There are some neat touches tied into exploration and battle such as your troops occasionally asking direction on how to focus their skills or requesting parts to upgrade weapons. This was always enjoyable to read and decide as it truly felt like managing an army. Other side elements such as manufacturing/upgrading weapons are ultimately useless as the commerce system is broken and uneven.
As you play through the game you get components from the monsters you kill and occasionally you can capture monsters after you defeat them. This is the main way you make money as you can sell the captured creatures at the markets, occasionally you also get money drops from chests. The components can be used to make new items or upgrade existing ones; you can also buy items from markets. You never seem to have anywhere near enough components (or money) to buy the good things and it necessitates grinding in areas to build up a stash. But since battles are so repetitive and boring grinding is really painful.
Graphically The Last Remnant can look truly stunning at times, when it loads. This game was designed with the Unreal 3 engine and it falls prey to all the issues inherent to that engine. In fact it seems to fare worse then any other game using the engine has in the past as far as glitches and anomalies go. The load times without installing the game to the hard drive are obnoxiously long and frequent. Despite constant loads you are very often faced with horrible texture draw-in and very inconsistent frame rate.
The draw-in isn't even logical, at times there are many creatures on screen and all is well, other times there are two or three characters and it stutters and the textures never load before the next scene is shown. Square Enix commented that programming on the Xbox 360 was quite easy, I have to wonder if they let the ease lull them into laziness and substandard programming as the issues are inexcusable.
There are some bright spots in the game; by and large the character designs are really wonderful with some truly interesting designs and backgrounds. The voice acting is generally well done (aside from the main character) and the characters (again, aside from the main one) have interesting roles and personalities. Often the main character is limited as they need to be someone who can grow over the game, in this case Rush Sykes is always uninteresting and I really never cared about his need and motives.