Monday, 10 February 2014

Apparently Love and Gluttony are Perfectly Viable Stats for an RPG (The Last Remnant)

the last remnant part 2 - 1
There are a fair number of self-important dicks in Celapaleis.
I've gotten a fair ways further in The Last Remnant since my last post. In fact I've played right past the point I made it to the first time I picked up the game. Rush now has David and his generals in his party permanently and we've made it to the world's capital, Elysion (which everyone seems to pronounce "illusion" for some reason...). There are still more questions than answers with regard to the game's plot, and it's beginning to tempt me with all the possibilities of side quests, loot, and all manner of other distraction that could very well balloon my play time in The Last Remnant well above the 100 hour mark.

It's really easy to see how some people draw comparisons between this game and Final Fantasy XII. The way one navigates the world is very similar, using a world map with various points of interest gradually opening up as progress is made. Once you enter one of these areas, they feel a lot like a zone from an MMORPG straight out of the early 2000s, at least in terms of structure, the graphics are a lot prettier, though. The structure of these areas, the map, farming creatures while hunting rares, it all smacks of a jolly romp through Ivalice circa 2006.

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My first sighting of a rare monster in the game, Dominator.
It kicked my ass...
The game is proving to have plenty of its own merits, of course. There are little things like the aforementioned silliness in the stats department like characters skilling up in love and gluttony. You won't find any status pages for anyone, though, so you'll have to take Remnant's word for it that these people have gotten better at stuffing their faces and loving (as opposed to "luvin'" and all that use of the word might imply), or whatever. Personally, I'm not convinced they're getting any better at these superfluous stats. While I can see everyone's hit points going up, attack power getting better, and the like, I still have people like Emma regularly skilling up in the love department, and she seems as grumpy as ever. Granted she doesn't seem quite as pissed off at Rush all the time now, so maybe it's a sign.

I'm also enjoying exploring the game world. It's fairly linear on the whole with branching paths here and there to venture down. If anything, it's more akin to old school dungeon crawling during the 16-bit era than wandering some vast expanse like one would find in an Elder Scrolls game. It's more precision poking around, especially when looking for rare monsters that don't always spawn when you enter an area, so you need to come back now and then in hopes of finding them.

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Fighting some land dragons!
These guys are pretty great in and of themselves because it's like getting a mini boss fight. They hit hard, have some tough abilities to deal with, and generally look like badasses. Better still, they may well be of a significantly higher level than your band of adventurers, so they'll happily thump you, and you'll just have to come back at a later time when everyone is stronger in order to meat out some sweet, sweet vengeance. Even if you do take them on at about even levels of strength, it's going to take some work to beat them. Some folks may think it an old fashioned feature to find in an RPG but I miss stuff like this, so it's nice getting a taste of it here. Optional mini boss thingies forever!

As for the actual adventure itself, Rush is still a bit thick in social settings, though I'm guessing David actually finds the level of informality between him and Rush refreshing. Most of the people he talks to are his soldiers, retainers, and the like. He doesn't really get the chance to make a lot of friends, so maybe Rush is filling that void. The big bads are starting to be fleshed out a lot more too with Wagram getting more screen time, and being keen on using the worlds powerful Remnants (basically ancient technology with the potential to cause great destruction). He appears to be working for someone with powerful political connections, so they may have some rather evil ambitions indeed. Like I said in my last post, it's all very typical anime fair as far as the story goes, but I do love this stuff. I just happened upon a mysterious man with long hair and a red robe that Rush inexplicably felt was important. What does it mean, man? What does it mean? =p

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Sometimes it's fun to go to new towns just to see what kind
of giant Remnant they have looming overhead.
I guess I'll find out as I continue playing. Slowly I'll get my answers, assuming I can pry myself away from hunting rare monsters for a while. Maybe I'll get lucky and this mysterious man in red knows just how gluttony stats improve my characters in battle! =D