I rented Square Enix’s Last Remnant from Gamefly, a service I very highly recommend, to try it out because I currently am not playing some long JRPG at the moment on the Xbox360. I feel a little dirty because of all the systems I own, I love the Xbox360 the most, but there it is and I rented Last Remnant for it.
I don’t know what Square Enix is thinking any more. This is not the first game I sent back in disgust after 10 hours in. It’s worse than a bad game — it is a wasted game. The game starts great: interesting characters, an actual interesting plot (!!!), half decent voice acting, helpful subtitles, an interesting squad-based combat system, the potential for an interesting component system for upgrading weapons. When dealing with one squad with four guys, the game plays great. No real issues. I got up to 3 squads with 9 guys total and the game manifested draw-in problems, slow downs, stutters, long load times and an annoying camera that doesn’t allow you to see the field very well. And the component system turned out to be both confusing and just a reason to make the game longer by forcing grinding. Worse, there are boring sideplots that you have to play otherwise your guys are just too weak to continue with the main plot, and you must do these side quests constantly.
It went in my book from a 9/10 to about a 4/10, and I sent it back.
This is just fingernails on a chalkboard. Square’s game quality lately has really been slipping and now they are shipping stuff that isn’t even finished. There’s no reason that combat 10 hours in the game should manifest stutters and load-time issues. That’s trivially easy to catch during play testing. This is why we rent — if I would have bought the game I would have taken it back to the store.
Anyway, I started a Fallout 3 game instead. And got wasted by Raiders last night. Sigh.