"The Last Story" is an apt title for three reasons. It marks the last true Wii game, as Nintendo and other game makers turn their attention to the release of the Wii U in a month or two. It is a sly take-off on "Final Fantasy," whose creator, Hironobu Sakaguchi, is the director of this game. And it describes a product that is of a dying breed -- a game that focuses more on telling you a story than having you be the storyteller through your actions.
This is a game that blithely ignores which way the wind is blowing. So what that letting you choose your own adventure has become all the rage in the role-playing genre? "The Last Story" takes you by the hand through a tale that can be told only one way. A tale that dwells just perfectly too long on a scene of budding lovers sharing memories of their youth as they stargaze into a giant purple sky. If you're more interested in shedding tears than blood in a video game, this one's for you.
Outside of storytelling, though, "The Last Story" breaks from its classicist roots. Instead of a traditional, turn-based combat system reminiscent of chess, "The Last Story" puts you in the middle of the action, swordfighting bad guys in real time. You can even switch to a first-person view to shoot your crossbow. A layer of depth is added in that you can survey the battlefield from above, planning your attack, and you can freeze time in the middle of fighting to issue commands to your battle party. "The Last Story" never fully flowers as either an action game or a strategy game, but it's the best attempt to combine the two since 2008's "Valkyria Chronicles."
"The Last Story" isn't a golden-years masterpiece like "The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword" or "Xenoblade Chronicles," but it's a great reason to dust off your Wii for one final adventure.