits US stores in a few weeks.