Sqaure merged with Enix in 2003, HironobuSakaguchi left his legacy at Square and formed Mistwalker Studios in 2004. The man is noted as the creator of “Final Fantasy” and had his hand in producing every entry up until his departure from Square. For better or worse, I feel the series hasn’t been the same since and because of that I’ve kept a close eye on Mistwalker Studios hoping to see it produce a next generation RPG that really speaks to me like the old Square titles did.
Blue Dragon is a fun, light-hearted role-playing game that has all the elements I’d been missing. In particular, it has an well defined job/class system of which I'm a big fan. However, its plot doesn’t quite grip me with intrigue, twists and turns that I'd expect from the creators of "Final Fantasy" and Chrono Trigger. The story is very straightforward with few-to-no surprises, but the game mechanics are very enjoyable if you like those older RPGs. Blue Dragon left me feeling that Mistwalker was off to a good start as a company, but I was still searching for something more fulfilling in the story department. Blue Dragon since became a franchise with several sequels which all garner the same response from me: very fun gameplay, but lacking in story.
|That's a "Blue Bat" with arms, not the eponymous Blue Dragon, just so we're clear.|
|scene from Lost Odyssey|
Flash this fear forward to 2010 when I first caught wind of the title The Last Story. You may notice right away that the title itself seems like an allusion to “Final Fantasy.” This is an action role-playing game with stealth and strategy elements, and was one of the most anticipated releases for Nintendo’s Wii console at the time. It was released in Japan in January of 2011 and all I could do was sit and wait for an announcement of when it would be localized and released in North America. That wait, however, proved to be long and painful. The game was translated into English and localized for Europe and Australia, but no release came for North America. Needless to say, I was pretty upset. This game had the potential to re-justify owning a Wii, a console with whom I’d had a shaky relationship. I looked to Google to help me find more information about when or why this game wasn’t being released in the US and if possible what I’d need to be able to play a European version. It was then I discovered “Operation Rainfall.”
|scene from The Last Story|
|scene from Xenoblade Chronicles|
I'm very excited. It should be a fun few months.