The Last Remnant, Demo, Steam Stuff

By Jim Rossignol on February 26th, 2009 at 12:12 pm.


Square Enix’s not-that-well-received JRPG The Last Remnant is set for release on PC on the 20th of March. Word has it that the game will use Steamworks for its savegame system, and it will, naturally enough, be available to buy on Steam at the time of its release. Whether or not you decide to invest in this stylish fantasy prettiness may well depend on this 1Gb demo, which apparently lets you mess about with a chunk of the game, as well as the PC benchmarking tool. Perhaps unsurprisingly, none of the RPS Four have actually played the original game, so we’ll have to shrug and let you tell us how it is in the comments.

Launch trailer after the jump.


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51 Comments »

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  1. Tworak says:

    I think I’ve spent like 5 hours on the demo. I love it. :O

  2. Premium User Badge

    phuzz says:

    Always up for a bit of jrpg so this looks nice.
    but no, must…finish..other games first.
    That ‘To Play’ pile isn’t getting any smaller…

  3. The Sombrero Kid says:

    hmmm should i play this i usually hate jrpgs but loved FFVII

  4. NuZZ says:

    Hmm. I also have far too many games to play. There are just 6 or so games just waiting for their single player campaigns to be exhausted. Then there is Quake Live and such…

    I demand RPS to review this game, as I haven’t the will to give it a go myself. I’m not a fan of japan culture, and what they do to games.

  5. Heliocentric says:

    Frickin JRPGS… never has adding a single letter to an acronym so much changed its meaning to me, while meaning exactly the same to so many.

    “JRPGS are play our linear story book while you fight thousands of inane combat encounters.”

    I must note that the addition of the prefix Tactical to make Tactical-JRPG (TJRPG?) totally changes the meaning to.

    “TJRPGS are play our linear story book while you fight thousands of quite good/great combat encounters, (see also Turn based/Real time strategy)”

    I bloody love me some japanese strategy titles, so… i need to ask, how grindy is this game?

    Couldn’t someone make an RPG where you dont level up, but rather customise yourself, Final fantasy: Tactics leveling up was meaningless as all enemy encounters scaled to you (with exceptions).

  6. NuZZ says:

    Well, I loved Chrono Trigger. That’s about it. :)

  7. Bobsy says:

    Well. Having not played any JRPGs in many, many years, I’m going to give this demo a try. I fancy something meaty at the moment.

  8. l1ddl3monkey says:

    JRPG? That’ll explain all the stupid haircuts.

  9. Nick says:

    They shouldn’t be allowed to make any more JRPGs until there is a Golden Sun 3.

  10. MrDeVil_909 says:

    Never played a JRPG since playing 5 minutes of FF 7 years ago. PC JRPGs are rare beasties, I may pick this up eventually.

  11. noexes says:

    Hehe, this demo confuses the crap out of me in a weirdly pleasurable way. I have no idea what’s going on, but whateves, it’s pretty.

  12. gulag says:

    Whadyaknow, a JRPG with Micky Rourke in it!

  13. St4ud3 says:

    Since FF is pretty much the only console title I like, I will give this a try. Playing a swordwielding wrestler should be fun xD

  14. Markoff Chaney says:

    I have to buy this just to support seeing JRPGs on the PC Platform. I’ve played about an hour of the demo and it’s not bad, but feels odd to me. I talked to a few people around town and if they happened to have a quest for me and I accepted it, I would get whisked off to wherever the quest was (in the first case, a little cave) without notice. It also felt like there were lots of little rooms I was traveling in and not a full, open world.

    Still, it runs beautifully and plays well with the 360 Controller (and also seems to do well with the Keyboard controls as well). It follows (thankfully) the convention of changing your on screen prompt based on your current used configuration. I’ve heard there’s a decent amount of content in it too, so I’ll probably go back to it this weekend to try to get a hang of the party/strategy/chain system it seems to have. Worth the gig, imo.

  15. Turin Turambar says:

    I would like a comparation of this game with King’s Bounty. Both are “SRPG”.

  16. In-Digg-Nation says:

    That screenie looks very UT3 to mine eyes. Same engine?

  17. ImwithYahtzee says:

    That screenie looks very UT3 to mine eyes. Same engine? Otherwise, not a fan of JRPG’s.

  18. suibhne says:

    Yes, it’s an Unreal Engine 3 game. That was the root of many of the game’s problems on the 360, including ridiculously terrible texture pop-in.

  19. Tworak says:

    “That screenie looks very UT3 to mine eyes. Same engine?”

    It’s UE3, yes.

  20. Tworak says:

    “That was the root of many of the game’s problems on the 360, including ridiculously terrible texture pop-in.”

    Not sure if you’ve played the PC demo but that happens a lot here too. Large rocks appearing and disappearing during combat. Such an awful engine. :x

  21. Dodomaster says:

    “Such an awful engine. :x”

    Only if poorly used.

  22. UncleLou says:

    Any way to calm down the hysterical battle camera? It’s driving me mad.

  23. suibhne says:

    @Dodomaster: In that case, it’s poorly used about 80% of the time.

  24. suibhne says:

    Including in UT3 and Gears of War, Epic’s own games.

  25. Tworak says:

    “Only if poorly used.”

    I guess you’re right. Though, that poor chain-popping rock. :(

  26. The Sombrero Kid says:

    @suibhne & Dodomaster

    you’re both right properly used it can be impressive but it’s an engine designed to be ported up to the pc unlike most which get ported down from it, no one bothers using better textures & shaders for the pc so we get stuck with xbox blur-o-vision, the objects popping in and out at load time is to reduce the load time and so i’d say is arguably preferable, at least an option to turn it on/off would be brill

  27. Tei says:

    The Largue Hadron Collider is detecting a spontaneous burst of UT3 criticism particles, faster than light, crossing the planet. Source is unknom.

  28. Nighthood says:

    I have no intention of playing this, as I have an irrational hatred for all things Japanese, but in terms of the UE3, Mirrors Edge also used it, and that’s possibly one of the best game graphics ever.

  29. Hermit says:

    @ Nighthood
    At least you admit your hatred is irrational.

    My brother quite enjoyed this on the 360 but said the stupidly slow loading pt him off. Might wait for the reviews on this one. Still working my way through Valkyria Chronicles (Another Tactical JRPG) on the PS3.

  30. Tei says:

    I suppose is “Good Times” [tm] if we can see “download here the demo” links on RPS. Some sites like Fileplanet, that started as “hosting for demos” where very empty the past year, with none, or zero or nill demos. And now.. .there are like one every week. Good times!

  31. Gurrah says:

    I did like the look of that cat-being with the 4 pistols, other than that I don’t know if I should give yet another demo with too many megabytes a go.

  32. Dominic White says:

    I’m actually kinda dissapointed with this demo. While it does address some of the technical issues of the 360 version, it’s not nearly as optimized as the benchmark released recently would suggest. There are still notable framerate drops at unusual times.

    Still, as far as demos go, this is pretty huge, especially considering the filesize. It skips the tutorial side of things entirely and drops you well into the action, with several dungeons opened as well as an overworld main quest area.

  33. PleasingFungus says:

    It really is pretty nifty. Texture pop-in’s noticeable, but not that big a deal, loading times aren’t nearly as bad as I expected (from 3 to 10 seconds to load an area, typically), and it’s quite fun. My one complaint isn’t all that unusual for ports: everything’s identified by controller buttons. Press X to do this, LT to do this… you can re-bind things, which helps somewhat, but the displayed controls remain the same. This is pretty much only a problem for the combat QTEs*, but it’s a consistently annoying one there.

    But I played it for about forty minutes, and my sentiments are overall very positive. Confused, but positive. Recommend those on the fence to at least give it a try.

    *They’re good QTEs. Not evil ones. You don’t have to hate them.

  34. KillTrash says:

    Oh, you can change the way the buttons and controls are displayed in the Settings menu under the Keyboard tab if I’m not mistaken (at work, can’t check now).

    I was also annoyed that I was playing with a keyboard and every command in the game was in reference to the 360 Controller, but there is this option where you can change the way it is displayed. The options are: Keyboard, Gamepad and Xbox 360 Controller.

    I had some fun with the demo. One thing that drove me crazy though is the combat camera switching targets and changing perspective way too often and too fast! I felt like I didn’t know exactly where I was in the playfield because the camera made everything so confusing.

    Another annoyance that I found is that I was not able to enable Anti Aliasing in game. I tried to set up my video driver to override it but I could not get it to work that way either. What I did was to rename the TLRDemo.exe to Bioshock.exe and set up the AA profile for Bioshock in the Nvidia control panel. It worked and made the game look a LOT better imo, but it made it a bit laggier… But it uses the UE3 engine and I’m sure messing with the .ini’s should get AA working somehow.

  35. Dominic White says:

    This is actually one of the few games where QTEs are a genuinely good thing. It’s a strategy-RPG, where you give orders to all your units, then press the ‘next turn’ button and see everything played out. This would otherwise mean sitting back and waiting for lengthy attack animations to play out, but the pseudo-QTE system (which is entirely optional – you can turn it off in the options menu) helps make it more involving.

    Basically, you control critical hits and/or parries/blocks through approrpiately timed button prompts. It definitely helps keep otherwise passive, turn-based combat involving.

    And I reiterate, for the people who hate the whole concept with a burning passion: You can turn this feature off entirely, and just have criticals/defenses automatically handled through a roll of the dice. but it’s nowhere near as fun.

  36. malkav11 says:

    I own the 360 version (whose woes can be solved by installing the game to hard drive). It’s got semi-solid gameplay, mediocre graphics (it lacks the visual verve and imagination of most of Square Enix’s games) and a disappointingly shallow and underbaked story. I don’t know how much I’d recommend it, but I’m not complaining that I bought it.

    One caveat – the most efficient way to play (and what’s necessary for beating some late game encounters, although I think they’re mostly optional) is completely counterintuitive. The game encourages you to link like crazy and fight tons of battles. But actually, you don’t want to do this. Instead you want to avoid every possible battle (event battles are mostly not avoidable, but other than that) until you get to certain points in the game where you want to grind on certain much more efficiently rewarding enemies until you reach certain levels (“battle ranks”) and then move on. The reason is that any fights will contribute towards raising your battle rank and thus the challenge level of all enemies in the game (they level with you) but you get stats and skills based on which enemies you’re killing, not your levels. So killing weak enemies will raise your level just as fast, but improve your characters much less.

  37. Heliocentric says:

    @Malkav thats utterly retarded. This is all i need to know to avoid this game for the rest of my life.

  38. Dominic White says:

    It’s most ‘efficient’ to play Bioshock using only the wrench and lighting plasmid, but it’s about as much fun as punching yourself repeatedly in the balls.

    I beat Last Remnant on the 360 perfectly happily without any such retarded min-maxing. Really, those people who are obessed with finding the most ‘efficient’ way of playing a game deserve everything they get. You’re meant to be having fun, you prats, not writing a sodding thesis on fantasy probabilities.

  39. JKjoker says:

    i have yet to see a good QTE, last attempt ive seen was fear 2 and they suck, i still remember the time when i could actually “play” the action scenes instead of just “watching” them

  40. JKjoker says:

    actually, after watching more trailers and combat videos on youtube i think this game might be pretty fun, the combat system looks a bit like soul nomad.
    i hope it does well enough, it might open the doors for FF13 for pc, after all, they had to port it to xbox in order to increase their target market (the costs were so huge that they would need for a really high % of the installed base to buy a copy just to break even), they might as well port it to pc

  41. Simon Jones says:

    Hm, the demo managed to annoy me about 10 seconds in. It begins in a rather ugly throne room, with loads of characters standing around doing absolutely nothing (other than having giant exclamation marks above their heads).

    I try using the mouse to have a look around and get my bearings a bit. It doesn’t seem to work (can this be changed, or is the viewpoint always locked?). So I try the ‘A’ key, and I jerk to the left with a complete disregard for physics.

    OK, let’s try ‘S’. I take what can only have been two steps (it’s hard to tell due to the bizarre animation)….and hit a loading screen. No warning, no indication that I was about to leave the zone, before I’d even spoken to any of the characters.

    Hehm. Not impressed. Although I freely admit I haven’t really given it a chance. But, then, few games have seemed so woeful so quickly…

  42. Anthony Damiani says:

    “It’s most ‘efficient’ to play Bioshock using only the wrench and lighting plasmid, but it’s about as much fun as punching yourself repeatedly in the balls.”

    …. there are other ways to play Bioshock?

  43. MeestaNob says:

    Steamworks saves – does that mean your save games are saved in the Steamcloud?

    If so, cool, no faffing about with ‘InsertnameApps/Documents/GameName/Saves’, thank Gordon.

  44. Bobsy says:

    Oh dear lord. I’ve never been turned off a game so quickly. Let’s go through the first couple of minutes. I load the game. No mouse support? I know, we’ve only been using the damn things for 20-odd years, we can’t expect Square-Enix to have caught up yet. Oh I see! It thinks I’m using a 360 pad. Appently I can press X? [presses X on the keyboard] Nothing happens. Oh, it really means the enter key! THEN WHY CAN’T IT TELL ME TO PRESS THE ENTER KEY? ALL YOU HAVE TO DO IS CHANGE A TINY SPRITE.

    God. Okay, skipping over the blatent and lazy lack of support for the platform, let’s get onto the game. I arrive in some sort of throne room with a bunch of people standing around. Apparently I’m some androgynous person with black emotastic hair. Me all over. I guess that everyone wants to talk to me because they have little speech bubbles above their heads with ellipses in them. Dotdotdot!

    Except they don’t speak in words, they speak in text. This is a 1 gig download and they still can’t talk? It’s 2009. The only reason to not have voice acting in a game these days is to save money. Acceptable in an indie game, not in a massive JRPG epic. No-one really tells me what to do or why I should care, and suggest that I should “make preperations” for wherever we’re going. Preperations, huh? Like what? No help? Okay, I’m off to some place in town I don’t know anything about.

    On arrival I spot a little frog-thing that texts me a hearty welcome to Blahblah district and… I can’t go on. I don’t have a reason to. Why should I? I want to play Baldur’s Gate or something. It’s not a good port, and it makes no attempt to sell itself to me. Bad demo, bad game. No sale.

  45. Matt says:

    Bobsy,

    There is a reason books are still a popular medium despite tv and film exisiting.

    Sometimes written text can carry more momentum than spoken words.

  46. Bobsy says:

    Books =/= games.

    I’m looking to be immersed in an exciting fantasy world. This is made difficult if said world operates in silence.

  47. Markoff Chaney says:

    malkav11 – Thanks for the heads up. That almost moves the game to no-buy for me. What an odd leveling/special ability creation system…

    I was just getting into the QTEs as well. They were starting to remind me of the Shadow Hearts series, what may be my favorite JRPG series. Hrmm…

  48. Suraj says:

    Bobsy, even with these issues I managed to get into an inn & start on a quest. I started combat by selecting an enemy & pressing spacebar (after trying out all other keys). Lo & behold it raged for 5 minutes accepting no inputs from me & finishing off the enemies. Can anybody explain what should I do to actually take part in the combat?

  49. Nero says:

    You can actually do it so it shows keyboard keys instead of xbox 360 buttons while playing. First option in the gamepad menu (yeah weird). I’m not a big JRPG player (last one I played was FF8) but I quite liked this. I didn’t really get the combat at first, but really much of it is automatic. You select the general orders and then the characters do their thing with that. So it’s not like you select a certain spell/item to use with every characters but you have groups of people (unions) that do what you ask. I got almost 4 hours until I finished the demo (can still go back and kill monsters). So yeah, I enjoyed my time with it.

  50. malkav11 says:

    A couple of things – like most JRPGs these days, Last Remnant has full voice acting for cutscenes. Incidental, optional dialogue is unvoiced. Personally I wish it were all unvoiced because a) I can read faster than people can speak by an order of magnitude and b) they still haven’t mastered this thing called “hiring voice actors that don’t suck”.

    Secondly, I haven’t looked at the demo, but in the full game they very definitely flesh out what’s going on, what your motivation is, etc. I think the plot’s pretty bad so far, but it’s definitely there and gives context. Apparently the demo doesn’t show that off. Shame.

    Thirdly, I guess the counterintuitive levelling is only likely an issue if you want to go after the optional (superhard) bosses. That’s good. I had heard accounts from people that they didn’t have enough HP to tackle disc 2 (on the 360 version it’s two discs) the way they’d originally been levelling. This makes it more akin to the hoops you have to jump through to defeat Emerald and Ruby Weapons in FFVII, or the Dark Aeons in FFX (International) or the arena bosses in the same game, etc. Except that unlike those games, you have to start planning right away and there looks to be less grinding involved. It’s why I’m making a go of it. It’s honestly kind of fun dodging through areas and speedrunning content to get to the grinding bits. Which I haven’t done yet, so we’ll see on that.