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    Jan 14th, 2010 at 16:05:11     -    The Last Remnant (360)

    What...The Game is a Role-Playing Game (RPG) from Square Enix and includes many of the elements we've come to expect from Square over the years.

    When...The game was released simultaneously to Japan, America and Europe on 20th November 2008 and was directed at both Japanese and Western audiences [1].

    Where...The game is set in a fantasy world, with characters based on the medieval / fantasy archetypes (i.e. knights, lords, strange beasts, anthropomorphic creatures, etc)

    Why...The game was the next RPG instalment from Square that justified it's existence with stereotypical 'Square Enix' basic gameplay with a new 'turn-based, command based battle system'. Having read an article on-line [2] explaining that this was the first Square game to utilize the 'Unreal 3 Engine', it could be considered that the motivation for this game was technologically driven.

    How....As already mentioned this game was a collaboration between Square Enix and Epic Games. 'The production time to seeing graphical resources on screen was cut significantly, allowing the team to begin illustrating and experimenting at an early stage' [1]

    Pro et Contra

    The environments are very big in places in the game and despite its size there is still a great deal of detail in objects like the floor patterns in cities, the detail gone into the wild nature areas and the textures found in many of the objects such as rocks, trees, etc. There is a unique battle system that's been used in Last Remnant where groups of fighters combine to fight as a unit. As more of the game is completed more leaders, soldiers and units can be used in order to offer a more offensive position against your enemies as you progress. Another exciting aspect which was loosely used before in Square Enix's FF8 is quick-time events in battles in order to cause critical hits, change turn priority between you and the enemy or performing counter attacks. This ensures that the audience/gamer stays involved and pays attention to the game during battles in view of temperamental quick-time events.
    An interesting approach is used for acquiring certain items in the game by enlisting the help of a mechanical robot, Mr Diggs, which adds a new element to the game with upgradeable limits to what he can dig up (at harvest points) and how often. There are hundreds of components and items that can be found in treasure chests, harvest points, shops and earned after completed battles that can be sold, used for healing properties and others can be used for customising weapons and accessories. There is also the option of taking part in additional side quests for extended game play.
    The cut scenes are well presented and manage to portray an emotional intelligence right from the start, when Rush's (main protagonist) desperation to find 'Irina' is conveyed through voice talent, animation and an atmospheric soundtrack.
    The Game also includes a concept that I believe is an original one where certain characters can 'bind' themselves to larger than life 'remnants', hence the title, which can take the shape of 40 foot broadswords, large magic cannons or extremely large mysterious remnants which have yet to show their true colours, which keeps its audience captivated and longing for more.

    The negative issues with this game are little to none, the biggest one that stood out to me was no visual prompt to save the game, especially when about to fight a boss, it caused me to have to go back quite a bit, having been to engaged in the gameplay to think about the need to save. This will not be an issue for many people though as instead of static save points, its is possible to save the game at almost any point in the game. And lastly from me, a small nitpick at not being to flee a standard battle if the chips are completely down.

    1 . http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Last_Remnant, 14th January 2009

    2. http://www.planetxbox360.com/article_4816/TGS_08_The_Last_Remnant_Team_wants_Unreal_Engine_4

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