The Last Remnant On PC


The beautiful but poorly-received Square Enix turn-based action-RPG The Last Remnant is set to arrive on PC in “spring 2009”. The game hasn’t done well at review om them there consoles, criticised for typically long and rambling cutscenes, and poor battle mechanics. There’s no word on any PC-specific features, other than the Unreal 3 engine looking even more sparkly on high-end systems. I’ve posted the most recent – and rather attractive in that plastic JRPG way – trailer after the jump, although it’s neither PC-specific, nor particularly illustrative of in-game activity…. Or perhaps it is.

51 Comments

  1. Lookout Valley says:

    From what I remember of the reviews from the 360 reviews the combat system was praised but the game was let down by unreal engine technical issues, like Mass Effect but worse. Maybe the PC version could be the definitive version with DRM that does your washing up for you and code hewn by the finest Nipponese PC game coders. Stranger things have happened.

    I imagine that the plot is typical pulp bobbins.

  2. Simon says:

    The almost SRPG like battle system was praised, the RPG stuff around it was damned, and a lot of that had to do with insanely frequent and too long load times, terrible texture pop and a framerate that went down to single digits whenever something happened onscreen.
    Fix the technical stuff or brute force it with a high spec pc, and the game might not be too bad.
    Isn’t this the first non MMO game from square to go to the pc since Final Fantasy 8?

  3. LewieP says:

    “Isn’t this the first non MMO game from square to go to the pc since Final Fantasy 8?”

    Yep.

  4. unclelou says:

    I am mildly interested in this because it’s not what I usually play, and mildly annoyed because it disappeared from the release lists (together with the PS3 version) due to some Microsoft exclusivity deal.

    If only MS would join the PCGA – things would be so much better.

  5. Bhazor says:

    A game overloaded with cut scenes like MGS4 or Devil May Cry and I’ll chew my own arms off to escape. Or press the skip button.
    A barely interactive string of cut scenes like The Last Remnant or infinite undiscovery and I will play obsessively for a month. I don’t get it. Somebody, explain it to me.

    This is one case where the PC version could remove most of the big flaws just by installing it. Certainly textures could be taken from the hard drive faster than they could be found a DVD.

  6. Heliocentric says:

    Hurrah! But not. The only jrpgs i can get into is the ones titles tactical, as opposed to scripted grindfests. Also! Chrono trigger which hype has the power to carry me through. We need to get some squaresoft people to play fallout 1. Shit gone blow their mind.

  7. Smurfy says:

    I misread the title and thought it said “The last remnant of PC”. That would be a sad headline :(

  8. subedii says:

    If only MS would join the PCGA – things would be so much better.

    I’m not sure I can see how.

  9. Dominic White says:

    Errm.. Okay, not sure where ‘too many cutscenes’ and ‘poor combat’ rumours started, but almost every review praised the game for having an excellent and complex combat system, and relatively few cutscenes.

    Check out the Gametrailers video review. It pretty much nails it – it’s a very good game with some framerate/texture issues.

    link to gametrailers.com

    Also, the technical issues on the 360 are vastly reduced if you use the new option to install the whole thing to hard-drive. Y’know… like on a PC!

  10. subedii says:

    Personally I was hoping far more for a port of Valkyria Chronicles. Although that one’s probably a pipedream, especially since it’s not, IIRC, an Unreal Engine 3 game.

  11. Dominic White says:

    Seriously, there’s about 5-10 sidequests to every one cutscene for the entire length of the game. And there are a LOT of quests.

  12. Pidesco says:

    Well, when Square isn’t churning out the Final Fantasies they actually, sometimes, pull off the good games, so I’m hopeful.

  13. PleasingFungus says:

    This sounds like it could be really good. Like a number of others already noted in this thread, the biggest complaint about the Last Remnant on the consoles were the loading times and texture issues – the combat sounded really interesting. A port would alleviate or even solve those problems – and as a person who currently owns a high-end PC but not a console, I am super excited about this.

  14. subedii says:

    Re: Texture issues and loading times no longer being an issue on fast PC’s.

    All I’ll say is: Remember GTA IV.

  15. Dominic White says:

    The load-times, texture pop-in and framerate drops (which seem a mixture of linked to the pop-in, and due to some inefficient shaders in places) on the 360 version are all pretty bad if you run the game off disc.

    If you install it (feature added to the system in general quite recently) they’re heavily reduced. I’d imagine that the PC – being potentially beefier AND having more memory/faster hard-drives – would have the whole thing run silky smooth without issue.

    Still, I’ll probably be done with the 360 version by the time the PC port comes out.

  16. Xercies says:

    Yay for this, now Valkyria Chronicles and later FF13 should come out on the PC. Please Square Enix, I will love you forever. I will buy your games, even if they have 1 install on it.

  17. Dorian Cornelius Jasper says:

    I wanna play FFT on the PC.

  18. Buckermann says:

    Well, that trailer showed me a lot about the game. And with a lot I mean nothing at all.
    Seriously, why do these trailers exist? Just to show some pretty pictures without any actual information about the game?
    I can’t imagine anybody wants to buy the game based on this nonsense.

  19. jonfitt says:

    When I read: “long and rambling cutscenes, and poor battle mechanics”
    I thought: “Sounds like a Squeenix game to me” Aha!

    But seriously, throw in an emo lady-boy, some under-age girls, and a bucket of hair cement and you’ve got pretty much the perfect jrpg!

    It must have been other things which garnered the bad reviews? I would believe poor Unreal3 performance.

  20. Brian says:

    I hope FF XIII’s next =D
    It’s about time JRPGs come back to our beloved PCs.

  21. Post Maker says:

    LR is a pretty good game, but I can see how it would have fared badly in reviews; the battle/ leveling/ party management system is a little different than what is expected of these types of games.

    You can’t mess around with the equipment of every member in your group, only the main characters. If anyone needs to upgrade their gear, theyll wait until the parts required to do it show up after as a reward for winning a fight and then ask for them. It’s a little strange at first, but after playing for about 20 hours and seeing that all my party members had upgraded their own equipment (at no cost to me) I was pretty happy with it.

    The idea of gradual improvement is carried over in to the levelling system, with individual stats and skills improving over time, instead of the sudden “HOOORAAR, AM BETTER NOW” effect of traditional levelling. You can’t really control which stats go up at what time, but by using skills in a similar area (items, combat, magic) you’ll eventually learn new skills in the area you just praticed in.

    Combat is an odd beast at first, because you never really have control over what each grouping of party members does. You can set them up and train their skills, but instead of having 1 person healing the group, while one casts Poison Skullfucker and another attacks, you get several generalized orders that you can give. Things like “Attack with combat arts” tell the group to attack with melee-oriented manuevers, and replacing “combat” with “mystical” lets them know that they should be flinging spells. It’s an odd thing to describe, but the game knows which orders should/could be given based on the situation of each group and how the battle is going over all, so it compiles a list of orders for you to give and lets you choose which one you think is right.

    There’s more to it than that, obviously, but the only appropriate place to talk about it in length would be yet another blog about video games that nobody reads or something of the like, so Ill cut it short here. I’ll finsh up by saying that any framerate/texture pop/ whatever issues don’t really bog down the game at all; the game it self is sound and I’ve yet to run into any serious difficulty outside of noticing a few things hadn’t loaded yet while I ran around enjoying myself.

  22. Post Maker says:

    Oh, no one’s going to read any of that. Failed again!

  23. Chris R says:

    I read it, and it sounds pretty cool Post Maker. Good to know details for those of us that are curious.

  24. Nick says:

    I read it.. it had paragraphs and everything. Sounds quite fun actually.

  25. Dominic White says:

    Yeah, it’s a really weird combat system – I can understand if that puts people off, but it’s at least something new and original. I can imagine it being offputting to some people, but really, the flaws are of the technical variety and I don’t see those surviving the transition to PC.

    Basically, rather than directly controlling units, you give rough standing orders each turn to up to five seperate parties of up to five characters each. Kinda like calling plays in a sports game, but with swords and magic instead of burly men slapping each other on the backside.

    It’s also a very combat-centric game. The main plot could probably be burnt through in under 20 hours if you wanted, but the real meat of the game is in exploration and questing, which would probably bring it up to the 80+ hour mark if you’re after the big stuff.

    Oh yeah – it also breaks JRPG cliche by having absolutely nobody moping without very good reason, and while the protagonist IS a teenager, he’s also a hyperactive idiot that everyone else thinks is a bit retarded. He spends a lot of his time being chastised by Emma, who breaks further JRPG cliche by being a veteran middle-aged badass who is also a woman.

  26. MeestaNob! says:

    I’m more excited about this than anything else I’ve read in a fortnight – I WANT to play something different like a JRPG on my PC – it’s almost unheard of on our beloved format.

    If the port is as good as Capcom (for example) has being managing the last few outings we should in for a treat.

    If it’s like Rockstar’s last few execrable efforts, then it could be the beginning and end of this sort of thing coming to PC.

    Fingers crossed (and I pray they don’t add in GFL nonsense from the XBox version, that would be a real negative).

  27. Uninformed says:

    If you want to see more of the combat system in action, check out this guy’s videos. They sold me on Last Remnant and it’s the only game I’m currently playing.

  28. Colin Hansen says:

    Did I read a comment saying that Final Fantasy games were bad? Heresy. Also, just wrong.

  29. Kieron Gillen says:

    They’re terrible.

    KG

  30. Colin Hansen says:

    Really? Because I thought that revolutionizing storytelling and consistently creating great RPG mechanics was a good thing. Also, each of their games has been the best-looking game of its time. They’re all wonderfully long and quality throughout. I donno, am I alone here? I still play 9 and 6 all the time, and 12 was awesome with its star wars motif.

    Really, they keep the great things consistent (storytelling, compelling and lovable characters) and yet in (9+2 tactics) games (not counting 11, 2 or 3) have managed to be surprisingly original with their mechanics and individual themes and storylines.

  31. theotter says:

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  32. Dan Lawrence says:

    Nah, I think Kieron’s right; they’re terrible.

    I was once trapped in a large room with about 1,000 Final Fantasy fans singing along to the ‘Seffybroth Theme’ there was even a chap wailing along on a guitar…. since that day I’ve never been able to look a child in the eye.

  33. Bananaphone says:

    He is right, Final Fantasy games are guff.
    This thing looks like it was too poor to be called Final Fantasy, which is really saying something.

  34. Larington says:

    I’d say the Final Fantasy games suffer from being too popular, its because of the numerous discussions I’ve overheard about these games that I’ve vowed never to play them, because theres a ghetto hype thing going on for them that would inevitably spoil the experience from me anyway..

  35. Pidesco says:

    Final Fantasy? Revolutionizing storytelling? ROFLCOPTER

    At most, you can say that FF6 raised the bar for storytelling in JRPGs, but that really isn’t saying anything given the atrocious plots of JRPGs until that time.

    And, as far as RPG mechanics are concerned, Final Fantasies sport incredibly grindtastic combat even for JRPGs, that serves just as mindless filler until the next plot point/FMV. Core gameplay of all Final Fantasy games? Close your eyes and press the attack button until you’re back on the world map.

  36. manintheshack says:

    ‘I thought that revolutionizing storytelling and consistently creating great RPG mechanics was a good thing. Also, each of their games has been the best-looking game of its time.’

    Can’t say I expected those two sentences to be referring to the FF series.

    Something about those games that just makes me uneasy. If someone openly admits to liking them I instantly react with slight revulsion, as if they’ve just asked me to go dogging with them. There’s just something… not right going on there.

  37. wcaypahwat says:

    FF kinda went downhill once it left the snes.

    People have to remember that they did make plenty of games that weren’t in the final fantasy series. This one seems to follow more in the footsteps of bahamut lagoon.

    Honestly, im just looking forward to playing chrono trigger again.

  38. Chis says:

    FF kinda went downhill once it left the snes.

    This man speaks the truth.

    Final Fantasy 5 is still a charming game, though the combat is tiresome unless you’re prepared to get used to the slow pace. The plot was simple but fun, the characters… simple but fun, the game… overall, simple but fun. (Superb soundtrack, too) After that, they decided huge gameworlds, 80+ characters, Jap-emo-soap plots and curiously large swords were prerequisites.

    And anyway, I certainly don’t have time to play games which amount to 80+ hours of grindcrawling within with 1 hour of “plot” is erratically interspersed. What a boring mess JRPGs have become.

    The last “RPG” I truly enjoyed was Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines, for what it’s worth.

  39. dhex says:

    “I was once trapped in a large room with about 1,000 Final Fantasy fans singing along to the ‘Seffybroth Theme’ there was even a chap wailing along on a guitar…. since that day I’ve never been able to look a child in the eye.”

    this would make an excellent tattoo!

    jrpgs and western rpgs come from two different planets. their approaches are totally different, the tenor is generally completely different, and they’re ultimately different genres. bioware is doing its best to erase those differences, though hopefully dragon age will step back from the good, the bad and the neutral a bit.

    i can honestly recommend the first final fantasy (the grinding is not terribly tedious) or number 6, as others have pointed out above. beyond that? there’s so much “i hate you, dad!” in there that it gets kinda stuck in the 12 – 17 demographic. (as likely befits its anime-drenched market.)

  40. Arnulf says:

    They should release FFXIII for the PC!

    …since they’re porting it to the xbox 360 anyway!

  41. Bhazor says:

    Well I guess the key difference between western and eastern rpgs is that eastern rpgs are aimed at children and the kind of adults who watch manga.

  42. ET says:

    @Bhazor :

    No, not really. Both Japanese and Western RPGs are mostly aimed at high school or college students. People just have different issues between east and west. So you see power/free-roaming issues in western RPGs, because for the west, personal freedom comes naturally and most wanted ‘more’ autonomy. Japanese teenagers are gag-bounded by rules and social structure. Their games reflect that, though I don’t mean by ‘linearity’. Sometimes they end out being more than a little wonky like Square’s been doing lately, but I think that’s because their story writers somehow figured convoluted pointless mcguffin you can’t interact with = complexity. In this regards, FFXII’s judges or FFX’s wish/pyreflies/Sin combo aren’t very different from FFI’s crystals. And until they realize this, it’s going to suck. (FFT was very good, imo, certainly more mature than some historical novels I’ve read.)

    Also, you ‘read’ manga. I think ‘anime’ is the word you’re looking for.

  43. Funky Badger says:

    FFVII on the PSOne was era-defining.

    (I know the interwebs have a thing for being contrary and *ahem* Bioshock *ahem* hating the popular, but this is just going too far)

  44. Tulpa says:

    For what it’s worth, this game is part of the SaGa series in everything but name alone, so I’m giving it the benefit of the doubt and pretending it wasn’t published by squenix.

    For those who don’t know, SaGa was the series of games that was actually challenging and innovative and original that kind of happened to be JRPGs.

    They all get mediocre to terrible reviews because the reviewers that look at them are the kinds of mouthbreathers that actually like JRPGs unreservedly, so anything that’s more complex than “HURR DURR I PRESS THE BUTTON TO ATTACK” gets awful ratings just because technically it’s a Japanese RPG.

  45. malkav11 says:

    Er, you do realize that the entire SaGa series was a Squaresoft property (now Square Enix), right?

  46. Al3xand3r says:

    I thought the first SaGa was horrible. It could have been an indie game or something, perhaps a lower budget would have made it focus on the few decent parts, like the occasionally witty storyline — though, still, it was mostly chaotic — and skip all the rest. The second looked very appealing but I never played it.

    Oh, unless Saga Frontier 1 & 2 isn’t this SaGa thing you’re talking about. I think Square’s best JRPG at the period was Xenogears. Not challenging for the most part, but a hell of a ride. Perhaps up to Grandia-caliber. Oh mighty GameArts what was to happen to you…

  47. Pidesco says:

    FFVII on the PSOne was era-defining.

    I agree with that. It defined an era of JRPGs as games more interested in showing flashy FMVs and with crap plots tailored to children and idiots, than in offering actual engaging gameplay and story.

  48. Al3xand3r says:

    FFVII had decent gameplay, hunting down materia in a gotta catch’em all style was good fun, even though I thought the story was crap also. And then you got the enemy skill materia and started hunting down enemy skills also. Weeeeee! FF8 I found got all the worst parts of the game and no good ones, and FF9 I found to be an improvement over both as an overall game. But yeah, Grandia and Xenogears were the best examples of the era IMO. Well, if we don’t wanna bring Panzer Dragoon Saga in the discussion at all that is, cos that tramples most any era’s JRPG specimens anyway.

  49. Al3xand3r says:

    Oh, forgot Chocobo breeding and racing, that was fun too, and the overall world map exploration :P

  50. Colin Hansen says:

    I mean, are you saying that playing final fantasy isn’t fun? Because pick one. Even at its worst (10?), the FFs are fantastically fun. See what I did there? Yeah.

    Arguing that they’re grindtastic is all well and good, but unless you actually didn’t have fun that’s not really a good point. And I could think you could argue that millions of people have had great fun playing them. I don’t like JRPGs, really, and I think Final Fantasy is one of the few to have enjoyed real success in America.

    If you play the FFs right, and go for the numerous collection/completion metagames, they’re wicked fun. On top of that, the characters are consistently incredibly memorable, if not interesting and compelling. That is a feat achieved of very few series of 10+ games.