Tales of the Rampant Coyote

Adventures in Indie Gaming!

The Twelve Games of Christmas #4 – Laxius Force III: The Last Stand

Posted by Rampant Coyote on December 16, 2010

I wish I could say I’d completed all of the Laxius Force games.  But frankly, they are huge… but at least they are reasonably self-contained. They share common characters and story threads, but they are easy enough to jump into without feeling too lost. Or you can feel very lost, if you don’t enjoy the in medias res openings the games sometimes employ. Personally, I do — I prefer that over the overused “Wake up in your bed on the morning of the fair” intro that is all-too-common in jRPG-style indie games. (Hey, I loved Chrono Trigger, too, but c’mon guys…)

The final chapter of the saga – Laxius Force III: The Last Stand – was released this fall. It looks to be the biggest and best one yet. French indie studio Aldorlea Games and founder Indinera Falls have been producing RPGs for quite some time now – at a rate that frankly embarrasses me for my own apparent lack of activity. Each game in the series has improved in quality, though the core game technology hasn’t changed. I think it’s simply a case of the creators being prolific as hell and possessing skill borne of sheer experience and determination over the years. The gameplay is solid, the story and characters are fun, and the sheer quantity of stuff in the game is staggering.

But there’s also playful silliness in all of the games, and a raw informality that can be either off-putting or enjoyable depending upon your expectations as a player. For me, it’s the latter. The polish may not be quite as high as some other indie offerings, but they are solidly entertaining games that – especially by this final chapter – really know their stuff.  To the point where – early in this game and in previous titles – the characters make fun of the very tropes they nevertheless adhere to. In spite of the fact they make no sense, they are still there because they are fun. It’s just how it works.

The latest game promises to fill your weekends for a while, too. Let’s get this first part out of the way, because it’s kind of staggering to my own imagination: Forty-two playable characters.  Somebody’s been reading too much Wheel of Time, methinks.  I thought half as many playable characters from the previous games was impressive. I don’t know how active they all really are (I mean, Sephiroth was technically a playable character in Final Fantasy VII, right?), but I can understand. This is the final chapter of the series, so it is important to have all the old favorites make an appearance. But… wow.

And there is an advertised 100+ hours of gameplay, and more than 150 quests. I can not verify these numbers. I can only say, “Hey, this is a Laxius Force game, I can believe it,” and leave it at that.

Not that I mind, particularly, but in the title screen… how come Random is wearing full plate-mail, while Wendala and Luciana are wearing bikinis? Just askin’. (My wife claims she doesn’t mind the cheesecake in fantasy book & game covers so long as it is balanced by equal amounts beefcake. I’m really not sure I want to see Random stripped down to the loincloth, though…)

Anyway – cool game, give the demo a try. You do NOT need to have finished Laxius Force II: The Queen of Adretana to play (thank goodness, or I’d be hosed!), though you can import your characters into this game if you have. It’s huge. It’s good. Enjoy!

Check out Laxius Force III: The Last Stand

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