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Posted by Video_Game_King (36078 posts) -

The Last Story

(And so goes the second game of the Operation Rainfall Not-Really-a-Trilogy.) Hopefully, by the time you're reading this, somebody finally caves in and releases Pandora's Tower in America to complete the still-not-a-trilogy. But for now, we're stuck with The Last Story. Ever wonder why it's called that? What? Because Hironobu Sakaguchi treated this project as if it was his last? Don't be stupid. It's clearly because the development team was fired after the publishers saw what they were paying for.

Why the malice? Well, it's largely because the story's absolute crap. Maybe I'm at fault, here, but I believe myself justified in expecting a good story out of a game called The Last Story. Anyway, it all begins with a group of mercenaries trying to kill a group of lizard people. On this journey, one of them gains a mysterious magical power...and then promptly ignores it for half the game. I'd like to go on about how many plot threads go absolutely nowhere, but I'll take the game's leave and ignore the fuck out of that, too. This leads us to Lazulis Island, where the Count's daughter is getting married. One problem: she doesn't want the passive life of royalty and sneaks out of the castle shortly before the wedding, only to be found by the protagonist, who doe-You know what? It's Aladdin. The beginning of the game is a worse version of Aladdin.

"And that's all the character I'll ever get, lad."

Although now that I think about it, I have played another Wii game this year with strong Disney vibes: Skyward Sword. Now this provides an interesting case study in trying to figure out why exactly it works for Skyward Sword, but not for The Last Story. Simply put, it's what they choose to borrow from Disney that separates them. Skyward Sword decided to rip the aesthetics from Disney, and was better for it. There, it creates a sense of magical whimsy that brings the world to life and jacks the fun factor all the way to Skyloft. (Let's ignore the fact that Skyward Sword essentially begins in Skyloft.)

The Last Story, on the other hand, chooses to borrow Disney stories, which isn't exactly the best idea in the world. These stories are made for children; why would you look to that for inspiration on your serious RPG? (I bet all the kids are clamoring for T-rated games where one of the characters is a rowdy alcoholic.....You know what I mean.) Yes, Skyward Sword blatantly steals tropes from Disney (Groose being the most obvious), too, but it's not content to end there. It at least tries to add some depth, giving Groose a character arc and bothering to explain just how the hell Zelda got through all those dangerous areas. The Last Story, on the other hand, never bothers to take that step, leaving us with a stupidly anemic storyline populated with characters less developed than a fifth grade girl and villains less believable than Hitler. I wish I was kidding. It's like every villain is simply checking off boxes on their List of Villainy, which probably explains why every one of them is so eager to give Disney Princess Calista five to the face.

This happens A LOT in The Last Story, and I'm not sure why.

And predictable! Don't forget predictable! There were just too many moments where I said to myself something would happen, and then the game followed that to a T. Perfect example: when end-game time came around, I said, "Go ahead, game. Make Calista hum her stupid little tune and then use that to fade into your evocative vocal credits song. GO AHEAD AND DO IT. I fucking dare you." Guess what it did? Now imagine an entire game that's like that. And it's not even like the game offers anything to make up for this. I mean, what's the point of the story? That authority figures suck? Of course they're going to suck when their only previous work experience is as fucking scarecrows! Or is it something about inside/outside? I don't even know.

OK, I think that's enough angry rants toward the story. (Believe me: I could say much more.) How about I talk about something I like, instead? Like the art style! I honestly don't have a lot of complaints here, because the art is fantastic. Hell, I'm not even sure where to begin. How about the ability to turn your entire party into a pastel Power Ranger nightmare? No? Then the soft focus seems a semi-logical place to start, since it lends The Last Story a warm feeling. Combine that with how delicate and intricate the character design in general can be, and it's hard not to love the way this game looks. It's like the graphical design team had a clear idea of what they wanted this game to be like, which is more than I can say for everything preceding this. Granted, the faces can be really strange at times (here's Lowell getting mashed in the dick), but overall, there's more good than bad about the graphics.

Not now. I'm about to get my lizard genocide on.

I wish I could say that about the gameplay. Instead, it's more a murky mix of good and bad. Looking at it on paper, things start off really good. It's what happens when you combine a cover-based shooter with an RPG. Now I could say "which explains all the blue-grey-brown", but it's hard to be derisive toward something so tactical, because that's where all the fun lies. Sure, you can run up to a lot of enemies and aimless wave your sword to victory, but where's the fun in that? You're supposed to wait back, plan things out, observe enemy positions and whatnot. Sure, that's a lot of work to put into fighting enemies, but it's all worth it when you're slicing enemies in half one by one, or picking off their healers from halfway across the world, or burying them under a collapsed bridge, or any of the various options the game throws your way.

Of course, this is all assuming that you know what to do. Half the time, though, you won't. You're going to spend a lot of time flailing about and looking for exactly what the game wants you to blow up. Your only option in these instances is to find the fun and kill it. Now, to be fair, the game does try to inform you of what you should do. It's just that it always does it when you already know what to do. Yes, I know that I'm supposed to hit that giant spider thing in the ass. You don't have to repeat your hint dialogue every three seconds throughout the fight. Although the fights are kinda-challenging as it is, what with the wonky camera, the sticky controls, and the madly fluctuating party member levels, so I can't fault the game too much for that.

What I can fault it for, though, are the boss battles. All of them (save this one late in the game) are terrible. Remember what I said about the voices being annoying? Simply add to that exactly one strategy for the entire fight, and you have the boss battles of The Last Story. Predictably, it's less engaging than it is something that occupies time. The final boss is probably the worst about this, since he's pretty much all that multiplied by three and divided over what I can only call musical vomit. Fortunately, the game's over once you de-wait, no, there are a few chapters after him, because the game wasn't long enough as it is. It can't even end itself properly. I'd end on that, but I want to end on something positive: this is the last The Last Story game. Hopefully.

Review Synopsis

  • I can't even be clever about it: the story sucks.
  • And so does the execution of the battle mechanics, if not the core concept.
  • But at least it looks good.

And then Sigurd just let all hell loose when he found out that his entire army let Emperor Palpatine abduct his wife.

Jelly Boy

(Well, this is certainly strange.) Have I ever ironically hated a game? I mean, I know I've ironically loved some games in the past (Takeshi's Challenge being the most obvious), but what about ironic hate? That seems a new concept. Yea, let's roll with that. Nnngghhh! It pisses me off how great this game is! All those cool power-ups and levels and what-not just get my blood boiling!

It's one of the most sickeningly superb games I've played in a while. I'd explain the concept, first, but what value is there in that? Jelly Boy (or, as he would have been known if this game was released in America, Jam Boi) is pulling some type of bank heist that involves puzzle pieces, for some reason that is quite obviously drugs. Also, fruit's involved, because that's what jelly is made of and this game is more clever than you'd ever give it credit for.

Why is the NARRATOR woofing?

Anyway, those puzzle pieces are what tie the entire game together. You have to search most of them out in each level, and while that sounds like a refreshing pain in the ass, it's actually the "worst" thing that could happen to this game. Those puzzle pieces force you to appreciate the really solid level design going on. You know, jumping around like a madman and reacting to things on the fly and everything else that makes a game challenging and engaging and fun and other boring words. Also, invisible blocks. Don't know what they were thinking there.

Then again, part of why those levels work so well is power-ups. Actually, that's the only reason. I'd repeat the last part and simply list them off, but there's just far too many to make that a viable option. Besides, I only need to mention three words to hook you on Jelly Boy: dick-gut punch. Sure, it's hard to build an entire level around punching something with your dick, something I can't say about the other power-ups, but what more do I need to say? Don't tell me that you've never wanted to kill something with the force of your erection. That includes you, too, ladies.

Fortunately, though, not everything about the game can be good. Most of it is, but there is a small vestige of suck that lies within the Jam Boi. For instance, the level themes. OK, on their own, they're not terribly offensive, but give it time. Soon enough, all those levels are going to look exactly the same. I'm not even kidding. That screenshot above? That's how the entire first world looks. It gets dull fast, and later worlds don't exactly escape this fate. It doesn't help that they lazily recycle enemy designs, thinking I wouldn't notice. Not that I can blame them for thinking that, since I couldn't notice any other flaws in this game. Yea, load times in a cartridge game, but that's mere chump change. As sad as it is, the rest of the game is superb. It's hard to think of a single meaty criticism against this game, although that might be because of that whole jelly thing.

Review Synopsis

  • Combine some technically amazing levels....
  • ...with a bevvy of power-ups...
  • ...and you have one of the few games I ironically hate. Why couldn't you be worse, Jelly Boy?
  • Fun fact: other Giant Bomb blogger has been involved with every game blogged of this week. I probably should have explained that in the beginning instead of at the butt-end. Also, I missed the perfect opportunity to make this about Jay444111.
#1 Posted by Video_Game_King (36078 posts) -

The Last Story

(And so goes the second game of the Operation Rainfall Not-Really-a-Trilogy.) Hopefully, by the time you're reading this, somebody finally caves in and releases Pandora's Tower in America to complete the still-not-a-trilogy. But for now, we're stuck with The Last Story. Ever wonder why it's called that? What? Because Hironobu Sakaguchi treated this project as if it was his last? Don't be stupid. It's clearly because the development team was fired after the publishers saw what they were paying for.

Why the malice? Well, it's largely because the story's absolute crap. Maybe I'm at fault, here, but I believe myself justified in expecting a good story out of a game called The Last Story. Anyway, it all begins with a group of mercenaries trying to kill a group of lizard people. On this journey, one of them gains a mysterious magical power...and then promptly ignores it for half the game. I'd like to go on about how many plot threads go absolutely nowhere, but I'll take the game's leave and ignore the fuck out of that, too. This leads us to Lazulis Island, where the Count's daughter is getting married. One problem: she doesn't want the passive life of royalty and sneaks out of the castle shortly before the wedding, only to be found by the protagonist, who doe-You know what? It's Aladdin. The beginning of the game is a worse version of Aladdin.

"And that's all the character I'll ever get, lad."

Although now that I think about it, I have played another Wii game this year with strong Disney vibes: Skyward Sword. Now this provides an interesting case study in trying to figure out why exactly it works for Skyward Sword, but not for The Last Story. Simply put, it's what they choose to borrow from Disney that separates them. Skyward Sword decided to rip the aesthetics from Disney, and was better for it. There, it creates a sense of magical whimsy that brings the world to life and jacks the fun factor all the way to Skyloft. (Let's ignore the fact that Skyward Sword essentially begins in Skyloft.)

The Last Story, on the other hand, chooses to borrow Disney stories, which isn't exactly the best idea in the world. These stories are made for children; why would you look to that for inspiration on your serious RPG? (I bet all the kids are clamoring for T-rated games where one of the characters is a rowdy alcoholic.....You know what I mean.) Yes, Skyward Sword blatantly steals tropes from Disney (Groose being the most obvious), too, but it's not content to end there. It at least tries to add some depth, giving Groose a character arc and bothering to explain just how the hell Zelda got through all those dangerous areas. The Last Story, on the other hand, never bothers to take that step, leaving us with a stupidly anemic storyline populated with characters less developed than a fifth grade girl and villains less believable than Hitler. I wish I was kidding. It's like every villain is simply checking off boxes on their List of Villainy, which probably explains why every one of them is so eager to give Disney Princess Calista five to the face.

This happens A LOT in The Last Story, and I'm not sure why.

And predictable! Don't forget predictable! There were just too many moments where I said to myself something would happen, and then the game followed that to a T. Perfect example: when end-game time came around, I said, "Go ahead, game. Make Calista hum her stupid little tune and then use that to fade into your evocative vocal credits song. GO AHEAD AND DO IT. I fucking dare you." Guess what it did? Now imagine an entire game that's like that. And it's not even like the game offers anything to make up for this. I mean, what's the point of the story? That authority figures suck? Of course they're going to suck when their only previous work experience is as fucking scarecrows! Or is it something about inside/outside? I don't even know.

OK, I think that's enough angry rants toward the story. (Believe me: I could say much more.) How about I talk about something I like, instead? Like the art style! I honestly don't have a lot of complaints here, because the art is fantastic. Hell, I'm not even sure where to begin. How about the ability to turn your entire party into a pastel Power Ranger nightmare? No? Then the soft focus seems a semi-logical place to start, since it lends The Last Story a warm feeling. Combine that with how delicate and intricate the character design in general can be, and it's hard not to love the way this game looks. It's like the graphical design team had a clear idea of what they wanted this game to be like, which is more than I can say for everything preceding this. Granted, the faces can be really strange at times (here's Lowell getting mashed in the dick), but overall, there's more good than bad about the graphics.

Not now. I'm about to get my lizard genocide on.

I wish I could say that about the gameplay. Instead, it's more a murky mix of good and bad. Looking at it on paper, things start off really good. It's what happens when you combine a cover-based shooter with an RPG. Now I could say "which explains all the blue-grey-brown", but it's hard to be derisive toward something so tactical, because that's where all the fun lies. Sure, you can run up to a lot of enemies and aimless wave your sword to victory, but where's the fun in that? You're supposed to wait back, plan things out, observe enemy positions and whatnot. Sure, that's a lot of work to put into fighting enemies, but it's all worth it when you're slicing enemies in half one by one, or picking off their healers from halfway across the world, or burying them under a collapsed bridge, or any of the various options the game throws your way.

Of course, this is all assuming that you know what to do. Half the time, though, you won't. You're going to spend a lot of time flailing about and looking for exactly what the game wants you to blow up. Your only option in these instances is to find the fun and kill it. Now, to be fair, the game does try to inform you of what you should do. It's just that it always does it when you already know what to do. Yes, I know that I'm supposed to hit that giant spider thing in the ass. You don't have to repeat your hint dialogue every three seconds throughout the fight. Although the fights are kinda-challenging as it is, what with the wonky camera, the sticky controls, and the madly fluctuating party member levels, so I can't fault the game too much for that.

What I can fault it for, though, are the boss battles. All of them (save this one late in the game) are terrible. Remember what I said about the voices being annoying? Simply add to that exactly one strategy for the entire fight, and you have the boss battles of The Last Story. Predictably, it's less engaging than it is something that occupies time. The final boss is probably the worst about this, since he's pretty much all that multiplied by three and divided over what I can only call musical vomit. Fortunately, the game's over once you de-wait, no, there are a few chapters after him, because the game wasn't long enough as it is. It can't even end itself properly. I'd end on that, but I want to end on something positive: this is the last The Last Story game. Hopefully.

Review Synopsis

  • I can't even be clever about it: the story sucks.
  • And so does the execution of the battle mechanics, if not the core concept.
  • But at least it looks good.

And then Sigurd just let all hell loose when he found out that his entire army let Emperor Palpatine abduct his wife.

Jelly Boy

(Well, this is certainly strange.) Have I ever ironically hated a game? I mean, I know I've ironically loved some games in the past (Takeshi's Challenge being the most obvious), but what about ironic hate? That seems a new concept. Yea, let's roll with that. Nnngghhh! It pisses me off how great this game is! All those cool power-ups and levels and what-not just get my blood boiling!

It's one of the most sickeningly superb games I've played in a while. I'd explain the concept, first, but what value is there in that? Jelly Boy (or, as he would have been known if this game was released in America, Jam Boi) is pulling some type of bank heist that involves puzzle pieces, for some reason that is quite obviously drugs. Also, fruit's involved, because that's what jelly is made of and this game is more clever than you'd ever give it credit for.

Why is the NARRATOR woofing?

Anyway, those puzzle pieces are what tie the entire game together. You have to search most of them out in each level, and while that sounds like a refreshing pain in the ass, it's actually the "worst" thing that could happen to this game. Those puzzle pieces force you to appreciate the really solid level design going on. You know, jumping around like a madman and reacting to things on the fly and everything else that makes a game challenging and engaging and fun and other boring words. Also, invisible blocks. Don't know what they were thinking there.

Then again, part of why those levels work so well is power-ups. Actually, that's the only reason. I'd repeat the last part and simply list them off, but there's just far too many to make that a viable option. Besides, I only need to mention three words to hook you on Jelly Boy: dick-gut punch. Sure, it's hard to build an entire level around punching something with your dick, something I can't say about the other power-ups, but what more do I need to say? Don't tell me that you've never wanted to kill something with the force of your erection. That includes you, too, ladies.

Fortunately, though, not everything about the game can be good. Most of it is, but there is a small vestige of suck that lies within the Jam Boi. For instance, the level themes. OK, on their own, they're not terribly offensive, but give it time. Soon enough, all those levels are going to look exactly the same. I'm not even kidding. That screenshot above? That's how the entire first world looks. It gets dull fast, and later worlds don't exactly escape this fate. It doesn't help that they lazily recycle enemy designs, thinking I wouldn't notice. Not that I can blame them for thinking that, since I couldn't notice any other flaws in this game. Yea, load times in a cartridge game, but that's mere chump change. As sad as it is, the rest of the game is superb. It's hard to think of a single meaty criticism against this game, although that might be because of that whole jelly thing.

Review Synopsis

  • Combine some technically amazing levels....
  • ...with a bevvy of power-ups...
  • ...and you have one of the few games I ironically hate. Why couldn't you be worse, Jelly Boy?
  • Fun fact: other Giant Bomb blogger has been involved with every game blogged of this week. I probably should have explained that in the beginning instead of at the butt-end. Also, I missed the perfect opportunity to make this about Jay444111.
#2 Posted by pyromagnestir (4252 posts) -

A worse version of Disney's Aladdin you say?

And is there a concept page that lists all games that have a character taking a comedic shot to the nuts? If I ever started a blog my number one idea would be to play through all those games. I already got Persona 4 and Mortal Kombat down.

#3 Posted by Video_Game_King (36078 posts) -

@pyromagnestir said:

And is there a concept page that lists all games that have a character taking a comedic shot to the nuts?

I imagine the Groin Strike page gets it, mainly because that's an oddly better name than the "nut shot" I used to search it out.

#4 Posted by pyromagnestir (4252 posts) -

@Video_Game_King:

That seems to focus on games with a nut shot attack. Although I can also add Saints Row the Third to the list of ones I've already played.

And maybe I should add those old THQ/AKI N64 wrestling games to the groin strike page. I seem to remember an uppercut type attack which seemed to hit between the legs and when it hit would be followed by a "ting" sound and the opponent walking around all hobbled for a second or two.

#5 Posted by Video_Game_King (36078 posts) -

@pyromagnestir:

A crotch uppercut? Either that's a lowercut or your opponents are always twice as tall as you, which means that all those old N64 wrestling games permanently cast you as a little person fighting against clearly-not-little-sized wrestlers.

#6 Posted by The_Laughing_Man (13629 posts) -

Are you sayin I should go home and load up the last story an let everyone be super British?

#7 Posted by Video_Game_King (36078 posts) -

@The_Laughing_Man said:

Are you sayin I should go home and load up the last story Xenoblade Chronicles an let everyone be super British?

Yes.

#8 Posted by ImmortalSaiyan (4676 posts) -

I've been hearing from multiple people that The Last Story is not a good game. That is a bummer. I wonder if Mistwalker will ever make a good game again.

#9 Posted by pyromagnestir (4252 posts) -

@Video_Game_King said:

@pyromagnestir:

A crotch uppercut? Either that's a lowercut or your opponents are always twice as tall as you, which means that all those old N64 wrestling games permanently cast you as a little person fighting against clearly-not-little-sized wrestlers.

Is there such a thing as a lowercut? If you're striking in an upward direction that's an uppercut regardless of how low your blow hits the opponent, no? And this particular attack you could only do while crouching after you'd been knocked to the ground and it had to hit your opponent's junk regardless of whether he was facing you or facing away from you, which is why the strike had to be an uppercut as you couldn't hit a guy in the nuts with a straight shot from behind.

But the game you've just described, were it ever made, would be awesome. And, perhaps, an uplifting and inspiring tale of overcoming ones difficulties to you rise up and... you know what fuck that shit I just want to beat up big people as a little person!

#10 Posted by The_Laughing_Man (13629 posts) -
@Video_Game_King

@The_Laughing_Man said:

Are you sayin I should go home and load up the last story Xenoblade Chronicles an let everyone be super British?

Yes.

I only have last story right now.

Are you British? If so we can Skype and you can yell British stuff at me wile I play Pikmin2.
#11 Posted by Video_Game_King (36078 posts) -

@pyromagnestir said:

But the game you've just described, were it ever made, would be awesome.

Actually, now that I think about it, that's probably what Shadow of the Colossus is supposed to be.

@The_Laughing_Man:

No, but I do have a Skype account. I also show up on the Mumble servers, rarely.

#12 Posted by Hunter5024 (5551 posts) -

Yeah I hate to say it but in a lot of ways I think Sakaguchi got a pretty undeserved reputation for his storytelling by working on stories in games when simpler less refined narratives were more acceptable. The most appreciated tales in the Final Fantasy series didn't even involve his writing. Usually he makes up for it with a load of imaginative ideas at least, but it sounds like that wasn't the case this time. Still I intend to play The Last Story and see for myself.

#13 Posted by rubberluffy (441 posts) -

If I was forced (say, at gunpoint) to give TLS a number score, I'd probably give it a 7/10. I enjoyed playing through it and did a LOT of the side missions, but if you asked me what actually happened in the game or ask me for any memorable music, I'd totally draw a blank. It doesn't help it that I started playing it after finishing Xenoblade, which had become my second favorite game ever.

I don't think TLS is bad. The combat isn't terrible (I had fun but it can be janky as fuck), I like the weapon variety and armor coloring customization, the multiplayer can be fun but is pretty throwaway and I liked some of the character interactions. It just didn't feel as ambitious as Xeno.

#14 Posted by Video_Game_King (36078 posts) -

@rubberluffy:

I really don't remember anything about weapon variety. I just auto-equipped everything, and even then, you play as one guy for pretty much the whole game.

Wait, there was multiplayer? I'd ask why I forgot, but I know why. WE ALL KNOW WHY.

#15 Posted by Mento (2443 posts) -

Ohhhhh, now you're in for it. A line has been crossed! AND WHEN THE INTERNET HISTORIANS SPEAK OF THIS DREAD EVENT IN THEIR HUSHED TONES, THEY WILL SAY MY WRATH WAS MIGHTY INDEE- Oh hey, you liked Jelly Boy? Yeah, I've always thought of it as a pretty solid SNES platformer that got oddly sidelined in the annals of history, I guess mostly because it was one of the rare PAL exclusives that wasn't some soccer game. It's up there with Equinox and Plok in a triumvirate of excellent SNES jumpy-jump games no-one knows about.

You're right about the individual stages not doing much to distinguish themselves though. They might have a unique smattering of power-ups and some interesting layouts, but the actual backdrops don't change from nebulous toy shit until you've done the first dozen stages, and then it's nothing but ice shit or space shit or Aztec shit depending on which world you opt for next.

Anyhoo, joke's on you Kingy, because I now own Fragile Dreams and will be covering it some time in January. The blog parodee will become the blog... parodius, just you wait and see.

Moderator
#16 Posted by Video_Game_King (36078 posts) -
#17 Posted by rubberluffy (441 posts) -

@Video_Game_King said:

@rubberluffy:

I really don't remember anything about weapon variety. I just auto-equipped everything, and even then, you play as one guy for pretty much the whole game.

Wait, there was multiplayer? I'd ask why I forgot, but I know why. WE ALL KNOW WHY.

There's a LOT of different weapons with a lot of different effects, so I was always switching some around before I got the perfect one for Zael and upgraded it.

Also the multiplayer is online only co-op vs bosses and deathmatch/team dm. They're ok. My friend had more fun with them than I did. Some of the deathmatch stuff feels really imbalanced.

#18 Posted by Gold_Skulltulla (208 posts) -

"we're stuck with The Last Story. Ever wonder why it's called that?" Because its direct synonym, Final Fantasy, was already taken and heaven forbid we try and come up with something else.

#19 Posted by Video_Game_King (36078 posts) -

@Gold_Skulltulla:

Not really? The two series aren't terribly related, at least not right now. In fact, I'm not sure the two games line up too much in any terms.

#20 Edited by PixelPrinny (1030 posts) -

My name is PixelPrinny and I approve of this review of The Last Story. Last Story more like.... Worst Story! Yeah! Take that, Mistwalker!

Edit: Oh and your combat sucks too, Last Story! Combat? More like wombat! Hah!

#21 Posted by Video_Game_King (36078 posts) -

@PixelPrinny:

More like Ass Story! BOOM!

Also, this game is pretty wombat, whatever the crap that means.

#22 Posted by Hailinel (23952 posts) -

@PixelPrinny said:

My name is PixelPrinny and I approve of this review of The Last Story. Last Story more like.... Worst Story! Yeah! Take that, Mistwalker!

Edit: Oh and your combat sucks too, Last Story! Combat? More like wombat! Hah!

@Video_Game_King said:

@PixelPrinny:

More like Ass Story! BOOM!

Also, this game is pretty wombat, whatever the crap that means.

Both of your opinions are poo!

Poo, I say!

#23 Posted by Video_Game_King (36078 posts) -

@Hailinel:

Well, your opinion is shit, which is like poo, but worse. Now I'm wondering where turd and excrement land on that scale.

#24 Posted by Hailinel (23952 posts) -

@Video_Game_King said:

@Hailinel:

Well, your opinion is shit, which is like poo, but worse. Now I'm wondering where turd and excrement land on that scale.

Given that your opinion makes you a turd burglar, I'd say worse. :P

...This conversation is going nowhere at this rate.

In all honesty, I pretty much disagree with you on the game entirely. Is the story predictable? Yeah, it is a bit, in that it uses a number of tropes that have shown up in past Sakaguchi storylines, but I don't really mind that at all because it's been an age since I played a Sakaguchi RPG. I love the characters and their interactions, and given the game's relatively short length for an RPG, I don't mind the pacing, either. I just felt compelled to keep moving further into the story and enjoyed it all along the way. And I felt that combat was really fun; I played it with the Classic Controller Pro with attacking set to manual, and it was fun the whole way through.

Is the game flawless? No. But I'd say it's far better than you give it credit for.

#25 Posted by Video_Game_King (36078 posts) -

@Hailinel said:

Given that your opinion makes you a turd burglar, I'd say worse. :P

You're a turd sa-

given the game's relatively short length for an RPG

This game was short!? Really? Lemme check that...(Looks like things aren't going well with my new Wii-mote. One of the battery contacts decided to pop out when I tried to jam a AA in there, and there's a Japanese label on it for no discernible reason.)...A little under 21 hours. Healthy length for an RPG, I guess. Also, I've just noticed that the date is European format (2/9/2012 21:03 was the last time I played it). The localization team really didn't change a damn thing outside the region code or whatever.

I love the characters and their interactions

I really didn't, since it was pretty much Zael and Calista. Yurick and Mirania only get the occasional nod to remind you that they exist, and I don't really remember seeing any sort of backstory or character development for Lowell and Syrenne (which is a pretty big issue when you want me to feel bad for one of them straight up dyin). Besides, that doesn't excuse shit like "ignoring that mystical hand power for half the game" or "trusting Lady Calista with the man whom you just called out for being an asshole to her not three minutes ago". I am willing to compromise on the battle system, though, especially since I was playing with a Wii remote.

#26 Posted by Hailinel (23952 posts) -

@Video_Game_King: The localization of Xenoblade wasn't changed, either. And it took me about 25-26 hours to beat the game. Once again, short for an RPG, but the pacing held up.

Lowell and Syrenne didn't really need backstory quests like Yurick or Mirania. Their interactions with each other and the other characters throughout the game show enough of their characterization to get a good sense of who they are. And as for igoring his power, Zael really wasn't. He just never used it as a crutch. He was warned by others to not lean on it, and he doesn't.

And as for trusting Lady Calista to Jirall, well, Jirall should have had the balls to do as Zael asked. As her future husband, it would only be right for him to help. But then it's revealed that Jirall is a fucking useless fop, so Zael does the protecting himself because he can plainly see how useless the noble actually is.

#27 Posted by Video_Game_King (36078 posts) -

@Hailinel:

I wasn't complaining with the "they didn't change a thing" comment; I was just...well, commenting.

Wait, why don't they need backstories? Characterization and backstory aren't the same thing. I mean, we got enough of a characterization out of Mirania up until her backstory (nature hippie chick with a Chie Satonaka appetite), so why not for Lowell or Syrenne? That would especially help for that thing I blocked out, since it would make it easier to care about him if I knew more about him as a person and not just as a comic relief character.

And as for igoring his power, Zael really wasn't. He just never used it as a crutch. He was warned by others to not lean on it, and he doesn't.

No, I don't mean "he's ignoring it"; I mean "the story's ignoring it". He gets the power out of nowhere, and then learns next to nothing about it until halfway through the game.

But that brings up an important question: why would Zael even think to trust Calista to him in the first place? It's pretty clear by now that they guy's an asshole. What trustworthy traits does he display in that cutscene? Hell, Jirall doesn't even trust her in the span of that cutscene. Shouldn't that raise a few flags in Zael's mind?

#28 Posted by Hailinel (23952 posts) -

@Video_Game_King said:

@Hailinel:

I wasn't complaining with the "they didn't change a thing" comment; I was just...well, commenting.

Wait, why don't they need backstories? Characterization and backstory aren't the same thing. I mean, we got enough of a characterization out of Mirania up until her backstory (nature hippie chick with a Chie Satonaka appetite), so why not for Lowell or Syrenne? That would especially help for that thing I blocked out, since it would make it easier to care about him if I knew more about him as a person and not just as a comic relief character.

And as for igoring his power, Zael really wasn't. He just never used it as a crutch. He was warned by others to not lean on it, and he doesn't.

No, I don't mean "he's ignoring it"; I mean "the story's ignoring it". He gets the power out of nowhere, and then learns next to nothing about it until halfway through the game.

But that brings up an important question: why would Zael even think to trust Calista to him in the first place? It's pretty clear by now that they guy's an asshole. What trustworthy traits does he display in that cutscene? Hell, Jirall doesn't even trust her in the span of that cutscene. Shouldn't that raise a few flags in Zael's mind?

Backstory isn't necessary for characterization. A character's words and deeds are just as effective at demonstrating personality, and in the case of Lowell and Syrenne, those demonstrations often come in their interactions with the world. Seeing Syrenne tear into Therius and her disgust with the stodgy ways of the knights and nobility really shows that maybe the whole knighthood thing isn't really for her, and she'd be happier back in the tavern drinking the place dry. Lowell has a lady killer's charm about him and always willing to put the moves on a pretty face, but he teases Syrenne and over time it's evident that the two, despite their bickering (and an occasional act of comic violence on Syrenne's behalf), the two actually do care about each other.

As for the power, the story doesn't really ignore it. It's just that Zael has no idea where the power came, from, what it really is, or what he can do to find out more about it. Since he doesn't make a big show of it in the palace, he's never able to approach anyone that might have the answers he's looking for.

Because at the very least, Jirall should have been at least trustworthy enough to keep the woman he intended to marry for power and status safe. Jirall may have been an assclown up to that point, but Zael at least gives him the benefit of the doubt, not to mention that the castle is under attack and Zael couldn't just rush off to help his friends in the thick of combat with Calista behind him. So when Jirall chickens out (cementing his loser status), Zael does the job for him. And even if Zael told Jirall to shove it at that point, it wouldn't have done him any more good later when Jirall frames him for Calista's kidnapping anyway.

#29 Posted by Video_Game_King (36078 posts) -

@Hailinel said:

Because at the very least, Jirall should have been at least trustworthy enough to keep the woman he intended to marry for power and status safe.

But he wasn't. He very clearly wasn't. Zael had no reason to trust him based on what he knew of him.

not to mention that the castle is under attack and Zael couldn't just rush off to help his friends in the thick of combat with Calista behind him.

Except that's exactly what he does, anyway. He couldn't just lead her to safety first and then join up with his friends? Or meet up with them, tell them he's going to take her somewhere safe, and do just that?

And even if Zael told Jirall to shove it at that point, it wouldn't have done him any more good later when Jirall frames him for Calista's kidnapping anyway.

But how would Zael have known about that at that point? Jirall's a jerk, but it's hard to predict at that point that he'd frame Zael for kidnapping her, especially since a major factor in the accusation is that they haul ass to Zangurak's country or whatever, something that Zael wouldn't have known about at the time.

This conversation is deteriorating fast, so I'll just try to end it here: it probably isn't a good sign when your major villain was taken from Adventure Time.

#30 Posted by Hailinel (23952 posts) -

I just said that's exactly what Zael does. But he only does so because Jirall ran off like a fucking moron with his pants on fire. And no, of course Zael wouldn't have known that he was going to be framed. That's my point; the end result wouldn't have been any different, but it wouldn't have done Zael any favors to be belligerent toward a man with the power and status to lock him up. For a commoner, the first rule of dealing with nobility is, in general, don't piss them off. Zael may not have liked Jirall, but Jirall is the one with the power in that case, and doing anything to upset him would have only put Zael in more trouble.

My point is, at this point in the story, Zael has absolute zero clout with the nobility aside from a friendly relationship with Calista, whose own power is superseded by her uncle's. His responsibility at that point was to fight off the Gurak, not serve as Calista's bodyguard. If Jirall had a decent bone in his body (and at that point, we've seen him for all of a couple of minutes, so it's not like we know him that well at all and he could very well have had at least had one), he would have done as Zael asked and at least tried to protect Calista. Instead, he runs.

#31 Posted by Video_Game_King (36078 posts) -

@Hailinel said:

For a commoner, the first rule of dealing with nobility is, in general, don't piss them off.

*raises eyebrow suggestively*

#32 Posted by pyromagnestir (4252 posts) -

@Video_Game_King said:

@Hailinel said:

For a commoner, the first rule of dealing with nobility is, in general, don't piss them off.

*raises eyebrow suggestively*

You have no jurisdiction here, King!

#33 Posted by Video_Game_King (36078 posts) -

@pyromagnestir:

I have all jurisdiction, for I am the biggest dick of them all. Hold on a minute...

#34 Posted by asian_pride (1654 posts) -

"OW MY BALLS!" Lol. It's no Goro nutshot though.

I've always thought it was called that because Sakaguchi was working on it (you know, kinda like Final Fantasy...right?). But man, is that true? They quit halfway through development? I didn't really keep up with the dev process of The Last Story. Wasn't really interested in any of the Operation Rainfall games anyway. And you saying it's borrowing from Aladdin all the more turns me off. That movie doesn't hold up well at all (for my anyways).

#35 Posted by Video_Game_King (36078 posts) -

@asian_pride:

It was more of a joke, really. As in "this game is so bad that the publishers canned the developers upon seeing it".

#36 Posted by asian_pride (1654 posts) -

@Video_Game_King: Lol doh. I wouldn't be surprised if that were the case, though.

#37 Posted by Hailinel (23952 posts) -

@asian_pride said:

"OW MY BALLS!" Lol. It's no Goro nutshot though.

I've always thought it was called that because Sakaguchi was working on it (you know, kinda like Final Fantasy...right?). But man, is that true? They quit halfway through development? I didn't really keep up with the dev process of The Last Story. Wasn't really interested in any of the Operation Rainfall games anyway. And you saying it's borrowing from Aladdin all the more turns me off. That movie doesn't hold up well at all (for my anyways).

It really doesn't borrow from Aladdin. Actually, I'd hesitate to take anything VGK writes about games with any seriousness. :P

#38 Posted by Video_Game_King (36078 posts) -

@Hailinel said:

It really doesn't borrow from Aladdin.

Uh, this? (I'd link to a fuller clip and one from the movie, but that's as good as I can get.)

Actually, I'd hesitate to take anything VGK writes about games with any seriousness. :P

*glares the hell out of you*

#39 Edited by Hailinel (23952 posts) -

@Video_Game_King said:

@Hailinel said:

It really doesn't borrow from Aladdin.

Uh, this? (I'd link to a fuller clip and one from the movie, but that's as good as I can get.)

Actually, I'd hesitate to take anything VGK writes about games with any seriousness. :P

*glares the hell out of you*

The relationship between Zael and Calista is hardly of the sort that originated with Aladdin, of all things.

EDIT: To be clearer, this form of romantic relationship predates Disney's Aladdin to such a degree that it's hilarious you picked Aladdin as your point of comparison.

#40 Posted by Video_Game_King (36078 posts) -

@Hailinel:

The scene at the beginning of the game almost certainly did, though. All it really needs is a barely comprehensible monkey filling the role of comic relief sidekick, which I guess is what Syrenne is for.

#41 Posted by asian_pride (1654 posts) -

@Hailinel: Lol I'd just found that out, thanks.

#42 Posted by Hailinel (23952 posts) -

@Video_Game_King said:

@Hailinel:

The scene at the beginning of the game almost certainly did, though. All it really needs is a barely comprehensible monkey filling the role of comic relief sidekick, which I guess is what Syrenne is for.

No it doesn't. I really don't understand the comparison you're even going for here? Both protagonists enter an ancient ruin and find something powerful? Because that's not a trope unique to Aladdin by any degree.

#43 Posted by Video_Game_King (36078 posts) -

@Hailinel:

After that. The one where she's hiding from guards because she wanted to escape the palace and see more of the outside world, and despite wearing a hood to mask her identity, has no problems getting the protagonist in trouble by standing up to dickish guards? That part, slightly later in the beginning?

#44 Posted by Hailinel (23952 posts) -

@Video_Game_King said:

@Hailinel:

After that. The one where she's hiding from guards because she wanted to escape the palace and see more of the outside world, and despite wearing a hood to mask her identity, has no problems getting the protagonist in trouble by standing up to dickish guards? That part, slightly later in the beginning?

That is also not unique to Aladdin.

#45 Posted by Video_Game_King (36078 posts) -

@Hailinel:

It was the nearest and most vivid example I had.

#46 Posted by Hailinel (23952 posts) -

@Video_Game_King: I certainly wouldn't call it a worse version, either.

#47 Posted by Video_Game_King (36078 posts) -

@Hailinel:

It's lacking Robin Williams and Gilb....fuck. They are equaled because I have backed myself into a corner.

#48 Posted by PixelPrinny (1030 posts) -

@Hailinel said:

@Video_Game_King said:

@Hailinel:

Well, your opinion is shit, which is like poo, but worse. Now I'm wondering where turd and excrement land on that scale.

Given that your opinion makes you a turd burglar, I'd say worse. :P

...This conversation is going nowhere at this rate.

In all honesty, I pretty much disagree with you on the game entirely. Is the story predictable? Yeah, it is a bit, in that it uses a number of tropes that have shown up in past Sakaguchi storylines, but I don't really mind that at all because it's been an age since I played a Sakaguchi RPG. I love the characters and their interactions, and given the game's relatively short length for an RPG, I don't mind the pacing, either. I just felt compelled to keep moving further into the story and enjoyed it all along the way. And I felt that combat was really fun; I played it with the Classic Controller Pro with attacking set to manual, and it was fun the whole way through.

Is the game flawless? No. But I'd say it's far better than you give it credit for.

It's okay to like bad things. I like Agarest War Zero, after all. But let's call a spade a spade, here. Last Story's, well, story, is ridiculous. From forcing whats her face (the lush; I forget all their names now cause why would I remember, pssh!) to suddenly break down and cry when what's his face supposedly dies, to how he just resurrects outta nowhere cause the childhood friend of yours who OF COURSE betrayed you and you knew nothing about his plans after like being his partner for over a decade magically brings him back to life (lolwut?) to how much of a pointless damsel in distress the main heroine was for most of the game (I was expecting more from a character who was plastered all over the promo art and box cover) to how predictably nutty the guy she was betrothed to was (and naturally he went insane and the big bad king went all Grahf on him and was like "Do you desire the power?" with predictable results). Run-on sentences are fun!

I, too, set the combat to manual and used a classic controller pro. This does not stop the massive frame rate drops in some monster rooms or the poor camera angles at times or the fact that most enemies strategies consisted of one hit kills. Combat was fun when you got to actually plan things out and use the terrain to your advantage. This happened very little.

Just because it's a "Sakaguchi RPG" doesn't mean it should get a free pass for being mediocre at best. But again, different strokes for different folks, and that's good that you enjoyed it. Personally, I think Sakaguchi is capable of much better and I hope to see that belief confirmed in the future. Sadly, I couldn't say the same of Agarest War. Those games are never gonna get good XD

#49 Posted by Video_Game_King (36078 posts) -

@PixelPrinny:

Hooray! Somebody making most of the points I wanted to make, but focused on other things instead! (Also, I got a poorly joined clause bonus!) And to throw more fuel onto the fire: how about that Outsider thing. How did a society with absolutely no concept of space travel find out about the whole "it creates new life on other planets" thing? Did the Outsider just tell them this shit?

Just because it's a "Sakaguchi RPG" doesn't mean it should get a free pass for being mediocre at best.

Oh, and this. So much this.

#50 Posted by Hailinel (23952 posts) -

@PixelPrinny said:

@Hailinel said:

@Video_Game_King said:

@Hailinel:

Well, your opinion is shit, which is like poo, but worse. Now I'm wondering where turd and excrement land on that scale.

Given that your opinion makes you a turd burglar, I'd say worse. :P

...This conversation is going nowhere at this rate.

In all honesty, I pretty much disagree with you on the game entirely. Is the story predictable? Yeah, it is a bit, in that it uses a number of tropes that have shown up in past Sakaguchi storylines, but I don't really mind that at all because it's been an age since I played a Sakaguchi RPG. I love the characters and their interactions, and given the game's relatively short length for an RPG, I don't mind the pacing, either. I just felt compelled to keep moving further into the story and enjoyed it all along the way. And I felt that combat was really fun; I played it with the Classic Controller Pro with attacking set to manual, and it was fun the whole way through.

Is the game flawless? No. But I'd say it's far better than you give it credit for.

It's okay to like bad things. I like Agarest War Zero, after all. But let's call a spade a spade, here. Last Story's, well, story, is ridiculous. From forcing whats her face (the lush; I forget all their names now cause why would I remember, pssh!) to suddenly break down and cry when what's his face supposedly dies, to how he just resurrects outta nowhere cause the childhood friend of yours who OF COURSE betrayed you and you knew nothing about his plans after like being his partner for over a decade magically brings him back to life (lolwut?) to how much of a pointless damsel in distress the main heroine was for most of the game (I was expecting more from a character who was plastered all over the promo art and box cover) to how predictably nutty the guy she was betrothed to was (and naturally he went insane and the big bad king went all Grahf on him and was like "Do you desire the power?" with predictable results). Run-on sentences are fun!

I, too, set the combat to manual and used a classic controller pro. This does not stop the massive frame rate drops in some monster rooms or the poor camera angles at times or the fact that most enemies strategies consisted of one hit kills. Combat was fun when you got to actually plan things out and use the terrain to your advantage. This happened very little.

Just because it's a "Sakaguchi RPG" doesn't mean it should get a free pass for being mediocre at best. But again, different strokes for different folks, and that's good that you enjoyed it. Personally, I think Sakaguchi is capable of much better and I hope to see that belief confirmed in the future. Sadly, I couldn't say the same of Agarest War. Those games are never gonna get good XD

Except it isn't a bad game. Syrenne's feelings for Lowell were demonstrated to grow, or at least be more surfaced, over the course of the game, particularly in the last hours. And he doesn't resurrect out of nowhere; it's by the remaining power of the Outsider that Dagran had controlled. And as for not knowing what Dagran was planning, well, it was evident through a large portion of the game that he was up to something, and he was keeping that something hidden from everyone.

As for Calista being a damsel in distress, that really goes back and forth. There are times when Zael helps Calista, there are times when Calista helps Zael, and there are times when they help each other. Her being on the box cover is more a sign of her importance to the narrative overall and her relationship to the protagonist; it doesn't correlate to the amount of time she's actually part of the party. Jirall is a dipshit, tried setting up Zael, ended up getting framed himself, and driven bugfuck crazy by his imprisonment just gets used as a tool to try and off Zael so that Zangurak doesn't have to deal with him. It could be argued that by the time Zangurak offered him that power, Jirall was already dead inside anyway because finishing Zael was all he could think about.

I guess I didn't notice the massive framerate drops you complained about, so don't know what to say there. Or maybe I did and they just didn't bother me that much. Whatever. The camera certainly didn't bother me, I know that. And when the enemy's strategy consisted of one-shot kills, I just adjusted accordingly. I was down to my last life in the final boss battle because the boss went into KILL NOW mode, so I just hung back and was able to use party tactics to get him down to do a lot of the remaining damage before finishing him off. I actually made pretty good use of the terrain where I could. Sometimes I got some nice surprise assaults, sometimes I fucked up and I had a clusterfuck of a melee on my hands. In both cases, it was a lot of fun.

When I say it's a Sakaguchi RPG, I speak mostly from the perspective of the tropes it employs. The giant-ass island cannon (Final Fantasy VII, much?), the romance between the leads, the focus on a core group of characters rather than wider conflict, and the at-times goofy nature of the characters and plot (the random nutshot, the intentionally hokey haunted house). I use the term not as a defense, but as shorthand for describing the feel of the game to me. Not that I really feel it needs defending because I enjoyed it. But yeah, different strokes for different folks and all that. I'd love it if he could find a publisher to work with on another large RPG and get away from the smaller mobile development Mistwalker has been doing, but all the same, The Last Story leaves me with nothing to really complain about.

@Video_Game_King said:

@PixelPrinny:

Hooray! Somebody making most of the points I wanted to make, but focused on other things instead! (Also, I got a poorly joined clause bonus!) And to throw more fuel onto the fire: how about that Outsider thing. How did a society with absolutely no concept of space travel find out about the whole "it creates new life on other planets" thing? Did the Outsider just tell them this shit?

Just because it's a "Sakaguchi RPG" doesn't mean it should get a free pass for being mediocre at best.

Oh, and this. So much this.

You really don't need to understand space travel to consider the possibility of life on other planets.