Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Retroblog: The Last Remnant (Xbox360)

Originally posted: Feb 16, '09

The Last Remnant is a turn-based role-playing game from Square-Enix which uses the Unreal Engine. RPGs have really come a long way with graphics, imagine the old Final Fantasies or Breath Of Fires compared to this game or Lost Odyssey, but don't let me turn you off this game in my next statement because it is still a great RPG if you get past its weakness. Yes, this game has issues with graphics, from first look it's really beautiful and the images are highly defined, but the problem lies when it is loading battles or areas whenever you enter one. It has this issue with texture popups, it's almost always delayed, and at first it's annoying but you can get used to it, and I think another thing that might help is by installing the game to the HDD rather than playing directly on the disc. I really wished they had longer loading times like Lost Odyssey than letting the player see it loading the images themselves. Some say this is the result when a Japanese company used an American technology they are not that familiar with. But look at Lost Odyssey, it's also made by a Japanese company, so I conclude that it's just a lame excuse.

Now that that's cleared up and you get passed that weakness, you'll see The Last Remnant a fun and addictive game. I think I can compare this game with Square-Enix's Final Fantasy VII: Crisis Core for the PSP, in the sense that it has only a short story that you can clear maybe about 15 hours if you just stick to it, but aside from that it has tons of quests, though not related to the main story will help you understand tidbits about the world you're in and aid you in leveling up your characters; and I think in this game you really need to do side quests as that is the only way to get huge amounts of money and the experience you need because later in the game bosses really become hard and frustrating if you're not prepared. So yeah, this game is for those who really appreciate side missions, and like to challenge hidden bosses, collect rare loots and anything in between. Now another unique aspect in this game is its leveling system; simply put the higher your level doesn't equate to the strength of your party, power here lies in the stats and skills of your characters and you get them even in between leveling up; so a tip is just to try to get more stat boosts and skills rather than levels because the higher your level also means higher level for your enemies. Also this game has so far one of the strongest extra boss found in today's RPGs, that if unprepared will shred you to pieces, so this is an extra challenge for those looking for some, and did I mention beating it will net you a well earned 200 gamerscore?

The Last Remnant is exclusive for the Xbox 360, though some sources say they'll also release this soon for the PS3 like what happened with Eternal Sonata, but what's the point?, it'll be a year old and everybody else will play Final Fantasy XIII by then to even give this one attention, so I think so far the Xbox 360 is still the home for the RPG gamer. Four out of five stars just because of the texture popups issue. Still a nice game for the role-players out there.

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