The Last Remnant is an RPG game made by Square Enix, famous for their Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest RPG titles.
In this game you play as Rush Skyes, son of world-reknowned Remnants Researchers. The big picture of the story and the world is that, there are Remnants (artifacts of great power) throughout the lands, and they usually have to be bound to a strong-willed person otherwise they will cause chaos in its own.
These remnants protects cities and lands from evil forces. But like always, some wanted it for good, some wanted it for evil. So then the story began.
The Last Remnant is somewhere between a cross of Final Fantasy and Dynasty Warrior. You do not control a single unit, instead you control a group of people led by a general of your choice, and members of your choosing. You issue a general orders, but you have very little control over what they do in battles. It takes a lot of time and swearing to get used to the battle system. Often times i find myself lifting up my middle finger on the screen because the options to revive dead allies or heal dead allies doesn’t appear when i need them, causing me to have to restart the battles all over again. This problem is one of the three most annoying problem i found with the game.
Other than that the battles are on such an epic scale. You dont fight a single enemy like most final fantasy game. You fight multiple unions with up to over 50 enemies in a single battle. They can call on reinforcement as well, so you can sort of understand how annoying is it when you die in the middle of the battle because the command you wanted to come up didn’t show up on screen.
update: it seems that the auto-critical offense defense does a pretty good job at chaining perfect, and at the very least is as good as anyone can manage while playin over 1-2 hours continuously.
Other than that, the skill progression and magic are highly simplified compared to previous FF games. I do miss seeing insane spell and overdrive moves. There are some very good special moves in this game, but you need more than just four leaf clover to see them once every hour even because of the stupid command system and the weapon advancement system.
Incredible cutscenes are the hallmark of final fantasy game, and this is where the last remnant held up to high standard. I have to say the cutscenes are incredibly good, they are lenghty and rewarding enough for you to keep playing the game.Even the sidequest storyline and cutscene are pretty epic, and you get to kill huge dragons before the game even reached halfway point. Also, note that where the cutscenes involve weapons display, it will switch to whatever weapons you last used. Which is pretty clever trick and a tough one to do, since there are so much weapons in the last remnant.
Graphic and Sound
update: I stand to correct myself, the game when it works well, is a sight to behold. Sometimes you cant differentiate between CGI and in-game battle are awesome. The city are lifelike, and although you cant travel as far as your draw distance, the team make a marvellous effort at making city so detailed right to the tiny last stained glass and mozaic stones to illustrate the game storyline, and the city own rich history. One such example is Undelwalt. Elysion will stand a close second.
Soundtrack was great, and it changes according to event that you done in the game. Voice cast for the english however was horrible. The alternative is much better to those who are used to watching Japanese anime with English subtitle, and it makes the story much deeper. (Irina will call Rush as Onii-chan, instead of calling him Rush, which is both more appropriate and acceptable). The subtitle is horrible as well, and most of the time im relying on my ear to translate the Japanese voice into something i could understand better.
There is a lot to do in Last Remnant, the world is incredibly huge and you get to access the world map since the very start. This is a major change compared to previous FF games, where usually you only get to teleport to other cities by virtues of a plane or a travelling device near the end of the game.
There is a catch here. The sidequest in last remnant are not really sidequest, because you have to do it in the time that the game specify you to do. For example, at certain point in the game, a significant number of sidequest will be completely wiped out from the game, and you wont be able to do them in the future if you proceed to do a storyline mission first. This is my other major concerns. The Last Remnant does NOT give you options. It FORCES you to do those sidequest in order for you to be able to complete a lot of it and get a big picture. Not only, that, if you chose to not do those quest, you will only get to see half of the available locations and cities in the game world, and a lot of locations will remain locked to you, and i mean a lot.There are also random quest that you have to do to complete a bigger quest, and if you somehow proceed to the storyline, all the item you collected in those mini-sidequest become useless (The Fiery Revolt).
update: After playing through all the sidequests and beating some insane compulsory sidequest mission to get Final Instance achievement (The Fallen), I must admit, The Last Remnant tried a bit too much. They tried to make an RPG that appeal to everybody. But in the process, they seem to alienate everyone. I was able to finish every sidequest at BR 65 or so but it takes me about 12 more BR to defeat The Fallen. It is an incredibly difficult sidequest with a 10 turn limit. As a result of my BR being at 77, the storyline that proceeds after this quest become incredibly easy to do including the final boss. It seems that this game depends much more on your skill level than what your BR is. Defeating the fiery gate at BR 65 with Ragna-rock accesories is possible, the same goes with defeatin the fallen at BR 60 with decent weapons and cachexia.
Its a pity that there are no well-written walkthrough on the last remnant. Your only source of help is the last-remnant wiki, but everything is disjointed. It seems that there are no good guides on gamefaqs. Some of those guides accomplish what i did at over twice my BR rank, at which point changing your character to a better one would become far too impossible.
Every unique leader that you recruit will appear in certain towns. And you can talk to them to gain more insight into what is happening in the world, and some of them gave a fair bit of depth to characters such as Glenys and Wyngale and Darien. When you are done talking with them you will be rewarded with a parameter bonus, and a better understanding of the story.
By far, The Desert’s Legend was the most epic story of a sidequest, followed by incredibly difficult to accomplish The Fiery Revolt (basically 6 quest in 1), followed by the Rainbow Bond and A Voice from The Past.
The Last Remnant is not only big on the size of the game world, but also big on the amount of selection of units. There are over 300+ characters to choose from throughout the entire game, all with different skills and abilities and this make it very intimidating for people new to the game. Playing the game without the use of FAQs will almost always result in a dissapointment at later part in the game because you have a high probability of choosing a watered down character. Not only is it intimidating, i also found it downright stupid.
When you first start the game, you start with 1 union with 3 units in your member. Eventually at each storyline landmark point, you get upgraded and you can control more and more units. By the halfway point in the game you will be able to control 18 units in total divided into up to 5 unions.
If you havent see the problem by now, let me explain. Out of all 300 characters available throughout the game, you choose 18 to hire with. At some point in the game you are likely to find someone better for the role, but the problem is, you have spent tonnes of time playing through the first half of the game, with CHARACTERS THAT YOU DONT END UP USING. i found this highly annoying, and the higher your battle rank goes (level) the harder it is to make certain character gain abilities. This is the reason why you dont feel like you are really attached to the character or really playing the game like you should until the game has reached its halfway point, which is ridiculous. This is by far my absolute biggest complain of the game. You dont need to make 300+ characters with their weapon progression and their different set of abilities. It is just a waste of the developer and my fucking time that they make that many. They should have just stick with a limited number of character, and when a new character comes in, their level will be automatically adjusted to you and you choose their skills based on their stat.
update: If you play a strictly low BR game, you might find some late game character worth using. Characters like Wyngale and Khrynia are unique, because they have incredibly high skills and start with great weapons. Its just that their HP compared to your character might be a bit low. (I was at BR 77 when i recruited Wyngale and Khyrnia, and their HP are abt half of most of my character)
I can see how incorporating this might enhance replayability in the view of the developer, but by moses beard you still dont need 300+ characters. This is an absolute nightmare for FF completionist like me and some people who wanted to do everything in the game. This means that at your first playthrough, you probably wont see all the character has to offer, and when you have a good solid 18 players by the halfway point, at even later in the point there are 7 legendary characters with epic weapons and spells. So how do you get to see those spells? you fire 7 of your units and hire them and then proceed to grind them to hell.
Another major complaint that i can think of why the sidequest were made in such a way was because the game was originally developed for xbox 360. It requires 2 disc in the 360 version and thus it made sense that about HALF of all the sidequests instally become unavailable when you start the 2nd disc. But there is no need to do this in the PC version. It is what i call a bad and lazy porting. Another major complaint is that, compared to FF12 no lag between region and ATB battle screen, the last remnant takes VERY VERY long to load. On one occasion i was able to make an instant noodle on ground floor of my house and came up again and it still havent loaded the cutscenes yet. Battle takes between 3-10 seconds to load, and cutscenes between 30 seconds to 3 minutes loading, and this is on a core2duo E8400 system and 8800 GT graphic card and brand new WD 640 GB caviar disk. This is just simply unacceptable, when FF12 can do all that without lag on piss poor PS 2 specs.
Despite all that complain, The Last Remnant has a solid storyline and absolutely mind-blowing cutscenes that rival any FF games i played before (i started at FF 10, still my favorite). I would say that Square Enix has somewhat dropped their quality in this game especially at core game mechanics and optimizations for the PC version. The PC somehow uses 100% CPU all the time, and very little GPU resources (my graphic card barely recorded an increase in temp during playing through solid 12 hours non-stop).
I would only recommend this game to a hardcore RPG fan or FF fan, because of the significant drawbacks, but if you somehow managed to get through all those drawbacks, the cutscenes will make all your hard work go away.