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LONG BLOG

Review - The Last Story

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Framerate problems might have been slightly more forgivable were the game to give off the impression of taxing the console to any degree, but while sometimes graced by agreeable images (Zael and Lisa watching a display of shooting stars on a purple night sky), environments are small and texturing on enemies and scenery frequently blurry. Brown and grey colour schemes dominate, combining with the low-quality character models to make Lazulis Island a particularly dreary hub to navigate (the lack of signposting and worthwhile reward for sidequests, meanwhile, only encourages them to be ignored).

A further quirk is how, despite the game's muddy visual quality, it seems to have been designed for large televisions: on smaller screens, the icons indicating which character is equipped with what weapon or armour is almost indistinguishable, with no text offered for assistance. Certain bosses, meanwhile, require players to note small details, such as glowing red eyes, as a guide to success. The shambolic graphics make this a task requiring superhuman observational skills, leaving the player relying on pot luck or the purchase of a larger television to progress. Even for the Wii, that's an expensive peripheral too far.

The game steadily improves as the player adapts to its issues: battles become a tad more challenging and require greater tactical consideration, while the twenty hour length keeps the storytelling focused and accessible for those not able or willing to commit to a Xenoblade-esque eighty hour extravaganza. The lead characters are an engaging bunch, with their regional British accents an easy fit for the rural trappings of the fantasy genre (not a trace of sci-fi on show here) and the excellent localisation never shy of deploying an amusing colloquialism or two. Legendary composer Nobuo Uematsu's score only produces a handful of memorable tracks, but is of consistently solid quality. A pity the same cannot be said for the game as a whole, its most exciting ideas let down by uneven execution. The Last Story is far from a write-off, offering enough potential to hope for an improved and title-defying second instalment, but as a first chapter it is a bit of a bungle. [ 5 ]
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About Xander Markhamone of us since 3:08 PM on 02.07.2010

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I'm a 26-year old English writer, formerly known on the CBlogs as Xandaça. I've been an avid gamer since I was a wee lad, gripping a NES controller in my hands and comprehensively failing to get past those infuriating Hammer Bros on Level 8-3 of Super Mario Bros. I've stuck with Nintendo since then (not for any animosity towards the other console makers of course - Nintendo just make games I enjoy and have grown up with), apart from a brief sojourn with a Sony PlayStation, several woeful attempts to play Half-Life 2 using a laptop touchpad and sporadically wrangling a turn on my sister's beloved Sega Saturn.

In addition to burping out the occasional novel, I'm a passionate critic, writing reviews and articles of films, book and games for my school magazine and university newspaper, for which I created and edited its film section. In addition to starting up my own blog, covering television, games and movies, I am also a writer for Destructoid's cine-geek sister Flixist. While primarily a film geek, the evolution of the games industry over the course of its short lifetime has fascinated me and provided vast quantities of content for some incendiary pieces of work - perhaps a few more might spring up on here?

My Favourite Games of All Time (because who doesn't love having a few Of All Time lists?) are GoldenEye 007 (which I still play through at least once a year to remind me of its glories), Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars, Gunstar Heroes, Super Mario Bros 3 (I don't know who told Shigsy Miyamoto-san that raccoons could fly, but I'll love them forever) and No More Heroes.

I hope you find great enjoyment in my many scribings, and please keep an eye out for upcoming news on my novel(s) and do pay a visit to my blog sometime. And yes, the Dtoid community's 'no copy and paste' rule will be fully respected!

Good gaming, everyone!