I’m playing The Last Remnant on PC, and NO, I am not moaning about the game, at all. It’s pretty good, and I’m not far into it, unlike half of Square Enix’s games, which take at least 50% of the game to be completed to get into them and understand most of the story. The gameplay’s great (I really like this new battle system) the graphics are great, the framerate when nearly maxed out on a 8800GT is pretty good (50FPS average, dipping to 20 every so often) the story’s good so far, and the voice acting is… well… that’s pretty average, as it always is.
So, what’s my problem?
Well, I’ve just gotten to this boss, and watched a five minute cutscene before it. Wasn’t sure what to expect, so I just went with the flow of battle, doing pretty well, until the computer decided it wanted to go second (out of five units) on the next turn, even though it went last on the previous turn. There were no critical chances in the previous turn that would have sped me up, and there weren’t any on that turn. That’s a bad place to add unpredictability, because it replaces gameplay with IRRITATION, and Square Enix’s games seem to do that A LOT. Take Final Fantasy. You’re against a boss, doing quite well… then the boss, FOR NO REASON, flips out on you and does 100 billion damage, then you have to start all over again. Don’t deny it, because stuff like that happens ALL THE TIME on Squaresoft’s or Square Enix’s games.
I wasn’t really annoyed much about it, because I knew that I saved before the battle, so I could just load it and do it again, right? Yeah, so I loaded my game, and continued forward, and hit the cutscene again. I pressed enter… nothing happened. I pressed loads of keys on the keyboard, basically mashing my keyboard, trying to skip this five-minute cutscene, but NO! The developers FORGOT TO ADD A CUTSCENE SKIPPING KEY! How fucking retarded of them. Every single one of them should die in a fire for that. This is my third rerun of this battle, because the computer is finding it funny to randomise who it attacks and how often they cause criticals. The computer chooses to attack the only union I have control over, and over 50% of their hits manage to be criticals. And, since I only have control over a union with only 800HP, and can only take 4-5 hits, whereas the two GUEST unions have 2000+ HP, two more members EACH, and can take several criticals before getting owned, AND they don’t give a shit about my union, I end up losing VERY quickly, no matter what I do. I could have saved myself about 10 minutes of my life by just skipping these cutscenes, but I can’t! And after getting past the cutscene, WHO KNOWS if I can finish the battle or not? This is supposed to make me want to PLAY this game?!
Seriously, Square Enix? Just… die, please. Never, EVER do this again, or die in a fire. It’s frustrating me to wits end…
OMFGFGOMGOMFG I FOUND IT!!!!
I pressed the Pause key… and in the corner, there are the beautiful words… "Skip Cutscene".
Square Enix, I apologise. But next time, don’t make it so fucking obscure…
Right, so after I owned that boss (was real easy, ironically, after I found the cutscene skip key. ) I came to another boss, some big metal dude and his bitch. I found this impossibly hard, because no matter what I did, speedups, flank attack, range attack… the big fat metal man would still go first (even though he’s the biggest, heaviest thing on the battlefield), end up getting a massive rock out of his pocket and golf-clubbing it at my unions, wiping 90% of their health out and then they end up doing something stupid afterwards, like not healing themselves.
So, after five or six attempts, instead of getting all annoyed at it and spending the rest of the day being bored and powering up, I used Cheat Engine instead to make myself invincible. Great fun. Especially that bit where I set one of my union’s HP to 9999 when it was only about 2000. I got hit, took damage, and my HP went UP, out of the health bar, and nearly into the middle of the screen. AWESOME!
Oh, by the way, this game’s leveling system sucks. Either that, or I just don’t get it, I know I have to pwn stuff to power up unit stats, which then affect their damage and defence and stuff… but it never seems to DO anything. I keep seeing "Blocter: Strength Increased!" but he SUCKS, because he does the second least damage in one of my unions! Even units you get for FREE can beat him! The only unit that is seriously any good is… well… Rush, the one I’m controlling… because I can control what weapons and accessories he’s using…
So, a couple questions… how long does it actually take to stop this crap with starting with low morale in a battle? You know, when your stats are so low that you start some battles with next to no morale, indicating that you suck and should power up before doing this again? How long does it take to stop that happening? Because I was powering up for AGES on easier battles, and when I came back to the harder battles… it was still the same. If that’s Square Enix’s idea of juicing playtime, they can stick it up their repetitive arses. I should be able to run though the game from nearly start to finish,
only sidetracking to train up when I fall behind a little bit (like in Final Fantasy), but even if you take out all the enemies in an area you’re running through, you STILL fall behind a lot…
Also, my party members keep asking for items, and I get them sometimes… but when they take them out of the spoils, they don’t even DO anything with them, even if they have all the components they need! What are they supposed to do with the components, and is there any way to find out how much they need, instead of the game only telling me how much they have?
So yeah… there ARE quite a few issues with this game, I’ve found… like no control over what 99% of your party members equip or do in battle (reminds me of Vista ), WAY too many characters to keep track of (I like the idea of unions that work together on a massive tactical battlefield, but trying to take each unit’s stats into account and maximising their talents when you have 15 units to arrange is really hard), a very Square Enix-like story that doesn’t really make any sense until you run through it at least three times (But I suppose we’re all used to that by now ), a really bad leveling system (I actually prefer the Sphere Grid from Final Fantasy X, as irritating as it can be sometimes) and a really annoying dungeon crawl style, where to progress, you HAVE to go through the same dungeons again and again just to buff up enough to try the next boss. Apart from that, when it all works and you’re not constantly behind the power you should be at… it’s pretty enjoyable. It would have been really great if they’d have taken out that "If the enemy is much stronger than you, give the player a massive morale hit at the beginning of the battle" system, because if the battle is hard as it is… why make it even harder by cutting both attack and defence? Just start the battle with morale in the middle, and see how well the player does! If they fail, then it’s their fault they’ve been cutting corners and avoiding previous battles, and they should go and train up some more before coming back! Cuz if morale is low from the start and they fail, on condition that they didn’t get touched in the field, then it’s not really their fault, it’s because the computer has an EXTRA advantage.
Meh, I dunno, I probably don’t get RPG’s nowadays. I liked them when they were simpler and needed less micromanagement and dependence on AI. The times when you had full control… when you pressed "Attack" and the character would attack without question, or when you pressed "Fireball" and they’d shoot the enemy in the face with a fireball straight away, without questioning it or being interrupted by anything. But now, when you ask to attack, you don’t know who’s going to attack first, or whether the AI will go "…Nah, I don’t want to attack, I think I want to standby/defend instead, as it runs less code."
COME ON, SQUARE ENIX, don’t mess up now, you were doing SO WELL!