Just an opinionated fan of rpg's and gaming in general who likes to rant about first world gamer problems because there are so many.
My blogs mostly consist of reviews/rants of games of all generations, particularly rpg's. I try to blend my reviews with both facts and opinion so that people can see from my own experiences and decide for themselves. i will also tend to review older titles because i still believe that there are few people out there who haven't played these awesome titles and deserve to give them a chance.
Oh and as for some negative's you might point out, i don't put images in my reviews/rants because images are a pain in the neck to obtain and they never seem to work properly. Plus i can't spell for my life and my grammar is terrible.
This is probably the hardest review I've ever had to do, The Last Remnant is such an underrated game that even I myself have forgotten about many times but it is without a doubt the, if not one of the best rpg's this generation and is far greater than that of Lost Odyssey, I shall tell you why.
For starters lets talk about the story, you start out as Rush Sykes (still a better name than Edge Mavrick) as he searches for his sister, pretty simply stuff there. Along the way he encounters a huge war in which the player directly takes control of, battles in this game are essentially huge wars like in the Suikoden games, but they are all done in turn based and not in strategy form. After the battle Rush falls into a huge hole after a huge remnant (god-like machines), the gae bolg fires a huge energy blast annihilating everything on the battlefield (you even get to use this as an attack later).
After falling through the hole Rush ends up in a cave and encounters a warrior woman named Emma and I'll have you know that she is not your stereotypical female protagonist. She interrogates rush believing that he is a spy and the panicking rush spills the events that happened before the start of the game, Emma doesn't believe him but reluctantly tags along with him. At the end, Rush meets a marquis (Monarch) David who just happens to be the guy who fired off that huge weapon, Rush's informality causes him to get a rollicking from Emma. The story goes on from there as David offers to assist rush in finding his sister which leads to many conflicts as the truth behind the story unfolds.
The story may not be everyone's cup of tea as it is very political, fans of Final Fantasy Tactics and the likes will probably enjoy it more than others but the plot does become more appealing later on, overall i would say that the plot is very complicated and many may have trouble in following the plot at times as a lot of twists happen all at once, in the end the plot follows a huge conspiracy but i won't spoil the details.
Now that that is out of the way, let us talk about the game play as it is the game's strongest point and weakest point somewhat, let me explain, in the Xbox 360 version, you are only able to equip rush, this is a huge problem which is fixed in the PC version (if you can run it, get it, it is better) but in terms of content, The Last Remnant is unequaled for a jrpg at least, in fact it probably has just about as much content as a wrpg like oblivion with tonnes of quests, guild tasks (a task list which rewards players upon completion, similar to that of Tales Of Graces F where you gave to bring an item and get rewarded, i.e you do not have to start the quest which is good as these quests are essentially the fetch quests of the game), secret dungeons, secret towns, secret places, secret super bosses, rare mobs, I could go on and on, this game seemingly lasts forever, heck, if you somehow manage to beat all the quests in the game, you get to fight a super powerful version of the final boss (similar to Indalecio without the limiter from star ocean the second story) essentially turning him into a super boss, Wow.
As for the battles themselves, this game is ridiculously hard later on in the game as this game is heavily strategy based and the battle system itself is extremely complicated but I will try my best to explain whats what.
The Last Remnant doesn't offer a party of 4/5 people, you can have up to 25 people in battle (by the end anyways) and all these people are split between unions (essentially you have 5 separate parties) each union has a leader, leaders can be recruited at guilds/via side quests but you can also use the main cast. The rest are simply mere infantry whom you can deploy into a union, this is where the pre-battle strategy comes in as you need a balanced team of fighters for every situation though some times you need to sacrifice numbers and have 3 huge unions with lots of health, this can he helpful against aoe's (which occur very often) but with less unions you have less control over the battlefield and you will likely get raid locked more often (i'll explain that in a bit) plus if enemies have instant death moves/bewitchment moves, you will struggle with just 3 unions, so you may want 5 unions.
Also you will want to decide how big you want your unions to be, some attacks (even regular attacks) can 1 hit ko a member of your union but if they ko an infantry, it's fine, if they kill the leader, you are botched and can't do anything but if you only have a leader in your union, you are terminated right off the bat. so you want to make sure you have enough people in a union to prevent this. Also some attacks are union aoe's which deal extreme damage to big unions but small damage to small unions so you'll need to bear this in mind, the bigger your union, the more protected your leaders are and without leaders, you have no control, so choose wisely.
Once all that has been sorted out, you can go into battle, battles are turned based and at first appearance they work similar to controlling the magus sisters in Final Fantasy X but if you want a specific move selection then you can press X which shows a list of all the moves you can perform, now depending on the situation you are in will depend on the moves you can perform, at the top there is a morale bar, the higher it is, the higher the chance of getting stronger attacks, but the lower it is, the more chance the opponent will have stronger attacks, in most boss fights it will be extremely low, especially in huge wars where you have 8 unions on the enemy side who raid lock you. All in all, my advice is not to worry too much about morale for it will likely be in the red zone most of the battle, but there are ways that you can alter it slightly, performing critical hits, keeping your unions in good shape and deadlocking enemies can increase your morale bar by a lot, but beware, this can be countered easily on the enemy turn.
You also have AP to manage too, the higher your AP the better moves you can perform, the combat is not random like most people say, the moves you have are based on your actions earlier, proper preparations can save your life later so standing by to restore AP is encouraged, especially in long boss fights because you might need it for a huge resurrection spell/weapon arts.
Generally you want a healer, dps and a tank, but you can have two more tanks in battle if you have 5 unions to take the heat off the healers who will be vulnerable to deadlocks from the enemy, in battle you have a choice to deadlock or to stand by and buff/heal, some battles may even require you to march towards the enemy should you be too far away from them, you can even cast spells long range too. once deadlocked, you are stuck with that enemy until it is killed, if you cancel a deadlock to target another enemy, they will raid lock you which will bolster their morale and give you a huge beating, so cancel deadlock at your discretion, the only real reason why you would want to cancel a deadlock is if you need emergency healing, you can even heal and attack at the same time if the situation allows it but doing this will deadlock you with the enemy so unless you are already deadlocked I would refrain from doing it.
Once all the enemies on the battlefield are beaten you win....or you see "Reinforcements" appear on your screen, if you do, prepare for another wave of enemy unions who will gladly raid lock you should you let them. now to talk about all these terms, dead lock is when you aggro an enemy, apparently enemies can deadlock as well but I've never seen it, usually it's a raid lock, same with you as well, I've never seen my unions raid lock them but whatever, they mean the same thing anyways. if two unions dead lock the same union, it is called a flank attack and it goes on and on, should you decide to do that, but be warned as dead locking a single union can lead to the enemy raid locking you. There is also interference, when either you/the enemy is dead locking/raid locking, they can get interfered by something else trying to deadlock them, an interference is stronger than a regular dead lock and it forces the other union into a deadlock, it is essentially a successful tanking maneuver And finally terminated is essentially the death of a union.
Now lets talk about all the out of battle stuff, towns work similar to that of Final Fantasy 12 but you can move from place to place swiftly as by leaving an area in the town brings you to the town map which is convenient for you don't have to move through districts in a linear fashion, moving from place to place on the world map is the same too. Now onto the dungeons/field segments, enemies appear on the field so no random encounters, to encounter an enemy you have to press the left trigger (or was it the right i don't remember) if they hit you first though, they get the advantage. there are also dig sites which will come to play early on in the game which you can farm for materials which you can use to craft your equipment/ guild tasks etc.
And finally lets talk about the graphics and the soundtrack, the graphics are sub-par, The Last Remnant used the unreal engine but doesn't necessarily push it to it's limits, there are also some severe frame rate issues which has led to poor reviews. As for the soundtrack, it is simply awesome, the town music is great and gives that bustling and imperial feel, whereas some are more calmer and softer songs for towns which do not have a remnant/marquis or are simply smaller, sadly in the second disk most of the town themes become the same after a specific event. The field music is great too, some are catchy, some are epic, some are atmospheric, you name it. Where this game excels in are it's battle themes which are all simply put bad-ass, if you want music with heavy guitar riffs and percussion, this is the game for you, for this game has in my opinion, the best VGM guitarist, Tsuyoshi Sekito who pushes the guitar to it's limits in this game. So when rush says "come on, lets kick some A" you know why.
Overall The Last Remnant is an excellent game which is highly underrated, if you are a hardcore rpg fan and you want a challenge with lots of content, then this is the game for you.
Game play: 9.7
Replay Value: 8.0