VVG Show 13 – Operation Rainfall, The Last Story

Unlucky episode 13 is the first of a trio of podcasts dedicated to the Operation Rainfall games on Wii, namely The Last Story, Pandora’s Tower and Xenoblade Chronicles. In this mostly spoiler-free dissection of 2011’s The Last Story, we discuss everything from the game’s nods to Maya’s favourite game, Final Fantasy IX, to The Last Story’s integration of storytelling and gameplay, to its relatively short running time with some Resident Evil 4-esque quick pacing. We also find out what makes for a bleedin’ amazin’ localisation, and question the game’s limited exploration.

It turned out to be a particularly haphazard show, which suits this haphazard game! Even if it didn’t quite live up to our expectations of being the ultimate RPG, our final fantasy you might say, still, we hope you’ll tune in as we endeavour to pin down where The Last Story fell short despite the talent involved (Sakaguchi, Uematsu… Sakaguchi). Watch out for our next episode of the Very Very Gaming Show, in which we’ll be discussing the highly unusual Pandora’s Tower, also for Wii! And more English voice acting!


Episode 13: Operation Rainfall, The Last Story

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  1. cary

    Always great to hear your lovely voices! Very nice discussion here. Despite having played two of the three “Operation Rainfall” games, I had no idea what it was. The Last Story remains funny to me because though I was quite enamored of it for awhile after playing, I’ve nearly forgotten most of the story. But there’s really not much of a story, is there? Friends, love, betrayal, and that’s about it. Monday night drama fodder that’s all convoluted with pretty voices and silly dress-up. (Oh, how I spent soooo much time dying clothes!) It was still a fun game to play, and I definitely liked that it was short, because I have a terrible time following super-long JRPGs as it is.

    Speaking of which, I must get around to playing FFIX some day (and VI and VIII, which I’ve also heard are quite good). I remain hopeful for FFXV, but that’s about it. Just hopeful.

    • veryverygaming

      Thanks for the kind words! Operation Rainfall was an interesting phenomenon. It’s not clear if these three games were released because of it… but it may very well have had an impact. There were at least two things they did that I thought were smart ideas, firstly they sent letters via snail mail to Nintendo (hey, it beats email). Second they pre-bought copies of the game(s) on Amazon.com, which had the games listed even though they weren’t announced. Of course if the games weren’t going to be released Amazon would’ve refunded them, but they put their money where their mouth to try and prove there was a genuine audience out there.

      I like your description of The Last Story – certainly it made for a nice, fluffy romp. The ending, particularly if you did some of the optional things at the end, could get pretty sickly. Ha ha, I’m impressed you dyed the clothes – I only messed around with Zael’s clothes a bit to try and distinguish him from FFVIII’s Squall. Since we did the podcast I’ve been trying to sort out my thoughts on this game, because the fact that it’s relatively short should hardly be an obstacle to it being a great game. One thing I realised is that, with a few exceptions (the haunted house, the arena w/ the commentators!) the environments you’re battling in aren’t especially memorable. If I had to recommend an RPG to someone, one of the main things I’d look for is not a good story or even characters, but interesting and memorable environments – Chrono Trigger and Xenoblade Chronicles are both cases in point!

  2. Red Metal

    I know I’m absolutely looking forward to the next Final Fantasy installment (Bravely Second). I really enjoyed the last one; it’s one of the best games of 2014. You guys lucked out, as it’s going to be released in a few days in Europe; it’s still two months away for us. Oh well, maybe I’ll check out Fire Emblem: Fates in the meantime.

    Then again, I still haven’t finished Xenoblade…

    • veryverygaming

      Well I think you know already we’re going to endorse Xenoblade any day! That way you might enjoy our upcoming episode on that game more 😛 It is nice that these days you have a choice between RPGs which go down the graphical powerhouse route and the retro-flavoured ones which adhere to the SNES conventions more closely. I will freely admit that when it comes to RPGs, our preference for home consoles over handhelds is limiting! (*whisper* Save for a broken PSP, the most recent handheld I own is a GBA…)

  3. pine717

    Is the track that is inserted a little over half-way through the same one that you guys were talking about right before as standing out? I actually thought it was a remix of the FF7 boss battle theme at first. They sound very similar.

    To your final point, Nintendo of America never actually released the three RPGs in the US. XSEED eventually convinced NOA to sell them the rights to publish Xenoblade in NA, and after that game was a huge success, XSEED went back to buy the other two. My impression is that NOA during the Wii and DS years was only really interested in bothering with mega-sellers like Mario and Zelda. There were other games NOA refused during those years like Disaster Day of Crisis, Fatal Frame IV, and The Last Window. That last one was a huge blow to me since I’m a huge fan of its predecessor, Hotel Dusk.

    • veryverygaming

      Yes, that’s the track we referred to, it’s called Dance of Death. I agree with you – although I’m not familiar with FFVII’s soundtrack, it’s similar to FFVIII’s boss theme too 😛

      I learned only after we recorded about XSEED publishing the games. Definitely weird that NOA passed on them (and then took so long to sell the rights to XSEED). I suspect you’re right about Nintendo’s focus on sure-fire hits, maybe because of their success at the time they didn’t want to give resources to titles they felt were niche? Let’s not forget though that you guys did get Excitebots, which was released exclusively in the US!

      Sad to say I haven’t played Hotel Dusk or the sequel. I do know the original was very successful in Europe, which could explain why the sequel only came out here? On DS we also got the Tingle RPG which America didn’t get, although I doubt anyone was too upset about that!

      Finally, thank you for reminding me about Disaster. It was a little while ago that I played it but such a ludicrous game would definitely benefit from the podcast treatment. Perhaps we need to include it in this series, despite it predating Operation Rainfall?

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