Something smells ranker

Capcom Unity posted a link today to the newest trailer for The Last Ranker, the upcoming RPG from (among others) Etrian Odyssey director Kazuya Niinou. I’ve been pretty eager to learn more about it because I’m pretty much smitten with everything Niinou touches, and Last Ranker seems like a formula for success: A Niinou RPG backed by a publisher capable of sinking enough dough into the game to come up with a fairly high-quality (read: PS2-quality) production. Also I guess some Breath of Fire veterans are on board as well, in some capacity. Needless to say, I was excited to watch the trailer.

And then… I actually watched the trailer. Now I am not excited for the game at all. This makes me sad. But seriously, look at this:

What the heck! How could these people come up with something so grotesquely generic-looking!? Everyone dresses like Tidus, and the battle system appears to be two people taking turns hitting each other. I realize that “two people taking turns hitting each other” describes the role-playing genre in its most reductive form, but usually games dress it up a little. And by “dress up” I don’t mean “dress the only female character up in little more than a pair of battle panties.”

I’mma cross my fingers and hope this is some sort of elaborate sham. The real game is actually going to be revealed next week, when we will learn it is every bit as awesome as it used to be in my dreamy hopes. Yeah.

(I will say that “battle panties” are a pretty good idea, though. I sure hope those show up on the next season of Project Runway. Or maybe in the Project Runway videogame!)

22 thoughts on “Something smells ranker

  1. You know, the thing that irks me most is the characters jumping back and forth for the battle effects. Why the hell do they need to go back into the standard ‘party formation’ after each attack, it would be a lot more fluid if they just stayed where they were.

    That said at least the battles look FAST. That’s something, right? Hopefully the load times don’t kill it if you’re not playing via UMD.

  2. It looks like a fighting game turned RPG with 1-on-1 battles and disappointing generic JRPG flare. In Niinou we trust?

  3. …and some people complain about Chrono Cross’ character designs… WE’VE SO MUCH FOR WHICH TO BE THANKFUL

  4. JRPGs are the only genre where people complain about the clothing their character wears.

    “How am I going to effectively battle a fire breathing dragon in blue overalls and red suspender pants? HUH!?”

  5. I take great shame in posting twice but also want to mention that this game resembles Suikoden’s dueling system. A game built around that one mechanic could be interesting, but also could REALLY suck.

  6. The game does seem to ape heavily from Final Fantasy X. Being that FFX was basically the last traditional main-line Final Fantasy, that’s not surprising, but does it really make this game “generic”? I don’t know.
    Additionally, was one of the voice actors the same person that voiced Kyon from Haruhi? It sounded like it.

  7. JRPGs are the only genre where people complain about the clothing their character wears.

    I’m sort of having a hard time thinking of a genre that hasn’t been hit with this particular criticism at some point or another. There are a lot of under dressed fighter women, or laughably over dressed space marines for example.

  8. Meh… if you’re going to ape something, at least they’re aping something kind of original. Most Japanese games are content to steal their outfits and surroundings straight from Edo or Heian Japan, without bothering to hide it. FFX was (and still is) refreshing, stealing from Okinawan influences instead.

  9. “JRPGs are the only genre where people complain about the clothing their character wears.”

    So what’s it like in your curious little world where Bayonetta isn’t being released in the U.S. today?

  10. It looks like the fighters are dueling each other. Like in fencing. Which is a bit different from the traditional JRPG party based system. Only going off this one trailer, I don’t see any point in which you have multiple units you have to strategize with. So it could just be a Fencing game disguised as a RPG

  11. Is it me, or did the other guy at the beginning look like Sephiroth? Having Sephiroth dressed up like Tidus seems like one of the worst things ever.

  12. “Oh frell. Nomura’s become contagious? We need to get every character designer we can into quarantine STAT!”

    Haha! But that’s what it really looks like. There’s really nothing appealing in this trailer.

    Can’t help thinking that they’re aiming for the Crisis Core / FF Dissidia / Kingdom Hearts Bbs group since it’s on the PSP and that the “imitation” is an intentional appeal to the Nomura fanbase.

  13. Music’s by Shimomura, so that should definitely be OK. I’d rather have a new Breath of Fire, though.

  14. Hilarious. The first things that popped in my head was ‘He looks alot like Tidus’ and ‘Why are they dressed up like they’re teamates’. But meh it’s only a trailer, it could still be good. If not though here’s hoping it reaches the so bad it’s good department

  15. Every time you mentioned this on Retronauts or ATB I heard you say “Last Rancor” and I thought it was about a very bitter person or that monster that Luke killed in the beginning of Return of the Jedi.

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