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[Wii] The Last Storyil nuovo progetto di MistWalker - release jap: 27/01/2011


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Producer: Nintendo
Developer: Mist Walker/Artoon (AQ Interactive)
Releases: 27 gennaio 2011 (jap), 24 febbraio 2012 (pal), 19 giugno 2012 (usa by Xseed)
Info varie:


The Last Story's Massive Town and Surprising Camerawork
Director Hironobu Sakaguchi appears alongside concept artist Kimihiko Fujisaka for latest Iwata Asks.
Posted Oct 13, 2010 at 20:41, By Anoop Gantayat

Mistwalker CEO Hironobu Sakaguchi appeared by himself in the first Iwata Asks column for The Last Story. That column brought some surprising news: Sakaguchi is directing the game -- a big revelation considering the Final Fantasy creator hasn't fully directed a game in 18 years.

The second Iwata Asks column for the game hit today (the long time between columns, admitted Iwata, was due to his being too busy preparing for the Nintendo Conference event to check the interview text). This time, Sakaguchi was joined by Mistwalker's Kimihiko Fujisaka, revealed to be the game's concept artist and character designer.

"For me," said Sakaguchi, "Image illustrations and characters are very important." Sakaguchi worked with Fujisaka from the start of the creation of the game's image. He attributes the game's resulting world view to Fujisaka's artwork.

After noting that there are many fans of Fujisaka's work within Nintendo, Iwata asked Fujisaka what kind of requests he received from Sakaguchi. There actually weren't too many requests, explained Fujisaka. Initially, Sakaguchi provided Fujisaka with a simple plot, but let him do as he pleased.

Sakaguchi appears to be a big fan of Fujisaka's artwork himself, particularly Fujisaka's work on female characters. He joked that if the girl whose profile is shown in the logo were real, he's give up everything for her. Iwata joked that many employees within Nintendo have fallen in love with the character.

It appears that the two creators truly worked together on The Last Story. Iwata asked Sakaguchi if he found Fujisaka's visuals to be agreeable. While Sakaguchi replied in the affirmative, he added that there were also areas where he modified the character personality and world setting to match the characters that Fujisaka created. This surprised Iwata, as he'd been under the impression that Sakaguchi had the image of his games already preset in his mind.

Early Development

Development on The Last Story began with Sakaguchi, Fujisaka and someone with a programming background (the name was not given) speaking over lunch. The three debated such things as Japanese and Western RPG styles. The game's plot emerged as they engaged in these conversations. In other words, rather than saying that the game's plot was created by just Sakaguchi thinking something up on his own, it came about as the three conversed.

A considerable amount of time was spent doing prototype work for The Last Story, said Sakaguchi. The game slowly changed over a period of about one and a half years. This approach is similar to Final Fantasy VII's creation, explained Sakaguchi, although the prototype phase was longer here. FFVII took about a year for the same phase.

During the prototype phase, the game used blocks for its characters. The team also created a square "test dungeon" which still exists in the ROM. Whenever they make changes to the gameplay systems, they'll go to that room and play.

Sakaguchi joked that they ended up throwing so many gameplay systems away that they could have made two games. Here's one system that didn't make the cut. Early on, the game had something that Fujisaka refers to as a "UFO." The world was set so that UFO-like discs would fly out from enemy spawn points. While this was eventually tossed out, elements of it and other unused systems evolved into subsequent systems.

All this work was going into the gameplay area of the game because, as Sakaguchi has said in the past, he was placing an emphasis on gameplay this time. "The true drama for the story emerges during battle," said Sakaguchi. He believes that if you were to, for example, have someone cover someone else during a story sequence, it's possible to draw out player feeling to a certain level. However, if this happens during actual battle, the player will feel a deeper bond with the ally. "This time, we wanted to make the systems first, then later insert cut scenes that matched up with this."

Iwata seems to be impressed with the results, saying "When I actually saw it for myself, it gave me the impression of a game unlike what I'd seen before."

It looks like Sakaguchi has taken the gameplay first philosophy to the extreme. Continued Iwata about his experience seeing The Last Story, "What particularly impressed me was that even though a climactic point is occurring in the story, the camera view is not forced to that climactic scene." Responded Sakaguchi, "I feel that doing it this way helps connect to the rich feel of the world. If it's a climactic scene, rather than forcing the viewpoint, we're making it so that the world that the player is seeing is everything. For example, if you imagine that something is taking place in an area where you're not looking, don't you get a little excited?"

This approach is something that was born through trial and error. While Sakaguchi admits that it's probably not perfect, he believes that the newness is important for entertainment, and even if it's a bit rough, it will make you feel a lot of excitement.

The unforced camera wasn't all that surprised Iwata, though. He was also surprised to find that you can fast forward through event scenes. Sakaguchi noted that rather than simply skipping the scene, you're actually forwarding through the scene and can read the subtitles to keep up with the story.

One Town

The Last Story has just one town -- Ruli City. Because the player will be in the town for so long, Sakaguchi wanted to make it into a place that players would love. Iwata described the town as astonishingly detailed and deep.

They've filled the town with a variety of nuances, explained Sakaguchi. He mentioned one. When you bump into someone on the street, he might shout at you "What!?". However, once you've become stronger, the person might apologize for the collision.

"It's an extremely big town, where a variety of things will occur. Even I'll still get lost in some back roads," admitted Sakaguchi.

Explained Fujisaka, "The people in town will dance, play the accordion, sit at the fountain -- there are exclusive motions just for the town."

The Last Story's Iwata Asks columns will be continuing through future installments. Sakaguchi and Fujisaka were revealed to be, respectively, director and character designer through the columns, so perhaps we can expect even more staff revelations in future updates.


When you cast magic, a circle appears on the ground at the magic's point of impact. This circle is called the Magic Circle and can be used in various ways to your advantage. Jump lists two methods of use.

Main character Elza has a wind-based spell which can be used to make the Magic Circle spread out and strike enemies. Depending on the elemental properties of the circle's magic, this will cause different effects on the enemy. The magazine shows enemies "slip" and fall over as they're struck by the advancing wave caused when Elza uses the wind spell on a circle formed from an ice spell.

You can also use the Magic Circle to infuse your weapons with elemental properties. If someone enters a circle, his weapons will temporarily gain the elemental properties of the magic that caused the circle.

While magic can be used as a powerful attack technique, we've previously seen some of ifts disadvantages. It takes time for magic to be cast, leaving the caster open to enemy attack. One of the first gameplay systems announced for The Last Story was the "Gathering" system, through which Elza can turn enemy attention towards him, giving the caster time to charge up the spell.


There's one tiny bit I forgot to mention in my summary of the latest Iwata Asks column for The Last Story. In the column, character designer and concept artist Kimihiko Fujisaka reveals that you can change your characters' clothing.

While not getting too specific on the types of clothing that will be on offer, Fujisaka said that using this feature, you'll be able to view the game's major scenes with your characters wearing some pretty unbelievable outfits.

This is one particular feature that Fujisaka apparently wasn't too happy with at first. He felt troubled when director Hironobu Sakaguchi first set the goal of allowing character clothing to be changeable. The reason is that he initially designed the clothing to match the characters. In retrospect, though, he seems to be happy with the feature.

Sakaguchi described the process of making the various clothing parts that players can mix and match as being somewhat like a puzzle.

This discussion of clothing came as part of a greater discussion of how The Last Story gives players a large amount of freedom. This is reflected in game's event camera system -- or lack thereof, as the game does not actually force your sights on major happenings.


First play reports for The Last Story coming out of the Nintendo Conference last month suggested that the Mistwalker RPG would have an MMORPGish feel to its combat system. That is, you just concentrate on moving main character Elza around, and when you get close to an enemy, he'll automatically take care of the actual attacking.

It turns out that there's quite a bit more to combat than just this. Famitsu has a closer look this week.

During combat, you have exclusive direct control over Elza, moving him via the analogue stick. As reported from the Nintendo Conference, when you approach an enemy, you can tilt the stick in the enemy's direction to make Elza automatically begin attacking using his standard attack. You'll have to guard and evade using manual button presses.

If this auto attack thing isn't for you, you'll be pleased to hear that the game also has a manual mode. Switch the game to manual mode, and you'll be able to do attacks via button presses. The magazine did not provide further specifics.

While I wrote "during combat" above, there actually isn't a real "during combat" part of the game. As you move about the fields of play, you automatically switch to combat when you approach an enemy. There's no battle screen or transition to a battle system.

Famitsu also has a full report on the battle system as a whole, covering many of the systems we've heard about in the past, along with some of the new ones that were summed up from Jump last week, and even adding a few unannounced bits and pieces.

As previously detailed, one of the big battle system components is "Gathering." Elza has access to this special power, which you'll use to draw enemy attention away from other party members.

Previously, it was announced that you'd use this skill to allow your spell casters time to cast their spells. But Elza also has access to a couple of special abilities while in a Gathering state.

Gathering Burst
When in Gathering mode, if Elza blocks an incoming enemy attack, he'll undergo a "Burst Up." If you've built up enough power through Burst Ups, Elza will unleash the Gathering Burst attack when he comes out of Gathering mode. This damages enemies and may also reduce their speed.
Cure
When in Gathering mode, if Elza can recover fallen allies by touching them. The fallen party member will come back to life, with some temporary ability boosts.

While The Last Story's combat system is largely real time, you can actually freeze time and enter into "Command Mode." In this mode, you can take some time to get a grasp of the battle situation, and can also issue specific commands to allies, telling them what magic to use and where to move.

Screenshots show Elza ordering heroine Kanan to cast one of Holy, Return or Heal magics. Below the magic selection menu, the game provides descriptions of what each spell does:

Holy
An attack magic that's based off light. When spread, increases party member defense strength.
Heal
Recovery magic. When spread, recovers party member HP and status abnormalities.
Return
Warp to a nearby "Heal Circle." (The magazine doesn't say what exactly a "Heal Circle" is.)

The "spread" thing mentioned in the descriptions concerns the Magic Circle system that was detailed earlier this week. When a party member casts magic, the magic leaves a "Magic Circle" mark at the point of impact. Elza can use wind magic on the Magic Circle to spread its effects outward. The article earlier in the week mentioned that you can spread the magic circle from an ice-based magic to cause enemies to slip and fall over. Now we know of two additional examples.

Once you've selected a spell for your party member to use, you can also specify its precise position. When selecting a target, the camera shifts above the action, allowing you to see enemy and ally positions.

The Command Mode method of input can also be used on Elza himself. Screenshots show Elza with these three options in his palette:

Power Hit
Temporarily raises Elza's attack strength.
Wind
This can be used to attack enemies, and is also the spell that Elza uses to spread the Magic Circle effects.
Return
The same as Kanan's Return option -- it warps Elza to a nearby "Heal Circle."

The magazine suggests bringing up Command Mode for Elza when you find yourself surrounded by enemies or in any state where it's difficult to control the action in real time.

You don't have unlimited use of Command Mode. Once you've used Command Mode, you have to wait a bit before you can use it again.


When Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata last gathered the staff of The Last Story for one of his Iwata Asks interview sessions, we learned about the game's massive towns and unique camera work, and were even given a few bits of precious development trivia. See this story for a full summary.

Director Hironobu Sakaguchi and character designer Kimihiko Fujisaka are back in the hot seat today. Nintendo posted the second part of the Iwata Asks feature with the two.

This part of the interview began with a slightly unexpected question. Iwata asked Sakaguchi what he felt about working on a Wii game. "Can I answer truthfully?" responded Sakaguchi first.

After Iwata told him to be direct, Sakaguchi responded was that when he worked with HD platforms (Sakaguchi previously worked on Blue Dragon and Lost Odyssey for Xbox 360), he placed a greater focus on such development areas as workflow and pipeline (pipeline referring here to placing graphics and motion data into the game). This is because, as with making a movie, by having a solid work pipeline in place, you can create a product with higher quality visuals.

"With the Wii, we took the approach of making a prototype first and investigating from there. So, compared to the hardware I've worked with until now, the creation process was completely different."

Iwata suggested that one could say that the Wii allowed them to use a creation process where they build up the game through experimentation. "There is that side to it," responded Sakaguchi. "To be honest, I personally feel that the HD visuals that are now the trend are still too much for a game world. You end up putting all your effort into preserving the quality of the visuals."

This doesn't mean that Sakaguchi was willing to make sacrifices on the visual side of The Last Story, though. "I absolutely did not want the visual quality to drop just because it's on the non-HD Wii. In the end, I truly believe we reached a point where it does not lose out to other hardware. The feel of the rocks, the feel of the water and so forth -- we really went deep with the creation. Also, another important area is motion."

Iwata noted that Sakaguchi placed a great amount of energy in the area of motion. Sakaguchi responded that when it comes to motion and visual fidelity, balance is what's important. You can't have one area be more advanced or inferior to the other.

Iwata also asked Fujisaka for his opinion of Wii. "I'm a designer," said Fujisaka, "so to be honest I initially felt like I wanted a bit more resolution. However, as I worked on the project, I came to the unexpected conclusion that it was okay."

Added Sakaguchi, "In the end, we were able to raise the quality more than we'd expected."

Sakaguchi feels that The Last Story's visuals are close in beauty to a photograph. Rather than having everything be clear, the Wii gives the visuals the perfect balance for a photograph-like taste.

He also noted that the because the Wii is easy to program, they were able to work details into the game. He mentioned one example where the player switches from dark to light and the game's lighting adjusts like a real person's eyes would.

"Even if you compare the visuals to other hardware, there's no disadvantage what-so-ever," said Sakaguchi.

Moving away from the talk of visuals, Iwata asked Sakaguchi and Fujisaka to name the points in the game's development that they felt were turning points.

For Fujisaka, a turning point came when the game's main city was completed, some time around early 2009 near the beginning of development. It was at this point that the gameplay systems also started to take shape, and he was given the feeling that they were on the right path.

Sakaguchi didn't mention a specific turning point. However, one candidate could be the point when Nintendo slapped the game's scenario with an NG (no good). Sakaguchi describes this as as the first "reset point" for the game.

He ended up making some changes to the game's world view as a result. "By simplifying the world view in the form of fantasy," said Sakaguchi, "I believe the characters became deeper. It's easier to show real human feelings in fantasy, after all."

Fujisaka joked that he was annoyed at Nintendo's disapproval as he'd readied a large number of images. In retrospect, though, he also feels the decision was a good one. "The world view we originally thought up was extremely dark. I'm glad that it ended up in its current form."

Delivering a closing message, Sakaguchi said "For music and paintings, movies and books, there are some works that give you energy when you touch them. I'd like for Last Story to be that type of work. Nothing would make me happier than if you connected with the game and felt something from it."


Sakaguchi didn't mention a specific turning point. However, one candidate could be the point when Nintendo slapped the game's scenario with an NG (no good). Sakaguchi describes this as as the first "reset point" for the game.

He ended up making some changes to the game's world view as a result. "By simplifying the world view in the form of fantasy," said Sakaguchi, "I believe the characters became deeper. It's easier to show real human feelings in fantasy, after all."

Fujisaka joked that he was annoyed at Nintendo's disapproval as he'd readied a large number of images. In retrospect, though, he also feels the decision was a good one. "The world view we originally thought up was extremely dark. I'm glad that it ended up in its current form."


Nintendo and Mistwalker have been keeping one major part of The Last Story a secret all this time. This week's Jump reveals that the upcoming Wii RPG has a six player Online component.

Using the game's "Raid Lobby," players can access a six player cooperative and competitive play mode. The competitive play has players selecting their favorite character and facing off on the battle field. The cooperative play has all players team up to take on a powerful monster.

As usual for a Jump reveal, the details only go surface deep. We can probably expect more details to surface through Famitsu and the official site next week or the week after.

Jump also details an area that was mentioned in a previous Iwata Asks column (see here). You can play dress up with your characters. Change your equipment and weapon, and you'll see visual changes to your character. You can also use a "paint" item to color your armor as you please.

Finally, some new story details. Jump introduces General Trista, a knight who was once the highest ranking officer in the imperial army. He's currently traveling the world, apparently in search of the connection between war and the devastation of the imperial main land.

Is Trista a friend or foe? The artwork shown in Jump makes him look like a pleasant guy. Jump says Trista plays a major role in the story, so expect to hear more about in in future updates.


- online is split into two parts: cooperative monster battles and competitive player vs player battles
- both modes allow for six players simultaneously
- select from Elza and other characters
- competitive play has all players face off against one-another
- fought in a fixed time limit
- player rank indicated by colored crown icons placed over the player's head
- your character will display a preset message in response to another character's death
- playing as a magic-based character may be tougher, as there's a gap between casting your spell and the actual spell activating
- if you're hit during this gap, your spell is cancelled
- cooperative monster battles has players first gather at a lobby called "Raid Lobby"
- change your character in the lobby
- each character has unique abilities
- Elza is listed as being a knight/soldier with the ability to expand magic circles
- characters look totally different when customized.
- change equipment via the game's equip screen
- two slots for weapons and two slots for armor (listed as "Protector")
- equip screen shows your character's status: current level, HP, next level, "TP," and stats for attack, defense, magic attack, magic defense and speed
- armor can be equipped individually to upper and lower areas of your body
- armor types such as "Feather," "Heavy" and "Hunter"
- armor's look and abilities will differ
- armor's 'level' will also give different looks and abilities
- customize armor by removing individual parts
- this changes armor's look with no effect to the armor's defensive strength
- armor can be customized with paint
- create "paint" using items that you've obtained during your quest
- paint your armor in different areas using a variety of different colors
- painting system works at the level of "areas" of armor rather than the individual parts
- General Trista, also known as "The Empire's Greatest Treasure"
- Trista was once the highest ranking officer in the imperial army, as well as the embodiment of the ideals of chivalr
- Trista came to Ruli Island in order to prove a theory he formed during his investigations about the relations between war and the devastation of the land
- Ruli City wards: Central Plaza and Marche
- Central Plaza: built atop the river that runs through the city, primary feature is a plaza which houses a massive gate, also serves as a bridge connecting the city's north and south
- Marche: major shopping arcade, supports Ruli Island's food, various shops along the main road, each selling different ingredients
- view a mini map of the town in the upper right corner
- blue robed fortune teller runs shop from a table in the Central Plaza
- save point in the plaza, indicated by a blue light
- enter the shops in Marche
- shop for bananas, coconuts and other items at Greengrocer Shop
- prices will change daily
- profit by buying food supplies at low price and selling them when the prices have increased


As reported earlier, The Last Story's mystery developer has at long last been revealed to be AQ Interactive. For the latest in a long running series of Iwata Asks column surrounding the game, Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata sat down with director Hironobu Sakaguchi and AQ Interactive's Takuya Matsumoto to discuss AQ's work.

The last time Matsumoto worked with Sakaguchi was seven-and-a-half years ago on Xbox 360's Blue Dragon. Matsumoto, then operating under Artoon (which was absorbed into AQ earlier this year), served as director on that title.

TOFU

The two ended up working together on The Last Story following some meetings at an izakaya restaurant in Tokyo's Daikanyama area (this is where Mistwalker is located). Sakaguchi was making a design document for the game at the time. He and Matsumoto would get together at the izakaya and discuss games.

It turned out that they both had some big regrets about Blue Dragon. Looking at player reactions to the Xbox 360 title, they felt that they'd perhaps been making the same style of game too much, taking things easy.

As they met for drinks, they discussed the new style of games of the time. They received particular shock from a video of a game which they saw at a video sharing site. They were both surprised upon seeing the completely new style of game shown in the video. Sakaguchi felt a regret that as someone who's supposed to surprise players, he himself was being surprised by something another person had made.

(For the record, they did not identify the game that caused this reaction, although it does seem to be one particular game.)

With this experience in mind, Sakaguchi and Matsumoto decided to do prototype work to determine the direction to take with The Last Story. This prototyping phase lasted for about a year and consisted of demos using blocky characters that they refer to as "Tofu."

As an example of how they used the tofu characters, Matsumoto detailed how they arrived at The Last Story's battle system. They felt that they needed a new battle system for the game, and felt that if they didn't change the basic rules they'd end up repeating the same mistakes. So, they created a prototype with three blue tofus representing the heroes and three red tofus representing the enemies. They gave the enemy leader glasses.

Using these blue and red tofus, they conducted a series of trial and error tests. In the prototype, when you turned your focus on the leader enemy, you'd be given the option of instructing your allies to kill him off first. This ability to give directions to your allies became a central element in the final battle system.

Also during their drinking meetings in Daikanyama, Sakaguchi and Matsumoto decided to put effort into collision work on the fields of play. They made it so that players can explore the reaches of fields of play which consist of complex land formations -- hiding in shadows, turning horizontally when trying to fit through spaces, entering doors after pushing them open with their hands. Because they were doing proper collision with complex land formations and objects, they were able to incorporate the land formations into the game -- making players climb over walls, for instance, or hide in spaces.

This collision work actually tied into the game's scenario work, as the story and land formations are intertwined. Work on the story side of The Last Story took place in three steps. First there was Sakaguchi's general outline. This was followed by the character exchanges that took place within the dungeons. These were worked on by Matsumoto. The final step brought in the details and voice acting.

In that second step, Matsumoto would take Sakaguchi's general outlines and come up with ways to incorporate the land formations into them in the form of events.

Some of the elements Matsumoto came up with ended up contributing to the actual character settings themselves. An example is Elza's habit of kicking doors in order to open them. Party members would make fun of him over this. Sakaguchi found this to be a nice element to the character and made it part of the character setting.

GATHERING

All this prototype work lasted for about a year. During this time, Matsumoto feels the most difficult part surrounded the game's Gathering component. This system has main character Elza gather the attention of all enemies, something that can be used when you want to give your spell casters time to cast a spell without being struck by a foe. Thematically, the Gathering system comes from the game's keyword of "Chaos and Order," or "If you bring order to the battle field that is in chaos, you will win."

Actually making the gathering concept work in the battle system and become something advantageous to the player took quite a bit of trial and error. The big area of difficulty, said Sakaguchi, was that the strength of the Gathering command would have to change depending on the enemy and the current battle conditions.

Regarding the Gathering skill, Sakaguchi said that you will actually be able to kill off enemies even without using it. Also, although Gathering is an ability exclusively available to main character Elza, there are allies who have similar skills. To some extent, you'll be able to make enemies drawn in to some allies.

As suggested by this varied use of Gathering, the player is free to choose how they approach the battles. Sakaguchi feels that because of the ability to make such decisions, players will end up having their own play style.

The development staff certainly had their own play styles. The big dividing factor appears to be in the use of Guard. There were two types of players on the staff: those who would guard and use Gathering to get a grasp of the battle, and those who'd just jump right in and fight. Matsumoto was of the former type. Sakaguchi joked that Matsumoto is making the game's tutorial and put in a recommendation that players use Guard.

While the Gathering system made it all the way from the game's prototype phase into the final product, some systems weren't so lucky. During the prototype phase, the game had a "replay" system. Replay was meant to be a system where the previous few seconds of battle were automatically saved to memory, allowing you to review what happened. Using this, players would be able to pick up on things they might have missed due to the chaos of battle -- seeing, for instance, which enemy dealt you damage. Unfortunately, because rewinding lead to bad battle tempo, Sakaguchi begrudgingly stopped work on it.

The replay system gave birth to something that did go into the game, though. When you input commands during battle, the action freezes and you're given a birds eye view of the action. This is a remnant of the replay program.

Some systems were added in whole after the prototype phase. The biggest example of this, said Sakaguchi, is an action that lets you climb walls. The addition of this meant that they had to redo all the early dungeons they'd created, as they were incompatible with it.

Another major example of a system that was added after the prototype phase is the auto attack. This system makes your character automatically attack when you approach enemies as long as you have the stick pointed in their direction. Matsumoto feels that with the addition of this system, players are able to get a better grasp of the battle situation.

Auto attack is actually the "Normal" setting for battle. You can go into the options menu and switch to "Manual" if you like, though. This gives you direct button controls over your attacks. Balancing both types of attack options took quite a bit of time, Sakaguchi said. They wanted to make sure that switching to manual attacks didn't make the game a breeze. Tuning for this area lasted right through the end of development.

The dialogue between Iwata, Sakaguchi and Matsumoto will continue in future Iwata Asks columns.


Part two of The Last Story's Iwata Asks column featuring a discussion between Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata, Mistwalker CEO Hironobu Sakaguchi, and AQ Interactive's Takuya Matsumoto hit today. Be sure and read up on last week's column here, and continue on for some of the new revelations.

PLAYER FREEDOM

One of the main points in all the Iwata Asks columns for The Last Story has been that the game offers players lots of freedom. Matsumoto and Sakaguchi hope that players will see videos from other players and end up being surprised by the differences from their own play experiences.

Nintendo has yet to provide specifics on The Last Story's camera control system.

This is the reason they made it so that the event scenes don't have a fixed camera. Players can freely control the camera to a certain extent. Sakaguchi feels that when players see videos of the game at video sharing sites, they may might wonder why the camera movement is different for the same scene from when they played the game. Because players can make unique play videos, perhaps the thought of "what would I do" will drive gamers to want to play the game.

Nintendo hasn't provided specifics on how the camera system works. However, Sakaguchi said that during test play sessions he enjoyed creating a purposeful hand-held camera effect to give the game a live feeling. Matsumoto joked that during events he kept the camera continually focused on heroine Kanan. As Sakaguchi previously said, the game will not force the camera on the speaker during event scenes, so keeping it fixed on Kanan looks like a possibility.

Other ways the experience will be different for all players is in treasure boxes and drop items (items that are dropped by enemies). These are all random, so you won't know what will appear. Of course, the game's changeable costumes also contributes to this aspect.

ONLINE "CHAT"

During online play, the experience will be personalized even further. After selecting your character, you can customize the lines the character says during combat. This replaces the typical voice communication you'd find in an online game.

A screenshot showing The Last Story's online play.

This dialogue customization system originates from the sheer amount of voice in the game. Outside of event scenes and dialogue sequences, you'll hear your allies' voices while on the move and during battle. For example, prior to battle the leader will give advice, and during battle the leader will continually shout out orders. Because there are so many interesting lines, Sakaguchi wanted to make it so that you can use the lines during online play, resulting in the final chat system.

You'll be able to hear some totally out of place things, it seems, with Matsumoto bringing up the example of Yuris saying "Father... Father..." repeatedly (which does sound like it could be pretty funny depending on how the line is said).

As a side note, Sakaguchi recalled how during the game's development they originally had the staff members reading out the lines. These were eventually swapped out for professional voice actors of course, but Sakaguchi actually found the staff voices to be more enjoyable for the online dialogue system. He even suggested keeping the staff voices in the game, but this didn't go through.

ONLINE PLAY

Outside of the chat system, Matsumoto and Sakaguchi shared a few additional details on The Last Story's online mode.

As previously detailed, Online play is split into cooperative boss fights and competitive battle royal modes. Both modes are playable by six players.

Sakaguchi feels that the battle royal mode will offer a different play feel from the main story part of the game. He also hopes players will use it as an arena to show off their clothing.

The game's cooperative online play component will allow players to experience the joy of being helped by others, Matsumoto said. The game's battle system has a "chain" system where allies take turns striking an enemy, building up more and more damage. Matsumoto feels that experiencing this system with actual friends will increase the feeling of affinity.

Online play will allow players to use characters other than just main character Elza. This means some players may opt to be a mage. One of the main parts of The Last Story's battle system is that mages take time to cast their magic. During this time they're left open to attack. Sakaguchi joked that through online play, players will be able to see the perspective of the mages Elza protects in story mode. Matsumoto joked that mage users should one of the lines to be something that calls for "Help!"

(NOTE: Based off Sakaguchi's comments it's still unclear if the game will allow you to use characters other than Elza during competitive online play. The above passage about players selecting to be a mage was mentioned as part of a conversation about cooperative play.)

Closing off the discussion of online play, Matsumoto said that The Last Story has an image of being a more open game. This is something that you can get a better feel for when playing online.

STORY

All this talk of player freedom may be worrying to some players who love themselves a good RPG story. Elsewhere in the Iwata Asks feature, Sakaguchi and Iwata assured us that The Last Story still has as one of its pillars a story that leads players to a goal. Sakaguchi feels that having a single story firmly in place is important.

The Last Story has a huge main town.

Iwata noted that in the past, RPGs wouldn't have much replay value beyond a single play through. Developers have attempted to fix this through a variety of means -- increasing the things the player can do after the quest, for instance. However, with The Last Story, Iwata said that it seems Sakaguchi has taken a different approach to making the players want to play again. As detailed above, by giving more freedom, they're making it so that players will think "What if I'd done this at that point," and will play the game over and over again.

While Sakaguchi admitted that this was one of his goals, he reiterated his belief that story is fundamental. There are some games that, for example, do away with a major story and let players just experience freedom in a single town. This is a different direction from what he's taking with The Last Story.

One of the reasons Sakaguchi feels story is important is that it's one element that can reach players of all types, from those who actively attempt to dig into the game on their own to those who do things only when directed.

Additionally, he feels that in order to get players accustomed to the game's controls and the peculiar rules of the game world, it's essential that they experience a large scale story once. He wants players to enjoy the depths of the gameplay systems and the online play after they've fully submerged themselves in the game world.

Sakaguchi used a food (if you'll allow for "gum" to be called food) analogy here. He believes the best game is one where you get a second burst of flavor after biting into the gum the first time.

This phase of the Iwata Asks interview will continue with another installment. Nintendo seems to be releasing these once a week, so check back next week.


- 30 hrs for a normal playthrough
- 12,000 lines of voice-acting
- Can play online after reaching first save point
- New online mode which is Team PvP ("team battle royal") confirmed
- Levels/weapons reflected in online group boss mode, but not battle royal modes. Looks of equipment are reflected in all modes.
- Random matches let you play against/with random people, friends matches against people you've exchanged friend codes with
- New Game+ confirmed. Game rebalanced for 2nd play-through and there are drop items that only appear after your initial playthrough.
- More info to come on the 27th, Sakaguchi asking people on twitter if they want to see cutscenes or mainly a focus on battles so as not to have the story spoiled.


During a presentation yesterday, director Hironobu Sakaguchi shared first details on The Last Story's exciting banana peel system. More details have surfaced.

As detailed yesterday, The Last Story allows players to shoot banana peels via main character Elza's bow gun. During the game's story mode, the banana peels can be shot at townfolk, making them slip over. During online play, you can use the banana peels to make your fellow players slip.

The banana peels tie into events, Sakaguchi revealed during a group Q&A session that followed the presentation. For example, a group of nobles are having tea in the plaza and looking down upon the commoners. A waitress will tell you, "It would be nice if they'd slip on a banana." Fulfill the waitress's wish, and she'll give you a reward.

Banana peels aren't the only way to make townfolk slip and fall. As another example, Sakaguchi mentioned lemons in a basket. If you should scatter the lemons on the ground, people will slip over them.

Sakaguchi also took up more serious topics during the Q&A. 4gamer and Famitsu provided transcripts.

In past posts at his development blog, Sakaguchi made some comments suggesting that The Last Story could be his last game. He was only speaking figuratively -- that is, he's working on the game as if it's his last game. However, there may be some truth to the comments. Said Sakaguchi during the Q&A, "If the game is received poorly, perhaps my sense does not match with the times. In that case, while I won't go as far as 'I won't ever make games again,' it would be meaningless to make games for a while. With that feeling, I've given my all."

The theme of The Last Story is "Nakama," or "Companion." When you work through the end of the game, you'll have this theme on your mind. During production, Sakaguchi made an effort to push the theme and hopes that people end up feeling "It was nice to have an adventure with those companions."

Does the game's battle segments look somewhat MMORPGish to you? Sakaguchi feels that the game does, in a sense, resemble a sort of single player MMORPG in that you experience a 30 to 40 hour quest with a party of six friends who speak throughout. Also, at the system level, the game has some elements that resemble the systems one finds in an MMORPG.

Incidentally, as far as MMORPGs go, Sakaguchi is interested in playing World of Warcraft. He's never played it, but it's the number one thing he wants to do once The Last Story is finished. In the past, he played EverQuest quite a bit.

Regarding the background conversation system, where characters speak continually in the background as you run through the dungeons and during other gameplay parts, Sakaguchi feels that there may not be a game with the equivalent amount of this type of conversation. The dialogue gives the game a "live" feeling, Sakaguchi feels. While quite a bit of the conversation is insignificant, towards the latter part of the game in particular, there will be a lot of story-related conversation.

One of the big surprises at the event was when Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata showed up to speak to Sakaguchi and other developers briefly. This was a surprise for Sakaguchi himself. He hadn't been briefed on Iwata's appearance.

Although Sakaguchi was on his own most of the time, the conference itself was Nintendo's idea. Sakaguchi was surprised when he heard of the idea.


Development work on The Last Story is complete, so Mistwalker head and The Last Story director, Hironobu Sakaguchi, is taking a break and playing some games for a change.



Sakaguchi revealed over Twitter that he imposed a no-game ban on himself during The Last Story’s development, so he wouldn’t be distracted from work. The one game he did make an exception for, however, was Xenoblade, which he says he played right after it released. Like The Last Story, the Monolith Soft-developed game was published by Nintendo.



He also tweeted briefly about The Last Story itself, with regard to the game’s sub-quests and dungeons, and how they tie into its story.



“There are several sub-quests in The Last Story from small ones to big ones with dungeons,” Sakaguchi wrote. “Events and NPC which are the quests entrances are located at some specified sections which comes with scenario/story. It’s possible to advance without clearing these quests, though.”



There will also be no mounts in The Last Story, the way you can ride Chocobos in Final Fantasy games, Sakaguchi revealed. To help make getting around faster, you can use the map to instantly move between certain locations. However, Sakaguchi hinted, you will get the opportunity to ride living creatures in some form — just not for transportation.



Sakaguchi then proceeded to mention the game’s dungeons and how the dungeons are connected. “Almost all dungeon maps in the castle and city are connected. For example, a hidden stairs in the castle’s courtyard,” he wrote. “Other places are connected without “road”. I emphasized “tempo/rhythm (of game playing)”.”



Sakaguchi concluded his Last Story tweets by firing off a quick bullet list of facts about the game while revisiting dungeons:



* Minimum dialogue
* Select members upon entering
* Treasure chests that show only upon revisiting dungeons
* Different balance and adjustments upon revisiting
* No levelling up
* Loot in the form of items and money
* You can leave the dungeon whenever you like



After he was done tweeting about The Last Story, Sakaguchi carried out a brief Twitter conversation with Manami Kiyota, one of the composers on Xenoblade, who told him she was looking forward to his game.


The Last Story director Hironobu Sakaguchi has been responding to your The Last Story questions via his Twitter. Well, not necessarily your questions, but lots of people were asking questions, and the Gooch was responding to them from his home base in Honolulu.

Here's a list of what the mustache man had to say:

The Last Story is Dolby Pro Logic II compatible. From the options menu, you can select mono, stereo and DPLII.

During command mode, where the game freezes so you can issue commands for stuff like skills and magic, you can switch the button for executing the command between up or down. This down key support was added because a girls with small hands in the Mario Club debugging unit suggested it.

It was previously revealed that you can destroy map objects like bridges and pillars. These are automatically repaired. Sakaguchi suggested that you think of these objects as attack gimmicks rather than background elements.

The game shows "pointer" lines indicating who the enemies are targeting. You can change the settings for these lines: off, shown only when Elza has executed his Gathering move (which turns all enemy targets on him), shown always, show pointers for both enemies and allies.

Elza can use his wind magic to spread the effects of Magic Circles, circles of magic power that are left on the battle field at the spot where magic has been cast. Magic Circles can also be spread through jump slash and vertical slash (like when you jump from a wall) moves, meaning non magic-based characters can spread it too. The question was in reference to other characters being able to use spread during online play.

The game has 16 save slots. It also has a "chuudan save" feature. This is like when you want to stop play and come back later (what do they call it in English?). The chuudan save is auto saved. It will start you back at the previous load point.

On the topic of Controls, Sakaguchi confirmed that the game does not have any Wiimote shake controls. When you connect the Classic controller, the game automatically switches control options accordingly. The camera can be controlled with the right stick. As with most games, you can flip the camera controls around.

Someone asked Sakaguchi which he prefers: Wiimote controls or Classic Controller. Both are basically the same and it will come down to personal preference, he replied. He personally likes to play with his Lego Wiimote and Nunchuck (laughs).

During multiplayer sessions, you can set your name using up to 8 alphabetic characters.

The game does not use the Wiimote speaker.

Sakaguchi recently made some Twitter comments about The Last Story on an HD system being impossible. Is this because it's on Wii or because it does something that would be impossible on an HD system? The reason, said Sakaguchi, is actually because of Nintendo and debugging company Mario Club, who worked with Mistwalker for nine months on the game and were, in a sense, like the development staff.

The Last Story lets you strengthen your weapons and equipment by taking them to a special shop in town. Elza's bow gun (I believe this is a special weapon and is always equipped) can also be strengthened to increase its basic damage parameter in this manner. Also, you'll find a variety of bow types for the bow gun.

Elza's arrows for his bow gun are infinite. Other bow gun ammo is not infinite, and starts off at 0. This includes the banana.


ed eccolo il nuovo progetto di Sakaguchi, prodotto da Nintendo per wii, è previsto per il 2010:

Immagine inserita

The Last Story is a RPG from Mistwalker on the Nintendo Wii which takes on a new direction for the genre. The theme of the game involves the universal feelings all of humanity shares.


sito ufficiale:
http://www.nintendo....slsj/index.html

#2
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Che strana sensazione, Nintendo e Sakaguchi diedero vita a Final Fantasy, ed ora, di nuovo insieme dopo più di 20 anni, danno vita a The Last Story.
Che forse la morte di final fantasy e la sua trasformazione in oscenità emo possa essere sublimata da un nuovo gdr ideato da coloro che crearono IL gdr?

#3
sonuccio

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....ma sarà stata la scelta giusta optare per la console anti jrpg per definizione di oggi? Ma soprattutto, come verrà supportato da Nintendo questo gioco?

bho, curioso di vedere cos'è e com'è fatto (anche perchè, a detta del saka, questo giooc dovrebbe commuovere), anche se dopo aver schifato Lost odyssey non ho molto interesse nelle produzioni di sakaguchi.

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Wido

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per ora posso dire che il brano musicale è bello :)

#5
sonuccio

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Che strana sensazione, Nintendo e Sakaguchi diedero vita a Final Fantasy, ed ora, di nuovo insieme dopo più di 20 anni, danno vita a The Last Story.
Che forse la morte di final fantasy e la sua trasformazione in oscenità emo possa essere sublimata da un nuovo gdr ideato da coloro che crearono IL gdr?

tecnicamente nintendo non c'entrava nulla con FF, se non per la console su cui il gioco uscì :P
comunque non è la prima volta che il Saka e Nintendo riallacciano i contatti; ad esempio qualche anno fa uscì ASH su DS, prodotto da nintendo.
Il Saka poi ha già dato prova delle sue capacità di game designer e...non è che gli è andata proprio bene. Il fatto di essere il creatore di FF ormai non conta più nulla.

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tecnicamente nintendo non c'entrava nulla con FF, se non per la console su cui il gioco uscì :P


C'entra eccome. Squaresoft stava per chiudere quando Nintendo vide quello a cui stavano lavorando, Final Fantasy, e decise di dar loro fiducia, denaro, e direttive sul gioco.

comunque non è la prima volta che il Saka e Nintendo riallacciano i contatti; ad esempio qualche anno fa uscì ASH su DS, prodotto da nintendo.
Il Saka poi ha già dato prova delle sue capacità di game designer e...non è che gli è andata proprio bene. Il fatto di essere il creatore di FF ormai non conta più nulla.


Se ti riferisci a Lost Odissey, in quel caso si può dire che non ha avuto del tutto le mani libere.
E' stato costretto a lavorare su un engine grafico di terzi, ha dovuto in qualche modo occidentalizzare il gioco per il grande pubblico (e lo si nota dal gameplay), ed alla fine ci hanno lavorato più i Feel Plus a Lost Odissey che Mistwalker. XD
Per essere stata la sua prima uscita in un momento di così grande crisi d'identità dei gdr, si può dire che ha fatto un buon lavoro.

Vediamo con Nintendo cosa riuscirà a fare, i trascorsi sono ottimo e fanno ben sperare.
E forse finalmente assisteremo anche alla fine di FF, o ad un suo ritorno a quello che era un tempo.

#7
Winterfury

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epic fail annunciato, non andrà oltre le 100k, dubito che un nuovo IP possa superare allegramente tales of graces, and that's all..

Modificata da Winterfury, 29 January 2010 - 02:04 PM.


#8
Quik

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C'entra eccome. Squaresoft stava per chiudere quando Nintendo vide quello a cui stavano lavorando, Final Fantasy, e decise di dar loro fiducia, denaro, e direttive sul gioco.



Se ti riferisci a Lost Odissey, in quel caso si può dire che non ha avuto del tutto le mani libere.
E' stato costretto a lavorare su un engine grafico di terzi, ha dovuto in qualche modo occidentalizzare il gioco per il grande pubblico (e lo si nota dal gameplay), ed alla fine ci hanno lavorato più i Feel Plus a Lost Odissey che Mistwalker. XD
Per essere stata la sua prima uscita in un momento di così grande crisi d'identità dei gdr, si può dire che ha fatto un buon lavoro.

Vediamo con Nintendo cosa riuscirà a fare, i trascorsi sono ottimo e fanno ben sperare.
E forse finalmente assisteremo anche alla fine di FF, o ad un suo ritorno a quello che era un tempo.

Mistwalker non ha mai lavorato da solo a nessun progetto.
Blue Dragon su DS è stato fatto con Feel Plus (che cmq , sono ex-Nautilus ed ex-Square non i primi che passano) cosi come Lost Odyssey mentre Blue Dragon per 360 è stato fatto con Artoon.
Io non so quanti dipendenti abbiano ma è evidente che devono appoggiarsi ad altre SH per sviluppare progetti importanti , infatti dubito che anche questo sia solo Mistwalker.
Cmq , vediamo che riesce a fare Sakaguchi ... Gli ultimi suoi lavori sono stati deludenti e anche quando si occupava di Final Fantasy qualcosa aveva sbagliato (vedi FF VIII).
Rimane il fatto che ora mi tocca tenere d'occhio questo e Monado/Xenoblade e nel caso prendermi un Wii :<

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Mistwalker non ha mai lavorato da solo a nessun progetto.
Blue Dragon su DS è stato fatto con Feel Plus (che cmq , sono ex-Nautilus ed ex-Square non i primi che passano) cosi come Lost Odyssey mentre Blue Dragon per 360 è stato fatto con Artoon.
Io non so quanti dipendenti abbiano ma è evidente che devono appoggiarsi ad altre SH per sviluppare progetti importanti , infatti dubito che anche questo sia solo Mistwalker.
Cmq , vediamo che riesce a fare Sakaguchi ...


Si vero, è un team piccolo, difatti a The Last Story parteciperà Nintendo allo sviluppo (così come fecero per Prime con Retro).
Darà sicuramente loro i capitali e la sicurezza economica per fare ciò che vogliono, la tecnologia per ottenere i massi risultati dalla console, e tecnici ed ingegneri che possano aiutarli in qualsiasi caso.
In pratica metà del lavoro è fatto, a loro tocca la parte più importante ma anche la più difficile, dare un anima al loro prodotto, ma senza le difficoltà dell'essere soli su un hardware sconosciuto (come era 360), e con quelle menti dietro, ci sono ottime possibilità di riuscita.

Gli ultimi suoi lavori sono stati deludenti e anche quando si occupava di Final Fantasy qualcosa aveva sbagliato (vedi FF VIII).


Sicuramente l'ottavo capitolo non è come il settimo, ma credo sia un ottimo gioco (migliore del 6 e del 5), ed anni luce avanti a tutto ciò che ha partorito Nomura. XD

#10
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Magari sbaglio però così su due piedi, senza sapere ancora nulla del gioco, credo che se ben fatto e pubblicizzato, in primis da Nintendo, possa fare davvero bene..
Certo, gli esempi opposti sono tanti (guadando al curriculum dei mistwalker) ma il solo fatto che ci sia una pesantissima allusione tra "Last Story" e "Final Fantasy" anche solo a livello di costruzione di logo, di quello che il titolo potrebbe rappresentare per i mw (e che come detto sopra il primo FF ha rappresentato per una Squaresoft in via di chiusura), per il fatto che con molte probabilità il progetto verrà pesantemente finanziato da Nintendo, insomma, io non la vedo così grigia

#11
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C'entra eccome. Squaresoft stava per chiudere quando Nintendo vide quello a cui stavano lavorando, Final Fantasy, e decise di dar loro fiducia, denaro, e direttive sul gioco.

oddio, non ricordo che Nintendo fosse il produttore del primo FF anzi, ricordo che fu tutto farina del sacco Squaresoft.
Mi pare di ricordare che Nintendo distribuì il gioco in america, ma nulla più.



Se ti riferisci a Lost Odissey, in quel caso si può dire che non ha avuto del tutto le mani libere.
E' stato costretto a lavorare su un engine grafico di terzi, ha dovuto in qualche modo occidentalizzare il gioco per il grande pubblico (e lo si nota dal gameplay), ed alla fine ci hanno lavorato più i Feel Plus a Lost Odissey che Mistwalker. XD
Per essere stata la sua prima uscita in un momento di così grande crisi d'identità dei gdr, si può dire che ha fatto un buon lavoro.

Vediamo con Nintendo cosa riuscirà a fare, i trascorsi sono ottimo e fanno ben sperare.
E forse finalmente assisteremo anche alla fine di FF, o ad un suo ritorno a quello che era un tempo.

non so quali costrizione MS diede a MW per LO, ma questo può valere anche per Last Story con Nintendo. ^^
La direzione artistica occidentalizzata è un evidente segno su quale mercato il gioco puntasse, ma il gameplay è una pura giapponesata, senza contare che il game design non ha limiti imposti dal motore grafico (in linea di massima).
Insomma, Saka era il direttore del progetto e, se è veramente un fuoriclasse, avrebbe potuto fare di necessità virtù. Invece...
Questo non per screditare in anteprima Last Story, ma solo per dire che un segno di quello che Sakaguchi è oggi ce lo abbiamo in tutta la lineup di Mistwalker.
Per ora non è riuscito minimamente ad intaccare nessuno coi suoi prodotti e non so se nintendo può fare la differenza. Speriamo.

#12
Winterfury

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In pratica metà del lavoro è fatto, a loro tocca la parte più importante ma anche la più difficile, dare un anima al loro prodotto, ma senza le difficoltà dell'essere soli su un hardware sconosciuto (come era 360), e con quelle menti dietro, ci sono ottime possibilità di riuscita.


ma su 360 utilizzarono l'UE mica un engine proprietario...

#13
sonuccio

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Cmq , vediamo che riesce a fare Sakaguchi ... Gli ultimi suoi lavori sono stati deludenti e anche quando si occupava di Final Fantasy qualcosa aveva sbagliato (vedi FF VIII).

ma il saka non si occupò di FF8 :P
era troppo impegnato nel fare il sottovalutato FF Spirit Whitin.

#14
Quik

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ma il saka non si occupò di FF8 :P
era troppo impegnato nel fare il sottovalutato FF Spirit Whitin.

Effettivamente c'è dietro Kitase (che si conferma una piaga per la serie quindi :D) , non sapevo :o
Errore mio :sisi:

Edit : Cmq rimane il fatto che i giochi non li fa uno solo (anche se spesso si tende a "divinizzare" la figura del game designer sopratutto in ambito di SH Jappe) , il Saka aveva dietro un super team in Squaresoft ... Per ora Mistwalker , da quel che abbiamo visto , non è assolutamente all'altezza :).

Modificata da Quik, 29 January 2010 - 02:53 PM.


#15
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Magari sbaglio però così su due piedi, senza sapere ancora nulla del gioco, credo che se ben fatto e pubblicizzato, in primis da Nintendo, possa fare davvero bene..
Certo, gli esempi opposti sono tanti (guadando al curriculum dei mistwalker) ma il solo fatto che ci sia una pesantissima allusione tra "Last Story" e "Final Fantasy" anche solo a livello di costruzione di logo, di quello che il titolo potrebbe rappresentare per i mw (e che come detto sopra il primo FF ha rappresentato per una Squaresoft in via di chiusura), per il fatto che con molte probabilità il progetto verrà pesantemente finanziato da Nintendo, insomma, io non la vedo così grigia

Cmq stiamo diventando troppo dei videogiocatori-economisti :D
Cioè alla fine chissene frega se verrà pubblicizzato o meno , se spaccherà commercialmente e se sarà pluri-million seller.
Basta che il gioco sia bello :) .




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