The Last Remnant. Such a shame a game like this failed to reach popularity, yet a game like Final Fantasy XIII is the one that makes more progress. In many ways, Final Fantasy XIII, while I stand by my hatred for the game, I can see why people would like the game. I even gave it a fair chance with a 3 out of 5. The Last Remnant on the other hand did not get so lucky, as the story left many plot points open in its story, a combat system that lacked any control of the characters, and an unfair leveling system that drove most gamers to madness. Quite frankly, buying The Last Remnant on the Xbox 360 was punishing yourself.
And yet I bought the PC version because everyone claimed that it was the superior version. Eventually, after contacting a friend of mine in Singapore, I was able to get a copy for $30 rather $40. On Steam, the price has thankfully been lowered from $40 to $30 as well, though I still feel it is rather a bit on the expensive side for a game that has been out for years, and shouldn’t be rare considering what it has. That said, let’s dive in.
First thing to notice is that the story is exactly the same, with no alterations in it. Since I already went over how poorly done the story was done in the Xbox 360 version, I’ll skip this section. At best, I can say that on the PC, the game definitely moves smoother, depending on how strong your PC is. On my newest laptop, which has 6GB of ram, the game runs like a dream on the lowest settings, and I can even bump it up to average at some points. It’s only in major battles of several groups of units I found difficulty.
To help with everything is a turbo mode. This does make the quick time events harder to perform, but at this rate, you may just put auto as it saves times and makes combat flow much quicker. Unfortunately, you still lack that control if you do that, and are just a viewer, praying to god your strategy works, and I hesitate to use the word strategy as combat still remains relatively unchanged from the Xbox 360 version. At best, I can say that after a hard battle against the toughest of bosses, I did feel like I accomplished something, a great weight lifted from my heart when I finally defeated enemies like The Fallen, one of the hardest bosses in The Last Remnant. However, that feeling of greatness is more generated on chance thanks to the combat system, so it fades after awile.
Thankfully, there are more saving graces in this game now. For starters, your BR no longer factors in making certain enemies appear, and your enemies don’t grow as strong as you do when you do raise it. And unlike the 360 version, you can now view your BR at any time. Unfortunately, it does factor into stat growth, so having it too high early on prevents better stat gains, and this means you’ll be forcing yourself past most encounters. Another good thing though is now linking doesn’t really rapidly increase your BR, so you can link foes for not only a better stat gain and learning new moves, but also for more items. Battles though will be much harder as a result though, but this does make grinding later in the game that much better and easier.
Another great improvement is the limit for leaders has now been taken out. This means that while you always have a maximum number of units you can use, you can now use as many unique leaders and such as you want. This opens a much larger door to be able to customize your army and make it that much more powerful. Moreover, it makes actually collecting leaders that much more useful, as opposed to the 360 version, where the limit is still placed and makes finding leader units almost pointless. Unfortunately, you are still limited to only 18 units, 19 counting 1 summon unit. Union formations are also still problematic, unless you talk to an expert. And if you try to do it by yourself, it’s just confusing and frustrating, as you cannot make your union groups actually go somewhere, save for maybe charging at an enemy group when the game feels like letting you.
More characters are also unlockable, namely the Seven. The Seven are the mercenaries you fight at the Bases, and after fighting them again in the sewers in a special hard battle, you can then add them to your army after buying them at a guild. The good news that this means incredible fighters from a group I always wanted to know more about, and Hinnah and Hannah are two of my favorite characters from the game. Sadly, aside from the sidequests early in the game, there is absolutely nothing else done with these characters. With that kind of option, Square Enix could have at least maybe put in an alternate ending or some kind of new side-quest, like a redemption bit or something else! This was a missed opportunity.
The best control you gain from this game is being able to disable and enable skills performed by characters. Now remember how I said it felt like skills could only be executed at random? Well, I was kind right, so if you limit a character’s skills down, you are more likely to be able to use that particular skill. This gives more emphasis to find a character’s specialties in combat, and improve on them rather than try to make them a jack of all trades. It’s not exactly what I wanted, as I wanted to be able to choose the skills I wanted, but it is an improvement that I welcome.
Also, a big change to the game is that the DLC content from the 360 version is already in this game, but this time, in order to gain access to the secret dungeon and other missions, you do have to defeat certain enemies and meet certain conditions. For example, you cannot get into the secret dungeon without first beating The Fallen, thus giving more incentive for completionists. There is also a New Game + now, which allows you to keep materials, recipes, and special items that unlock moves for Rush, as well as an even harder mode for future play.
Final thoughts? The game has definitely improved, with the new additions making the game actually much more enjoyable to experience. The story is still weak with characters never really getting expanded upon more, combat feels a tiny bit more involving, but not by much, and the removing of the leader limit is a huge plus for me. Is it worth $30 though? In my book, not really. You can get much better games for the exact same price, even cheaper. However, if you ever plan on experiencing The Last Remnant series, go with PC. You’ll yell a lot less and save yourself from breaking a controller.
The Last Remnant on PC manages to slash a 3 out of 5!