The Last Remnant: Truly A Lost Classic
The Last Remnant was one of the very few RPGs that Square Enix launched that was separate from the Final Fantasy or Dragon Quest franchises; when first released in 2008, that fact was enough to help garner some interest in the game. After all, Square Enix knew what it was doing when it came to turn based RPGs.
However, as much attention as it received leading up to its original release on Xbox 360, it wasn’t enough to go further than becoming a cult favourite. That being said, The Last Remnant did get a PC release not long later; a PlayStation 3 release was announced, but later cancelled.
Now, a decade later, the publisher is pulling the game from Steam, one of the very few – if not only – places to get your hands on a copy today. Xbox 360 versions stopped being manufactured several years ago, and there’s a very small chance that players can get their hands on a physical copy.
In a statement on Steam, the developers said:
“We will soon be discontinuing digital and physical sales of The Last Remnant on PC. Sales will cease at the times below:-
- Japan region: Wednesday 5th September, approximately 2:00 (JST)
- NA region: Tuesday 4th September, approximately 10:00(PDT)
- EU region: Tuesday 4th September, approximately 17:00(GMT).”
Square Enix did note, however, that those who already own the game on Steam will be able to continue playing The Last Remnant. What was missing from the announcement, however, was any kind of reasoning behind the game being de-listed.
The news was reacted to with a range of emotions from the gaming community; many were surprised that the game was being removed, while others hadn’t realized that it was still being sold. Others hadn’t even heard of the game before, but thought it looked interesting, so scrambled to get a copy while they still had a chance.
It comes as a bit of the shame that the game is being de-listed; it was a heck of an RPG, and was exceptionally well received when it was released – although the Xbox 360 and PC versions had some differences, both were critically acclaimed. Looking back on The Last Remnant, it’s easy to see why it was received; it’s one of those rare RPGs that still holds up to the test of time.
Taking a bit of a turn from typical RPGs, the game lets players build up a somewhat sizable army made up of groups that players can command in turn based battles; instead of commanding the hero characters, these characters are given a general command – such as ‘Use Mystical Arts’ i.e Magic – and they relay these commands to their group, which carries out their interpretation of the command. Essentially, you’re the off-screen commander of an entire army, with characters using their intelligence to deal with foes.
Players have to be tactical with commands, due to the differences between regular enemies. The two main types of attack commands are Combat Arts and Mystic Arts, which break down into weapons-based and magic-based attacks respectively. The tactical part comes into play on two fronts; the biggest being with enemies, as many have a natural tolerance against one of the two Arts.
(For the record, there are more than two types of Arts in the game; for the sake of simplicity, I’m keeping it to the ones that even casual players of the game would be familiar with, as both Combat Arts and Mystical Arts are the more commonly used ones.)
Tactical playing is needed when players take into account their characters: as with many RPGs, each character has their own weaknesses and strengths, so some may be great with Combat Arts and be terrible with Mystic Arts. This leads to players having to think of what ways to set up their groups, such as putting all of the Mystic Arts users together etc.
Aside from combat, the storyline takes players on an amazing journey, even if they managed to ignore the many side quests and optional missions that The Last Remnant has on offer. In total, there’s dozens of hours of playtime, even if you exclude any time spent grinding – something which in unfortunately necessary at some parts of the game.
Characters are given an exceptional amount of room to grow and reveal their backstories; this carries over to many of The Last Remnant’s optional side characters. If they’re recruited, many will reveal their backstories following a side-quest focusing on them, during which they’ll reveal their motives, beliefs and many more.
All-in-all, the PC community has lost one of its greats. For those of us who have already bought the game, we’ll be able to live on in its glory. For those who didn’t get the chance, they’re sadly going to be missing out on a truly unique RPG.