From a battle-system perspective, very little can be said for certain about Mistwalker and Nintendo’s upcoming title The Last Story. The developer blog entries reveal only vague hints of how the combat works.
Read up on the world and setting of The Last Story.
Apparently, “chaos and “order” play a part in combat. What the blog entry defines this as is creating chaos/confusion amongst your enemies. Enemies have a focus, which Andriasang translates as a “Pointer,” and one of the main character’s skills, called “Gathering,” Attracts this focus to himself and away from party members.
Many games with combat as their focus allow players to taunt or provoke enemies into attacking them, be it for extra points, to protect weaker party members, or for kicks. It seems The Last Story is making the “provoke” ability the crux of combat, much like Final Fantasy XIII did with it’s stagger system.
Review: Final Fantasy XIII, toting innovation and flaws.
In Final Fantasy XIII, enemies had a “Chain Gauge” which filled with consecutive attacks (certain attacks filled the gauge faster than others). When filled completely, enemies would enter a “stagger” state, drastically dropping their defense, and making it easier to interrupt and attack them. Utilizing the Stagger system was key to a high-score in combat.
The Last Story presents a situation in it’s storyboard art (see the slideshow below), which illustrates just how the pointer and gather system works. The warrior attracts attention to himself while the mage hangs back, charging a spell. Attention turns to this casting image, until the warrior again distracts enemies. The mage finishes her spell, casting a sword enhancement on the warrior who proceeds to unleash hell.
The latest blog entry reveals that The Last Story will combine real-time battle with command selection. While that doesn’t sound all that original, (since that describes pretty much every Final Fantasy with an ATB system), the blog entry mentions “Magic Circles” that linger after a magic attack. These aren’t elaborated on, however it is described as an important element in combat. Without much to go on, the only parallel this writer could draw is to the “Field of Fonons” system from Tales of the Abyss.
Great games you must own: Tales of the Abyss.
In Tales of the Abyss, magic or elemental attacks cast by enemies or allies left residual magic circles on the field, called “Fields of Fonons”. Using special attacks/abilities when your character or target enemy was standing in these fields changed the attacks into super-powered versions of said attack, adding an interesting dynamic to battle.
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