Before I bought the game, I knew that the Western reviews were pretty weak and that it was pretty well received by the Japanese communities. So I went for the demo first (via Steam). After playing the demo, I felt that I needed to play the full game to experience the full potential of this game.
Right from the start, you get some nice cinematic, as expected of Square Enix, the developer and publisher of TLR (The Last Remnant). But also, right from the start to the very end, you get a very annoying loading screen. It isn't very long (might be depending on your computer system), but can be quite a pain in the ass.
On the bright side, you get a very rich world, with many different places to go. The cities aren't as "open" world as I expected it to be, but there are enough to make it seem very big.
They also did a good job at making the world have a very "dramatic" and at times, grand feeling. I actually stopped myself from busting through the story to take a look around.
Back to the part where I said the world was very "rich" - There is not only a great diversity in enemies, but also weapons and items you could create, not only for the protagonist, but also the side characters that you can add to your party.
That being said, another low point of the game is that you can't manually equip weapons to your party members. They will suggest items they need to upgrade or create stronger weapons for themselves to use, but if you want to manually give them a stronger weapon or item, you will be disappointed.
Just one of the many cities you can unlock as the story progresses.
The battle system is also different from most RPGs and Square Enix's games. Instead of singly commanding each character, you select "unions" within your party members, and they attack as a union, depending on how many unions you have. You can have them attack with combat arts, magic arts, or have them choose whatever they want to do. And if they get hurt, they lose hit points as a union. Actually, this was the part where I had the most confusion, and I believe many other players had some confusion in the battle system in one way or another. It did take some getting used to, and only later on did I actually had "correct" unions, some with hexes, heals and battle groups.
They way you deploy your unions also effect the moral of your allies and your enemies. Moral effects the damage dealt and the damage received.
Once you get past the learning curve and the slightly annoying loading times, you are rewarded with a rich world with a deep and engaging story. Even many of the characters you acquire have their own story and quests you can unlock.
Some special characters have something akin to Limit Breaks
It is not often you find such rich RPGs by Square Enix on PC port. If you are interested but not sure whether this is right for you, check out the demo, which is available on their website >>CLICK HERE<< This is a game for anyone who wants a challenge with a new style of RPG combat system. Oh yes, I almost forgot, there is also the option for Japanese voice over, which I personally prefer : )
Amazon's price is lower than Steam as of the date this is posted. So feel free to check out the links below.
By the way, the UK import in this amazon link is way cheaper than buying almost anywhere else in the US right now.