Saturday, June 30, 2012

Luminous Arc (video game)

Platform: Nintendo DS
Developer: imageepoch
Genre: Tactical RPG
ESRB Rating: Teen
Release Date: August 14th, 2007

The Tactical RPG genre is pretty great, but it also hasn't advanced much over the years. It feels like a lot of these games have a certain sameness that makes it so they just sort of bleed together in your mind. Take this game, for example, which is Textbook TacRPG Example 1A.

You start off as a teenage knight in service of a church, because Japanese games tend to have this odd love affair with underage heroes. Apparently, said church teaches that witches are the bane of all existence. You can see where this is going, right? Kid meets witch, kid changes his mind about them, realizes boobs are pretty great, realizes that the being the church deified is actually a monster and sides with the witches. "We're gonna give God such a pinch" twist aside, it's a by the book coming of age story, sans anything to make it stand out from the pack.

Really, there isn't much about this game that isn't by the book. The story and characters are steeped in Japanese cliche, while the gameplay could be culled from any number of games in this genre. Luminous Arc doesn't have an original bone in its body and you could be forgiven for feeling as though you've played this game before.

Unoriginal as it may be, however, it's still a solid title. The character designs are stock anime for certain, but they're still appealing enough. We get voice acting as well. The gameplay itself is, of course, tried and true. It's certainly not reinventing the wheel, but it has a certain competency that redeems it, even if it doesn't make it something you just gotta have.

The Score: 7 out of 10

I wouldn't recommend this game over any of the classics, but if you've already crushed the greats it could serve as a fair rental. Just don't expect anything unique out of it.

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