I've been playing a lot of "The Last Story" lately. I'm a huge fan of Hironobu Sakaguchi and the game series he's been involved with developing, and ever since this game was announced I had my eye on it. I pre-ordered the game on Amazon and got all this nice stuff.
Soundtrack, a book that contains concept art, and the game itself!
I really enjoy the original take on the battle system and game-play. It feels like it has the cut-scenes and storyline quality reminiscent of older Final Fantasy games, yet has an entirely original battle system. It's real-time, yet has turn-based elements of old RPGs, so it feels like a mix of an old-school RPG with standard commands and an action-RPG that's always free flowing.
Here's some footage of the battle system:
What I like about it (and apparently can be changed to how you feel) is that you can hit the control stick in the direction of the enemy, and it attacks that enemy.
There is no targeting involved except for the use of spells, and even then it freezes the real-time gameplay in order for you to cast the spell and where it will land. It seems hack and slash, but there is some influence on where you attack the mob and what spell you use. It's not like Kingdom Hearts where one would simply spam the attack button, there is a good amount of strategy involved to still differentiate it from that kind of RPG.
The story itself so far is a little cliche...
Revolves around a group of mercenaries headed by a man named Dagran and the player is in control of one of the mercenaries, named Zael. They get caught up with the princess of Lazulis Castle named Calista, and the story revolves around their adventures with the conflicts in and about Lazulis including the internal affairs of the Lazulis family and the external affairs against the Gurak Empire.
However, I think it's told very well. There are a lot of freedom of choices and the quirky humor and voices are well done. Since the game was localized in Britain, some of the spelling threw me off a little. But it's a well done game and definitely worth playing.
Also, the music is done by Nobuo Uematsu, that in itself...
Doesn't the song on the top remind you of Final Fantasy IX's Hunter's Chance? I surely got that feeling.