The best thing that can be said about The Last Story is that it has very high ambitions. The game comes with an amazing pedigree, which has been known to really push the boundaries of the genre. Sadly, the team erred on the side of playing it safe. The game certainly shows willingness, and eagerness, to break some long standing conventions of the classic JRPG. In particular, combat is closer to a western action based RPG than a traditional JRPG. In comparison to the average JRPG, combat is also far less frequent. It’s rare that one feels a need to spend boring hours grinding in order to gain levels.
Sadly, this is where the innovation ends. One often has the feeling that the team simply felt people couldn’t handle too much change. A RPG lives or dies on the story. And, sadly, the story telling just isn’t there. The basic plot covers all the cliches that a typical JRPG is blasted for. If one is as tired of magical princesses as most gamers have become, it’s best to avoid this title. From the mercenaries with a heart of gold, to supposedly surprising ships, the game is riddled with overused tropes.
All in all, the game bursts with potential. However, this is what makes it such a disappointment. Unrealized potential is often more disappointing than a game which is consistently mediocre. If the team comes back for a sequel, it might be worth looking into. But as a game, The Last Story is simply rather underwhelming.