Putting your hard-earned money down on an RPG is often very akin to ice-skating. Imagine you’ve gone far out of your way to locating the most “top-of-the-line” skates available, and proceeded to slide out to the thinnest patch of ice on a lake, far away from the other skaters back by the shore. Sometimes, the results are pleasant – you discover that the ice is thicker than the entire Agatha Christie bibliography in hardback: it’s very stable indeed, and the whole remote location becomes your private ice-skating paradise. Other times, you wind up treading onto a patch of frost that’s thinner than the plot of a direct-to-video softcore porn – and you’re sucked under into the sub-zero waters below, with no chance of being saved by the people back by the shore.
The latter mixed metaphor best describes Hit Maker’s Last Rebellion, a god-awful RPG that leaves one with an insatiable hankering to dig up an old Commodore 64 and plug EA’s retro epic Wasteland into the 5 ¼” floppy drive. Don’t get me wrong, people: I absolutely love Wasteland. I loved it back in 1988, and I still love it today. My frustration lies instead with the fact that the makers of Last Rebellion didn’t even come close to achieving such simplistic greatness with their creation — despite the fact that they had 22 years of technological advancements on their side.
For starters, Hit Maker opted to not spend any money on their cutaway animation scenes. At least that’s the general impression one gets once they load up this RPG and discover the fact that its stationary, two-dimensional graphics are just that: stationary and two-dimensional. They lack movement. They lack depth. They lack just about everything good graphics on a High Definition game can possibly lack. During gameplay, the graphics somehow manage to become worse — treating players to a low-rent form of low definition, coupled with textures that look like something the cat didn’t even want to drag in. Even if Last Rebellion had been made back in the late ‘90s for the original PS console, the graphics would have looked outdated. Seriously, they suck.
Aside from Hit Maker’s brainy decision to not pour any more money into their graphics than it would cost to pay their underage illegal immigrant janitor an honest hour’s worth of wages, they also screwed the pooch on the game’s layout. Our main character (or characters, since there are two people who happen to inhabit the same body and soul here — obviously another cost-cutting technique that Hit Maker picked up at some Effective Management Seminar: consolidate your characters, but make your players think they’re getting more!) teleports from one place to another (via a magic mirror — nope, no walking around the countryside and discovering all kinds of goodies and side quests here, kids), mercilessly wasting as much time as possible on painfully boring battles wherein you actually have to “seal” a foe (er, it’s complicated) in order to prevent it from getting back up and attacking you all over again.
Allow me to elucidate a bit further on the battle system found in Last Rebellion: it, too, sucks. Moving on…
But, no matter how much I hold my nose up at Last Rebellion, I really do have to give the lads at Hit Maker some props for the innovative storyline they gave us here. Honestly, I’ve never seen anyone with enough stones to release an RPG that has absolutely no fucking plot whatsoever. Go ahead, wander around. Kill all the critters you want. Why, you can even talk to certain characters in a vain attempt to find out why you’re there in the first place — but you still won’t have any more of a clue as to what the hell your goals or objectives are than you did at the beginning of the game.
Thank you, Hit Maker. Thank you so very, very much. You sadistic fucks, you.
And worst of all, Last Rebellion only take about 15-hours to win — tops.
Last Rebellion is rated T (Teen) by the ESRB for Content Descriptors.