"One Last Story for the Wii"
Five years from now, we may not remember the Wii in a positive light. Critics will complain over the death of gaming through motion controls. Supporters of the Wii will lament over the lack of third-party software. Yes, the Wii's catalogue has poor attempts and half-hearted efforts. Yes, third-party games have been far and few. Aside from Nintendo's own masterpieces, there are a few gems that shine. The Last Story is one of those games.
Like Xenoblade, The Last Story was in danger of skipping a tour in North America. The thought of missing a quality title like this would have ruined the Wii's standing in annals of gaming history. Thankfully, Xseed helped release The Last Story to gamers across the Pacific.
The Last Story is a nice take on the RPG. It's full of charming characters and gameplay. Players will take control of Zael, an intrepid mercenary. Zael and his group make Lazulis Island their headquarters and take up odd jobs along the way.
For the most part, the characterization is what enhances the game's narrative. Zael's comrades are charming in their own distinct way. For example, Syrenne is a loud, rugged lady that loves a good drink or five. On the opposite end, we have Yurick, who's quiet and prefers being out of harm's way. I have not been charmed by a cast of characters since Final Fantasy IX (interestingly enough, that was one of Hironobu Sakaguchi's runs at Square.)
If the cast of characters in The Last Story do not charm gamers, the combat system will grab their attention. For the most part, players are able to move around and take cover from certain attacks. Players also have the ability to dodge attacks and roll to safety. Inflicting damage on an enemy is as easy as moving towards an enemy. The hero will automatically attack any nearby monsters.
The battle system does not consist of tedious action. Mistwalker included a lot of strategy elements to combat. Most of these elements are simple in nature, but the combinations may produce a profound effect in battle. One of the more rudimentary strategies in The Last Story involves destroying bridges to certain enemies. Players will use stealth tactics and selective targeting to defeat their opponents.
On top of the strategy elements, players have an ability called "Gathering" and "Focus". Gathering allows Zael to capture the attention of enemies for as long as the skill is active. This is useful to the party because wizards are able to cast spells at their leisure. Focus is more of a guide than a trump card. The skill allows Zael to figure out the weakness of a certain enemy. This is helpful when fighting new opponents or boss characters that stand in the party's way.
The mix of action and strategy make The Last Story a unique beast in terms of gameplay. The learning curve is slightly high, but forgiving. This is easily one of the game's key features. As it stands, it's one of the most refreshing gameplay elements I have seen in an RPG.
I have nothing but praise for the Last Story. While The Last Story has some flaws, they are just simple nitpicks. The graphics are easily the game's eyesore in the age of High Definition. The Wii's horsepower shows its age as we usher into a complete HD gaming generation with the Wii U around the corner. Gamers may have to adjust their eyes to standard definition. Also, the soundtrack is not as memorable as Nubuo's earlier works. Gamers may expect a flawless soundtrack, but they could be disappointed by the lack of perfection.
Despite these "flaws", they do not diminish the game in any way. The art direction for The Last Story trumps the Wii's horsepower. The soundtrack is not Nubuo's greatest work, but its quality will stand against any game soundtrack of this generation. These are minor nitpicks that ought to be ignored because of the overwhelming quality of the game.
The Last Story is a great experience that Wii owners should take in and relish before the dawn of the Wii U. The charming characters and the amazing battle system make it a great game. I recommend The Last Story to Wii Owners and RPG lovers in general.
GameDynamo's Score for The Last Story (Wii)
Chris started playing games at the tender age of 5. Since then, he sees mushrooms, hearts, aliens, and spikey-haired blondes in his sleep.
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