The Last Remnant: March 19th, 2009 – March 31st, 2009

MARCH 19TH, 2009: We had to talk to a qsiti Warrior Monk at the Temple of Elysion to get him to unlock a door inside the Temple. This door led to… The Catacombs! Here, we can indulge in the game’s fungus-like battle systems. We’re trollin’ for a trouncin’!

The catacombs are full of nasty qsiti! Why?

At its best, this game makes you feel really good at playing it.

TLR is not like most RPGs. Your party members are divided up into squads. These squads are what go into battle. Right now, our options are severely limited: three characters per union. So yeah, we suck.

Every character has a statistic unique to them, except amongst the generic soldiers, where repeats are inevitable. These stats randomly affect their performances in battle.

Stats don’t go up by increasing levels. Instead, the actions they perform in battle affect their growth. The same goes for combat, medical, and magical arts.

So a system kind of like SaGa or Final Fantasy II. Those kinds of systems are always tricky in RPGs.

MARCH 29TH, 2009: It’s so unfair that the game restricts your unions so severely early on. When we can put more people to a squad, or when we can create more squads, is when we’ll really start kicking ass.

You can save anytime you want in this game – a truly excellent design decision.

Getting more and more SaGa like by the topic!

Who says JRPGs can’t be user-friendly?

Treasure chests look funny in this game. They almost seem like remnants themselves.

Mercifully, HP is restored between battles.

Every RPG has a screen that transitions from exploration to battle. TLR has one of the prettiest ever.

Occasionally, characters’ titles change depending on how their stats evolve.

That sounds kind of like the character titles in Tales games.

Baulson just became an Expert Freelancer.

Every union has a different title depending on who the leader is… “McGrady’s League”, “Rush’s Troop”, “Oakes’ Friends”, et al.

Oakes’ Friends doesn’t quite strike fear in the heart of the enemy. -.-

Sometimes, soldiers ask for advice on where their offensive focus should be.

So we tear into battle, and the game prompts me to say that I unlocked The Battlemaster. Yay!

Apparently, our Battle Rank is seventeen. I don’t even know what that means.

I think that it’s an estimate of how strong all of your squads are overall.

Now it’s eighteen!

Rush’s class changed to Adept Freelancer!

McGrady is one of our toughest sumbitches. His class changed to Sorceror.

The man’s special stat is “Gluttony”. An army marches on its stomach, but I don’t really see how gluttony could help…

Spotlight: Mr. Diggs

Mr. Diggs is unlocked after you complete a certain quest (more on quests later). Mr. Gidds can put his evolving skills to work harvesting items. These items can be used to customize your weapons.

Right now, Mr. Diggs’ skills are all… Amateur level.

Rush insists on calling him “ugly”.

MARCH 31ST, 2009: This game taught me a cool new word – “knavery”. I say thee nay!

Mr. Diggs always just appears out of nowhere…

This game has a Soul Nomad appeal, which is to say, it’s kind of a mess, but an interesting one.

After completing a certain request, we were given the Godstone of Love, one of a trio of legendary stones. What will we get if we obtain all three? And should goofballs like us really be in possession of all of them?

I kind of wanna play more Soul Nomad.

Unlike every other RPG ever made, TLR does NOT tell you how long you have played it for. That is not a truly excellent design decision.

I hope this doesn’t become a trend…

Some characters’ comments in battle are funny… intentionally.

This game could have used a pause feature, too.

Spotlight: Encounters, Advantages, and Disadvantages

On the field, you can see your enemies and try to engage them by using the Aggro Pull. Similar to Blue Dragon, you can engage multiple unions by catching them in the range of the aggro. In dungeons, you can create a chain of advantageous encounters. The game keeps track of how long the chain is, but resets once you leave a dungeon. There’s an Achievement for creating a high enough chain, but I don’t know how high it needs to be. I got 100+ in a dungeon, and that wasn’t good enough.

If you can’t use the aggro correctly, and enemies get the jump on you, the chain is broken and the enemies receive an advantage in battle.

Spotlight: Quests

Who’s ready for some side quests? Tons of random NPCs in pubs give out cute little tasks for you to complete. Remarkably, the game keeps track of all of the ones you accept. In a nice touch, Rush as little comments for all of them.

Here is something that bothers me about the Crimson Avenger, or whatever he’s called: Blood darkens over time on clothes. When it’s dry, it doesn’t even have that vivid carmine hue.