What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Last Story is an action role-playing game for Wii with plenty of frenetic, non-bloody combat. The steady violence combines with some light sexual overtones, frequent reference to alcohol and intoxication, and mild profanity to make this a game suitable for teens and older audiences. The narrative revolves around a group of soldiers for hire, but they are good-natured and generally motivated to do the right thing when presented with hard decisions. They sometimes find themselves at odds with one another, but prove loyal friends in the end.
What kids can learn
Language & Reading
Thinking & Reasoning
- solving puzzles
Engagement, Approach, Support
What's it about?
Players take on the role of Zael, a mercenary with grander aspirations, in the action role-playing game THE LAST STORY. Designed by famed gamesmith Hironobu Sakaguchi and scored by the legendary Nobuo Uematsu -- the pair behind several of the most memorable entries in the Final Fantasy franchise -- this fantastical tale tackles everything from taboo romances and simple side-quests to warring states and the fate of a planet. Players spend their time chatting with others, engaging in fast-paced real-time battles, and collecting and swapping out gear in a constant quest for character improvement. The game also includes an online mode in which players can connect with friends or strangers, either battling each other or teaming up to take on extremely powerful foes.
Is it any good?
The Last Story is recognizably Japanese in both design and execution. Expect spiky-haired protagonists, massive swords, occasionally syrupy dialogue, and a plot in which the very world is at stake. However, it's also possessed of some Western game sensibilities. The characters are at times a bit grittier than you might expect, and the combat takes place in real time (even if players don't always have direct control over each and every strike). Plus, the game is loaded with side-quests that lend a richness and depth to the world and its people that's sometimes lacking in Japanese RPGs. It's an interesting blend that may lure in players who haven't taken to Eastern role-playing games in the past.
That said, it's a pretty linear experience, and the action begins to border on repetitive midway through. Players not invested in the narrative may find it difficult to see the game through to the end. Regardless, it's a welcome entry in a genre that has been sorely underrepresented on Nintendo's little white box.
Explore, discuss, enjoy
Families can talk about violence in media. Do you think this game's violence serves a narrative purpose, or does it exist merely for thrills and entertainment? Does this distinction matter when considering age appropriateness for kids?
Families can also discuss the depiction of alcohol in media. What do you think of characters who appear to take pleasure in frequent intoxication? What role does alcohol play in the lives of people you know?