May. 20th, 2017

xyzzysqrl: (Sqrl Barbarian)
I cannot describe the sensation of immense RELIEF and RELEASE flowing through me as I watched the excellent and lengthy ending sequence of Last Dream. Both because the ending WAS actually good -- it shows you just about every NPC and town you've visited or didn't visit to show you what happened next and what the results of your actions were in a giant sprawling 10-15 minute world tour -- but because it was FINALLY OVER.

I do not play many games THIS LONG anymore.



The thing is, it took me about thirty or so of those hours just to get a handle on what Last Dream is. To some degree it's obvious: A homage to classic JRPGs like the first handful of Final Fantasy titles or Lufia or the like. However...

To me I naturally assume if you're making a JRPG, you're doing it because you have a lengthy and elaborate narrative to tell. Like, why would you make a game in the story-heaviest of genres unless you wanted to go on at length about your storyline? Last Dream isn't into that, so when I found the plot kinda thinly-shredded and a bunch of narrative-busting books all over the world, I raged.

Last Dream is an achiever's game. A racer's game. An explorer's game. Dare I say it, it's almost an eSports RPG. It's the only RPG I've ever seen with leaderboards. How few times can you rest? How few steps can you take? What optional areas have you seen? Can you overlevel? Underlevel? Find every chest? How fast can you beat it?

These are not questions I ask myself when playing a game. I have never thought the words "I wonder if I'm the BEST at Final Fantasy" because I did not imagine anyone was keeping score. I certainly never thought to myself "Let's shut off the cutscenes so they're not in the way and speedrun this thing."

That said... it hung together well enough even for me. There WAS a plot and taken on its own terms it passed muster. I remembered most of the characters in the ending sprawl of threads. I did have the occasional RPG Maker problem of "There are six different art styles on the screen and it's playing a MIDI remix of Mars by Holst as the battle music, what am I doing here?" but whatever, everyone sees the Matrix code eventually.

--
SIDEBAR - FUN PARTY FACTS:
My party was made up of Xyzzy (a Hunter), Celine (a White Mage), SilverStar (an Engineer), and Swordian (a Knight).
SilverStar has now been in my Final Fantasy 1 PSP run AND this game, so qualifies for a Frequent Adventurer Discount at many restaurants.
Celine and I got lucky, as Hunter and WHM are the only two explicitly-female classes in the game.
Swordian ironically used mostly spears and axes rather than swords.
--

I liked this enough that I'm gonna pick up the sequel -- and while I was looking for info about the sequel?

One of the tidbits of info I found is that they wrote like 400 in-game lorebooks for the shelves in Last Dream: World Unknown.

To which I say: "Okay. That's all I wanted, and y'all did it a year before I complained."

So...We're good here.
xyzzysqrl: (RUN AWAY)
WOOF has been shopping and bought a container of mixed berry juice.

SQRL: *reading* 'Journey north to Northland...' Oh that's where it is. Shit, who knew?"
WOOF: "Founded by the people who designed the MA highway system, I suppose."
SQRL: "The power of Dark Fruit... Well, I'm absolutely filling myself with DARK FRUIT'S POWER. Gonna take over some helpless starting villages."
WOOF: "Dark Fruit is the gay villainous overlord we needed but never realized we did?"
SQRL: "Absolutely. Wait here it is. There's a sidebar. What is the power of Dark Fruit?"
WOOF: *reading* "Dark fruit is as good for you as it is delicious..."
SQRL: "So if I hate it, then it gets less nutritious?"
WOOF: *giving up* "You know what? Yes. That's how it works now."
SQRL: "Well I didn't make these rules up! They did!"

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