Maybe my expectations for Square Enix’s The Last Remnant were a bit unrealistic, but I’ve decided to quit playing. As I played deeper into the game, I became thoroughly unimpressed and frustrated. It wasn’t because the game was challenging. I love challenging games – I’m currently trying to beat Ninja Gaiden 2 on the Master Ninja difficulty – but because it became incredibly redundant, boring, and the frame rate is perhaps the worst I’ve ever seen. Read more about why I’m done with this overhyped RPG after the jump.
I really can’t begin to adequately describe the game’s frame rate during battle sequences. Like The Matrix, you have to see it for yourself. Every time one of your units performs a special attack, the game freezes for a few moments. I’m not sure if this is for dramatic effect, but in any event, it’s annoying and far from dramatic. The camera swings around spastically during battles that it’s enough to give you a seizure. You may be asking, “Why didn’t you complain about this problem in your first jounral entry?” Well, either I was dumb enough to think that it’d go away or I just hadn’t been playing long enough for the horrible camera action to figuratively burrow itself under my skin.
Next, the leveling-up system – a staple in all turn-based RPGs – seems to be completely arbitrary. There are no experience points and your characters gain new abilities simply by using their exisiting abilities, but when those new abilities kick in is anyone’s guess. There’s no way to gage your character’s progress, which only leads to more frustration.
Finally – and aside from the sloooow developing story – you hardly ever win gold in battles with monsters. Instead, you get “parts” of the monsters, many of which can be used as components for items and weapons. The thing is, there’s really know way of knowing what you should keep and what you should sell, so money becomes and issue and you’re left carrying around dead monster skins and whatnot. Like everything else in this game, it’s annoying.
Maybe I’m supposed to be enjoying the development of the story, but the gameplay is so distractingly poor that I only grow frustrated. Are all the modern turn-based RPGs like this? I thought Blue Dragon, while sort of childish, was pretty good, but I miss the old RPGs like Final Fantasy, Dragon Warrior, and the Phantasy Star series. The Last Remnant had potential, especially with its original battle system, but the deviations in different areas from traditional RPGs have resulted in an unenjoyable, tedious game. Let’s hope Final Fantasy XIII is worth the wait, because right now, I’m pretty down on Square Enix.