Graphics:
3.4
Gameplay:
4.1
Sound:
3.8
Control:
4.0
Replay Value:
3.5
Overall Rating:
3.7
Online Gameplay:
Not Rated
Publisher:
NIS America
Developer:
Hit Maker Co.
Number Of Players:
1
Genre:
RPG


As most of you know, I’m a fan of the now-archaic turn-based mechanic we used to find in many role-playing games. Now that it’s almost dead, I search – often in vain – for RPGs that feature my favorite style of combat, which is why I immediately gravitated towards Hit Maker’s Last Rebellion . Based on the information and details, the concept seemed to be excellent: two fighters sharing the same soul; each with a specific skill that is required in order to deal with intimidating foes. But within minutes of starting the game, I knew the developer had fallen well short of the intended goal and the more I played, the more irritated and disappointed I became. In reality, they did very little right with this one and even if you’re pining for turn-based in an era dominated by twitch gamers and ceaseless action, take a pass. If you’re really in need of this old-school style, toss in a classic PlayStation RPG or download one of them off the PSN. That’s your best bet; Last Rebellion would be a colossal waste of cash.

The graphics are basically atrocious for a PlayStation 3 title, especially one that launched in February of 2010, over three years after Sony’s new machine hit the market. NIS has published a game that doesn’t look much better than a PS2 title; the blandness, lack of detail, and abysmal environmental textures all come together in this unappealing, badly drawn sludge. That may sound harsh but when they won’t even bother to create any animation for the cut-scenes (non-interactive scenes are restricted to pictures of the characters and dialogue boxes, ala Disgaea ), the lack of effort is obvious. Gameplay visuals are somehow even worse as the dark, muddy look seems to permeate areas that are supposed to be lush and vibrant, and character and enemy designs are about as generic as humanly possible. I suppose some of the special effects for the more advanced abilities in battle are pretty cool, but for the most part, these graphics are just terrible and there are few redeeming qualities.

The sound is only a smidge better, thanks to some okay voice acting and average battle effects. Like many games of this nature, some voices are passable while others are just downright annoying; it’s not an unfamiliar result with JRPGs as of late. The rest is just a mess. There are virtually no effects that accompany your exploring; you can barely hear the character’s movement over terrain (and sometimes, it’s non-existent), and everything sounds muted and poorly implemented. The soundtrack sort of fits when involved in combat but it’s far too repetitive and after several hours of play, I never stumbled across any new music tracks for either exploring or battle. The common theme throughout is one of underwhelming effects; a total lack of crispness and clarity, and a musical composition that is somehow even more generic than the character design. On top of which, nothing even sounds right: a sword slash sounds bizarre and there’s almost no diversity to the blows, in that physical and magic attacks sound very much the same. Just…bad.

You probably know all about the standard turn-based mechanic in RPGs and here, it’s purely turn-based, in that speed isn’t really a factor. The enemies will get a chance to move and you will get a chance to move, which is simple and straightforward and also allows for the unique system involved. See, you will get a certain amount of CP for each turn and you can use one CP for every attack. However, you can string many attacks together and focus each strike on a particular area of a foe. Furthermore, if you can figure out the exact correct procedure; i.e., the right sequence of strikes across all the body parts, you will create combination chains. In other words, when you realize that you must strike the head first, then each of the two arms, then the two legs, and then the chest, you’ll get yourself a Combo. Each enemy will force you to figure out their unique sequence and the good news is, the system will tell you when you struck correctly. So if you see a “Bingo” pop up with the third strike, it will tell you on the next turn that your #3 attack to the abdomen (or wherever) was correct.

It’s a trial-and-error process and it’s basically just luck. You just go after an enemy and see how many strikes you get right, and then in future turns, use what you’ve learned until you’ve figured out the sequential requirement. This is a little ridiculous to begin with because you never have any hint concerning which body part should be targeted and when, but it’s still a decent idea. But it hardly stops there. You control both Nine, a Blade, and Aisha, a Sealer, and they share the same soul and body. This means that only one of them will be facing the enemy at any given time; when you switch to the other, that character will jump into place. Because of this, each character has the same set of statistics; they share the same well of HP, MP and CP, which requires you to distribute your actions accordingly. Now, you first have to “Stamp” a foe with a strike from either Nine or Aisha; once the body part is stamped, it can then be targeted by Magic, so you have to always remember to stamp first before unleashing any powerful spells.

Lastly, Nine can Absorb – an ability that drags in MP from an enemy – and Aisha has the Seal capability, which is the only way to eliminate an enemy. Once a foe falls, it will eventually stand back up unless you Seal them away with Aisha. Now, I knew most of this going in as I had already done the research. I was encouraged by it but when put into practice; it all falls flat on its face. The entire thing is just plain boring . Trying to figure out the right sequence of attacks to get Combo chains is boring (and I typically hate any role-playing mechanic that relies on luck, anyway), performing the same procedure in every battle (target, stamp, cast, seal, repeat) is boring, and the story is intensely boring. And when it’s not boring, it’s frustrating. Fallen enemies in the field can respawn within seconds of being defeated, and you can’t outrun any of them, either. And because you can restore your HP and MP by standing around after combat and waiting around, this directly leads into unwanted encounters. It’s just absurd how fast enemies respawn.

And the combat simply doesn’t work very well. Because you execute in just about the exact same way for both random foes and boss fights, and all you really do is upgrade and use items as you normally would in any RPG, there’s really nothing here that’s even remotely interesting. The story is laughably bad, the writing is equally inferior, the graphics and sound are worse than mediocre, and exploration is mostly a limited endeavor that involves constantly respawning enemies (that only provide you with the same ol’ same ol’ in terms of battle), and in general, there’s a really depressing lack of immersion and intrigue. It’s sort of a neat idea to acquire particular keys that open treasure chests but beyond that, I have trouble finding any positive elements to include in this review. If this is the state of JRPGs right now, and if they’re this far behind in terms of technological advancements, then perhaps we really should abandon the old-school style of role-playing. It’s tough to admit, but it’s hard to view it any other way.

Last Rebellion is a dull, witless, ugly, uninspired adventure with only glimpses of the quality and innovation that could’ve been obtained with a lot more work on the part of the designers. If someone would attempt this very same combat mechanic, I’d love to see the result; they’d just have to balance it out, remove the repetitiveness, and flesh out all the possible options. As is, it’s crucially flawed and nothing else about the game proves appealing in the slightest.

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piratedrunk
piratedrunk
11 years ago

Thanks for the review! I was cautious about this one and this is a very good reason to avoid it.

johnld
johnld
11 years ago

i was slightly interested in it before and the price tag was appealing. but after looking around online for info on it, i decided to get resonance of fate instead.

LimitedVertigo
LimitedVertigo
11 years ago

I canceled my order from Amazon after everyone told me this game would/did suck. Thanks for being honest with me about it a month ago Ben.

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
11 years ago

Did I say something about it a month ago?

LimitedVertigo
LimitedVertigo
11 years ago

Ya, I mentioned I had pre-ordered it through Amazon in an article's thread. You responded by telling me it looked like a terrible game and pretty much ripped it a new one.

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
11 years ago

Well, I'm glad I was right…I think.

Scarecrow
Scarecrow
11 years ago

This is a major insult to conoles…

It should have been a PC only release

LimitedVertigo
LimitedVertigo
11 years ago

…are you trying to awake the dragon inside me?

hellish_devil
hellish_devil
11 years ago

ps3 exclusives aren't always THAT good, you know?

sonic1899
sonic1899
11 years ago

Every console has exclusive crap every once in a while. The PS3 has a few, the 360 definitely has some, and they make up for about 80% of what's on the wii.

Aerifale
Aerifale
11 years ago

Graphics don't even look gud enough for the psp.

ugh… I'm with you Ben, I'm still a big fan of turn based rpg's (God bless you FFX) and this feels like a big slap in the face to all the old rpgs that we remember so fondly 🙁

OtisFeelgood
OtisFeelgood
11 years ago

3.7? Daaaaaaaaaaamn!

AirplanePeanuts
AirplanePeanuts
11 years ago

Pretty disappointing, but the writing seemed to be on the wall for this one for a while now.

Seems like the DS is still the way to go for taking turns in this day and age.

Alienange
Alienange
11 years ago

Not for any fault of yours Ben, but that review was a laborious read. I can only imagine what it took for you to actually PLAY the game. It sounds terrible! Your explanation of the combat makes it sound terribly boring and awkward. How in the world did NIS have the cajones to release this game?

Ugh… thanks for the warning though. Obviously not all rpgs are made equal.

hellish_devil
hellish_devil
11 years ago

cajones??? ain't it cojones???

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
11 years ago

It was a laborious WRITE. LOL

MysteriousMagus
MysteriousMagus
11 years ago

it is cojones XD!!! WELL I was hoping for this game to be good after watching the first trailer… its sad it ended up like this…. ugh… at least i got FFXIII.

BikerSaint
BikerSaint
11 years ago

Sounds like I'll be grabbing this one up pretty damned fast(& just for collection purposes)….

….just as soon as it hit's the bottom of the $5 bargain bins.


Last edited by BikerSaint on 3/30/2010 8:35:30 PM

Riku994
Riku994
11 years ago

Whats the lowest score you've ever given a game Ben?

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
11 years ago

1.6 for Riding Star on the PS2.

sonic1899
sonic1899
11 years ago

Riding Star was so bad, NO BODY reviewed it

michiganfan1983
michiganfan1983
11 years ago

Thanks for the review Ben, I had hopes for this game but was waiting to see the review. And now I know that there are better thing to spend my money on and knowing is half the battle.

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
11 years ago

Holy crap what a piece of crap.

Shams
Shams
11 years ago

By Hit Maker Corp. More like Sh*t Maker.

Kowhoho
Kowhoho
11 years ago

I've never read such a range of negative and incisive adjectives in a PSX article!

Oyashiro
Oyashiro
11 years ago

Wow, I knew it was supposed to be bad… but DAMN!

Don't worry Ben, Hexyz Force for the PSP looks like it will be fun. Its made by Sting.

aaronisbla
aaronisbla
11 years ago

its funny cuz some ps3 fanboys on n4g that i speak to thru my inbox were labeling this as a great rpg to look out for and when i commented that it looked really dull i was called a hater and such and such.

Naztycuts
Naztycuts
11 years ago

Some people are idiots! Not even a fanboy should defend a crap game.

johnld
johnld
11 years ago

you're giving fanboys too much credit man. hahahaha. i learned how to ignore them a while ago.

SayWord
SayWord
11 years ago

Haha damn I knew I was going to be the only person who liked this game:(

I_defenestrate
I_defenestrate
11 years ago

Not necessarily, Lotus said he was getting it too. There is bound to be a handful of people who like it and more power to them.

Lotusflow3r
Lotusflow3r
11 years ago

Aye, me too. I did get it on the 26th and i do enjoy it.

I understood it was a low budget jrpg and expected just that.

I'm not going to argue with the review though because the majority of people will agree because it's so cheap.

I personally love the battle system and art style. I agree with some of this review but, i won't point the parts out because this game has been attacked enough.

I'll say this, if it was a ps2 title, it would have more respect. It's just not entirely "next gen" but, that doesn't bother me.

Qubex
Qubex
11 years ago

This will be another studio that will close soon I think…

Q!

"play.experience.enjoy"

TheHighlander
TheHighlander
11 years ago

Thanks Ben, it's a shame that it's so terrible. Another opportunity thrown away…*sigh*

Ultimate_Balla
Ultimate_Balla
11 years ago

LMAO

kraygen
kraygen
11 years ago

Sorry but I had no hope for this game. I saw the screenshots and it reminded me of a spiderman sticker game I used to play like 15 years ago on the pc. This game just proves that some devs will try to make crap easy and quick just for the hopes of a quick buck.

Heck I could have made better graphics on my laptop with photoshop and a season of the flintstones.

Graphics aren't everything, but when they're that bad it just shows that they weren't even trying.

Rings0fUranus
Rings0fUranus
11 years ago

holy crap are you talking about spiderman cartoon maker??

FullmetalX10
FullmetalX10
11 years ago

I feel sorry for you Ben, since you had to play this and write about it, still thanks, it's good to know what to buy and what not to.

Arvis
Arvis
11 years ago

And to think… you could have been reviewing Resonance of Fate. 🙂

-Arvis

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
11 years ago

I still have to do that…

Arvis
Arvis
11 years ago

You'll love it, Ben. I know this, because I love it. And we have very similar tastes when it comes to JRPGs.

High value, good challenge, gun customization, character customization, battle arena, crazy deep strategizing required… Yeah, it's right up your alley.

Story's a tad sparse though, which may be jarring coming off of FFXIII.

-Arvis


Last edited by Arvis on 3/31/2010 11:34:37 AM

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
11 years ago

I am looking forward to it, that's for sure.

Mr Bitey
Mr Bitey
11 years ago

It's good to see NIS finally make the jump to 3D. I think the game would have been taken a little more seriously if it were a PSP game. Maybe next time they'll be able to improve on what they learned with this release.

TEG3SH
TEG3SH
11 years ago

Ben
did u review resonance of fate?????????
cause I played the demo it was awesome , but it was japanese , so I didn't understand that much , but guns instead of swords is always a plus

sonic1899
sonic1899
11 years ago

If I remember correctly, Nippon Ichi saw a massive a drop of more than 97% in income. For them to release games like this, they're not giving me any reason to support them

Arvis
Arvis
11 years ago

At least they didn't MAKE it. Still… this is a pretty big hit to their reputation.

-Arvis

just2skillf00l
just2skillf00l
11 years ago

I wanted this game a while back when the only information about this game I knew was that it would be turn-based and the game boasted a creative art-style. But now that it has been released, I think "just about everyone can agree" that this game is a complete failure in the turn-based genre. A 3.7 says a lot, it says no department of the game was even relatively decent. Sorry you had to play and review this Ben, I am truly sorry. Resonance of Fate will be a sight for sore eyes though, that's a guarantee.

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