|Pub: XSEED Games|
|Release: August 14, 2012|
|Screen Resolution: 480p, 720p, 1080i, 1080p||Language, Mild Suggestive Themes, Use of Alcohol, Violence|
Several extra activities round out The Last Story's gameplay. There are a number of varied side quests that help the player gain extra money and feel a better connection to the people of Lazulis Island. A few optional chapters help establish the relationships of the main characters—the haunted mansion mission is particularly fun. Finally, an extensive weapon and armor upgrade system includes visual changes when equipment is improved. The player can even collect and use dyes to customize the appearance of the characters. The game includes just the right number of extra activities to flesh out the world without overwhelming the player.
Graphically, The Last Story does a great job with the Wii's sub-HD capabilities. Notably, both the world and the characters are about as smoothly detailed as one could expect for a Wii game with a realistic style, giving the game a consistent look and feel between the characters and the scenery. The frame rate is relatively smooth, with occasional slowdowns in combat (though thanks to the nature of the combat system, the slowdowns aren't usually a problem). The graphical designers have done a wonderful job presenting the world to the player, from the bustling medieval town on the island to the massive ruins in which many of the game's battles take place.
The sound design is one of the best aspects of The Last Story, with a wide variety of attractive musical tracks that set the mood for the game's scenes quite nicely. The voice acting is excellent as well—between this game and Xenoblade, the Brits are providing a serious challenge to their American voice-acting counterparts.
In the end, if I must compare Xenoblade (to which I awarded my first and only 5.0 score) to The Last Story, I will say that Xenoblade is more tightly designed, has a deeper cast, and surpasses The Last Story as an overall work. On the other hand, The Last Story will appeal more strongly to some gamers, especially those turned off by Xenoblade's MMORPG-style world and side quests. Both games have strong stories to tell, and which one a player prefers depends on personal taste. The Last Story is a shorter, more focused game, and does what it sets out to do very well. It's most certainly a must-buy for RPG fans, especially those who will appreciate the game's callbacks to classic fairy tales and folklore.
Date: August 24, 2012