Usually when someone buys a game, they play it almost immediately. Sometimes it’s stored as a gift or may require waiting on a friend or two to show before starting. No matter the reason, usually a new game brings some sort of positive excitement with it and is played while that excitement lasts. That wasn’t the case with my purchase of the Last Story.
I bought the game at launch, some would say by accident but that would be wrong since I wasn’t forced to buy it. As part of Operation Rainfall, a fan movement to have Nintendo published games in Japan formally localized and released in North America, I reserved the Japanese copy of this game. As soon as Xseed became the publisher I rushed to switch my preorder from the Japanese version to the localized copy that I currently own. I forgot that I preordered through Amazon and was surprised when it arrived and I was charged for the delivery! I would have canceled my Amazon preorder since the game was being heavily discounted ($20) across the web by most carriers. It was after being informed that I was charged that I found out about the discounts elsewhere.
In the end I chose to keep the game since I had it in my possession. The premium box currently has a bit of cosmetic damage but is still in overall new condition as of this post. My Wii was unavailable until recently which left me with a new game that I couldn’t play for about 5 months. I refused to watch videos about the game outside of a teaser or some short clip of a beginning cut scene. I ignored most reviews and decided to wait until I could play the game that in my mind was marked as the true heir to Final Fantasy.
During these five months I examined the artbook very often, flipped through manual of the game and pondered the meaning of the artwork on the case. Take a look at it below:
The woman is in the center of a timepiece like item/mirror. I used to ponder about the numbers, thinking that maybe the game was thought to be the “real” Final Fantasy X (I do actually like Final Fantasy X, calm down). I have no real clue as to why but will be more receptive to the conversations that the web has had about this game after I complete it. I’m definitely going to dig into this game on the MLK holiday, it’s been too dang long of a wait.
The game has been Xseed’s greatest success story yet and Mistwalker head, Hironobu Sakaguchi, reportedly worked on the game as if it was his last. Last time he did that we received Final Fantasy (great pun Mistwalker), the game that stopped Square from going out of business. His company wasn’t actually in the position to go out of business this time around but from the few things I hear about this title it is very hit or miss. I like many niche games, Xseed and Atlus are actually two of my favorite publishers, so I’m pretty sure that I will enjoy this. Then again I was very disappointed with Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: The Crystal Bearers after playing through it the first time at its’ launch after anticipating since it was announced.
I’m also interested in how this game was actually a success for Xseed. It has sold about 500,000 copies with much of its’ exposure only being in culturally significant gaming sources. I doubt that many people that have never heard of the acronym “jrpg” even know that it exists. I can’t help but feel that the game could have sold much better had Nintendo of America published the title and advertised it. Still, you have to admire a company that specializes in only niche software and remains in business.
They could purposely go after a few more mainstream titles but have chosen to go after more unique games. The company was founded by ex Square-Enix employee’s over publicly stated reasons that I’ve internally summarized as a need to be passionate about the work that the employee’s perform. I’m looking forward to firing this game up for the first time and in any future games coming from Xseed. I’ll continue to share my tales of The Last Story.