The Last Journey
How do I begin with this entry? I know, I’ll start with the conclusion. This short title is better than some triple ‘A’ releases that I’ve played. While it is missing some polish, The Last Journey, has an ample amount of refinement for the short amount of time given. From the graphical details, a well paced story, and balanced combat “The Last Journey” delivers.
As someone who is in the RPGMaker community, I knew immediately who PVGames was. Personally, I would have dreaded to be in their shoes, since there is a certain amount of expectation when you’re a known quantity. I’m pleased to say, that this entry does not disappoint. There is detail on every map, use of diagonal movement, and a few animations in the background (running water, etc). Graphically, this game stands tall among indie games.
The yarn told is well paced, with enough action in between to keep interest in the game itself. Some of the transitions between scenes takes a little too much time, but that is due to the attention given to the graphical elements. ( Much like the in-game characters state about their situation, transitions are between a rock and a hard-place. ) This is not to say that there is zero narrative issues, just that, overall, the prose given is greater than the sum of it’s parts. That, my friends, is about as much of a compliment as anyone writing anything can ever get. I’m not saying PVGames should get the fantasy version of a HUGO, but the writing is solid.
The combat is what I was dreading about The Last Journey, as this art style just doesn’t “click” with turn based battles. This art style is more in line with point and click, or maybe action. However, PVGames made it work. With the clever use of buffs and debuffs as a core mechanic, the combat is interesting. Then there is itemization, an integral part to combat, which has the groundwork set into place. This is where I was really the most pleasantly surprised. I really was not expecting turn based combat with this art style to come across so cleanly. Well done.
The graphics are great, the story is well paced, and the combat works. One would think there is nothing to complain about. That would be a fair assessment too. The only issue, I’ve found in the game is that there is also nothing that jumps out and grabs the player and pulls them in from the start. That could easily be added as a final bit of polish after the fact. In a song, it’s called a “hook,” and that is the only thing this game is missing. The music is fitting, the sound effects are well done, the graphics are spectacular, the mechanics are there, and the story is good and well paced. I’ve not run into any bugs either. Seriously, even without a “hook,” The Last Journey is a title that is setting the bar for this years IGMC. It’s good enough that I feel comfortable stating what I did at the start, I’ve played lesser games from AAA titles.
In the words of Stan Lee, ‘nuff said.