The Nintendo Wii isn't exactly known as a North American bastion for RPGs - most are produced in Japan, and many never make it to the Western world. As the creator of the Final Fantasy series, however, Hironobu Sakaguchi knows how to export rich gaming experiences and make them catch on in vastly different markets. The Last Story represents one such effort.
The action RPG was hailed with an ample amount of praise when it released last year in Japan and posted chart-topping sales figures in its opening weeks. Thanks in part to Operation Rainfall, Sakaguchi and his very own development studio, Mistwalker, were announced last week to be teaming up with Nintendo and XSEED Games in order to bring The Last Story to North America this summer.
How will the game handle its transition from the Japanese culture to entice a North American audience? It's a larger question that's boggling the minds of many Japanese developers right now.
In the case of The Last Story, though, we can draw help from the reception it earns upon releasing in Australia and Europe - something it did last week on February 23 and 24, respectively, with a launch trailer introduced by Hironobu Sakaguchi himself:
With the Wii U's holiday 2012 release set to supersede the current Nintendo Wii, The Last Story could, in fact, be one of last stories to punctuate a serious transitional period in the console maker's history. The game itself is looking like an exclamation point - a colorful, energetic, wavy-haired exclamation point - but it's also likely to leave a few question marks as to why titles like Sakaguchi's couldn't arrive more on our shores.
Hopefully, The Last Story's re-branding will create a lasting impression when Nintendo outlines its strategy for the Wii U. We can't say in what artistic or creative direction Nintendo will decide to drive their next console - we'd just like to see them find an ignition switch.
They'd do well to jazz up their current dynamic of offerings, with Wii-moting adaptations of titles like Modern Warfare 3 regularly falling flat. Giving life to rarely acknowledged titles - who would take the expanded audience in a heartbeat - might sound risky, but it should certainly be worth exploring.
Ranters, what did you think of The Last Story's launch trailer? Do you want to see similar titles in the future on the Wii U?
The Last Story is due for a North American launch on June 19, 2012 for the Nintendo Wii.
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