So I recently picked up and have been playing this new-ish Wii game, called The Last Story. To start off, I should say that it was produced by Mistwalker Studios, headed by Hironobu Sakaguch, the guy who conceived the Final Fantasy series, and served as the executive producer for all of them up to FF9. STORY:
As far as the story goes, I'm not going to overhype it. It's a very Final Fantasy style story, albeit done pretty well. You take control of a group of mercenaries set on becoming knights, with the game mostly taking place on Lazulis Island. I won't go into much detail, as the game is still new and it's definitely worth seeing the entire story, even the basics, from the start. My only complaint is that the characters are introduced as battle-hardened experienced mercenaries, yet while they -do- avoid common hero-antics and try to have a good strategy, they tend to act like the average 17-20 year old RPG hero we're all familiar with.GAMEPLAY:
All fighting takes place in real-time, with you controlling the main character. You can, of course, give orders to your party members, but their AI is competent enough for the most part. Combat is, overall, fluid and easy to pick up while still allowing a variety of ways to fight.
Equipment and Customization:
Equipment and the like is actually really well done here. The only things you'll actively be replacing(and still not too often) are weapons. The thing is, each weapon will gain special effects as you upgrade it. Things like elemental attributes, recovering life, or paralyzing enemies. Because of this, you'll probably be using a variety of weapons as needed, rather than buying new ones all the time.
Armor is similar. The big difference in armor, at the start, is the appearance. Each one has it's own unique appearance, and gains a special effect when upgraded to a certain level. Upgrading adds defense, but most armor will have similar defense, with the benefits being in the effects.
Additionally, you can remove and even recolor parts of armor. Don't like that jacket? You can toggle it off. Maybe you dislike that generic dark and brooding black outfit? You can recolor it. On top of that, armor comes in two parts: Armor and greaves(representing upper and lower clothes), so you can mix and match if you really want to make your hero look pretty. At one point, you even get the ability to make certain parts of the armor invisible(including ones you can't normally toggle off).GRAPHICS:
As far as Wii games go, it's a beautiful game.
A lot of work was put into making it look as nice as possible, and it shows. While not the best graphics on the Wii, they're nice enough. There are a few areas where the graphics seem a bit stiff, but that's it. I only give it a 7/10 for two reasons: At times, the game suffers from low to moderate frame rate loss. For a console game, this is something that shouldn't happen, at least in games like this. It usually happens in the more vivid areas, with fog and lighting effects, amongst other things. I'm tempted to say it's because they pushed the graphics of the Wii to it's limits, but I've seen a few(though just a few) games with graphics just as good or better that had no frame rate issues, leading me to believe they rushed it and/or didn't optimize it for the Wii.
Additionally, the camera can be a bit buggy at times. It hasn't caused me much grief, though.SOUND:
The sound is another one of the game's strong points. It was composed by Nobuo Uematsu, who composed or collaborated on the music for nearly every Final Fantasy game, on top of quite a few other games. It's a mixed bag, really. I enjoyed the music, but it didn't come across as memorable at times. A lot of the time, it blends in with the game perfectly, to the point where I hear it, but it doesn't particularly stand out. This is a good thing and a bad thing. It works, but I, sadly, can't recall a lot of the songs.
I feel the localized voice actors deserve a special mention. They did a good job portraying the characters, and sounded natural most of the time. There were a couple voices that just didn't seem to match the face, but nothing major.
Overall, I'd say it's definitely one of the best Wii RPGs out there. The most glaring issue, the frame rate loss, is resolved if you play it on the Wii U, which runs the game a lot smoother. Definitely worth checking out if you're looking for a new Wii game.