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Mistwalker

Preview: The Last Story

May 12 // Steven Hansen
[embed]227298:43658[/embed]The Last Story (Wii) Developer: Mistwalker/AQ Interactive Publisher: XSEED Games Release: Summer 2012 I started at the beginning of The Last Story, eventually making it to what is to be the sole hub town. While only having one town to fully explore may seem like a disappointment, the town is huge, dwarfing, for comparison, Final Fantasy XII’s Rabanastre and certain portions of the town are locked off until story or side quest specific events unlock them. The game opens with a band of four mercenaries -- Zael, Dagran , Syrenne, and Yurick -- probing some abandoned, likely ancient site. This introductory chapter allows you to get more familiarized with the controls, as there’s a surprising amount of things happening at once early on, and offers a nice, explicit tutorial with some lovely 2D art. The default control scheme employs an auto-attack system that requires only you to approach enemies and push your body towards theirs to attack them. Though functional and more elegant looking, I opted to change to manual attack fairly quickly, as the busy, acrobatic nature of combat made direct input feel a bit more comfortable and organic, even though the main character is left a little less fluid and stylish for it (because occasionally I will miss and be slashing at nothing). The opening, introductory chapter is a rather formulaic dispatching of trivial-looking enemies, and a bit drab, given the underground nature of the scene. Soon into it, however, some appropriately interesting story things occur that set the framework for the game and its mechanics. Zael stumbles upon a rather strange, glowy-arm power that lets him attract enemy attention and revive (for a limited number of times per battle) downed party members. The way this power is used to explain some of the mechanics of the game is rather clever, and an important part of the main plot. Once you get the fancy arm power, combat depth increases immediately. While Zael can fight with melee and long range attacks, the newfound abilities make him the sensible party leader. You can issue commands to your party members on the fly and Zael’s special ability, “Gathering,” is incredibly useful to keep your enemies preoccupied, allowing your party time to cast spells or simply allowing them to fight with less resistance and build combo chains. This stood out in the game’s first (quite cool) boss fight against a giant who draws out the swords skewered in his back and throws them at you and your party. Aside from Gathering and its strategic implications, the combat seems standard fare. Zael can also use Focus to zoom in for a better look at things. When zoomed, Zael can use his crossbow, look at an enemy’s weaknesses, and give specific commands to teammates, like telling the magic user to use magic to destroy the supporting platforms underneath far off enemies. The sword play is acrobatic and exciting, though it’s largely just a matter of pressing A to attack. There’s also a dynamic dive ability, for attack avoidance, as well as a surprising amount of cover. Yes, as in “crouched behind a tiny wall” cover. Not quite sure how I feel about the latter, as it doesn’t seem to fit within the context of the game, but I didn’t suffer in ignoring it and just running around and fighting monsters. On the way back to Lazulis Island, chapter two takes a brief detour when you have to fight a cool-looking white tiger. Once that battle is over with, you can head into the city, and have idle chatter with people along the way, which is why I really began digging the game. Back in town, the party indulges in drinks and other merriment at the bar of the inn they’re staying at and you get your first real glimpse at all of your companions through (optional conversation). Dagran, for example, took Zael in when Zael was a young orphan (Dagran was an orphan, too) and the two got into mercenary work with hopes of eventually being knighted by Lazulis’ Count Arganan. Dagran also wears interesting chaps that show off the inside of his thighs. The dialogue in the tavern was lively and had me chuckling. Syrenne in particular is quite hilarious, as she’s something of an alcoholic and generally a bit insane -- great to talk to. When I finished talking to all the people of questionable sobriety inside and did some shopping in an adjoining room, I decided to go be a man about town and get my first glimpse of Lazulis. It’s really quite a lovely place and I found myself impressed not only by the art design of everything, but even the technical aspects. The Last Story is a gorgeous game. The city was also quite boisterous, boasting all sorts of distractions and points of interest. Occasionally a glint of light will flash over the screen and a quick "Seek" will allow Zael to randomly find items out and about. At one point, I went to a fortune teller and had my fortune read, then saw a bushel of fruit tenuously sitting on a crate. I knocked it over and all passersby, along with myself, proceeded to slip comically. There was just so much to do in the intricately designed Lazulis that I barely whet my appetite for exploration. Thankfully, there’s also an in menu fast travel system between points in the city for when you get tired of running to and from. While I still need a lot more time with the game, particularly the combat mechanics, before casting judgment, my brief time with The Last Story has demonstrated the potential for greatness that come along with all of the venerable names involved. I completely love gallivanting around Lazulis, as well as the game’s distinct sense of style and personality. Here’s hoping the end result puts everything together successfully.
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As a lifelong fan of the JRPG genre, particularly Hironobu Sakaguchi and Nobuo Uematsu’s respective work on the Final Fantasy franchise, I’ve been as excited as anyone for The Last Story, especially in light of th...

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The Last Story: New screens that you don't need


May 10
// Dale North
You were going to get The Last Story anyway, weren't you? You don't need a new batch of screenshots to make up your mind. After waiting all this time Mistwalker's game is finally coming to North America some time th...
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The Last Story will have a limited run in the US


Mar 31
// Jonathan Holmes
Planning on picking up The Last Story when it hits US shores later this summer? Better snatch that gravy up fast. According to publisher XSeed "...we do anticipate a limited run for the game as we already have a number in min...
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UK retailer cancels all pre-orders for The Last Story


Feb 23
// Jim Sterling
UK retailer GAME has had to cancel every single pre-order for The Last Story ahead of its European release on Friday, revealing that it won't be the stocking the game at all. Anybody who dropped a deposit on the upcoming Wii ...
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Ladies and gentlemen ... it has happened. Mistwalker's latest roleplaying game, The Last Story, has finally been confirmed for release in North America. The Wii exclusive will be available at some point in 2012.  The Las...

Sakaguchi: High-quality graphics have become excessive

Feb 08 // Tony Ponce
None of this, of course, is to say that visuals aren't important: "I was really averse to allowing the quality of the graphics to drop just because we were working on Wii, which doesn't have HD graphics. I do really think that, in the end, what we've created can hold its own against other hardware." Merely, the team was able to approach The Last Story from an angle that they wouldn't have been able to had this been another project for the Xbox 360 and PS3. He continues, "There's a tendency for developers to allow all their energy to be diverted into maintaining the high quality of the graphics." His sentiments are similar to some that Jim Sterling has mentioned before and which I share as well. While working with high-end consoles can provide ample opportunities, it's very easy to get lost in the details. Final Fantasy XIII, for instance, was criticized for limiting the scale and scope typical of the Final Fantasy name in exchange for fantastic visuals. It's a simple matter of economics -- if money is being funneled in one direction, it's not going elsewhere. A fine balance needs to be struck, and sometimes, working with "less capable" hardware might be the ticket to help a team refocus its priorities. The Last Story launches in Europe on February 24. At that point, English-speaking gamers will be able to find out for themselves if Sakaguchi and Mistwalker succeeded in their experiment. If the extremely warm reception of Xenoblade Chronicles is any indication, The Last Story might just pull it off yet. Also, make sure to read the full interview. Iwata Asks is always good for some juicy tidbits. Iwata Asks: The Last Story [Nintendo via BeefJack]
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Mistwalker's Hironobu Sakaguchi, who oversaw the Final Fantasy series up through X-2, has been around the role-playing block enough times to know what he likes about the genre and what issues could stand to be addressed. Havi...

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Nintendo of America got to look like a big hero last year when it caved and announced that Xenoblade Chronicles would come Stateside. The consumer pressure group Operation Rainfall, however, is not satisfied, and intends to f...

Destructoid's most wanted Wii / Wii U games of 2012

Jan 11 // Jonathan Holmes
Rhythm Heaven Fever (Wii) Developer: Nintendo SPD Group No. 1, TNXPublisher: NintendoRelease: February 13, 2012 Minna no Rhythm Tengoku (renamed Rhythm Heaven Fever for the US) was one of my favorite games of 2011; it's the only game of 2011 that I'm sure I'll be playing over and over for the rest of my life. I brought the game to several parties over the winter holidays, and despite the fact that I was playing to generally non-gamer crowds, the game still went over like gangbusters. It's instantly fun, endlessly replayable, and packed with content, and it plays upon gaming's greatest strength -- the ability to use controls, visuals, and sound to create a seamless bond between the player and the game. That's something that a lot of rhythm games do well, but I think Rhythm Heaven Fever does it better than almost all the rest. At its budget price, you would have to be a true hater of goodness and light to pass it up. If you think it looks too "weird" or "casual," do yourself a favor by ignoring your own perception and relinquishing your judgment to me. Buy this game as soon as you can. You won't regret it (unless they screw up the English localization again, in which case just import it). The Last Story (Wii) Developer: Mistwalker, AQ InteractivePublisher: NintendoRelease: February 24, 2012 (EU) Speaking of imports, I've already imported The Last Story, and I can say that it stands alongside Super Mario Galaxy and Skyward Sword as one of the best-looking, most painstakingly crafted games in the Wii's library. Sadly, my Japanese is crap, so I'll be importing this game from Europe or, hopefully, picking it up in the US later this year. I need to know what the hell is going on! Fans of Hironobu Sakaguchi's prior games (Final Fantasy I-IX, Lost Odyssey, etc.) or anyone who loves inventive third-person action-RPGs owes it to themselves to check this one out. It's not everyday that you get to witness one of the most influential developers in the history of the medium reinvent the genre that they helped create. Dragon Quest X (Wii, Wii U) Developer: Square Enix, Armor ProjectPublisher: Square EnixRelease: 2012 (Wii) / TBA (Wii U) We still don't know a ton about Dragon Quest X other than the fact that Square Enix has been working on it forever, as well as how it aims to combine the strengths of MMOs with the traditional single-player RPG experience for something that will please both audiences. The game is about one of two twins who is magically transformed into one of the game's other races, sort of like the Melvin Van Peebles classic Watermelon Man, only less racist. That's all well and good, but what I really want out of Dragon Quest X is the opportunity to explore a huge, Akira Toriyama-created world alone or with friends, experiencing all its fine details and, in doing so, creating my own story.  Honorable Mentions: Kiki Trick, Pandora's Tower, Retro City Rampage Xenoblade Chronicles (Wii) Developer: Monolith SoftPublisher: NintendoRelease: April 2012 See what happens when a company digs out its ears and listens to the fans? It was pretty much like pulling teeth with Nintendo, but now Xenoblade Chronicles is on its way to the US. Sure, I could have imported the European version, but having a cheaper option is always nice. I'm stoked, and I'm not even that big of an RPG guy! I've played several Final Fantasy titles, tried and failed to get into the Tales series, enjoyed Golden Sun, and dabbled lightly elsewhere. Still, all the positive word of mouth from our friends across the Atlantic is making it really hard to not get overly excited. La-Mulana (WiiWare) Developer: Nigoro, NicalisPublisher: NicalisRelease: 2012 Speaking of games that have been out in Japan forever, here's indie platformer La-Mulana. The game is finished, having gone through some last-minute bug fixes following the Japanese release, and now is waiting on Nintendo of America to give the go-ahead. Who knows how long that will take. There is non-console port on the way (PC, though a likely platform, isn't actually specified), and it would be a laugh riot if it came out before the WiiWare version. It's no secret that my poison of choice is a nice, juicy 2D platformer with wonderful pixel art and a hefty amount of challenge. A game that tosses Castlevania, Metroid, and Indiana Jones into a blender and hits "frappé"? Obviously, it's going to be a winner. If you want to play the game right now, the original has been available online for free since 2005. However, as with Cave Story, I'm curious as to the extent of the changes and upgrades in the remake. Retro City Rampage (WiiWare, Xbox Live Arcade) Developer: Vblank EntertainmentPublisher: Vblank EntertainmentRelease: 2012 I feel bad for Vblank's Brian Provinciano. I like to joke about Retro City Rampage's lengthy development, and I enjoy hitting Brian up on Facebook with such constructive comments as, "What are you doing right now? BREATHING!? When you should be WORKING!?" In all honesty, I don't envy his situation. The game has been in the works for nearly a decade, back when it was known as Grand Theftendo. Since then, Brian has had to jump through so many hoops just to see his baby through. Next time I see the man, I have to treat him to a steak dinner or at least some froyo. At one point, Retro City Rampage was a Grand Theft Auto parody. I don't know what it is anymore -- it defies classification. It's a love letter to 80s, an homage to videogames throughout the ages, and the debut of many Destructoid editors as game characters. You ask Brian to include something in the game, and the guy will probably find a way to squeeze in that reference. If nothing else, Retro City Rampage is going to be huge. Honorable Mentions: Rhythm Heaven Fever, The Last Story, Pandora's Tower, Rodea the Sky Soldier As for the Wii U, no real exclusives have been firmly announced for the thing yet, though we'll be keeping a close eye for more news on Pikmin 3, Smash Bros. Wii U / 3DS, and Miyamoto's new secret project. Then there is the promise of an enhanced Wii U version of Dragon Quest X, Batman: Arkham City, Darksiders II, Aliens: Colonial Marines, and many others. I'd also be highly surprised if we didn't get a compilation of some of the Wii U "experiences" that were on display at E3 2010. I'd love to see that Metroid-themed multiplayer shooter, Mario-themed hide-and-seek, Rhyhm Heaven-style pirate game, and (Shannon's favorite!) Measure Up, all crammed into one Wii Sports-style, minigame collection pack-in. Then there is No More Heroes 3, which Suda51 told me TO MY FACE is still headed to the Wii U. So while there is still a lot left to see confirmed, there is plenty to be excited about in 2012 for the wacky, wonderful world of Wii U.   Additional staff picks for the Wii / Wii U: Chad Concelmo: Rhythm Heaven Fever, Pikmin 3 Sean Daisy: LEGO Batman 2: DC Super Heroes, Dragon Quest X, Darksiders IIAndrew Kauz: Dragon Quest X, Xenoblade ChroniclesTara Long: Retro City RampageKyle MacGregor: Retro City Rampage, Rhythm Heaven Fever, The Last StoryAllistair Pinsof: Xenoblade ChroniclesMax Scoville: Actual Wii U games that aren't tech demos about birds and cherry blossoms Josh Tolentino: Xenoblade Chronicles, The Last Story 
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There were a few excellent third-party releases on the Wii in 2011 (Bit.Trip Complete immediately comes to mind), but for the most part, last year marked the end of an era for the console. The Wii didn't even get th...

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The Last Story gets rated ... for Australia


Oct 10
// Jim Sterling
It seems that even Australia, famous for getting regularly screwed over by Nintendo, is getting a taste of The Last Story while North America gets left out in the cold. The Mistwalker RPG was recently rated for the country, m...
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Operation Rainfall Phase 2: Buy Final Fantasy on Wii


Aug 12
// Jim Sterling
Operation Rainfall is not finished in its quest to get Xenoblade, Pandora's Tower and The Last Story released in North America, and has begun phase two of operations. As well as encouraging Europeans to buy Xenoblade and show...
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Nintendo of America trademarks The Last Story


Jul 15
// Jim Sterling
Nintendo of America has filed a trademark for The Last Story, which just so happens to be the name of the Mistwalker RPG that it refuses to localize.  The trademark was filed on January 13, 2010, but only issued a few da...
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The Jimquisition: Nintendo of America


Jul 04
// Jim Sterling
Impotent nerd rage from random people on the Internet always gets things done, so I guarantee that my latest Jimquisition will single-handedly convince Nintendo of America to release Xenoblade, The Last Story and Pandora's Tower in North America.  Meanwhile, you could always add your name to the Operation Rainfall movement and see if that does anything.
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Mistwalker thanks fans for 'Operation Rainfall' movement


Jun 27
// Jim Sterling
The Last Story developer Mistwalker has thanked fans for Operation Rainfall -- a huge effort undertaken by fans who want to see Xenoblade, The Last Story and Pandora's Tower get confirmed release dates in North America. ...
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Xenoblade reconfirmed for NA, Last Story confirmed for EU


Jun 26
// Jim Sterling
[Mini Update: People seem to think this story is "wrong" because Nintendo is sticking to a story it's spun before. That's as well as may be, but it's on Nintendo's head. The fact is, Nintendo customer support reconfirmed the ...
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Rumor: Europe to receive The Last Story


May 30
// Tony Ponce
While in Paris to attend a concert performed by Masashi Hamauzu, the current composer of the Final Fantasy series, Mistwalker president Hironobu "The Gooch" Sakaguchi mentioned that the Wii action RPG The Last Story would def...
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Nintendo of America registers The Last Story domain


Apr 06
// Jim Sterling
The first real hint that Nintendo of America may be localizing The Last Story has been dropped with the discovery of a registered domain Mistwalker's Wii roleplayer. Although Nintendo has stated it has "no plans" to bring the...
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The Last Story, Valkyria Chronicles 3 top Japan's sales


Feb 02
// Dale North
Those games that we were having trouble finding in Tokyo just happen to be the two top selling games for the week. The new Media Create sales numbers say that Wii RPG The Last Story is the best seller, with almost 115,000 uni...
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The Last Story sells out in Japanese stores


Jan 28
// Jim Sterling
The Last Story released this week in Japan, and it appears that the Wii exclusive RPG has sold like diapers in the Vatican. According to reports, the game's first run was such a success that preorders couldn't be met in sever...
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Spoiler: The Last Story looks awesome


Jan 26
// Jonathan Holmes
Xen0fan4, the Youtube member who uploaded this video, seems to think that it's a spoiler. Maybe my limited Japanese comprehension is causing me to miss something, but I don't see how any of this is spoiler material. There is...
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Watch a Japanese douche destroy a copy of The Last Story


Jan 25
// Jim Sterling
It seems that Japanese gamers are not deaf to our pleas for a Western release of The Last Story. In fact, one plucky lad in particular has heard us, and saw fit to answer in the most compassionate of ways -- obtaining a copy...
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Nintendo France: Last Story is not NOT coming to the West


Jan 22
// Jim Sterling
When Nintendo of America said it had "no plans" to localize The Last Story, everybody got depressed and decided it was never happening. I remained more hopeful, and it seems that I'm not alone, with Nintendo France clarifying...
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See every inch of The Last Story's battle system


Jan 21
// Jonathan Holmes
If you understand Japanese, get ready to know more than you probably wanted to know about The Last Story's battle system. Like the "gathering" tutorial that Jim posted a few days ago, this video is very thorough. There may b...
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Here's a long Last Story 'gathering system' demo


Jan 20
// Jim Sterling
If you've got fifteen minutes to spare, here's Hironobu Sakaguchi with a detailed walkthrough of The Last Story's gathering system. It's all in Japanese, of course, but there's plenty of cool footage to gawp at as well....
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Last Story too much effort for Nintendo to localize


Jan 20
// Jim Sterling
Nintendo has further explained its decision to keep Mistwalker's The Last Story in Japan, claiming that it's "not viable" to bring the game overseas. The justification makes specific reference to Europe, where Nintendo doesn'...
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These Last Story commercials hold an amazing secret


Jan 19
// Jonathan Holmes
Things are looking good for The Last Story. Still no word on a Western release, but early reviews are sounding very positive, and it's getting plenty of advertising in Japan. Speaking of which, these new commercials are cool...
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The Last Story commercial is ... wait, is that Ganondorf?


Jan 16
// Jim Sterling
A new TV spot for Mistwalker's The Last Story has been unleashed, and if you pay careful attention, you'll see a chap who looks almost exactly like Ganondorf in it. It wouldn't be quite so remarkable if he wasn't also emulat...
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The Last Story has 'no shake controls', other details


Jan 15
// Jonathan Holmes
According to a new info dump, the highly anticipated Wii exclusive The Last Story will not use "shake controls". It's also been made clear that the game will not be coming to other consoles because Nintendo worked so closely...
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The Last Story has a petition for a Western release


Jan 14
// Jim Sterling
Oh the irony! I have mocked the uselessness of online petitions for many years during my Destructoid tenure, and yet I am now forced to throw my support behind one because it's a subject I actually care about. A petition was ...
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Why is Mistwalker Tweeting about Last Story in English?


Jan 13
// Jim Sterling
So, with Nintendo of America claiming it has no current plans to release The Last Story in the West and gamers concluding that we'll never get a localized version of the game, I had to sit back and ponder a question ... why i...






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