The Last Story Gets A New Battle Trailer

By Ishaan . December 27, 2010 . 2:05pm


Yesterday, Mistwalker and Nintendo held a Last Story presentation in Japan where director, Hironobu Sakaguchi played the game, and explained its battle and customization systems.


Following that, Nintendo released a new battle promo video for the game, which you can watch above. If you’d like to watch conference itself, the Ustream recording of the press conference, which you can watch here. Look out for a surprise Iwata appearance that catches Sakaguchi off guard.

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  • After watching, I’m kinda disappointed…

    • onilink888

      Well, good thing there’s a huge nuance between actually playing a game and watching it in action, hmm?

      I said the same thing when I first saw the Xenoblade PVs, and I regretted saying it 10 minutes into the game.

      Concerning only being able to control Elza, that’s nothing new for the JRPG genre, but I will concede that being able to control more than one character would normally amount to giving the player a lot more ways to play the game (which definitely couldn’t have hurt the game).

      Perhaps Sakaguchi withheld on that aspect to give players more incentive to play the online mode… or, it could end up being that all the characters end up playing the same (which would be a damn shame). I’ll choose to have faith in him for the time being seeing as how he seems to have put a lot of effort, thought, faith and heart into the game.

      • Not all characters play the same. There’s a clear distinction between Elza, the fighters and the mages. I’m not sure how the fighters differentiate from each other, but the mages each specialize in certain magics. Elza is on a whole different level though, with being able to act as bait with his gathering abililty, and the ability to use his wind magic enhanced dash attack, or w/e that is skill is, to do massive damage when enhanced by the magic circles or when he does a first strike against an unsuspecting enemy.

        Approximately 1:09:00 is the start of the demo for competitive online mode. You’ll see that’s there’s a least a clear difference between the mage and the fighters. I should warn you in advance though that the guy playing as the mage… wasn’t that great at playing as a mage.

        • onilink888

          I see, completely missed that. Thanks for showing me, though.

      • Aoshi00

        You could pause the game to give instruction to your party members to override their auto commands if you so choose, unlike FF13 which you couldn’t do (other than changing their roles, but their action are still dictated by the sometimes not optimal AI, like if the healer decides not to heal you it’s game over, or you want your part members to concentrate all attacks on one monster but they decide to fight other monsters, yet that was hailed to be a “great” battle system). Xenoblade’s real time battles were exciting though, now that I’ve seen the videos, it seems like Last Story has the same feel, even though you can’t switch to a different party member.

        I like how you could take advantage of the environment, the stealth attack before initiating a fight, and also the magic combined w/ Elza’s attacks to give them elemental attribute, reminds me of the dual and triple techs of Chrono Trigger.

        • malek86

          “You could pause the game to give instruction to your party members to override their auto commands if you so choose”

          Yep, just like in the original .hack games and Tales of Phantasia. I liked them, but I definitely remember spending all my time in dungeons giving orders to my allies because they wouldn’t cast the skills I wanted. Since then, I’ve kinda stopped playing real-time games. I prefer to not have to think about the AI during battles. Now I’ll take either turn-based, and then a party is fine, or real-time, but only if I’m going by myself (like in Baroque).

          • Aoshi00

            That’s what I preferred too, that’s why I’m not a big Tales fan for the real time action battles. But real time adds a sense of urgency, Xenoblade did it really well, there’s so much going on at any given time, like a pandemonium, yet you’re still in full control and it keeps you on your toes (not to say Lost Odyssey didn’t require good planning, one wrong move and it could be game over). But Sakaguchi has done turn-based for so long, and even this gen w/ Blue Dragon, Lost Odyssey, and ASH (part strategy and part turn based), so I guess that’s why he wanted to do something different, because too traditional might mean too much of the same/boring for some, so… it seems like people don’t accept turn based that much anymore unless it’s Dragon Quest.. Lost Odyssey was reviewed as a PS2-era JRPG in HD…

            But the gathering of Elza does look cool, drawing the attention of enemies to give the magic users enough time to cast spell to take group a group of enemies.. there’s a lot of cooperation needed btwn you and your teammates.

          • malek86

            What you say it’s true, but then, it’s kinda becoming the opposite problem: nowadays every major company is going for real-time battles. At this point, if i want a real-time system, there are so many alternatives to choose from.

            And apparently LO was still one of the most successful new RPGs this gen. Sure, it had Microsoft marketing it, but for a new IP on a relatively niche genre, i think it did pretty well. I wonder how much more it could have sold, if there a was a PS3 version too. Maybe there’s space for turn-based games yet.

          • Aoshi00

            I agree w/ you, as I did love Lost Odyssey also (I love all of the recent Mistwalker games). I thought if no one else in this world makes old school FF-like turn-based RPGs anymore, we would still have Mistwalker and Sakaguchi, imagine my initial disappointment when I heard he’s making this real time action as well. Before I kept hearing what he wanted to do, but I still didn’t have a good grasp of the battle system I was wondering if it would be like FF12, but after watching the video and himself playing different sections of the game, it seems he wanted to go for the more seamless and fast paced, giving player as much immersion as possible (instead of going to a different screen for every battle), also the constant banter btwn party members make them more lively and cohesive as well. I guess I just accept the fact that real time action is more of the norm now. I do want to play turn based but I don’t want to play Dragon Quest. I think this would really work though, because I had the same worry about Xenoblade (I was hoping it would play like Xenosaga), but after playing it for a couple of hours, man I really loved that too, I don’t know how to describe it, it still feels “turn based” even though it’s real time, it’s like the active mode instead of wait mode of FF’s ATB I guess. From the videos I think you could slow the battle down at keypoints even more than Xenoblade.

            Xenoblade’s battle system is like turn based elevated/evolved to the next level, one needs to play it to experience I guess (I only played 16 hrs and didn’t get back to it though, the story was a bit slow, shame on me..) For Last Story, I think I would be playing nothing but this for 2 weeks, but like Blue Dragon or Lost Odyssey (those still took me a month though on and off).

            I remember when he was demoing Lost Odyssey, it was great, there was the ring thing like Shadow Hearts and guard system w/ the people in the back behind a wall set up by the front row (like FF but more literal w/ the combined HP of the front row members’ as the threshold), it was nothing new because it was a traditional turn based RPG. At the time he didn’t introduce other aspect like the immortals learning skills from mortals, etc.. but in this hour and a half demoing Last Story, many aspects of the game do look refreshing and exciting when combined together.

          • RupanIII

            I remember all the Western gaming “journalists” hating on LO for turn-based gameplay.. ugh. Like malek said, there may have been a time when turn-based was all there was, but now it’s actually become more of a rarity and most big-ticket RPGs are real-time.

          • Aoshi00

            I know.. like I said, unless it’s Dragon Quest, people just don’t accept turn based anymore and the first thing they would label it is archaic, yet they have no problem w/ DQ being the same.. but when IPs have that, it’s not well received.. I’m not even sure if the Jpn gamers like turn based RPGs on consoles anymore..

            I’m actually not good at real time myself, like I love Mass Effect, especially the RPG aspects of it, it’s enormous, but the core battle gameplay, the real time shooting, I suck at it :(…

          • malek86

            Uhm, I guess I’ll try out Xenoblade then, if it ever comes here, that is…

            In the meantime, I’ll get Lost Odyssey, since I never played it. I heard the load times were pretty slow, and that kinda put me off. But now that I finally have a 60GB drive in place of the original 20GB, I can give it a try.

          • Aoshi00

            Man, you haven’t played it all this time yet? W/ HDD install it should help a bit if it doesn’t need to read and load from the disc (Feel Plus really screwed it up w/ the loadtimes I admit, I suppose they weren’t that familiar w/ Unreal engine). It’s actually not that bad once you’re into it, I’m playing FF9 on the PSP Go now, it’s the same thing.. before the battle starts, the camera pans and showing different angles.. the loading is the worst like before and after some cutscene (awesome cutscenes though).. other than that, grade-A RPG filled w/ emotion and heavenly old school turn-based gameplay. If you want more challenging, do not d/l the free DLC, it made Kaim able to block almost all attacks early on.. totally destroying the game balance in my opinion.. like I died fighting the first and 2nd boss the first time (even the small fries posed a threat), but w/ the DLC accessory, the fights were much easier because you just dodge 90% of the attacks..

          • RupanIII

            Can’t edit my post, damnit Disqust -_-

            … just to qualify that, even tho I’d prefer turn-based for something like this I’m sure Sakaguchi will still deliver teh goods.

          • Aoshi00

            I have never lost faith in him and after seeing him demoing the game it just boost my confidence by 10 fold :) He loves what he does and it shows, unlike certain people over at S-E ($$$ instead of quality and passion).

            He gave all out, Uematsu gave all out (he said Sakaguchi was very demanding and particular this time), Fujisaka’s design’s top notch. This can’t be his last story :)

      • RupanIII

        Feeling similarly.. admittedly I haven’t watched/read up on everything that’s been released, but the video was a little different than I expected.. But it’s the ‘Gooch, as they call him, so I’m sure it’ll be a great game even if not exactly the image I had in mind. And, as you say, watching/playing is a different dynamic.

      • hopefully you are right….but at the moment, I wasn’t impressed at all.

  • zhemos

    After seeing it in action this game gives me Tri Ace vibes. It’ll either be absolutely amazing or down right horrible. Also now that I’ve learned you can only control the main character Elza my hype for this game has dropped considerably.

    • Yusaku_Matsuda70s

      I too, thought only Tri-Ace could make battle systems that look like this… O_O

  • Watch the conference last night, and enjoyed it! The amount of life that is in the other characters. Really gives them a life of their own. I’ve been tired for years just having these mindless, and soulless characters just follow you around. I don’t mind at all that I’m just one playing as one person. Gives me the chance to just focus on that. At the same time I can listen and watch the others.

  • HarryHodd

    Battles look good sometimes and not so good others. I really didn’t expect this to be such an action RPG. Stilll the battle system is what has me most interested about this game and it looks to have depth. Color tone of the world is still bugging me.

    • Hraesvelgr

      Really? Ever since they showed off the early screens of the battle system, I thought it was pretty obvious that it was an action RPG.

      • HarryHodd

        Guess I haven’t been following this that closely. Other stuff I’ve ready seemed more tactical and it is, but the beginning of the vid looks like a slow hack and slash game.

        • Guest

          It IS tactical you ninny. The whole point on Gathering? Thats a tactical move to draw your enemies towards you while your allies charge their magic. There are many different ways to approach the enemy.

          • HarryHodd

            Umm that’s why I said “it is”. The trailer clearly shows tactical gameplay. Beginning of the vid, not so much.

  • Aiddon

    Good times. Reminds me of Infinite Undiscovery’s seamless combat system which was rather fun except with more action parts like Elza jumps on the boss and engages a QTE. Interactivity with the environment also seems important like collapsing that bridge with Yuris’ fire spells.

    • malek86

      IU-like battle system with the addition of QTEs?

      Wow, you just destroyed any interest i could have had in this game. Now i’ll have to watch the trailer and hope it’s not like you said :P

      Edit: ok, so it doesn’t really remind me of IU, but I don’t really like it either. It looks a bit too complicated for me. I’d rather have a nice old turn-based, no-frills battle system. And to be honest, the art design looks a bit… uninspired, maybe. Heh, I thought brown was reserved to HD shooters.

      The graphics are looking pretty nice though.

      • Aoshi00

        I liked IU’s battle system too actually.. but this looks like you have more control even though it’s fast paced.

        I don’t mind the darker palette it has a different charm (Fujisaka Kimihiko’s design always has that darker feel), while Xenoblade’s graphics was very colorful, the human CG models can’t hold a candle to Last Story’s here, and when you talk to people in town, the environment is much more detailed than Xenoblade’s too (it concentrated on the scope of the expansive world, in exchange the environment lacks details).

        • Aiddon

          If I would compare it to anything it’d be Vagrant Story. Fujisaka seems to have a similar art style to Akihiko Yoshida who also goes for darker, more earthen tones in his more realistic styles (though he is fully capable of RADICALLY different styles)

          • Aoshi00

            I really like the art he did for Drakengard, I have that artbook/guide.. I think his art has improved a lot since then and is much more detailed here. And there was the unfortunately scrapped Cry-On, which was also a Sakaguchi/Uematsu/Fujisaka collaboration before (maybe they could revive the project one day?).. it’s nice they still made Last Story together..http://www.videogamesblogger.c…I don’t get why people always complain about the darker palette.. I think this looks even better than games like Star Ocean 4 or Xenoblade which were bright and colorful.. this has more of a dreary medieval feel.

          • Aiddon

            Well, I too am getting quite tired of the boring, brown palettes in a lot of games, but I’m not entirely against them. It was fine for Star Ocean, but that’s because the game was meant to convey a different feel and tone that The Last Story is supposed to

          • Yusaku_Matsuda70s

            I don’t mind, but I think people were expecting a different look from the initial bright and colorful concept art.

            As I just found out, he’s apparently inspired by Gears of War this time around, so not only does it show through the cover and OTS shooting mechanics, the color palette has gone that direction as well.

          • Aoshi00

            That’s cool, I knew Sakaguchi mentioned he was a fan of Gears of War, but I didn’t know he made Last Story w/ that influence. He was actually the reason I got into Gears and I loved the series since then, otherwise I wouldn’t touch most shooting games on my own. I really liked the cover system rather than gun and shoot because I’m not good a shooters.

            The world illustration were colorful, but if you look at the char designs, they all look quite dark and brown, except the main girl is in a white dress, or blue dress. I didn’t mind Gears being brown, it made me feel like I was playing Aliens :)

          • Yusaku_Matsuda70s

            Yea I’m no good at shooters either; I’ve avoided the genre generally prior to this gen. Haven’t played much of Gears, but Saints Row 2 eased me into TPS controls and Uncharted forced me to become halfway decent. Mentioning SR2 on Siliconera is like ordering french wine at an irish pub (no offense to either), but that game made me laugh at it, laugh with it, and laugh in spite of myself. To explain why it’s more than just a generic meathead shooter will require a lengthy essay, so I’ll stop there.

            And Aliens… I too love that series, but I’m probably just in love with Giger’s designs.

            Seeing that artwork again… Cry-On looked like such an interesting concept. It could have been the Gooch’s own ICO game! T_T

          • Aoshi00

            Same here, only this gen I started playing shooters because of games like Gears, Mass Effect, Bioshock, Uncharted, etc. I still played on easy though, my reflex’s just not good enough if the AI flank me too aggressively, which is why I suck even worse in FPS, it’s harder to see where I am compared to TPS. I hear you, saying I’m a Gears fan doesn’t make me popular here either. I haven’t played Saints Row though, just GTA 4 and RDR. The desolate feel just made me feel like I’m kicking Aliens ass, especially in the first Gears one act you control the tank it reminded me of the marines first landed on the colony in the rain.. I got the blu-ray box set too. The 3rd and 4th movies weren’t that bad now that I watch them again, but Resurrection was just too disgusting.. I guess Dead Space felt even more like Alien being on a space w/ claustrophobia.At least after the project was scrapped the team still got together to make Last Story now. Maybe we would see something like that materialize again if Last Story generates good sales.. The Gooch is still the man to me.

      • Guest

        Theres a million of those “nice old turn-based, no-frills battle system” in JRPG’s though. It come off as if you think they’ve gone away or something. I love how this game is moving forward and doing modern things with its gameplay and not just sticking to the same menu based combat thatsJRPGs have been stuck in for the last 20 years. That said if you really do want turn based combat there is an option for that.

        • Aoshi00

          There are still turn-based, but I’m not interested in DQ, Trinity Universe and such.. I think he meant he wanted games like Xenoblade or Last Story to be turn based like Lost Odysssey, instead of the Atlus cutesy RPGs like Atelier and such.. which I have no interest in. And there’s still Golden Sun Dark Dawn, Pokemon, etc, but they are all portables and not console RPGs either.. For a big budget console JRPG, I think it’s indeed rare to have a complete turn-based battle system now.

          • malek86

            Exactly. Yeah, I can find a million turn-based JRPGs, but I have to go on portables or an older console. For the current gen, real-time has become the norm, apparently.

            Not that I don’t like cutesy RPGs, although I’m not really a fan either. But once in a while, one would like some darker stuff too.

  • MrRobbyM

    Well the battle system seems really fun. That alone sold me on the game, though the environments look pretty brown and gray..

  • PrinceHeir

    this looks like Devil May Cry with RPG elements, which is awesome :)

    hoefully this sells well ^^

    so when’s your collaboration with sony gooch? you did it with nintendo and microsoft, i think sony should step up and fund their next project ^^

    but since he might still be bitter with sony, oh well.

  • Haha, beginning of the vid, Elza sneaks up behind the enemy while the rest of the party charges forward. That’s awesome.

    • If Final Fantasy VI & VII have taught us anything about battle formations, pincer attacks are much better than simple back attacks.

    • Aoshi00

      That’s called flanking.

  • mach

    Looks moderately entertaining, even if it is mostly just standard action RPG/MMO battle with a few twists.

    I’m excited for this game, but I’m worried it might disappoint a lot of folks. People have this delusion that Sakaguchi will save the entire JRPG genre, but that’s not going to happen.

    • Aoshi00

      Not sure if he’s able to save the JRPG genre.. Blue Dragon, Lost Odyssey, ASH were all very fun to me compared to FF11-14, and this doesn’t look to be the exception. For real FF, I think he’s the real deal. At least look more fun than FF13 anyway w/ a more interesting world, w/ people (tons of NPCs w/ a lot of dialogue), towns, interactive environment in towns or in battles, etc, overall feeling very immersive instead of just watching movies all the time.

  • Looks like warmed over hack and slash.

  • ShinGundam

    looks surprisingly amateurish and the music really bad :

    • “…and the music really bad”

      =O <—- *Stuck like this for 5 minutes*

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