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29th April
written by Splash

Title: Saigo no Yakusoku no Monogatari (最後の約束の物語)
Console: PSP
Genre: RPG
Language: Japanese
Company: ImageEpoch
Summary: (copy/pasted) Become the head of the Messiah knights and save your country from complete ruin. There is only one way to turn the situation around; activate the last source of magic by exchanging the Last Vows. Yet before you can use such powers, you have to battle the massive steel monsters that infest your skies and are killing off your troops and ordinary civilians. Create perfect strategies and be careful when you pit your people against your foes, because you can’t revive them once they die.

Everybody has a gauge, this determines the skills you can use, but if you use it up, your warrior dies. Use your power to protect your people and in some way, choose who to sacrifice.

Dark, epic and stunning, Saigo no Yakusoku no Monogatari has exciting fight scenes and brutal choices.

I had a LOT of reservations seeing the filesize (350mb uncompressed, 250 compressed…), but I love Kurahana Chinatsu’s art and the cast made it irresistable for me to at least try it. More after the cut…
Story: 8. The whole apocalyptic atmosphere makes for interesting drama and tension, but it was nothing particularly mindblowing. Some of the lines and 3-d model poses are just outright cheesy too. Hell, the opening scene with Celes jabbing her arm out really stood out to me as just AWKWARD. Anyway, most of the side missions are just really depressing, lots of people dying and then in the end you still “rescue” a good sum of people for each mission .__.;
Characters: The guys are Kamiya Hiroshi, Suzuki Tatsuhisa, Konishi Katsuyuki, Kaji Yuuki, Yasumoto Hiroki…

See screencaps and this LJ entry for some light spoilers. I’m doing Cain (Kaji Yuuki) and Rushdie (Suzuki Tatsuhisa)’s routes for this game, and already have the general ending (not sacrificing any Messiahs) and then moving on.
Graphics: Kurahana Chinatsu’s art for the character designs. \o/
Sound: 8. The BGMs are all relatively excellent. Voices are sparse, but the important scenes are all voiced.
The lowering of this score mostly comes from the freaking obnoxious NPC voice during every single battle saying the damn same thing over and over again. I’ve started doing side missions on mute because of her. Which is sad because I LOVE the cast for the playable characters and don’t mind hearing their short fighting noises. Just not this fucking NPC. /pif She gets less obnoxious later on, but it’s still a tough start.

More on this on the overall note at the bottom.
Gameplay: 8. I am generally greatly turned off by 1st person battles. I am also turned off by dungeon crawlers, and this gets really close to being one. Despite all that, I’m enjoying the game enough to continue, mostly because of the playable character cast.

There’s a really… odd mistake in the game. Rushdie’s “tsumi no rakuin II” 罪の烙印 II says on the menu that it only targets one enemy, but in actuality it targets ALL enemies. I have no idea how ImageEpoch could just miss that kind of mistake, but it’s easily one of the strongest moves you can get without spending tons of skill points, and most of his other skills are really powerful too (I’m reading sleep status even affects bosses, but I haven’t been using it). The only downside of his character is his low HP/defense but that’s why Wolf has all those tanking skills anyway~ It’s just watching out for him when you get attacked from the back during random encounters and such. Still, he’s the one who’s unfortunately been knocked out the most in my party, but he’s so useeeeful. *insert personal bias for Suzuki Tatsuhisa’s voice here*

Anyway, when this game was getting marketed before release, I kept hearing about how monsters were supposed to have long-term adaptive skills to your tactics, but I never saw that happen. And either way, it didn’t matter much before Wolf’s provoke and tanking skills made it so that he’d be the main target anyway. Since you’re required to have him in the party at all times and he’s not really useful for anything else (his offense skills are really mediocre), who’s NOT going to use him as a tank? What gives? XD; The lack of strategy variation in this game was disappointing. I was personally fine with the team setup I got working, and then I found out that a whole bunch of other people were using the same thing, because not much else works all that well.
Replay Value: The New Game+ system is okay but I still wanted to carry over more things, because leveling on the game gets annoying after one playthrough.
Overall: 7/10. Despite obvious budget gaps here and there, I was personally able to enjoy the parts that were good.

Beat my first playthrough at about 20 hours. With just about any turn-based RPG I’ve played, the playstyle gets repetitive after a certain extent. I’ve been getting really bored with most non-action RPGs lately, but I found this one interesting enough to at least finish that first playthrough. NPC’s voice annoyed the heck out of me at the beginning, but she gets less repetitive towards the last chapters, and she was absent altogether in the last segment I played through. The carryovers for New Game+ are nice but I still wanted more… because leveling all over and waiting to get enough skill points again is something I’m not sure I want to go through again. XD The main thing motivating me personally at all are the character endings because I have seiyuu obsessions. Also, I really enjoyed the music throughout the whole thing.
So… I would say if there are things you personally find really interesting in this game, it’s worthwhile, otherwise it’s good to pass >_>;
Official Site
kouryaku 2 (nice explanations on getting endings)
Saigo no Gattai no Monogatari
Gattai nicovid

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