It is rare when an RPG from Japan makes its way to thePC game market, and is actually able to surpass the quality of a simultaneous console release. The Last Remnant however, is one of those rare gems. The PC version manages to neatly avoid all of the flaws that plagued the release for the Xbox 360, and give any gamer an all killer, no filler 60 hours of play. Any fan of RPG’ will want to get their hands on this title. It combinines of an exciting plot with a solid combat system and a visceral sense of being in the game created by solid graphics and amazing score. If you pass on this title then you will end up regretting it.
The Plot (4 out of 5)
This game starts off with what seems like a standard RPG plot. We are introduced to Rush, who is very much the traditional hero. He has a sweet spot for his little sister Irina. Everything is business as usual, until sweet Irina is kidnapped. Rush goes out to save his sister, but as is typical in the world of RPG’s, saving the girl is never as simple as it seems. It turns out that Rush has found himself in the middle of a larger political issue. If he wants to find his sister he will have to unravel the mysteries behind the mysterious objects known as Remnants. This game however, has a dual focus. We just do not follow the story of the protagonist, but also the story of the antagonist. Our villain du jour is called The Conqueror. These two plots intersect and interweave easily and keep you going well past the 70 hour mark of game play.
Visual Appeal (5 out of 5)
This game is probably one of the most visually appealing titles for the PC that has been made. The graphics are extremely high resolution, and probably some of the most appealing that you will see. Areas in the game are all well designed and you will never see the same thing twice. You will enjoy the graphics with sweeping scenery when you are not in combat, and the bloody carnage of smiting your foes. You will find a wealth of detail in the games background and objects of importance.
Soundscape (4 out of 5)
In a lot of games you don’t really notice the music. That is not the case in The Last Remnant. Music plays a serious part of the game play in this title. The solid score manages to add a lot to the atmosphere of the game. You will feel both encouraged and intimidated by the sound at any given point in the game.
Combat (5 out of 5)
The combat is a dual system, one part a turn based system with an amazingly flexible system of commands. They allow you to take your combat party to a lot of different places. The system does have some flaws in it, but none of them will be too wide spread that it will distract you from game play. Just be aware that you will be taking a broader approach to combat then most RPG players are used to. The second part of the combat system is filled in with quick time events, where you have to hit a specific key in order to make the move. If you have had the chance to play the boss combats in Resident Evil 5 then you will have a good idea of the kind of high speed Quick Time scenes you will be dealing with in this game.
Unions (4 out of 5)
Your combat is set up in a system known as unions. These unions allow you to take on the large scale combat needed to advance in the game. In the beginning of the game you will be annoyed by the fact that you only have a broad management system of the unions. Once you make your way into the thick of the game and your unions grow in number however, the wisdom of that system will be made clear to you. Trying to deal with a whole bunch of tiny details would drive you mad if you were forced to.
Controls (5 out of 5)
The combat controls are simple enough to manage. Just be ready to spend a lot of time with the arrow keys scrolling through menus to get to the actions that you want. The only annoyance with controls is the sensitivity of the camera angles, which can be accidentally triggered two different ways. Don’t worry though, if you get stuck you can just un-do the close up with a tap of the forward or back arrow.
Cutscenes (3 out of 5)
This game comes with some of the longest cut scenes ever seen in a PC game. While they can be a visual delight, and usually advance the plot significantly, you may want to get out the popcorn. Early on in the game you will spend a significant portion of your game time watching instead of playing. This evens out nicely as you make progress and your unions grow in size.
Conclusion (5 out of 5)
In the end this game is a must have. You will enjoy each and every moment of the game. The amazing visceral experiance of this game’s visual and auditory stimulation along with solid combat and a great mix of story lines will give you a game that you will not be able to put down. The game has a long play life, but even after 65 or 70 hours you will still be sad to see the game end.