E3 2012: The Last Story Impressions
XSEED and Mistwalker release their title soon.
06.11.12 - 4:37 PM
Supreme dictator John McCarroll and I had a chance to since down with XSEED and talk about their upcoming North American localization of The Last Story. The game's release is nearly upon us, so we were able to watch about 15 minutes of gameplay and see how things seem to be turning out. One of the first questions we asked was whether XSEED is using any of the translated text from the Nintendo of Europe English version. The company is indeed using that text, though with a few tweaks here and there to accomodate the North American audience.
We were told that one of the reasons for The Last Story's unique combat, as well as why it was made for the Wii was tied to the fact that Hironobu Sakaguchi had wanted to work with Nintendo and reach a much wider audience. The development team believed that the best way to accomplish this was to incorporate a greater number of action and strategy elements into the traditionally turn-based JRPG framework. This was defintitely shown in our demo, as the player's character was able to take cover, flank enemies, and engage in all sorts of exciting-looking slice-and-dicery.
The game is played with the Wiimote and nunchuk, but we were assured that the game also supports the Wii Classic Controller (and the Pro model, of course). It will also include a full suite of cooperative and competitive multiplayer options, in which you can use any member of your battle party. The competitive multiplayer essentially functions as a battle royale, whereas the cooperative tasks you and a group of pals with taking down some especially unfriendly and powerful foes.
The general philosophy of the location design in the game was to create a strategically interesting place with a more linear progression. Rather than having big, wide spaces to run around, players will pass through carefully crafted paths that have been designed to best utilize the strategic aspects of the combat system. Additionally, by having very specific paths through each area, the team was able to add a lot of expository dialogue from the characters that is custom-tailored to the events happening at that point. This was definitely something I saw in action, as the characters were commenting on the battle, offering strategic input, and chit-chatting while the protagonist barreled through the demo.
There isn't much more that can be said about The Last Story at this point. Our demo had me intrigued and wanting to try it out for myself, and with the release date looming, I won't have to wait long. XSEED has a proven track record of quality localizations, and Mistwalker has shown that they have the chops to produce quality games, so now there is naught to do but wait. We've already got a review from the fine Andrew Barker, so be sure to take a look at that, as well as be on the lookout for our review of the domestic version in the coming weeks!