The Last Story: another reason to hold on to that Wii
Next month will mark the launch of Xenoblade Chronicles on North American Wii consoles. While some gamers may be getting ready to play the heck out of the upcoming RPG and then unplugging their Nintendo consoles, packing them up, and stuffing them away within the deep, dark confines of a closet (or garage), there's actually another reason to keep that Wii hooked up for a bit longer. The Last Story was announced for North America not too long ago, and like Xenoblade Chronicles, it gives plenty of gamers a reason to still give a damn about Nintendo's soon-to-be defunct platform.
Designed by the legendary Hironobu Sakaguchi, who became famous for creating the once amazing Final Fantasy series, The Last Story is a fantasy epic worthy of hype and fan attention. In Japan, the game topped sales charts and was critically acclaimed, garnering mass appeal, receiving high review scores, and leaving a lasting impression on most gamers who played it. The Last Story was, for all intents and purposes, an impressive game that needed to launch outside of Japan, because it would be damn near criminal for it to stay confined to a single region.
Now, the uneducated gamer who knows nothing about genres outside his bubble of interest would probably say something inane like, "But you RPG fans already got Xenoblade Chronicles. Isn't that enough?" No, you twit, it certainly is not. While Xenoblade Chronicles and The Last Story are both JRPGs and feature many of the same tropes, they're different enough to both warrant interest from gamers. Xenoblade Chronicles puts a ton of emphasis on its massive sprawling environments. The Last Story, on the other hand, is a bit more traditional, focusing primarily on combat, but also breaking the RPG mold and featuring a huge amount of cover-based gameplay and third-person shooter elements.
Obviously, The Last Story won't be for everyone. It would be foolish for me to just flat-out tell you that Nintendo, Mistwalker, and AQ Interactive's upcoming RPG is going to be the hottest game of the year. The fact of the matter is that not everyone plays RPGs, and while the genre certainly has a massive following, it's almost like an incredibly huge niche. But even if it may be a niche title, The Last Story is a niche title that's worthy of interest and appreciation, and it's also a very important game.
Sakaguchi's Wii exclusive is important for a couple of reasons. For starters, it breathes life into what is an otherwise fading console. Additionally, it gives gamers something besides Xenoblade Chronicles to get excited over. It's also a crucial title that may very well lead up to the launch of Pandora's Tower. That's right, Nintendo, we haven't forgotten about that one yet. We wanted Xenoblade Chronicles and The Last Story, and we're getting them. Now Wii owners all over North America hope this whole RPG movement is finalized with the launch of the final piece in this puzzle.
It would be impossible to mention the three big Wii RPGs without talking about Operation Rainfall. This crusade of fans really seemed to help get the buzz going as far as Xenoblade Chronicles, The Last Story, and Pandora's Tower were concerned, and it continues to show interest in the titles. But while Operation Rainfall may be an organized internet group, I'd like to think that there's a little bit of Operation Rainfall in every fan that wanted the games localized to begin with, and there's certainly a bit of us in Operation Rainfall. Why? Because we all have that one little thing in common: we want those darn games localized!
Xenoblade Chronicles is nearing its launch, and The Last Story will soon follow. If you have yet to put your Wii away (or sell it or throw it out), and you have even a slight interest in RPGs, The Last Story should definitely be on your radar. The game will be an exciting experience that's rich in story and full of wondrous adventure. And if you're upset that the game isn't going to be in HD (like some commenter in an article I recently read), just piss off, because if there's one thing we learned from games like Super Mario Galaxy and The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, it's that games don't need to be in HD to look stunning, and they certainly don't need to be in HD to be freakin' amazing.
Watch out for The Last Story. The RPG is easily the most important Wii game since, well, Xenoblade Chronicles. If you're a fan of JRPGs and own a Wii, support this game. It could lead up to the localization of Pandora's Tower. And if we look at the bigger picture, these three RPGs could very well mean Nintendo may start showing more interest in releasing titles that would normally be exclusive to Japan here in North America. That means more great games and more happy customers. The Last Story is a fantasy epic, one that warrants gamers' attention, and one that may be crucial in ensuring that the Wii U isn't devoid of RPGs, or other great Japanese games for that matter.