Quick Attacks are Vagary.TV’s way of giving you, the reader, a glimpse at a game we are playing. This could be a game we are reviewing in full or just something we picked up for a few days to kill some time but either way it will highlight thoughts and impressions from the first hour or two of gameplay. Opinions could change before our final review though.
In this Quick Attack, we look at the first few hours of The Last Story on the Nintendo Wii.
- From the get go it is clear that The Last Story is beautiful… for a Wii game. Like all the best looking Wii games, the artistic direction is phenomenal but the technical limitations are evident, especially when looking at characters and their unmoving costuming, hair, etc…
- The narrative takes a little bit of time to reveal its true nature to the player however, the characters have so much personality that they are able to set the hook for the world.
- The story is presented as if someone were reading it from a storybook. This allows the game to be segmented into “chapters” or levels but also makes it quite linear. To be honest it feels very Final Fantasy XIIIish in that regard. While I’ve been able to explore an entire city during one of these chapters, there does not seem to be an open world as one would expect from a JRPG of this nature. However because of the narrative pacing and the personality of the characters the game’s linearity is causing me no issues.
- Combat in the game is a unique mix of automated attacking and command driven tactics. At first take it seems a bit too easy but as the game progresses and harder enemies, in greater volume are forced upon the player the combat becomes increasingly more and more tactical. Rushing headlong into battle is an easy way to get oneself killed.
- Inventory management is par for the course in JRPGs, which is to say it is ugly and clunky but ultimately serviceable.
- There is tons of loot to find and player equipment can be upgraded for a price.
- There is also limited character customization via dyes that can be found and/or traded for. While it is not robust and changing equipment does not seem to visually change the character on screen, the ability to at least customize a character’s color scheme is a nice touch.
- Music is, as expected coming from Nobuo Uematsu, stellar.
I am currently seven hours into the game and while it is not the traditional JRPG I expected from Mistwalker, it is extremely well done. The characters are some of the best I’ve seen in a JRPG in years and I’m entrigued to see where the narrative takes me. Look for the official Vagary review early next week.