Last Rebellion – The PS3 Attitude Review
Nippon Ichi Software and HitMaker team up to bring another RPG exclusively to the PS3. Last Rebellion tells the classic story of a clash between two opposing forces. In this case, it’s between two gods, Formival and Meiktilia whose powers are transferred to humanity in the form of Blades and Sealers.
Unfortunately, the game had the unpleasant luck of releasing on February 23rd in the United States, the same date as Heavy Rain, and will be released on March 26th in Europe. In fact, unless your name is either Lightning or Kratos, we wouldn’t suggest releasing a game in the near future.
Still, it’s been a while since our last RPG adventure and Last Rebellion features classic open world exploration and turn-based battles, so we’re keen on giving it a go. It’s time to see if the game can hold up against the heavy competition.
The world of Junovald is kept in balance by the two gods Meiktilia and Formival. Meiktilia is the god of death, granting special powers to those called Blades and Sealers. Blades are the ones who live for the thrill of the battle while Sealers have the responsibility of using their magic to permanently destroy the souls of fallen monsters. Thanks to the power of Formival, if a monster is not properly sealed they will return to life stronger and more powerful than before.
Nine Asfel is one of the most powerful Blades in the country and is the adopted son of King Arzelide. Truth be told, Nine doesn’t seem to care all that much about his abilities as a Blade and would much rather live freely doing as he wishes. Unfortunately, he must use his skills to save the kingdom when his own brother kills the king and vows to revive the Formival bloodline, sending the world into chaos.
Any good Blade needs an accompanying Sealer and Nine is no different. For a Blade as powerful as him, he’ll need a Sealer equally powerful. That’s where Aisha Romandine enters the story. She is known across the world for her unrivaled potential and has been known to actually lose control in a few instances. She should fit perfectly well with Nine and his cocky attitude.
Visually, Last Rebellion looks good but not great. It’s somewhat reminiscent of the old PS2 days with its animated style cutscenes. It’s playing things safe and not pushing any polygon limits. For a game like this, it’s not all that important.
While the story may be your typical RPG adventure about good versus evil, the battle system is what sets Last Rebellion apart from others. Due to an unfortunate betrayal by his brother, Nine ends up being killed at his hands. Aisha is forced to “revive” him by transferring him into her so now the two of them share a single soul, making battle all the more unique.
Since the two of them share a single soul, they also share a single health and magic meter. You can switch witch character you’re controlling with the touch of a button. While playing as Nine, you’ll regain MP and while as Aisha, HP. Occasionally you’ll find yourself walking away from the game for a few minutes in order to regain a hefty amount of HP or MP. Of course, you could always use an item to speed up the recovery process.
Encountering a monster on the map will send you immediately into battle. Depending on how you approach the enemy, you can either get a First Attack, Slow Attack, or even an Extra Attack. Combat is turn-based and requires some thinking before you go in swinging your blade wildly around.
See, you can target specific enemy body parts such as their head, arms, or legs. Each enemy has a specific weakness and attacking order. Should you hit the correct appendage in the correct order, you’ll deal extra damage and start off a combo chain, increasing the amount of EXP you earn. The bonus tops off as 999 so you don’t earn too much extra EXP though. Thankfully, you can record your strikes to L1 so there’s no need remember what order you last inputted. Once a correct strike has been dealt, it’s saved as well for each body part.
Some of the more powerful enemies will go into rage mode if you hit certain body parts out of order so be careful. Each attack, in addition to costing one Chain Point, stamps the enemy, allowing for Stamp Magic to be performed. The suggested combat method to deal the most damage using the least amount of CP is to attack and then perform Stamp Magic. Repeat as necessary. The battle concludes when Aisha Seals the enemy away, gaining HP in the process.
One of the enjoyments of the game is figuring out the exact pattern for each enemy. Boss encounters are especially memorable and will definitely put your thinking skills to the test as some of them have up to 10 different body parts to target! For a game with only one two characters, the battle system is well executed. There’s even a certain dood who makes an appearance that will surely please all NIS fans.
As far as RPGs are concerned, Last Rebellion isn’t the most deep or involved. Aside from the unique battle system, everything is rather basic. There are treasure chests, NPCs, status ailments and other elements common to the genre. What the game lacks is weapons and equipment. Your character is only able to equip an accessory on the ear, arm, and finger. There are no weapons aside from your initial blade or clothes to be discovered which is rather disappointing. What are plentiful throughout the game are spells, but to be honest, you’ll find yourself only using a handful of them. Normally half the fun of RPGs is finding every single chest and every item possible in the game. That aspect just isn’t present in Last Rebellion.
Maps are neither small nor huge. Depending on how much you like roaming around, that can either be a good or bad thing. You’ll definitely be revisiting some areas to procure all the treasure chests. Helping you traverse them are teleportation devises scattered about. The maps can be just as dangerous as the battles themselves as well. One of them in particular uses floating platforms that require one character or the other to move across. It’s elements like these I wish were present more in the game, ones that require cooperation and teamwork.
Last Rebellion is a product of bad timing and will most likely be overlooked due to huge titles such as Heavy Rain, Final Fantasy XIII and God of War III. Still, the game is definitely worth checking out, at least as a rental as is shouldn’t be too difficult or take too long to complete.