An enjoyable and somewhat addictive JRPG but has some annoying problems.Beautiful to look at nonetheless.
The Last Remnant is an JRPG that was first released on the Xbox 360 and many people said the game had numerous qualities but was almost unplayable due to frame rate issues which slowed battles down way too much.
The PC version of this game(which was released a few months afterwards)doesn't suffer from the massive frame rate lag anywhere near as much which makes the game much more enjoyable.
The Last Remnant is another story driven JRPG and I've enjoyed the story for the Last Remnant a lot,the story for the game is set in a medieval/fantasy world in which objects referred to as remnants exist and they allow certain people who are bound to them to wield incredible power,to the extent they could use the power of the remnant to destroy an entire city.Not much is known about the remnants,except all the main cities in the world are built around them and the cities guard their remnant because the remnants were used as powerful weapons during great wars in the past.
The story begins when a young man named Rush is trying to rescue his sister named Irina who has been kidnapped and he doesn't know the reason why.As he is trying to find his sister,chaotic things start happening in the world due to collapsed remnants(remnants that have no person bound to them) which causes monsters to spawn and also because of powerful military/political figures whom seem to be fighting amongst their own military people/politicians and each of whom seem to either have their own agenda or you aren't sure what their agenda is and war has broken out over the remnants because the most powerful army led by someone known as 'The Conquerer' is demanding access to all the remnants.There's other reasons that keep the story feeling exciting but I won't spoil them for you and there's big secrets and plot twists come into the story and the story has some big surprises that you won't see coming.
What also makes the story is entertaining is the way it's presented and you do get a sense of how time progresses in the story because it moves months forward in time and the story has romance in it(including a love story that has a Romeo and Juliet style to it and told very poetically even though it's just a side quest story)and a combination of all these things make the story feel epic.
The story has many interesting/likable characters because there is more to many of the characters then it would originally seem and because the world also has very diverse races that have their own culture,people of certain races can live to be hundreds of years old(including some party members).
As for the game play,well like in most JRPGs you'll be traveling to different cities/towns and exploring the world map and talking to NPCs and doing quests and of course fighting enemies and increasing your character stats but the way leveling up is used in this game is annoying because the bosses level up with you(the higher your battle ranking is,the harder the bosses become)and it's the same for certain enemies,but certain enemies don't level up with you so at times you'll need to level grind but at times you will try to keep your character levels low and it's annoying having to play like this.
The battle system is quite something though.It's turn based and instead of only using party members during battle,you'll use what's called unions which are groups of units which consist of party members and units you can hire/buy.The battle ranking for each union affects the stats for every unit in the union such as attack,defense,magic power and the skills the units can do and how many units you can have in your union.
You give commands to one union at a time per turn and every unit in that union will follow the command and the enemy AI will have turns doing the same.What makes the battle system epic is when you and the enemy AI give commands it can create some interesting situations such as a deadlock in which one of your unions and an enemy union nullify each other's attacks and you or the enemy unions can try to outflank each other or attack each other from the rear or try to kill each other's leaders to try to lower morale of the opposing union which will have a big negative effect on the stats of the opposing union.
You can command a union to attack with mystic arts(magic)or from afar(using ranged magical attacks)or to back up(assist)another union or attack an enemy with normal attacks or combat arts(powerful melee attacks)or to focus on healing and there's many more commands you can use to try to gain an advantage but to use some of these commands the union you're giving the command to must be in a certain situation/position such as not being deadlocked or a certain distance from the enemy.
The battle system allow battles to sometimes become similar to a much more complex version of tic tac toe but it keeps battles interesting because it's battle system involves lots of strategy,lots of luck and to an extent character stats.
I love it how when one of your unions and an enemy union deadlock each other and on your next turn you order another union to outflank them and you butcher that enemy union who is already engaged in battle with another one of your unions by attacking them from the sides.
I also like it how when your units and the enemy unions fight each other they'll attack each other simultaneously most of the time as if they're mini armies fighting each other.
Your main party members can summon creatures.To add more depth to the strategy,you can experiment by creating certain specific unions such as a union with all mages or a union specifically created for healing for certain advantages but such unions will have big disadvantages too but it's fun to see how you can use the unions to try to give you that little extra edge over the enemies.
Also the game is quite difficult because you can't rely on high stats to win battles and you have to use good strategy when you're facing multiple enemy unions and bosses to win.
Graphically the game was beautiful for it's time,the graphics have a nice mixture of realism and art style,there is detailed cities and lovely,wide open grassy plains and the deserts look stunning and the characters look great and the different races look creative and interesting.Some of the giant enemies look awesome when they fight near your units because they look huge in comparison.
I like how the music for the game has the Japanese style electronic/techno music mixed with more orchestra sounding music.The electronic/rock music makes battles even more enjoyable.
Overall,the game is a lot of fun but also frustrating due to enemies leveling up with you and it's difficulty.