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Last Rebellion
Score: 45%
ESRB: Teen
Publisher: NIS America
Developer: Hitmaker
Media: DVD/1
Players: 1
Genre: RPG

Graphics & Sound:
If you told me Last Rebellion began its life as a PS2 or even a PSP title, I'd likely believe you. The visuals are flat, the levels are dull and the only reasonably complex element of the entire game is derailed by balance issues.

The PS3 has seen its fair share of games that could be termed as "bad looking." Last Rebellion not only joins this group, it makes a solid bid towards jumping to the front of the pack. Though certainly not the worst looking game I've ever seen, Last Rebellion is completely underwhelming considering the system's power. Were it a PS2 or PSP game, it would look okay to great; here it just flops. Character models are uninteresting and unappealing, as are the spell effects, levels and just about everything else you come across in the game.

Sound follows suit. Music is oddly subdued for what is supposedly a grand adventure. Worse, you'll hear the same few tracks throughout the game, though this is rather fitting considering the amount of recycling going on with presentation. The only reasonably good aspect is the voice acting.

Unfortunately, presentation is only merely a road marker for bigger problems. From top to bottom, Last Rebellion is a basic RPG that simply goes through the motions while hoping its combat system will somehow make up for all the running around and otherwise bland gameplay.

Last Rebellion takes place in a kingdom reeling in the aftermath of a civil war that has split the kingdom in two. You play as two characters, Nine and Aisha, who somehow or another have come to share a single soul. You can switch between the two at any time during combat, creating Last Rebellion's sole interesting mechanic. Each character has their own combat mechanics and actions, so you're essentially playing as two completely different characters. This doesn't sound like much, but you're also sharing a single set of health, mana and chain attacks (special attacks).

The trick to the whole system is developing a combat flow where you switch between the two at just the right time to maximize your point pools. This plays into Last Rebellion's other core combat mechanic, locking down specific attacks on vulnerable body parts. This is a bit of a guessing game (read: tedious), but nailing the right order earns damage bonuses and extra experience. You'll never have enough points to take on a set of enemies in one turn, so it's important to find the right order and mix up Nine and Aisha's attacks.

Even if you're able to find the right combination, you're still in for a difficult time in combat. The crippling blow comes from Aisha's ability to seal enemies, which is the only way to really end combat. Sealing enemies is a pain and if you mess up, enemies will come back even more powerful, nearly guaranteeing a quick reload and a few choice words. The guessing game combat system is interesting, but this pushes an otherwise fun mechanic over the cliff and into a tedious bore.

Failing to seal enemies isn't the only way to a quick death. Enemies go completely overboard with status attacks and will hit you with them whenever they can. It's completely possible to have every status attack on your characters at once, taking away full rounds of combat and leaving you open to cheap attacks. Worse, even the most basic of enemies can hit you with these attacks, so even fights against enemies significantly below you current level are a threat.

Game Mechanics:
Beyond combat, Last Rebellion offers little. The game can be completed all the way through in about 15 hours, and that's if you do everything. There are no side quests, no inventory management or even new weapons to buy. It's about as vanilla as an RPG can get. Even the dungeons are bland and traversable in a few minutes.

This brings us back to combat, Last Rebellion's only redeeming feature. Each enemy has a certain sequence you need to crack in order to do any sort of significant damage. Early in the game, it's a process of elimination, but once you learn the sequence you can recall it with the shoulder buttons. It's a bit of a grind, but totally worth it when you start building your damage multipliers into the hundreds. It's a bit of an old school "learn the pattern" mechanic that works; the rest of the game just isn't able to support it in any meaningful way.

Last Rebellion is by all means something to skip unless you're really interested in seeing the combat system in action. If it were part of another RPG with a more robust set of features, I'd likely hold it up as an amazing system. But, without support, it's a great idea that went to waste.

-Starscream, GameVortex Communications
AKA Ricky Tucker

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