Saturday, 8 February 2014

Now Playing: The Last Remnant

The Last Remnant PC Part 1 - Screenshot 1
Battles in The Last Remnant are fantastic!
Years ago I wound up picking up The Last Remnant at a Steam sale for next to nothing. I'd heard a lot of good things about the game, especially given the disconnect between a lot of RPG fans and folks in the media who reviewed it. People were saying that there were noticeable similarities between it and Final Fantasy XII which, for me, is a good thing as I adore that game. Moreover, the battle system intrigued me with the level of tactics involved, and there appeared to be a fair amount of open-endedness to the thing, something we don't usually see in a JRPG.

So, on my first playthrough after getting it I managed to make it about 8 hours in before getting distracted by other things.  I can't remember what exactly pulled me away from it. Possibly, I was relapsing back into WoW, or it could have been that Rush was rubbing me the wrong way, but for whatever reason, I shelved the game to move on to other things.

The Last Remnant PC Part 1 - Screenshot 2
Rush wandering around town.
So, here I am now, a few years later, and I'm feeling a desire to buckle down and play to the end. I still have fond memories of the battles of the game, and taking up tons of side quests in search of adventure and glory. The game even manages to charming me with its now somewhat dated early Xbox 360-esque graphics. With that, I've re-installed the game and am slowly making my way through its early stages. All these things I've said I liked the first time through, I still like now, and on the whole I'm enjoying myself. I don't think I'll be going for 100% completion with it, though, as that would take well over 100 hours. Instead I'll go for a much more manageable standard completion, which only clocks in at about 60-70 hours. Stop laughing, it is more manageable! =p

The Last Remnant PC Part 1 - Screenshot 3
The jerks who kidnapped Rush's sister.
The one thing about The Last Remnant that I'm still not keen on is Rush. He's the game's protagonist, out to save his sister who was kidnapped by some evil looking sorts. The guy takes the whole dedicated brother looking for his lost sibling thing way too far, stubbornly throwing himself headlong into danger constantly. Really, natural selection should have had his number long ago, yet he somehow manages to survive. When he's not getting himself into one pickle after the next, we see that he's a bumpkin without an ounce of decorum. He meets the leader of Athlum, who one would think should be treated with at least a little bit of respect, but Rush talks to him with all the grace of a sleazy Hollywood agent. More shocking is that the two become pretty good friends. Sure, Rush grew up on a fairly isolated island, but his complete lack of sense is quite annoying. Really, I just don't like the guy one bit.

The supporting cast is a lot more tolerable. David, leader of Athlum, comes across as a responsible young ruler trying to do what's right for his land, and most of his generals I've found pretty likable as I spend more time with them. On top of this, I'm curious to see where the story goes with all these Remnants everywhere. They're basically super weapons that the powers that be and the forces of evil all want for themselves. Sure, it's pretty typical anime fair, but it's making for a fun ride.

Which to use, magic arts or combat arts...
At this point, I can make my own parties and unions, the two major structures of units that I can bring into battle. With them I've started taking some side missions to build up Rush, make some cash, and basically kill time until the game lets me advance the story some more. It shouldn't be too long before David and his generals become permanent members of my crew, and the real fun can begin. I'm glad that I'm returning to The Last Remnant, as there is a lot to like about the game. I don't think I'll have much trouble sticking with it and seeing things through to the end this go around. There isn't a huge amount of games on the immediate horizon that I absolutely must play, so I expect to dedicate a fair bit of time to this one with little in the way of distractions.