Last Rebellion review
Rebel against good storytelling!
I mean... It seemed alright.
Last Rebellion is another JRPG title released for a seventh generation console in March of 2010. I was hoping for something as excellent as Final Fantasy 13, or something as ambitious as Resonance Of Fate. Both of those RPGs definitely make for some good times, especially the battle systems. So then I picked up Last Rebellion, and I thought it’d be one of those titles only an RPG fan can appreciate. Oh, boy, was I wrong... No, it’s not a bad game - it’s just really, really mediocre, and unlike the other two March releases I mentioned, this isn’t a required purchase. It’s just filler that would’ve been more appropriately released before Final Fantasy 13. I mean, holy shit, what were the creators of Disgaea thinking? Yeah, they also did Cross Edge, which wasn’t exactly a favorite among JRPG fanatics, but I liked it to a point (with that point being that I muted the TV most of the time), so to see them end up making this game is a bit silly, like they were trying to piss us off.
Did the writer lose interest after the prologue?
The backstory is probably the only interesting part of the story. It’s a war between two gods who have two different factions – one consisting of revived souls put into monsters, and a Blade and Sealer who weaken and seal away those monsters. It’s up to a Blade known as Nine, and a Sealer known as Aisha, to stop these monsters.
Okay, simplistic, but it gets the job done as far as a backstory is concerned. Unfortunately, that’s... all you really get out of the story. For the most part, you’re just hanging on the edge, expecting some wicked plot twist. Instead, the plot is stagnant and the characters are just... boring. You learn a bit about them, but not enough to care for them. This is crappy, since you don’t meet too many other characters. You know of the gods, you know of some sorcerer, and you meet Nine’s brother. Big deal. None of them save the story from mediocrity, especially since the characters don’t even know what they want to be like. Sarcastic? Brave warrior?
Run up stairs. Go down stairs.
As per usual for this genre, the path is already laid out for you – just follow it, bump into some enemies to initiate combat, get some treasure along the way, and beat the boss at the end of the path. If you’ve played through a JRPG before, you know what to expect – linearity (oh my god such a shocker-- oh wait, this isn’t Final Fantasy 13, never mind). It’s nothing ultimately special, as usual.
Oh, what’s this you heard from paid reviewers about some weak hit detection on the field? You heard right, my good chum, because the hit detection is quite questionable. You just have to be close to an enemy in order to initiate a fight. Now, this isn’t so bad; it just means you go through a fairly irritating at times battle system. However – and the paid reviewers would’ve mentioned this, too – they have a respawning rate of about 2 and a half seconds. This is at its worst when you’re headed for a chest guarded by an enemy. Guess what? You better want to fight it twice if you want what’s in that chest! Yeah, it’s annoying, though at least you get to go through the battle system more. Yay!
A lesson in overcomplication.
The battle system, at first, seems like your typical JRPG one, where you take it in turns to fight or do shit. Unfortunately, from the get go, things go awry. Firstly, your targets are different body parts on each enemy, and whenever you attack specific parts, you mark them with a seal that can not only halt the enemy’s movements in that part for a couple of turns, but spells can bugger them up. One thing that manages to make you think a bit is that if you attack body parts in a certain order, you can really throw them in the dark with longer sealing time, meaning more spells. Unfortunately, some body parts, when attacked, will piss off an enemy and have it destroy the hell out of you. There’s a lot of memorization to keep in mind while playing this game, and considering that every monster has a different order, you’ll really need a pen and paper.
Okay, that doesn’t seem bad at first, but the second curve ball is that you can only attack a certain number of times, as determined by your CP. This means that you really ought to learn the order of what parts to attack, or you’ll be left a sitting duck. Yeah, that’s nice, giving us only limited attacks when enemies have a tendency to have high HP! Bastards.
Let’s also take this in – you only have two people in your party... throughout the entire game... at all times. They also share HP, MP and CP (considering they share the same body), as well as all status inflictions, and if one dies, GAME OVER. That’s all well and good, but you know how in other RPGs how there are status inflictions? Well, since realistically, you’re only controlling one character, guess what happens? You’re a sitting duck if you’re affected by a status infliction. Fun... You get to go to sleep (in real life) until it wears off while mashing X.
In the end, each battle isn’t challenging, but just a pain in the dick. You want legitimately challenging JRPGs? Try out Valkyria Chronicles and Resonance Of Fate. You need a fair amount of strategy with the resources you’re given in order to prevail. Here, you just need patience and to know a precise order of what to attack, which is actually bullshit, because you can only attack a certain number of times. It feels like they just went out of their way to bullshit the gamer over through the battle system.
Thankfully, it won’t last any longer.
This is a rather short game, lasting about 12-15 hours. You’d think that since Resonance Of Fate was about 50 hours long and Final Fantasy 13 was about 60 hours long, you’d expect this one to be as long. Nope. Then again, the less time spent with a cruddy battle system, the better, I suppose. Think of it as a bite sized RPG. But let me say that the first 10 hours will feel twice or even thrice as long, considering that each fight is annoying hard and will kick your ass until you get the order down. After the first 10 hours, though, the rest is a cakewalk since you get some awesome abilities and items that decimate everything, even the last boss! How anticlimactic is that!?
I’ll tell you one thing that gave me the shits – a lack of sidequests. I managed to count the amount just in one hand – one. Even Final Fantasy 13 manages more than this within the first 5 hours with basic treasure hunting and weapon upgrading! Seriously, this lowered replay value – not that you’d want to play for much longer than the given amount, but just saying. This one would be the optional bosses that are opened up towards the end... meh. They’re tricky bastards, even with the upgrades, but that’s about it.
This a PS3 game? More like a PSP game!
The graphics aren’t that good. They look fairly bland, with some textures that look like something off a PS1 game, and when you use a magic attack, they all look pretty lame, like they’re ripped off a PS1 game. Oh, the edges might be smoothed out a little, but ultimately, it feels like you’re playing something intended for the PS1, which is funny, because this was originally intended for the PSP, which is essentially a handheld PS1. It’s also pretty blurry looking... Pretty much, if you’re playing this on a big screen TV, the graphics won’t seem any good to you. The only redeeming feature is that at least the game doesn’t hurt your eyes...
Keep your ears alert.
You know when you’re playing through Castlevania: Symphony Of The Night, and you view the ever so famous “WHAT IS A MAN” cutscene? Remember the voice acting there and how corny it all sounded? Yeah, that’s this game’s voice acting in a nutshell. Nothing but cheese. Some of them actually manage to give off a solid performance, but others feel like they just read the script and called it a day. Basically, there isn’t much that will keep you interested in the storyline in amongst mediocre voice acting, and a story with bugger all reason to care beyond the main premise.
The only thing in this game that’s actually really good is the soundtrack. From the title screen (which shares its tune with the battle sequences), to goddamn near everything else, the soundtrack is excellent. It could be that the overall mediocrity of the game is settling in to make me think this soundtrack is awesome, but I just can’t enough of these tunes. Haha, maybe I’m delusional, since other reviewers aren’t big fans of it, but it just managed to pick me up and keep me on my feet for some strange reason.
Hopefully the last.
Last Rebellion is an alright game. The story is a mess, the characters aren’t interesting, the battle system can be a bit on the irritating side sometimes, and the graphics are awfully behind the times. That said, the soundtrack is nice enough, and the battle system, when it doesn’t irritate you, is not all bad, but not that great either. Really, it just takes *bleep*en forever to beat enemies if you don’t know the attack order, which is funny, since the game itself is only about 12 hours long. Meh.
It seems pretty cool, like how people can be brought back to life even stronger, though their soul has to be placed within a monster. It’s up to Blades and Sealers to weaken and destroy the souls. They’re controlled by two different gods – blahblahblah, the backstory sounds cool, let’s leave it there. As for the rest, it’s basically “good vs evil” and... well, it’s not bad, but not all that good either. It’s just boring.
A battle system that can get pretty irritating due to its slow pace and status inflictions slowing you down even more, as well as having only limited attacks... other than that, it’s an alright system. Just needs a lot of work and the enemies really need to lay off the steroids.
Umm... Normal JRPG scenario... Yeah... They all respond and whatnot...
Hit and miss. The hit is that it’s easy on the eyes. The miss is that it looks like a PS1 game, and on a big screen like mine, you can really notice some lackluster textures and magic animations that remind me of Pokemon Stadium on the N64. Meh.
Voice acting is very hit and miss, just like the graphics. The hit is that they at least sound alright, but the miss is that some of the characters sound pretty cheesy. Nothing ultimately special, but they sort of get the job done. Soundtrack is *bleep*ing beautiful - definitely keep your ears open during the battle sequences especially.
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