The Last Story is a fantastic game in its own right, and a bold new direction for JRPGs that can be equally valid as Xenoblade’s, depending on your RPG preferences.
I'm 12 hours into this game and not overly impressed. Its just not what i expected. xenoblade was epic... this last story is linear and has a very small vision in comparison. Its hardly an rpg either. its just a hack and slash with a levelling system draped over it. there is no real exploration, the game sections are forced on you in chapters... so you can't explore different areas at your own leisure. it is a 'good' game, just not the game i thought it would be, or the game these reviews make it out to be.
I disagree entirely. I understand that fans of RPGs will not all necessarily like it, as the game does show very different sensibilities than other RPGs. The way I see it, RPGs have separated in 2 schools of thought: one is about the world, the other is about the characters. Whether you compare Final Fantasy 7 with Xenogears, The Last Story with Xenoblade, or Mass Effect 3 with Skyrim, you will see the same differences: linear versus non-linear exploration, a tight world versus a huge world, and limited versus rampant customization. So, your own enjoyment of a particularly outstanding RPG might vary more because of your own personal genre preferences than because of a game's "intrinsic" quality. In that sense, I can offer a few counterarguments to yours: The Last Story's linearity allows it a great control of its character development and narrative density. While its customization is not awfully deep (though it does have heavy implications as you acquire more advanced weapons and armor that have specific boosts that serve for different occasions), it is very accessible allows for a refined level of mastery as more mechanics are included (diffusing magic circles, counter-attacks, etc). The lack of exploration in event areas is made up for with the ridiculous exploration of Lazulis City, which comes not only from physically navigating its streets but from finding different kinds of citizens and the conversations they have, as well as the requests they make and how this affects their personal lives. Xenoblade is similar in this sense, but in the end I think the difference comes down to Last Story taking a much greater care of its city while Xenoblade handles its field areas much better. I do see how it is a divisive game. Even in this review you can see a bit of a gap between the main review and the Second Opinion, and its inevitable that this will extend all across the board among both gamers and critics. Like I said earlier, I think it comes down to a difference in the schools of thought, and not so much because one game is intrinsically better than the other. Personally I am also more fond of Xenoblade, but that hasn't prevented me from loving the hell out of The Last Story.
Yes i known what you are saying... don't get me wrong, i'm not an jrpg expert, xenoblade was my first proper jrpg. Its just that the last story is not the game i thought it was. The linear style with detailed character development is great, but because i was expecting a game with sprawling landscapes and epic scale similar to xenoblade... I was always going to be disappointed. last story is definitely quality, i guess i just made assumptions about the game. I have an idea about pandoras tower... i think that game will be linear, im not expecting much in terms of story telling either. im just expecting an action packed game. if it is more than my expectations, that is great, but last story definitely is less than i expected.
"The linear style with detailed character development is great, but because i was expecting a game with sprawling landscapes and epic scale similar to xenoblade... I was always going to be disappointed." Sounds to me like you completely had the wrong idea of what TLS is like. Did you do any research at all? If you had, you would have known that TLS is a much, much more local tale and is more character and story driven. It's not like TLS' trailers showed characters running through endless fields like how the Xenoblade trailer did. How did you get the idea that the two would be the same? Just because they're both jrpgs? Also, I don't think it's entirely correct to say TLS has a much smaller vision. While it's true that Xenoblade does cover the entirety of a world(or 2), TLS explores its setting in much, much greater detail. Therefore, when you're referring to which game had the "bigger vision", it depends on whether you're referring to the amount of land present or the amount of detail that's present. While Xenoblade covers more space, TLS is kind of like taking a section of the world and putting it under a microscope.
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