Expect The Last Story To Clock In At Around 30 Hours

By Ishaan . December 23, 2010 . 8:31am

If you’re one of those people that doesn’t like overly long games because it feels like they take way too long to complete, The Last Story might suit your taste. It’s a game that emphasizes replayability, rather than a long-winded single playthrough.


In reply to a fan over Twitter, The Last Story director, Hironobu Sakaguchi revealed that, depending on how you carry quests and visits to dungeons, you can expect your playtime to average 30 hours. Extended playability is offered through the game’s online mode, where you can do battle with other players, or battle monsters in co-op.


The Last Story was originally born out of a desire to create something original after, much to his dismay, Sakaguchi found himself taken by surprise by another game.


The idea of a shorter RPG with more replay value does sound like a step in the right direction. It should also help make the game a little more manageable and appealing to those who otherwise might have avoided it based on length.

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  • alastor3

    Not bad, it look like a game to play twice

  • Guest

    cool. Can’t wait to play co-op. I enjoyed it in Zangeki no Reginliev

  • 30 hours is short enough to play twice? Maybe if the time was reduced by half, then I would consider replaying, or if there was a trophy/achievement system in place, then I would consider replaying it at 30 hours of playtime.

    • neo_firenze

      Agreed. 30 hours is still a hefty chunk of time to be replaying. Especially when there are so many other games out there that I haven’t finished ONCE (seriously, there are games I’d like to complete but haven’t yet on pretty much every system since the NES). For me, time is the big limiting factor preventing me from playing all the games I want to play – not money.

      I’m all for a more tightly plotted and well designed RPG that’s a little shorter though, so this makes me even more excited about The Last Story and hopeful that it will get localized. Length for length’s sake is silly – it’s exceedingly rare that any game over 40 hours couldn’t be better with a more demanding editor cutting out some of the chaff.

      • Aoshi00

        Same here, buying games is not an issue for me I just buy more than I have time to play, so I started many games and never finished (so far I’ve finished all Sakaguchi games though). Shorter length might make better pacing too, like the Escaflowne anime for example. It was a great 26 episodes, I heard it was originally supposed to be 39, but now I can’t imagine it otherwise because each of the 26 ep was just so good and packed w/ contents. Last Story just sounds perfect to me, w/ trophy/achievement would be even better.. might have awards like Xenoblade but still doesn’t feel the same… oh well, probably still going to be one of the best Wii games.

        • Yusaku_Matsuda70s

          11-14 episode animes are the sweet spot for me nowadays. 26 is still acceptable (too many good anime in this format), anything beyond that is almost a definite no-watch.

          Escaflowne, what an anime. Richly realized fantasy of that calibur is even more rare in today’s anime climate/trends.

          • Aoshi00

            I really don’t watch much anime in recent years (other than DB Kai every Sunday now).. I think 13 ep for an anime is rather short, back in the 80-90’s, most anime running for a year 52 eps was the norm, and then it got shorter and shorter to 26 (like EVA) and 13 eps (DNA2). Hm.. it depends, if it’s adapted from a long manga then it’s bound to be longer like Adachi’s Cross Game, or Bakuman and Shiki from Jump now. Even for Jpn drama it’s 11-12 eps but they are ~45 mins each, I stopped watching drama as well.. I used to watch all the anime adaptation of the Jump manga I read.. I think Death Note and Ouran High School Host Club were some of the last anime I followed..Esacaflowne was indeed a well crafted fantasy series w/ good story and action (the clever use of CG was state of the art at the time, I was blown away by the guymelef’s camouflage cape!), Kawamori Shouji was awesome. That was Sakamoto Maaya (Lightning)’s debut too as Hitomi. I used to love the pyromaniac Dilandau so much :) My friend bought the 13 subbed VHS tapes at the time (and I recorded them w/ blank tapes lol), but since then I’ve replaced them w/ a DVD box set.. I’ve watched both Escaflowne and EVA for too many times to count, they were my fav mecha series :)But yea, nowadays I prefer games to be on the shorter side, just more manageable for me, 50-60 hrs is very daunting to me now, unless it’s real good like Lost Odyssey (FF13 I was just grinding for the XMB themes..), or Nier which was so stylish and had such a good chars & story.

          • Yusaku_Matsuda70s

            Games and anime… time consuming activities. Can’t really have both. I’ve chosen gaming over anime more or less but if something catches my eye I’ll give it a shot. Can’t say I’ve seen a whole lot recently though, and I don’t think you’re missing much… The only thing I saw this year was Ookami-san, Durarara!, and some other series I can’t even remember…

            Man you know so much about VAs for games and movies. I’ve never really paid too much attention to that; I can only name a handful of VAs I recognize lol. You like both Escaflowne and EVA? Ha they’re about as different as mecha anime can get. XD I’d say my favorite mecha anime is Gunbuster (original not the sequel), but Escaflowne ranks high. I could watch that over and over.

            Never liked Evangelion much, found it disturbing and depressing as kid who needed more joy in life. Tried to rewatch it a year or two ago (original, not the new movies), got up to episode 14 but couldn’t connect with any character, so I don’t think Eva and I are ever going to be friends. >_O

            I too, like short games; I don’t even know how I managed to finish Resonance of Fate. Got a couple of hours into Nier (past meeting Grimoire Weiss), but I’ve been fairly busy, so posting here in between the cracks is more of a haven… >_<

          • Aoshi00

            yea I definitely can’t do both either, I used to clear my monthly 4-5 manga on time, you can’t believe how many books I’ve bought and haven’t read in the last 2 years.. so w/ games/manga/anime, my main focus is games.. actually for me there’s a fourth, movies, I watch a lot of Netflix.lol, because that’s what I have paid attention to growing up watching anime, seiyuu. People care about directors, producers, and such and I mostly care about the seiyuu, original manga authors/artists, or character designers. Gunbuster was definitely great, Hidaka Noriko (Minami from Touch, Akane from Ranma 1/2, Soujirou from Kenshin, Near from Death Note) was lovely, I liked her a lot back then, she was like an idol at one time.. and the forever cool Wakamoto Norio (Cell in DBZ) as the sungalsses captain :) And there was the beautiful char design by Mikimoto Haruhiko (Macross)Yea, the first and 2nd half of EVA are completely different (even the uplifting opening “Cruel Angel’s Thesis” sung by Takahashi Youko was very misleading), it started as rather traditional shounen, but Anno was very pessimistic and just did all the worst possible things imaginable to the chars… somehow I watched it at a time I really connected w/ them, I liked the chars w/ human flaws and closets full of skeletons, not to mention Ogata Megumi was one of my favorite VAs (Kurama of YuYu Hakusho), she was so awesome. I arldy pre-ordered 2.22 on Amazon. Also I was a huge Gainax fan from Gunbuster and Secret of Blue Water Nadia, so it was natural I followed their next work before the did all the moe stuff (the KareKano anime adaptation was pretty good too, also psychological), and I was a huge Sadaomoto Yoshiyuki fan (haven’t read all of his EVA manga though). I used to be a big mecha fan back then, even the kid-oriented giant robot shows. Nier is awesome, you should get the first 2 endings at least, had no regret spending ~40-50 hrs on it, I still have two more endings to go. I’m actually very close, just one sidequest/one weapon short of ending C, and at the end you could choose ending D the fourth one, I’m just lazy and haven’t gotten back to it, also I still have Replicant to play (which I’ve only gotten 7% trophies for so far)..

          • M’iau M’iaut

            Yup, now that so much stuff runs only 12-14, it’s easy to see limitations. Although to be fair, that’s the same 6-7 hours of most classic OVAs (Tenchi, El Hazard, the initial OMG, many others). Not that I want filler, but 13 eps require a story and character tightness that isn’t always delivered.

            I’d put most of my favs (of which Esca is damn near at the top) at 26 episode shows. That length gives space for 2-3 rising-falling action arcs leading to an ending which I prefer to be quite final. If you are being faithful to a long manga, I can accept the traditional ‘full year’ but don’t be surprised if I skip past where water is just tread.

            As much as I am loving it, World God Only Knows worries me a bit. If you diagram things out, it’s going to take most of a full year season to get to the point in the ‘sisters’ arc things are at now. I hope the commitment becomes 26 more because at only another short season, stuff will either be condensed or just end before the ‘what’s really going on’ starts happening.

            On the gaming side, I’ve got no issue with 30 hours. Most of my fav story centric RPGs from the PS1 days fit that profile. Hell, my top, Panzer Dragoon Saga, (wonderful Maaya Sakamoto ftw!) tops out at 20-25, and that’s if you do every hidden thing and take time to just enjoy some combat.

            @Ashgail — Eureka’s the damn poster child for something allowed to get completely out of control. By the end who could consider keeping track of ‘hidden clues’ from 30 eps before. By the end, all you wanted it to do was END. That don’t do your viewers any favors.

          • Aoshi00

            Yea, the OVAs were condensed and you mostly just expected to see a digest of the original manga, or just a segment/section of the manga animated like the 6-ep Here is Green Wood, Video Girl Ai, or Please Save My Earth, but boy were they some of the best OVAs w/ quality animation. Just like the X/1999 movie it was just a showcase of animation, but w/ a 26-ep TV series, there’s ample time for a more faithful adaptation. I mainly watched anime when I was younger, so at that time I didn’t mind long series of course, Fushigi Yuugi was 52 and had several more OVAs later (Watase Yuu just couldn’t let the series die..), and Ayashi no Ceres was 26 and had to rush to a different ending at the end.. Fillers were reserved for the series that got adapted into anime too quickly while the manga was running like they had to do it to Kenshin, and the most serious case was Dragonball, Toriyama only did 15 pages a week, so they had to drag it out and add fillers/arcs to make it into a 20-min ep. I loved Maison Ikkoku though, 96 eps!

            Oh right, Panzer Dragoon saga did have voice acting, I remember Ishida Akira was the main char (I never did get to finish that game, got stuck…). I remember the gibberish from Orta more, it’s kind of cool they do made-up language like the Facade people in Nier, as long as they don’t sound too annoying.

          • How true and saddening.. I used to think Eureka 7 had a perfect length, but now it seems that it’s far too long. Also, I can’t wait to finish Narutimate Storm 2’s story mode.

            If only I could go back to the good ol days :)

          • Aoshi00

            I bought the 2 Eureka 7 DVD box sets but haven’t touched them yet :(…

          • Yusaku_Matsuda70s

            Yea one of the great things about being a kid is having so much free time, and lack of responsibilities. So easy to engross myself in the game world back then. Now, even when I have free time, there’s always a nagging feeling and a constant reminder of work schedule/tasks at the back of my mind that prevent me from being immersed completely in a game.

            Movies. Boy oh boy I’ve taken a break from that to play more games recently. But movies are a whole new can of worms. There are way more movies than games for me to consume in a lifetime. I can’t keep up with it all when there are so many classics spanning a century, from so many countries, so many genres, that I want to watch.

            Gainax has really gone off in a different direction over the years, though despite the moe, arguably they’ve retained their youthful perspective and taste for tales of epic proportions. I wasn’t a huge mecha fan as a kid, but one thing I really enjoyed then was Red Baron, something that I have never been able to find again in any format.

            Oh, and Merry Christmas dood!

          • Aoshi00

            Exactly, games is really time consuming and unfortunately we only have so much time, back then playing dozens of hours and beating one game as a kid is nothing, now I find it hard to do unless it really catches my interest and I find it to be worth investing the time in it.. when I have my own family, I might have even less money and time to devote to gaming too, so by then I would need to be really selective. You don’t want your wife to think you’re just a couch potato playing games all day and not helping house chores and taking care of the kids.. but that’s life we all move forward.I go to the theater to see movies that I think are worth seeing on the big silver screen (say Avatar 3D), also you could invite friends so.. recently I saw Tangled (it was mostly a family movie but the CG was amazing) and I need to see Tron Legacy soon to see how far the special effects have come since the original. Now that Netflix has so many old and new titles to stream it’s just so easy to access them, I would watch old movies I never had a chance to watch, rewatch old classics (like Jaws used to give me nightmares as a kid), or just the recent ones that I waited for DVD release. There are so many good TV shows too, but that’s definitely another can of worms.. sometimes I just watch King of the Hill or Family guy for laughs lol.. but yea, each activity takes time, anime/manga/drama have been phased out pretty much in favor of games/movies.I’m not sure what Gainax has been up to recently, they do have talents even though they are milking on the moe trend (and the EVA series w/ Asuka and Rei figures/games). I remember the maid one and I’m your master or something was pretty fun to watch.Merry X’mas to you too!

    • Aoshi00

      30 hrs is a sweet spot for me for an RPG, and I’m slow anyway, so it might take me 40-45 if they say 30. Trophies/achievement would add extra incentive for replays, but I would play this game at least twice, once in Jpn and once in Eng (if it’s localized), so 30 hrs is perfect for me. I used to play most RPGs once in Jpn and once in Eng back in the days, now I can’t even finish many games once..

  • urbanscholar

    The second paragraph alone has some of the best bullet points for a console JRPG I’ve heard in awhile.

    Here’s to the hope it crosses overseas in the near future.

  • Yusaku_Matsuda70s

    To me, a narrative game’s value is not directed related to its length, but how compelling the game is for the duration of it. I can see why people want more for their money, especially when it’s $60 a drop, but the way I see it a tightly designed 6 hour game is far more valuable than a 60 hour game packed with unexciting filler. Of course, a tightly designed 60 hour game is all the better, but those are somewhat rare… Obviously sports, puzzles, and sandbox games–genres which rely on repetition and let you play at your own pace–don’t fit into this model.

    Also, dying to know what that game that inspired the Gooch was. Why doesn’t he name the game? Is it because the game is not on a Nintendo system and it was a Nintendo interview? Because it’s not uncommon for devs to name their inspirations openly in interviews.

    • puchinri

      This. I can’t stand it when a game is not only long, but it just grates my nerves with annoying or bland story and characters (or either) the entire way through. A short game that’s fun and replayable though, never gets old.

  • Heh love how we now think that 30 hours is short for RPG’s when back in the SNES and PlayStation era it was thought to be a huge number. Regardless sounds like Sakaguchi knows what he’s doing and that The Last Story should be a very good, if not great, game.

  • andref

    30 hours is not bad, for some people with not a whole lot of time on their hands to play huge block buster RPGs clocking in a lot of play time, this is good. I can sit back and enjoy not worrying about speeding up play time trying to get to the end

    Really what I’m trying to say is that sometimes the longer games usually spread plot point across the whole game so usually towards the end of the game you start to really dig into the meat of the plot so maybe since this is a 30 hour game the plot really doesn’t get spread out

  • HarryHodd

    Maybe I’m slightly old fashioned but when a dev says 30 hours for a RPG it turns me off, i mean they always overshoot the time to comlete a game. Plus I will never put in a whole lot of time into co-op. That is not the reason I like to play RPGs. It’s a diversion at best for me. I’d much prefer Xenoblade with it’s 100 hours of gameplay and sidequests and no online.

  • Uhh 30 hours, well its pretty standard, but i guess i prefer long stories… I dont really replay games unless there is something new the story can offer on the second ride… (new items, and harder dificulty, new dungeon dont do the trick for me)

    • Sort of like how Tales of the Abyss adds more costumes, more powerful Mystic Artes, added dungeon, and harder difficulties.

      And that game was 100+ hours with most side-quests included. Imagine the second playthrough.

      • But most of the time, you’re backtracking in Tales of The Abyss. Even so, it doesn’t really feel tedious and we have to give credit to them for including an abundance of side quests aside from the main story. That game gives good memories

        If only there were no slowdowns on the world map :(

        • Too bad the PS2 HDD didn’t really take off in America. They could’ve had a data install option.

  • gatotsu911

    Man… this game is just right after my own heart. Every time I hear about it it sounds better and better. Every. Time.

    Also: Didn’t Sakaguchi say that there would be news on this game’s localization by the end of the year? Still waiting on that, Nintendo…

  • Hraesvelgr

    Thirty hours is fine. Most games that are 50+ hours tend to drag, anyway.

    • HarryHodd

      Tales of graces f doesn’t drag.

  • onilink888

    Hmm. I prefer the long “long-winded single playthrough” RPGs… Clocked 92 hours in Xenoblade on my first playthrough and loved every minute of it.

    I’m not much of an online gamer, so much of the game’s replayability will be lost to me. :(

    Oh well, back to kicking ass with Monad III.

  • AdamBoy64

    For me, ’30 hour games’ normally take about 50-55 hours.
    Some games are too short for their own good though, and I hope this isn’t one of them.

  • ThunderGod_Cid

    30 hours?! That’s it! Damn….
    As a person who can care less about the online-multiplayer in a game, this is certainly a huge negative for me.

    Now don’t get me wrong, I’m still buying it, but I prefer my RPGs to be in-between 80 to 190 hours.

  • WonderSteve

    30 hours is plenty if the story is engaging.

  • 30 hours is still longer than most games these days anyway.

  • Roanoke834

    This is good news for me. I find myself enjoying the shorter games more. What with college and the increased amount of games I want to play coming out, I simply don’t have the time to sink 60+ hours into a game, no matter how good it may be.

  • puchinri

    I wonder if it’s the type where going straight through the story without much side stuff takes about 30 hours, compared to taking the time to go through everyyyyything (+ replayability) and then finish the story clocks in longer? Or is it just 30 hrs + replay value? Either or is great~.

  • PrinceHeir

    i cannot wait to play this :D

    this and Xenoblade are the definite Wii JRPG game ^^

    after this please sakaguchi you already made 1 exclusive game in both Xbox 360 and Wii, so please make a deal with sony :)

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