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Saturday, April 2, 2022

The Last Story

Final Fantasy was on a rocky road for a good while after the turn of the millennium; Squaresoft merged with Enix following significant financial difficulties, many of their biggest names split from the company over the next few years; most prominently Hironobu Sakaguchi, Final Fantasy's creator.  It certainly didn't help that the company's first forays into HD gaming - The Last Remnant and Final Fantasy XIII - were underwhelming messes that left a sizable portion of their fanbase feeling disappointed and betrayed.  That left a perfect opening for Sakaguchi's new company to reclaim his crown with a big budget high-quality RPG release, so he did just that, right?  Well... no.  If Lost Odyssey was a poor man's Final Fantasy X (which was already a craptastic game, by the way), this one is the poor man's Final Fantasy XIII.  With clunky, poorly explained and confusing mechanics, 100% railroaded progression, awful party AI, a messy narrative with countless plot holes,  a thoroughly obnoxious and unlikable cast compounded with terrible acting every step of the way, and tons of lag and framerate issues due to being shoehorned onto the aging Wii's hardware, it's just a wretched experience all around.  But when it's brought to us in part by the brilliant minds that made crappers like Ju-On: The Grudge, Bullet Witch and Vampire Rain, is that really a surprise?  If you're wondering why Mistwalker has mostly moved into making low-stakes mobile games and Sakaguchi is only spoken of fondly in the past tense nowadays, well, look no further.

Developer: Mistwalker, AQ Interactive
Publisher: XSeed Games
Released: 2012
Platforms: Wii