The latest delivering from Square Enix, for the Microsoft Xbox 360, is The Last Remnant. A Strategy RPG released on November 20, 2008, many Square Enix fans are hoping Last Remnant will be the Xbox 360’s answer to the Final Fantasy series. While this game will appeal to many gamers, it isn’t really comparable to Final Fantasy as it is a drastically different game.
Rush Sykes (no, I’m not kidding), the main character, stumbles upon a battle in which he believes his sister Irina is taking part. He approaches the battle in an attempt to protect her, only to discover that this mysterious woman isn’t his sister at all. Rather, she is an Emma, a soldier whom will accompany Rush on his quest to find his sister who was mysteriously kidnapped, which is what brought him to meet Emma in the first place.
Rush and Irina’s parents are scientists researching the Remnants, ancient machines, in some cases holding immeasurable power. Rush apparently wields some magical power from his amulet, an example of one of these Remnants. With the amulet, Rush is apparently inadvertently able to destroy large hordes of enemies with a mysterious power that only he seems to understand.
Remnants seem to typically be magical items that simply “know” what the users needs from them. Remnants can be anything from treasure chests to massive weapons. This seems to be a stretch, an over the top attempt by Square Enix to make the Remnants seem utterly important in Rush’s world. Instead, they simply needed to tell the players of their power, versus incorporating them in all aspects of life.
The Last Remnant combines traditional RPG combat with actual military command, in that you can order units to perform certain actions, or allow them to make their own decision based on what situations they encounter. The combat has a much less personal feel than previous Square Enix entries, such as the later Final Fantasy games, due to the fact that your character is acting more as a general than as a soldier. The player is tasked with commanding an entire army in a large scale battle.
While this method of handling he combat in The Last Remnant is different from almost anything on the market right now, it may be just the niche genre many gamers are looking for. The trade-off for the less personal feel to combat is the much more realistic actions of the battle. If nothing else, such drastically different gameplay may be able to interest players previously uninterested in the Fantasy/RPG genres.
The music in The Last Remnant, especially during “tense” times in the game can get pretty repetative, so I went ahead and switched over to one of my own soundtracks. For more information on how to set up your own custom soundtrack for ANY game, click HERE. The voice acting is decent, but sadly, during the cut-scene is about the only time you get a taste of the voice. This game is far from full “talkie,” in that man conversations are text only.
The Last Remnant definitely has a lot to offer, if nothing else, for those looking for a different kind of combat experience. The strategy involved in the fighting system is reminiscent of Dynasty Warriors if it were a turn based RPG.