First off, this game is AMAZING.
Let me start with the bad, just to get it out of the way.
--The animation can use some improvement BUT it does NOT effect how well your gameplay may be. In fact, it might even be seen as comic relief, esp. with how the units ragdoll when terminated in battle.
--The story could be executed WAY better; not to say that it's completely poor, but there are some cutscenes that are lacking in specific reactions and some relationship development that could've been included to bring about a far more emotional pull.
--They don't really give you too much information about the connections in the plot and the background.
--In my own personal opinion, it lacks a couple that probably would've been amazing if they made it canon.
Now, onto the AMAZING:
--AMAZING plot/story with AMAZING characters. They're all dorks, seriously. While relationship development and animation could've been better, they are all unique in their own right. Even the ones you can hire to be as a part of your own union have their own personalities, and some of them come with their own sidequest to get into. The plot itself could have been explained a bit better but it is DEFINITELY worthwhile with a type of ending that tends to be unique among games and even stories themselves.
--The bosses, while incredibly difficult and ragequit-worthy, are CHALLENGING. You really need to think and strategize how you sort out your unions and how you use each character and especially what moves you make. Each boss has their own style of being beaten, and it's really awesome to get into how exactly to defeat them. Their moves are unique to them, so you have to think of ways to get around it if you die repeatedly the first twenty times. It isn't easy, and THAT'S what makes it so fun. It can be considered near IMPOSSIBLE because one of the bosses you encounter in this game, The Gates of Hell, is just lkmifowmfoIAMOIAmf rage everywhere BUT I /thoroughly/ enjoyed each battle, no matter how hard I did rage.
--The OST is to DIE for. Every single piece is AMAZING.The battle themes? They REALLY get you pumped and it IS download worthy. And you remember that boss I just mentioned? The Gates of Hell? The music that plays during that fight is absolutely SPECTACULAR; it's one of the reasons why I didn't give up straight away.
The battle system seriously needs it own paragraphs because of how UNIQUE it is and how PERFECTLY it's set out.
--It's kind of like chess, except more elaborate and you operate in what they term 'unions'. The formation and the leader and the units in them are customizable; the unit limit allowed in battle as well as the number of unions is small atfirst but as you go through the game, it increases. The units themselves, unfortunately, are not customizable but the main character certainly is.
--The commands are tailored specifically to what abilities the leader has, and to an extent the rest of the union. They are also dependent on situation and the items in your inventory as well as where your unions are position on the battlefield, which makes it realistic.
--When you launch your commands, the sequence itself that plays out gets you on the edge of your seat and it's actually REALLY mesmerizing to watch. It's not boring at all and there's the option to get involved in helping your unions attack because there's a live trigger that appears sometimes (I tend to put it on automatic but if you like getting immersed in the game then there it is!).
--No character operates individually unless you specifically assign only one character to a single union (which is probably a straight ticket to them dying). Each character works together and it's REALLY charming, in my opinion, because you can really see their teamwork (especially when they're allowed consecutive turns due to the live triggers) buuuut I digress. What I'm trying to say is that this battle system isn't like any other, simply because the way you command them is not as individuals, but as a whole. This means that they attack as a whole, they heal as a whole, and they, well, /die/ as a whole. I'm not sure what other game exists out there that has kind of the same system (except maybe Warcraft and Dawn of War but they aren't exactly turn-based), but nothing else really comes to mind so The Last Remnant REALLY takes the cake on unique battle system.
I've probably just rambled really badly in this review but I REALLY REALLY REALLY recommend this game!! I'm actually REALLY surprised that it isn't popular because I would've thought that the story and gameplay would hook people in despite the downsides. All the same, this deserves a FAR bigger fanbase so I really encourage anyone that happens across this review to try it out. Just pleeeaaasee aahhhh. Not even this review can express how amazing I think this game is.