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The Last Remnant

MacstormMacstorm Ysy St.Administrators
edited April 2009 in Staff Review Blogs
I've debated on starting a blog for this, but I figured, why not? Though I will admit right now that I will likely forget to update unless people ask questions.

11/17/2008 - I have no idea how long I've been playing, because there is no game clock. I hate not having a game clock.

Well, since I wrote this impression, things have continued to expand. The union system has opened up to give me more options and the game has stopped holding my hand as much. With that has come a great challenge and I've died quite a few times, many to my own mistakes and the rest to bad luck. Thankfully, you can save anywhere, so I've started saving after each battle.

I just finished one dungeon where you were only allowed two characters. Not two unions, two characters, so things were tough. You have to avoid links as much as possible, as things can overwhelm you quickly. So far it is still fun, but loading times are getting painful, but that's only because battles are fairly lengthy and fairly prevalent. Square Enix even recommends using the hard drive install from the NXE on the 19th, so hopefully that will help.

The story is really so-so right now. Things seem forced and you almost wonder why characters are doing what they are doing. You also wonder how they learn things, because you'll see a cutscene and then the next scene will have characters talking about information that was not revealed in the cutscene.

It's still too early to call this good or bad, but at this point I can say the battle system is fun and the story needs to start ramping up.

11/17/2008 - At least four hours further, if not more

Well, the difficulty has ramped up and the story has a bit as well. I've fought the equivalent of four boss battles tonight and ouch. The first one I was not prepared for, but upon going back and retrying things, I was able to beat it on the third try. I was prepared the second time, but I didn't realize that if you left a certain enemy as the last one on the field that they would go into overdrive and kill you.

I played on for a bit more and man are these dungeons long. Actually, they're not that long, but you have so many encounters along the way that it takes a while to go through them. So I get to the end of the dungeon, fight a boss, get tossed into a story scene, get tosses at another harder boss (without the option to save before hand), and then more story. Finally, I was able to save after about an half an hour of combat. So as I'm trying to leave this place, bam, another boss fight. I wasn't so lucky this time, so I've stopped for the night. I'm guessing I just need to find the best strategy for this fight.

To answer the questions:
As far as unique characters go, it's tough to answer. You get the story characters listed on the site at certain points, but you can also recruit (for money) powerful, unique leaders. They have no story or background, just a certain set of skills. You can only have a set number of leaders in the overall party at one time, so Rush, the generals, and the generic leaders have to be balanced.

There are also standard generic characters that can fight with you as well. You can hire more of them for no cost and use more (though still a limited amount) in your party. In the aspect of characters, this is almost closer to being a tactical RPG than a traditional one.

At one point the story really started to draw me in with a fairly dramatic scene. I was really getting into it, but just a couple scenes later everything was turned on its head and made the scene almost meaningless. I don't want to bash it just yet, but I've not really been majorly impressed so far.

11/18/2008 - Three hours-ish more
Just beat the battle that I was stuck on. Took five tries with some battles ending as quick as five minutes and two ending after about twenty.

I got lucky on the last try and things worked out, so now I'm on disc two. I want to like the story, but every time it gives me something really good, it doesn't go as far as I would have liked and leaves things hanging. It feels rushed. The opening to disc two just give a brief synopsis of what happened between disc one's end and the start of two. I call laziness or rushed to print.

11/20/2008 - 5-6 more hours
The story is really getting lazy at this point. I'm at my home in one area one minute and get a summon to come to another town, so I head that way. I get 45 second cutscene with my characters talking as they enter the city, then another 30 second one in another room where some of the rest of the party was waiting. Then I'm told to go back home. I do that, then once there another minute long cutscene wants to send me out somewhere else. It's like the story has been hacked to bits. I don't mind an occasional Xenosaga-length scene, especially if it helps progress the story. Every scene I've been hitting on does next to nothing to help the story or even character development.

That aside, the battle system is continuing to grow on me. I like it, even if the battle do take too long. I timed one simple encounter at three minutes including loading times. I've not timed a boss fight yet, but those are much longer.

Also, I did install the game onto the hard drive via NXE. While I don't do benchmarking to test, I judge the loading times on a scale from "unnoticed" to "slightly long" to "annoying" to "when is this going to load?". TLR has been staying at "annoying" and continues to be there even while a hard drive install.



"The universe is already mad. Anything else would be redundant."
Twitter @FinalMacstorm
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Comments

  • JoaqenixJoaqenix Member Full Members
    edited November 2008
    I dunno how far you are (and apparently neither do you with no game clock! I agree, thats annoying to have not one), but I'm interested how many unique playable characters there are in this. I get that the "unions" have multiple characters, and some are generic, right? How do the generic ones join you? Or are they limitless?

    There are only a few characters on the game's site, so I hope they have more unique characters than the 6 or so on the site.



  • SiliconNooBSiliconNooB Member Full Members
    edited November 2008
    Hope the story improves, it would seem like a bit of a waste to go to all of the effort and expense of creating a current gen rpg only to neglect the story.
    Lusipurr.com: One man's monument to himself!
    9 out of 10 Dentists recomend UNDERBOOB!
  • MacstormMacstorm Ysy St. Administrators
    edited November 2008
    Updated.
    "The universe is already mad. Anything else would be redundant."
    Twitter @FinalMacstorm
  • AurianAurian Member Full Members
    edited November 2008
    Sounds irritating if it keeps throwing boss fights at you with no chances to save and that it neglects the story.
  • JoaqenixJoaqenix Member Full Members
    edited November 2008
    Got it, thanks! I love TRPGs, so pretty excited for this weird melding of the two.

    The whole multiple boss fights without saving thing has always annoyed me though.
  • MacstormMacstorm Ysy St. Administrators
    edited November 2008
    Yeah, it's really hard to label The Last Remnant. On the surface, the multi-union combat mimics a traditional turn-based RPG, but deeper down it just doesn't feel like it. You have to worry about positioning, which union is fighting which, the makeup of your union, and the morale gauge. Battles feel more tactical than just a typical turn-based RPG, so take that for what it's worth.
    "The universe is already mad. Anything else would be redundant."
    Twitter @FinalMacstorm
  • Confessor RahlConfessor Rahl Member Full Members
    edited November 2008
    I preordered this for 40 bucks, looks like it wont be here until the 26th.
    "Back when FF9 was coming out. People were rejoicing because it was actually a fantasy game and not a sci-fi game like 7 and 8. It's hilarious in modern context, with everyone wanking themselves to dehydration at the thought of a FF7 remake."
  • ClixClix Former Listmaster Full Members
    edited November 2008
    I preordered this for 40 bucks, looks like it wont be here until the 26th.
    ...

    You're getting it NEW for $40!! How can you possibly complain?
  • JulimanoJulimano Member Full Members
    edited November 2008
    I cant wait to play this game, and I´m not worried about the boss battles without save point since I´m a masochist player (I even liked the Unlimited Saga tounge2.gif)
    :mad: :mad: Someone changed my profile :mad: :mad:
    Yeah, my english sucks
    [url=\"http://www.katamari.com.br/ontherocks\"]Visit my REAL blog :P (PT-BR)[/url]
  • MacstormMacstorm Ysy St. Administrators
    edited November 2008
    Updated.
    "The universe is already mad. Anything else would be redundant."
    Twitter @FinalMacstorm
  • DravDrav A Serious Man Full Members
    edited November 2008
    How's the cutscene to gameplay ratio? I could forgive a bad story as long as I wasn't being constantly bombarded with it for 15 minutes at a time like in S03.
  • MacstormMacstorm Ysy St. Administrators
    edited November 2008
    4:1 Gameplay over cutscenes. You are fighting much more than you are watching anything.
    "The universe is already mad. Anything else would be redundant."
    Twitter @FinalMacstorm
  • HeeHoHeeHo Member Full Members
    edited November 2008
    Quote: wrote:
    Battles feel more tactical than just a typical turn-based RPG, so take that for what it's worth.

    Sounds good to me. The gameplay to story ratio is actually a good thing for me. What my question is; is how is the progression system? Are you constantly being rewarded after those battles with items or anything?



  • MacstormMacstorm Ysy St. Administrators
    edited November 2008
    Yes, after each battle you gain items for crafting and for item arts (healing potions, stat boosts in combat, etc.). You also gain stats after each battle, as there is no experience points or levels. I guess I should have mentioned that before, but it didn't really seem to matter. You raise your HP, strength, etc. after battle. Skills improve as they are used and can upgrade during combat.
    "The universe is already mad. Anything else would be redundant."
    Twitter @FinalMacstorm
  • MacstormMacstorm Ysy St. Administrators
    edited November 2008
    Updated.
    "The universe is already mad. Anything else would be redundant."
    Twitter @FinalMacstorm
  • SiliconNooBSiliconNooB Member Full Members
    edited November 2008
    I got the game last night and am about 5 hours into it(as far as I can tell with no game clock angry.gif ). So far I really love how much strategy goes into making and using unions and all that the story has also been decent so far (though it does feel like corners have been cut). The graphics look really nice but the game has absolutely crippling technical issues.

    I don't think I have fought a battle thus far that hasn't turned into a slideshow, it's like trying to play a high-end game on a low-end PC. Any criticism that you could make against infinite undiscovery is doubley the case with last remnant.And of all the unreal engine games I have played LR has by far the worst texture load in, you can be running around a level for close to 20 seconds before textures finish loading in, and texture loading takes almost as long during cut-scenes which makes them look odd and unpolished....Games really need to stop always using the unreal engine I'm getting unreal fatigue.

    The game also has some annoying design issues, for instance in cities different areas are visually designed to lead into each other but if you run to the next section of the city you load out to the city map and then must choose and load into the next section of the city. I found this really breaking my immersion and it's entirely redundant also because if a player wants to go to the city map they can bring it up any time by hitting select.

    Anyway my complaining might make it sound like I don't like the game but that isn't the case, I'm really enjoying it. If any 360gamers are interested in the title I'd still recomend for them to go out and get it, but if you have a PS3 or a decent computer it might pay to wait for one of those versions because simply put this game does not feel finished. It's like they used the 360 release for beta testing.



    Lusipurr.com: One man's monument to himself!
    9 out of 10 Dentists recomend UNDERBOOB!
  • JoaqenixJoaqenix Member Full Members
    edited November 2008
    Yikes, its really that bad? Although I only experienced slow down in Infinite Undiscovery once or twice, even though lots of people had issues with that. Hopefully I get lucky again.

    I'm expecting to really enjoy this from the way the battle system sounds. And hey, I got it for $40 from Amazon, so you can't really beat that price. Although I think it still hasn't shipped yet...which is annoying.
  • MacstormMacstorm Ysy St. Administrators
    edited November 2008
    Yes, the slowdown is much worse here than in IU.
    "The universe is already mad. Anything else would be redundant."
    Twitter @FinalMacstorm
  • JulimanoJulimano Member Full Members
    edited November 2008
    Man, I started playing this game yesterday and concur with everything that Macstorm said, and it´s just me or the running animation is a little strange? it´s look like he is just doing a lot small fast steps instead of truly running

    I think that I will sell it and wait for the PS3 version, maybe they will fix these issues
    :mad: :mad: Someone changed my profile :mad: :mad:
    Yeah, my english sucks
    [url=\"http://www.katamari.com.br/ontherocks\"]Visit my REAL blog :P (PT-BR)[/url]
  • HeeHoHeeHo Member Full Members
    edited November 2008
    SiliconNooB, are you playing it off the hard drive?
  • Confessor RahlConfessor Rahl Member Full Members
    edited November 2008
    Man, I started playing this game yesterday and concur with everything that Macstorm said, and it´s just me or the running animation is a little strange? it´s look like he is just doing a lot small fast steps instead of truly running

    I think that I will sell it and wait for the PS3 version, maybe they will fix these issues
    You're going to sell a game because of its running animation? How is that even an issue?
    "Back when FF9 was coming out. People were rejoicing because it was actually a fantasy game and not a sci-fi game like 7 and 8. It's hilarious in modern context, with everyone wanking themselves to dehydration at the thought of a FF7 remake."
  • FrozenbabylonFrozenbabylon POW! Full Members
    edited November 2008
    Man. I'm really unsure about this game... I don't know whether or not to get it.
  • NergalNergal The Don Full Members
    edited November 2008
    I initially had a problem with the technical issues (I'm running off the disc- I've only got a 256MB memory unit and I don't have Live/NXE), but now I find them very easy to overlook as the game is an absolute blast to play. As has been mentioned, the battles are a brilliant mix of traditional turn-based with a deeper, strategic twist (and cinematic spectacle to boot). The growth/progression system is a little odd, but works well. I can't say much about the story, as I'm still on Disc 1 and not much has really happened yet. The voice acting is good and the music is awesome in a kind of cheesy way.

    All in all, I had high expectations and I haven't been left disappointed.
  • HeeHoHeeHo Member Full Members
    edited November 2008
    Yeah, I'm actually most excited about the progression system myself. I really like how it's skill based.

    It works like SaGa though, right? You get hit a lot, you gain HP, you use physical attacks a lot, your strength eventually goes up, etc...
  • MacstormMacstorm Ysy St. Administrators
    edited November 2008
    I'm not really familiar with the SaGa games, but from what you're describing, yes it's just like that.
    "The universe is already mad. Anything else would be redundant."
    Twitter @FinalMacstorm
  • Confessor RahlConfessor Rahl Member Full Members
    edited November 2008
    Yeah, I'm actually most excited about the progression system myself. I really like how it's skill based.

    It works like SaGa though, right? You get hit a lot, you gain HP, you use physical attacks a lot, your strength eventually goes up, etc...
    UGH... i've always hated those kind of experience systems... But we'll see, it was only 40 bucks new so I won't be too devestated if I am not fanatical about the game.
    "Back when FF9 was coming out. People were rejoicing because it was actually a fantasy game and not a sci-fi game like 7 and 8. It's hilarious in modern context, with everyone wanking themselves to dehydration at the thought of a FF7 remake."
  • SiliconNooBSiliconNooB Member Full Members
    edited November 2008
    Ok I finally got around to downloading the new 360 update which allowed me to install the game to my hard drive and I must say performance has markedly improved. Now there are now only a few minor framerate hitches during battles and texture load in times are about a quarter of what they were. It's still not acceptable to release a game which plays this poorly directly off the disc but at least you can get a decent game experience if you are willing to install it.

    I also have to say that the game has become as addictive as crack cocaine, I've been playing for days unable to stop and the depth of the battle system has opened up like you could not believe. The stats of individual characters determine the stats of their unit as a whole and so once the game allows you to form 5 member units choosing which characters to place in units becomes a meaningful experience as you have to decide whether you want to balance your units with members with strong attack, strong magic, high hp or nice abilities. Furthermore the actions your units can perform change with every round which keeps the game incredibly fresh.

    I totally love this game despite it's flaws, it starts off mediocre but the further you progress the better it becomes but just don't even try to play this game without installing it to your hard drive first because it's virtually unplayable off the disc.
    Lusipurr.com: One man's monument to himself!
    9 out of 10 Dentists recomend UNDERBOOB!
  • MacstormMacstorm Ysy St. Administrators
    edited November 2008
    I agree that it's better off of the HD, but there is still slowdown, at least where I'm at.

    Disc 2 ramped up to be a TON harder than Disc 1. I'm plowing along as best I can, but it doesn't help when I fight a two-part battle, the first part of which lasts for 35 minutes, only to lose in the second part within 10 minutes.... twice. Yes, I changed my stats and unions around, but it didn't help. I need to rethink everything.
    "The universe is already mad. Anything else would be redundant."
    Twitter @FinalMacstorm
  • chiapetchiapet Member Full Members
    edited November 2008
    I am hoping to start Last Remnant tonight, but since I don't have NXE and no way to get it for the forseeable future, I'm a bit concerned that it won't be that enjoyable of an experience.

    What has me more concerned is how SE has released IU and LR in what could only be called "a sloppy state" in the graphics processing department. It doesn't bode well for Star Ocean or FFXIII on 360, in my opinion, with the apparent shoddiness of these games.

    I know they have a schedule to keep an all, but I would have rather SE delay the games and polish the experience than release something that feels half-assed.
  • JoaqenixJoaqenix Member Full Members
    edited November 2008
    Its probably just business for them. What was the last console game Square-Enix released? It seems like its been a while. They probably rushed IU/TLR to get something out before Christmas this year while they focus on Star Ocean and (theoretically) FFXIII.

    Anyhow I'm starting this tonight too, hopefully it lives up to expectations. I don't really get the installing thing so hopefully the game isn't too awful without installing it.
This discussion has been closed.