The Wii has slowly become the console that hosts some of the best Japanese role playing games this generation. First, we’ve had the astonishing Xenoblade Chronicles and now we’ve been gifted with the excellent The Last Story. If you’re at all interested in role playing games then The Last Story is something you’ll undoubtedly cherish and look back on fondly in later years.
The Last Story is an extremely accessible Japanese RPG that’s tailored to newcomers, but also holds its own with experienced players of the genre. From customisation, to the battle system, everything feels simple and easy to manage. The game fits in with the Wii ethos of providing gameplay that will appeal to a wide audience, which is something JRPG’s in general seem to fail to do.
During The Last Story you take control of Zael and from time to time his partners, a band of mercenaries in search of their fortune. You undertake a series of missions and explore Lazulis Island and its sprawling medieval capital Lazulis City, while trying to help Zael achieve his ultimate goal of leaving his life as a mercenary behind and becoming a true knight. You will embark on an epic adventure that’s relentless in pace and is driven through a clear and concise narrative.
As the Wii draws to the end of its life we’ve seen many games that push the system beyond that which we originally thought it was capable of, with games such as The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, Super Mario Galaxy 2 and Donkey Kong Country Returns. You can now add The Last Story to that list. Mistwalker has tried valiantly to create the most realistic visuals it could possible muster from the aged Wii hardware, and has done so admirably.
Combat initially feels strange. As you run at your opponent you automatically attack them, which is a far cry from the turn based battle systems many JRPG fans will be familiar with. Thankfully there’s a bit of a twist as your main character Zael can use something called Gathering that is activated when you press C. Gathering allows you attract the enemy’s attention and allows mages and other members of your party ample time to get some critical hits in, heal party members, and dish out battle commands.
While The Last Story isn’t quite as gripping as the vast and expansive world of Xenoblade Chronicles, it has a deeply unique charm about it that I rarely see replicated in other games. The game will only take around twenty hours to complete, but don’t let that put you off, as The Last Story along with Xenoblade Chronicles show that despite its aging hardware, the Wii is still a force to be reckoned with.