@Renjaku I was Lv55 when I finished, but I was on my last sliver of life and Syrenne was down for the count. She was my only other melee fighter, too, so that made it a lot harder to stack up damage without someone to chain with. The fight must have taken almost thirty minutes, much of it spent taking down the last quarter of the boss's HP...
@nate38 That low? I must still be bad. I let Syrenne die too much, she was gone by the time I got to the final form, while everyone else had about three lives. I didn't realize why this made it so difficult to win until after I leveled up.
@Renjaku The key is to keep diffusing Mirania's and/or Calista's heal spells. They stay out of the way most of the time and only cast on themselves, so unless you diffuse their heal circles, nobody else is going to get healed. It's easier to stay in the rhythm of attack and dodge if you don't have to keep reviving everybody.
Got some more 'side chapters' done I suppose. Rescued Horace's wife from the haunted mansion, and got his book back to remove curses from weapons. Fun little chapters, and it seems that you can do these side chapters in any order you want, which is fun.
10 hours in, and my characters are at level 31 (or about there).
Made more progress yesterday. Cleared out the sea reptids underneath the floating island, and became a knight after finishing the 5 trials. Surprisingly, the most difficult thing was the 30 seconds you have to beat the armored Ogre. Stupid death sentence! It took me at least 3 tries to get through that short portion. Thankfully you can fast forward through the dialogue. I then did a bunch of arena fights to get that caught up to my current character levels.
Now that I have played through the game twice and thoroughly digested the plot, I have two questions still bugging me:
1. um, are Zael and Calista related?? I mean, Zael is descended from that sorceress and Calista is obviously descended from the House of Arganan, but, didn't the sorceress and Agaranan like, y'know, get it on? Like, aren't there descendants all from the same line??
Wouldn't that make Zael and Calista related??? I confuse.
2. It seems like the left side of Count's Arganan's entire body is all messed up. To the point where his entire left arm is always covered and his left leg obviously requires he use a cane. Then there is the obvious eye-patch/mask. Now, you can kind of see some of the disfigurement around that mask. Doesn't it look like the same kind of disfigurement seen on Jirall after he takes that power from Zangurak.
So, does this mean that the Count also dabbled (unsuccessfully) in wielding some kind of power (perhaps from the Outsider itself?)?
I have started playing this game recently, and I find it to be wildly inconsistent.
I switched to Manual before even playing my first battle, Auto just didn't seem like a good idea since it restricts movement. I don't know how much damage is reduced, but I haven't felt like I'm dealing weak hits, so it can't be too much. In fact, I end up doing the majority of damage, because my party members have the worst AI I have yet to see in an RPG. For a while into the game, they'd get themselves killed within five seconds, even to lowly grunts, so I'd either have to take out all enemies meself or risk getting mobbed trying to revive them. Things got better after I was able to gain them enough levels and better equipment, but they'll still sit there trying to cast spells when repeatedly getting hit, and they attack very slowly. If that speed is the same as Auto, it wouldn't work well.
Now to be fair, I hate party AI. Part of the reason I like turn-based RPGs is that I can control every member. Command mode helps somewhat, but it isn't enough for me. There really should be a multiplayer component, both local and online. This is even less excusable than Xenoblade since they already took the time to set up an online component, so you should be able to play through the game in multiplayer. It'd certainly make my time with it a lot more enjoyable.
The combat system is novel. Spamming the attack button does work for most enemies, however it takes a lot more time. Battles feel more like a puzzle since there's usually a way to make them go a lot faster and more smoothly, and bosses have a specific way of dealing with them. However, it doesn't feel like there's more than one way to tackle each battle, so I'm not so sure how much strategy is actually involved. I'll have to play some more to figure that out, maybe there are some intricacies that I have yet to pick up. It would also be nice if there were some incentive to finish battles quickly, to discourage spamming.
The graphics are also a mixed bag, some things look nice and detailed whilst others look blurry and blocky. And the framerate can get really choppy at times. The colouring is kind of drab as well, but I s'pose that's just the game's style. The story is decent, most of the characters are clichés but have enough personality to still be interesting in some cases. The narration with white text on a black screen is a real copout though, makes the game feel cheap. The scenes where you have to look around to find something aren't as bad as Metroid Other M since the thing you have to spot is usually easy to find, but in most cases it's unnecessary. I'm also confused why there is no pointer control for the crossbow.
I want to like this game, but it sure does show its ugly side a lot. I've even run into a few glitches that made me had to reload a save, such as prompts not appearing for places I needed to go. It is starting to get better, but it's definitely a rough game, and I don't know if its novel ideas are enough to save it in the end. I shall see.
@Mop it up I actually found the battle system more engaging than Xenoblades... There is more options in Xeno in your attack, but the way you control your characters (obviously in Manual mode in the LS) during battle was more interesting. This stuck out for me when I went back to play Xeno after beating the Last Story.
I never had issues with A.I during the game except nearing some of the final bosses where one character kept getting their ass kicked but you can tell them what to do and where to move during play as the game goes on so the more you do that, the better.
In my experience, I wouldn't call the game 'rough' (I never came across any glitches) but there are some parts that seemed a bit 'off' when exploring and talking to the locals.
All in all, a great game. Keep at it Mop, this game may improve for you but unlike you, I am not really one sided in my view of turn based RPG's compared to action-RPG's with party A.I. (I love Symphonia for instance) I guess it really depends on the game. Chrono Trigger and DQIX are ones I enjoy as well and they are turn based.
The good news is that as the game goes on, you have more options in battle available to you.
I actually like action-RPGs better than turned-based if they are done right. The FF Crystal Chronicles series for example is amazing. And I also liked Tales of Symphonia, the Tales series has a better battle system and AI than both Xenoblade and The Last Story. It also has multiplayer! Too bad the world and the characters aren't as interesting.
I can't argue that the battle system in the LS is better then the Tales series however, I did find that when it comes to healing, the party in the Last Story is more attentive - they saved my life quite a few times. I guess the lack of smarts in A.I in the LS (compared to Tales per say) wasn't as noticeable for me and didn't hinder my experience of the game.
Lowell and Syrenne are clearly the best characters. They help keep things interesting when the story starts to fall apart for me. Like the dungeon sequence for example, that whole series of events made little sense. Especially finding a hole and going down into the cave, only to turn around and go back (even though they fell down pretty deep and there wasn't a way back). And the guards somehow didn't know they were gone from the cell that whole time. The story is no longer believable to me.
The arena is a disappointment. It's just the same fight over and over and over again with slightly higher-leveled enemies each time.
@nate38 I don't think it's a sidequest. Zael gets accused of kidnapping Calista right when you get back to Lazulis from traveling on the Gurak ship, and then the party gets tossed in the dungeon, so I think it's a part of the main story.
Good to know the arena gets a new fight at some point, that's better than nothing.
Oh, my apologies, I didn't think about spoilers. Are there still people here who haven't played this game yet? I'll be more mindful.
As much as I like Chrono Trigger, I have serious problems with its story as well. In any case, there is a limit to how far I can suspend my belief... and any scene where the protagonists get tossed into a dungeon under false accusations usually crosses it. It's very tough to have such a scene make sense, and The Last Story unfortunately failed at making it believable, just like pretty much any other game that has done it.