By David Rawlings / August 8th, 2012
If you read any of the reviews for The Last Story as it was released in Europe, you might have noticed the lack of multiplayer coverage. Whatever the reason, staff at Operation Rainfall in Europe have played through and come up with extensive coverage for those who are curious about the forgotten mode. Follow along for the two part series.
One of the most surprising additions to Mistwalker’s epic JPRG is the inclusion of an online multiplayer mode which supports up to 6 players. Now, we all know the Wii doesn’t have the most robust online service, or a particularly user friendly one either. The fact that such a mode has been included in The Last Story is a pretty impressive feat, however.
You are given 2 modes of play when you enter the online world: Deathmatch, which can be played in teams or in a free for all, and Co-op, which has you and your online comrades working together to take down various bosses and their cohorts. Both of these game modes can be played with up to 6 people, either with random players or with your friends. Unfortunately, the infamous ‘friend-codes’ return and there’s no option to add random players to your friends list, which is only one of the real negatives to the online modes. For Part I, we’ll take a closer look at the Deathmatch feature.
Deathmatch mode is a simple fare of getting the most kills within a certain time limit. Each ‘kill’ is worth 10 points and you will be deducted 5 points for every time you die. When there is only 1 minute left of playtime, the points are doubled.
There are 9 various stages to choose from (we’ll look at them a little later on), and 21 characters to play as. You’ll take control of any of the 7 main heroes from the game, plus an eclectic amount of NPCs and enemies. One really cool aspect is that the weapons and equipment you gain in the main story will pass over to the online modes. This means that even if you and your opponents play as the same character, you will most likely have different weapons with different attributes. Considering the variety of weapons and equipment in the game, you will always see someone sporting a new look or weapon.
Scattered around the stages are assortments of ‘other’ weapons to assist you. These include poison bottles, which replace your main weapon with a glass bottle to inflict poison on your opponents; silence frying pans, which inflict ‘Silence’ (inability to use magic); and my favourite, the ‘Sticky Leek,’ which covers your nemesis in a brown sticky substance that slows them down to a snail’s pace.
There are also item pick-ups that can aid you in taking down other players. ‘Power/Magic Essence’ orbs improve your strength or magic attack, ‘Accelerate Essence’ orbs increase your speed to a ‘Roadrunner’ level, ‘Healing Essence’ replenishes any lost life and ‘Ancient Essence’ replenishes life and makes you invincible for a period of time.
There’re also ‘Arrow’ pick-ups that can assist you in your games. ‘Annihilator Arrows’ are destructive, while ‘Paralysis Arrows’ can stun your opponents.
As mentioned earlier, there are 9 different stages to choose from, so we will now take a closer look at each one.
Reptids’ Cave: Set in a dank, grimy hovel that the reptids call home, a fairly open stage with only a few rocks and pillars to cover behind. The main draw of this stage is the desolate stone bridge that hangs high above the playing field. A carefully aimed magic attack and the bridge can be destroyed sending large chunks of rubble on top of your opponents.
Arena: A close quartered stage set on 2 levels. Lots of walls to hide behind and 2 different ways of getting from one side to the other: either by running down the stairs and under the bridge, or taking the two side paths on the upper level. A great stage for team battles.
Mysterious Forest: A serene, majestic looking stage, and one of the largest playing fields. It has a mixture of walls and short alleyways to use as cover and ample open areas for magic users. Another great stage for team battles, however if one team can get control of the large pedestal, then the match is in their favour.
Tower of Trials 2F: A mixture of a close quarter combat and an open stage set on 3 levels. The highest level is perfect for magic users and ranged weapons, while the lower 2 levels work best for close range weapon users. However, the lowest level is set on a thin bridge with a dead-end, so any players on that level will have to work very hard to get themselves back up to the higher levels.
Tower of Trials 4F: A fairly open but small stage. Set in one room with minimal cover that can lead to mass destruction from all players. Due to the size of the stage most games are very high scoring, a fairly well balanced stage and best played in a Free-for-all.
Port Lazulis: A fairly large open stage, set in the port of Lazulis. A good stage for ranged weapons and magic users, although there isn’t much cover on one half of the stage, with only a few crates to hide behind and a couple of docks to run down. The other half consists of houses, alleyways and backstreets that provide the necessary cover and give close range weapon users an advantage. Another good stage for team battles.
Fortress Island: A close quartered stage set in the gothic throne room of Fortress Island. Consists of 4 levels with the upper levels circling around on themselves. It has very little cover but works well for both far and close ranged weapons. Team battles can make this stage feel a little unbalanced, so it’s recommended to go for a free for all.
The Last World: A mystical, otherworldly, huge open stage. It consists of many magical floating blocks which players can climb and destroy, making this the most interactive and multi-tiered playing field of them all. Magic users have the upper hand with this stage and can dominate the game making it fairly useless for any close range weapon users.
Arganan Temple: A desolate, run down ancient temple. Consists of 3 areas, 2 open outside areas and 1 close quarter inside area. It is a very strategic map that has many walls and scenery to use as cover, and secret rooms to regain your health and protect others. This map is great for free-for-alls and even better with team battles.
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