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The Last Remnant - Tokyo Game Show Impression

The Last Remnant
Developer: Square Enix
Publisher: Square Enix
JP Release: 11.20.2008 (Xbox 360)
NA Release: 11.20.2008 (Xbox 360)

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One of the most highly anticipated RPGs at this year's Tokyo Game Show was The Last Remnant by Square Enix. It is one of a recent crop of Xbox 360 titles that has been shifting the favor towards Microsoft in the console wars. This year we were treated to an actual playable copy of the game, and from the first impression of the game it looks to be a solid title.

"This has the markings of a great game."

The demo consisted of a scene in the game introducing one of the main characters, who was trying to find an acquaintance in the middle of war. The CG sequence is one of the best we've seen yet on any console, and this scene also led into a battle sequence which showed off some of the game's mechanics. In that battle, players controlled various squads which engaged enemy units on a large battlefield. The battle system is at its core turn-based, and actions take place after players input commands. What makes it different from other turn-based system is the sheer scale of the battles. One interesting feature of the battle system was a morale gauge: the more successful one side did in battle, the more the gauge changed in favor of that side. Side attacks also played a role in determining how characters and party members received damage. It looks like a fairly complex system with a lot more aspects than mentioned here.

Also included in the demo sequence was a chance to play as an individual party, and this was very similar to most traditional console RPGs we are familiar with. Combat in dungeons is not random, and can be avoided if necessary. When in battle, the mechanics are similar to those mentioned above except for the fact that it is on a much smaller scale. Graphics both inside and outside of battle are similar, and the transition between battle and main gameplay is relatively short.

What can we glean from this? This has the markings of a great game. While previous trailers haven't necessarily emphasized how complex the battle system is, it was made evident during the demo. If The Last Remnant can combine its enormous battles and beautiful graphics, we have a winner on our hands. This is one of the big ones to look out for, and it deserved the long lines that it created this year. Also, it will be released simultaneously in Japan and North America on November 20, so it looks like most of the details in the game have been taken care of. Definitely check it out when you have a chance.

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