Co-Optimus - Review - The Last Story Co-Op Review

The Last Story

  • Online Co-Op: 6 Players
  • + Co-Op Modes

The Last Story Co-Op Review - Page 2

See? The Devs use a proper party makeup! Why can't you?!

Curiously, The Last Story features both competitive and cooperative multiplayer! True to form, the cooperative play is a series of boss encounters in the Monster Hunter mold. Two to six players can hit up their Nintendo WiFi Connection and set up games with friends or queue up for some matchmaking to play with randoms.

When you join a co-op match, you’re tossed into a lobby where you can choose which character (and subsequently, what class) you’d like to play as, as well as pick what boss you’d prefer to face. You’ll want to have a good mix of melee fighters and magic users if you actually want to defeat any of the bosses, so make sure you’ve selected a class that will actually contribute to the battle. Once everybody readies up, the battle begins.

The battle zones range in size from a small, boxed-in courtyard to huge stadium-sized arenas, and the bosses scale to match. The fights feel very MMO-like, long slogs against enemies whose abilities shift as their HP drains. The shortest fight I encountered took about 10 minutes to clear, while the craziest was certainly against a huge dragon-like boss who would take to the air, and summon a huge friend when his hitpoints dropped to about halfway. Though I never actually beat that one (hey, I had bad groups!), we were fighting him for nearly a half hour before we failed. It’s definitely in line with what I know of Monster Hunter’s larger battles, so if that’s your thing, you know what’s up.

This isn't technically a co-op screen, but nobody said this job was easy!

The concept of “lives” is retained from the campaign, so if you’ve been downed one too many times, you’re out of the battle, though you’ll be able to contribute to the fight in ghost form, arming you with a bow that has healing arrows and the ever popular banana peel arrow, if you’d like to troll your teammates rather than heal them. Once a player has been put into ghost form, a two-minute countdown begins and the match will be lost unless the boss is defeated.

What makes all of this an exercise in frustration is the lack of communication between other players beyond a handful of canned voice macros you can map to your Wiimote’s D-pad. Got a poor party makeup? It’s nearly impossible to ask your partners to switch up. Strategy not working mid-fight? It just doesn’t work. I suppose if you’re playing with friends you can arrange some sort of voice communication outside of the game, but I had a very, very frustrating experience trying to learn how to succeed in co-op.

If you’re only looking for co-op you’ll probably burn through the content relatively quickly. While the ability to both play with friends and just hop in with some randoms is commendable, the lack of communication options and content just don’t cut it.

Who knows? Maybe the next generation will give us a great co-op JRPG. Games like Demons/Dark Souls and the Monster Hunter series show promise, but for those of us who prefer a little more story in our JRPGs need to wait a little longer. However, if you’re looking to play a solid single player Japanese RPG, The Last Story is well worth checking out. The likeable cast and engaging story, as well as the novelty of it being a major Wii release in 2012 make it an easy recommendation.


Co-Op Score

The Co-Op Experience: 6 players team up to take on a powerful monster in arena style combat.

Co-Optimus game reviews focus on the cooperative experience of a game, our final score graphic represents this experience along with an average score for the game overall. For an explanation of our scores please check our Review Score Explanation Guide.