Release Date: August 14, 2012
Publisher: Xseed Games
ESRB Rating: T
The Last Story is planned to be the last one from the great Hironobu Sakaguchi, and since I am a huge Final Fantasy fan, I had to pick up "last" game. I actually don't believe this since Final Fantasy was supposed to be his last game, now with more than a dozen FF games, I can only be a skeptic when he says that his latest adventure will be his last.
Presentation and Story:In the Last Story, you'll be following the instantly likable Zael and his band of mercenary brethren. As you've come to expect from Sakaguchi's stories, these guys and gals at first are only a small part of the universe, but soon they become a major part of the game. Just like Zael, its easy to fall in love with these characters. Each of them has their own personalities and are impressively voiced. The riveting soundtrack is one of the best I've heard from the great Nobuo Uematsu. Right from the opening theme, the beautiful violins with yank the emotions right from inside you and force you to appreciate everything you see. The graphics are really impressive, for the Wii. Me being the more dominant PS3 player, it always seems like I'm taking a step back in the visual department. For those who are Wii-exclusive though, the game might be the best looking title for the console. Each character model is impressively detailed, same goes for the rich environments as well. There are a lot of different locales for you to explore and defeat various enemy types in. After playing countless hours, the game's own unique look will definitely leave a lasting impression on you.
Core Gameplay and Multiplayer:
When it comes to the game's gameplay, the word experimental comes up a lot when discussing it. This isn't your typical turn based RPG game with random encounters. The game really steps out of the typical JRPG style of gameplay, in favor of more action oriented combat. I've never actually guarded, dodged, attacked, and hid behind cover all in real time in an RPG before. Seeing how its a first for the genre, I never expected all the mechanics to work so well. Combat is easily the best part of the game, I couldn't wait to get to the next fight after just completing one. There's a lot of strategy that goes into the bigger fights, with lots of cover for your mages to hide behind while reigning death from afar. The game only gets better as you progress in levels and learn new abilities, these abilities add even more to the already deep combat system. For a JRPG, the game is actually pretty short. It'll only take you around 18 hours for you to complete it. After you finish it, there's a big chance that you'll want more from the game. The multiplayer can pack on more hours if you're interested. You can team up with five other players to take on bosses from the story mode, or just compete in a deathmatch or team deathmatch.
As the Wii's lifecycle comes to a close, you definitely need to pick this last gem up before you upgrade to a Wii U. With easily one of the best combat systems around and a gripping tale, The Last Story is an obvious purchase for any Wii owner.
S&S Rating: 9.5/10