Square Enix are a pretty safe bet for a decent RPG, with titles like Kingdom Hearts, Dragon Quest and Final Fantasy Series which were huge when they were released between 2002-2009, which also means they have been going strong and must be getting something right.
I’m going to start with the main character Rush Sykes he is 18, he is the son of two renowned scientists. He grew up isolated with his sister on Eulam (quite place), it kind of makes him ignorant to formalities of the royalty and the royal courts for example he refers to Lord David, Marquis of Athlum as “Dave”). Irina Sykes is his sister but she is kidnapped by a mysterious forces, this is where Rush’s adventure begins.
This game is beautiful, you start in a flowered meadow, petals in the breeze……then suddenly a rumbling in the distance. Rush stumbles up a hill overlooking Yamarn Plain, below two huge armies are ready to engage each other. You get a grim feeling as the two sides march towards each other, as Rush scans over the hordes and thinks’ he sees Irina his missing sister..could it be?….
While rush leaps into the martial ranks, a great cannon like weapon is deployed it is referred to as “Gae Blog” (you can actually use this later in the game!) as David Nassau, the Marquis of Athlum (Dave), dons a sighting scope and prepares to fire. This triggers the Battle Control Tutorial, ok it can be abit much a first but if you read it carefully it’s not that complicated it just seems it. This tutorial gives you a little taste of the Last Remnant combat system. You choose your foe and battle commands for our five squads called Unions, each union has a leader to command the other units (If you lose your leader your squad will fall apart and randomly attack or do nothing, remember to heal!). Don’t spend a lot of time checking out enemies and your attacks as this battle isn’t going to last long. Turn two comes around and you only have the battle command “Gae Blog” select it to trigger an event, there’s a big bang after this. I’m going to mention again how good this game really looks, you want to feel involved and the scenery makes it so easy too.
The shot takes out an entire battlefield sector out, strangely rush is revived by the protective glow from his charm around his neck given to him by his parents. Rush catches up with the woman he thought was his sister, it’s not its one of Athlums generals named Emma, but as Rush approaches her they drop into an underground cavern. Emma accuses Rush of being a spy, but when he explains that he was just looking for his sister Irina Emma changes as she knows Rush’s parents….
Here there’s a cut scene where you get some back story involving a message from Rush’s mother and father, this part is just what happened before Irina got kidnapped.
Here you get a taste of the actual game, you have to escape from The Underground Cavern it’s not too hard, the enemies are no match for you as Emma is in your union. Jhana fighters aren’t tough but later on in the game you will find the enemies will try and outnumber you. Your first chest is here! You have a chat with Emma here about these chests. Equip the broadsword it does smash damage (this is just a type of damage (ei: Fire, Poison or slash). Now time to fight the Jhana unions, Emma explains how to encounter enemies. With your finger on the RT button and approach the Jhana until you see an ellipsis icon turn red above the Jhana, the moment you see that pull the RT. There another quick battle tutorial, after killing the two Jhana unions (Emma knee splitter is great here) watch out for the Jhana Arch fighter as they hit hard, expect your union to take damage (you can select the option “keep HP up!” Emma will heal and Rush will attack too).
There is a few more smaller battle details for example, when you fight an enemy union you become deadlocked, certain battle commands can break your union free from a deadlock but choosing a command like heal will withdraw you from the deadlock leaving the enemy union with a free attack.
After the battles head towards the wide cavern area, you will trigger a cut scene. A Huge raptor appears (quick tutorial on morale here) now it’s time to kick butt.
Well the first boss fight is just an exercise to introduce the power of Rush’s talisman. First turn “charge” battle attack is the basic attack, you can pick one of three choices it doesn’t matter. Turn two your only command is “what…what is this power?” select it to release the mighty attack Omnistrike from Rush’s talisman, This kick the snot out of the raptor in one go.
After the battle you meet “Dave” and his other three generals, Dave offers his aid in the search for Rush’s sister and invites him back to Athlum.
The world map now appears travel to Athlum, stop to take a look around when you arrive all the towns and cities are picture perfect. The game gets into its swing after this, don’t panic if you think you haven’t got used to the battle controls, you can go back to The Underground Cavern to have a little practice and also collect some items and cash. After you’ve played this for a few hours you will have unlocked other areas, you should always revisit these and train and gather items, people who love RPG’s would have started to do this from the beginning. A huge part of RPG’s is the levelling up and the gathering of object and materials you need to upgrade weapons and equipment ect. There isn’t actually a levelling up system, the developers at Square Enix had the great idea of a combat system that doesn’t have experience levels so to speak which makes the game more fair and challenging. So no you can’t level up for hours just to beat that boss you’re stuck on you have to use your head!. This makes it a much fuller and rewarding experience and maybe it is time to explore on the old levelling up system or exp and this is one of the reason Last Remnant is an unique RPG adventure.
I don’t want to spoil the story as it’s really good, the story line is fantastic you get so wrapped up because the speech and text of the story doesn’t have a flaw.
I’m going to give you a few pointers to playing this game as it is a large and time consuming game, always go to pubs the side quests are important if you want achievements and great items. Also go to the union in the cities and towns, there are lots of tasks to be completed here IE: kill a certain monsters, you get cash and some important materials for weapon and equipment upgrades. Upgrading is very beneficial and fun, there’s nothing like making your own gear.
Always stock up, I found that spending a big chunk of cash on healing items is a must specially when you have a low number of unions and soldiers and also wile you get used to the unions and morale aspects of the game. Also I must mention which is a great idea in RPG’s is the fact you don’t have access to all the feature and customisable aspects of the game straight away IE: the further you progress the more “fiddly” options are available for you squads and leaders and also battle formations, also you unlock more union, soldiers and leaders as you progress through the story.
To finish I’m going to say, this game is uber gorgeous with intricate detail and beauty, there’s so much to see and do you will not get board not for a second. You will get really involved in this fantastic fantasy adventure I really do love it. It’s a great game for the fans of Square Enix and
newcomers to RPG’s and gaming which is just as important these days with new customers entering the games market looking for something new and interesting. The tutorials are spaced and not squashed together and in your face all at once it’s more cool and relaxed with a gradual release of features and other things to keep you interested it is a fresh of breath air for the RPG niche.
In my opinion it is (thus far) the best RPG I have come across so far on the 360 mind Blue Dragon is a close second.
Originally posted at www.xboxliveaddicts.co.uk