Last Rebellion Preview
It’s yet another promising JRPG for the PlayStation 3 and now that it’s confirmed for a February release in the US and a March 12 launch in Europe, we can finally delver an in-depth preview with all the latest information concerning storyline, characters and combat. Perhaps most intriguing about this game is the co-op style Nippon Ichi takes with the battles; you will switch between two primary characters that must destroy both the physical and mental side of any given foe. See, this fantasy world is governed by the power of the Gods who handle life and death but for some reason, the deity responsible for the life part has a stronger hold on the world. Therefore, when you slay the physical side of an enemy, it will return as an even more powerful and supposedly immortal creature. What to do? Why, incorporate the powers of both the Blade and the Sealer, of course, so as to completely eradicate the offending being’s soul from the planet. Here’s where things get interesting.
Nine will be the Blade; he’s 25, confident and unafraid of making a bad impression. He is joined by the Sealer, a girl named Aisha, who is the enigma of enigmas. Long ago, her lack of discipline caused her to accidentally unleash some sort of catastrophe on the world, and it was decided that she must learn to control her power. This apparently required her being cloistered; separated from the outside world to prevent another disaster. Other characters include Nine’s step-brother, Alfred, and the country’s ruler, Azelride. Nine and Aisha are both well aware of their skills and have been trained to defeated the Belzeds (the undead), and this is where you come in. Obviously, considering the state of the world, you need both unique powers in order to vanquish your foes, which means close teamwork will be crucial. And because I know many of you have asked about the combat mechanic, let’s address that now.
You will definitely have to switch back and forth between Nine and Aisha; there will be reasons to do this outside of battles, too. The battles will be turn-based and no, you won’t have to worry about wasting a turn to alternate between the two main characters, so that’s good news. Nine should lead the attack, as his physical assault will engrave a seal of sorts onto the enemy; a seal that Aisha can then use as the target of her magical “sealing” attack. If you keep going with Nine, you can seal multiple enemies or even distinct enemy parts (arms, legs, etc.), after which Aisha can unleash her power and really tear up the screen. The more foes you “mark” with Nine, the bigger Aisha’s power will be and the faster you will be able to dispose of the nasties. However, don’t think for a second that such a system will get repetitive – because it sounds like it could, right? – because NIS has tossed a few wrenches into the works that will require player adaptation. The result should be a dynamic combat format.
As a brief example of the aforementioned diversity, certain enemies may not be vulnerable to Nine’s attack. In this particular case, it’s Aisha who will have to make the first move with her Seal magic, and then Nine will be able to use a “Demon Absorption” ability. This lets him steal away magic points. The point is that each enemy may have to be dealt with in a different manner, despite the fact that the power of both characters will almost always be required. As for the visuals, although I don’t believe the screenshots really do the game justice, you’ll be looking at a very artistic presentation with watercolor-like character designs and full event scenes. Lastly, you’ll be able to customize both Nine and Aisha to your heart’s content; there will be more player freedom than you might expect, and strategy/battle tactics are paramount. Target the arms to avoid powerful attacks, target the legs to stop an enemy’s movement and ultimately, seal ‘em all away to insure total victory. Sounds like a definite plan.
February really is jam-packed but for fans of this sub-genre, Last Rebellion might be a must-try. You don’t see games like this that often anymore, you know. Feel free to check out the game’s official site, too; they gots a cool new trailer to watch.
1/18/2010 Ben Dutka