With The Last Story getting its European release next week, let's take a few minutes to talk about its action-packed battle system.
The Last Story has no dedicated attack button. Rather, after running into range of a target, all you have to do is push the thumbstick in the direction of the target you want to attack. This allows you to fight multiple targets at once simply by tilting it back and forth, hitting those enemies who are about to hit you and interrupting their attacks. If you need to disengage and retreat, all you need to do is dodge roll out of melee range and the thumbstick reverts to normal movement control.
Zael—your playable character for most of the game—has the unique ability to gather the attention of all the enemies in an area and force them to attack him. By knowing when to gather and when not to, you can tank or kite large groups of enemies—though the most useful application is to lure them into your party members' magical circles.
In The Last Story, you almost always have a party of six or seven members. As the melee characters attack just as you do, the mages are constantly using spells. After a spell hits its intended target, a magical circle remains on the ground below it. Inside the circle, all melee weapons gain the elemental properties of the circle they're in. So inside a fire circle, for example, all weapons gain extra fire damage.
But that's not all. By using Zael's own magic wind-dash attack, you can slide into a circle, combining your magic with that of the circle. Not only does this do a massive burst of damage, it also gives your party a temporary status buff or the enemies a crippling debuff.
So, now that you're ready for battle, click that video up top and see The Last Story in action!