Ouch! This was supposed to be Square Enix’s attempt to make a truly global RPG. Not so much a Japanese RPG, more an Everywhere-RPG. So why is the opening hour so utterly confusing and unwelcoming? An unfamiliar battle system, all stats and weird terminology and with not much in the way of a helping hand. We can’t think of an RPG that starts this badly.
Give Remnant a few hours though and things do pick up. You see, it’s not your usual RPG fare. The overworld is essentially a big menu that allows you to travel to different areas. Caves, ruins, dungeons and open-air locations provide the monster-battling challenges, while cities (which themselves have a menu-map to navigate) give the bulk of the quests and plot-furthering cutscenes. Outside of this somewhat claustrophobic approach to exploration, it’s the battles that provide the main draw.
Rather than the usual battle lines trading blows, Last Remnant requires you to recruit leaders and soldiers and create your own ‘unions’ – groups of units that share an HP pool and can be configured into different formations. In battle, using these formations to the best of your ability, targeting the right enemies and using the best attack types is the order of the day – all of which requires some serious tactical thinking to survive.
Despite the ludicrously steep learning curve (it’s easy to get annihilated if you’re not careful – so save often!) it’s an interesting approach to battling, and there’s as much fun to be had tinkering with your unions to maximize their potential as there is taking to the battlefield. A word of warning though, this isn’t an RPG for everyone, as it was intended to be. It’s often brutally tough, inaccessible and a massive grind. But, if you have the patience, at a whopping 80 hours of play, you’ll find plenty to enjoy!
Dec 2, 2008