Review : Luminous Arc INFINITY

Luminous Arc INFINITY | Cero C | FELISTELLA | Marvelous | PSVITA

Luminous Arc INFINITY, is the 4th game of Luminous Arc series, transcending into PSVITA the first time, as its previous games are available for Nintendo DS. This game is also developed by FELISTELLA, unliked the previous 3 titles, which were developed by Imagepooch. Like the rest of Luminous Arc games, it’s heavily influnced by the word magic, witches, and lapis. Luminous Arc INFINITY was released on 6th August 2015 in Japan. No words on western localization so far.

Website

Story

The world depends on lapis, the gemstones that basically keep everything alive. God’s powers dwell in these stones but they need certain maidens that have the soul of the witch so they can draw the magical powers within these lapis. These maidens are called idol. There are 9 main lapis which has a huge size, with each of them dwelling in 1 country. Each countries has their own idols to perform live, the so called ritual that has the Idol to sing and draws the magic power from the Lapis. If they don’t sing or perform these lives, the world will run out of magic and basically die. For the idols to have their magical powers run well, they need the people called tone master, to make sure they are a-OK before performing live.

Our protagonist, Xird (CV. Okamoto Nobuhiko) is a tone echo apprentice. He was cursed thanks to dark desert (闇の砂漠) when he was a kiddo so he cannot use his full strength or energy even if he wanted to. He can use a full-scale magic even if he wanted to, but he’ll be easily tired if it’s too much. During his visits to Earl Adj kingdom, the head of every countries made a meeting because a dangerous organization called Amadeus is on the run. Their purpose is unknown, but their existence is dangerous to the idols, thus the world. They decided to keep all the idols together in one place, which is the Floatia, the floating oasis, the place which Xird, his sister Aqua (CV. Serizawa Yuu), and his master Hogwood (CV. Nakata Joji) live. Because it floats, it’s the safest place there. It is also the place of one of the main lapis so it has a barrier that keep them away from monsters. So Xird’s journey to gather all the idols and keep Amadeus away has begun!

BEWARE OF SPOILERS YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED

Ok I’m not gonna spoil a lot but I have to be honest : the pacing in this game is terrible. If I were to separate the chapters, it’s basically divided into 3 big arcs. The first arc is where you going around the world to find the idols from each country. Second arc is something plot related, and the last arc is where you got the big plot twist and shoo away the final boss. For me, the game doesn’t feel like here’s the big boss in this arc. It’s like we only feel the real boss is on the last chapter? The rest just feel like cleaning up monster mess. Okay so there are a few main bosses but it just doesn’t feel like one. Also the story feels flat. Like there’s a part where Xird got stabbed and he was caught by Amadeus. Hey it’s gonna be interesting! Right?! But then NOPE, someone saved her before I can count to 10 and I can’t believe they actually don’t chase someone who GOT OUT OF THEIR CELL. You only fought once and that’s it. Really?

While the 2nd arc story feels more interesting (you can choose 1 of 2 girls for a different feel but doesn’t change the story flow). While the story feels good, it just keep dragging the whole thing because basically it goes like :

Story (let’s save this person!) -> Battle -> Won the battle -> Oh noes something is in the way -> Retreat to Floatia!

RINSE AND REPEAT

By the time we’re going to save that person in the end, I was getting bored and not interested anymore. I still think the whole problem could be prolonged into a better story that gives more tension.

On the 3rd arc, it feels like we defeated the bad guy already woho! Suddenly monsters appearing in the countries even though they are protected by the lapis. So we just continue clearing monsters for a few chapters. By the time they gave a major plot twist? I was already bored and didn’t care anymore. I don’t know if it’s just me, because the game had a good rating on amazon. But honestly I feel bored most of the time and just want to finish this asap eventhough some plot twists they give is actually pretty good and gives impact to the story but it’s just too late.

System

Like the previous Luminous Arc games, you could create bonds with other members of the party with the so called After Break. In LAI, they gave you a bar of points and you can spend that by talking to the rest of the girls, either by talking to them, giving a present, or “tuning” them. The “tuning” aka Secret Lesson part is actually what gives this game a fanservice. Anddd since all the party members are female, now you know why this game is basically a harem game. As multiple endings in this game (depends which girl do you choose at the end), the points are basically useful for that. You can choose any girl that has the MAX heart points (red bar) for their endings.

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Secret Lesson, one of the things you can do during After Break

During story mode you can go out from Floatia and basically go anywhere. They will show you a world map with lots of cities and you can visit whichever you want as long as there’s an event. There are free battles, sub-quest, and main events. Main event means it’s the main event to continue the story. Sub-quest or sub-event is the side events that are not related to main story but pretty useful if you want to take a break from the story. Some of the subquests also can increase your party members skill and such. Last not last, the so called free battle. Available since the beginning of Luminous Arc, free-battle can be done literally anywhere since every area has their own free battles. You can pick whichever suits you because each free battles list the minimum level required so you can win battles. It’s really useful to level up your characters and increase points for skills.

Here’s the important part : the producer plan. This is a new feature and basically there are 4 types of skill characteristics : Beauty, Cool, Cute, and Variety. There will be lots of branches from a single path the beginning you get a character. You can choose whichever routes fits you but once you choose it, you can’t go back or return so you have to choose wisely. Inside the producer plan there are new arts, new skills, passive skills, and stat boosts. Let’s say a character has cute feature at first, you can later change it to cool on the 2nd branch and you can return it to cute again on the 3rd branch. There are 4 or 5 branches in total. Everytime you complete a branch, it will give you a special performance (pose) move to increase your aura point in battle.

Battle System

As we know, Luminous Arc series is a Tactical Strategy RPG, which means the battles are a tactical strategy. There will be lotsa squares and you can choose actions : move, attack, perform, skill, duo, etc. So while move attack and skills are usual in LA game, I’m gonna explain the calling and duo, as well as perform. A reminder that Xird isn’t joining the battle directly but he’s a support role.

  • Calling : Doing calling is like well, to perform. You can increase your point for producer plan later on but you can boost your status depending on each character. For example one character can boost your attack during her performance while other can boost defense. This performance creates an area, and if one character’s area intersects another, it will become a double performance. Think of it as a combo. The point you receive will be increased and your status will be boosted more. Unfortunately the downside in this system is, the boost only works on your turn. Means it’s most likely intended for other character. Once you get another turn, that performance will stop and her boost will stop too. So I figure this isn’t meant for that character to boost herself but more like to boost other characters. I found this stupid at first actually lol. Like why would you boost if you can’t boost yourself?!?!? After that I stopped caring since my motive when doing performance is just to get as many points as I could. Also if you get a good/great/marvelous during After Break, the area of performance will be increased. Calling can also increase your VP aka voice point
  • Duo : Like it’s name, duo is done by 2 characters. Basically a character can borrow another character’s power on her turn. For example it’s A turn but I want to use B’s power to heal or I’m doomed! Duo can be chosen but it consumes a crystal so it’s better to pick wisely when to use it. Or maybe when you’re in a pinch.
  • Duo Strike : Duo strike is a combination attack of 2 idols. During one of the character’s turn you can perform a duo strike with a nearby character. This is pretty useful because it gives a high damage.
  • Lapis Burst : This is like one of those “special move” that is unique to each character. Lapis Burst requires 3 crystal VP.

Xird as a support role could help boost the idol stats or reviving them with items. He can carry items too so it’ll be a nice help if your team is in a pinch. He is able to do perform, a specific command for the idols.

  • Perform : Perform can only done by Xird during his turn. He can choose an idol to “perform” and select a specific pose any idol/heroine has during battle. This will increase the idol’s Aura Point for the producer plan.

What makes LAI different is unlike in the previous games where you can revive any fainted members as long as you have a revive bottle, you can’t in this game. If any one of your member faints the first time, she will still be in the battle. She won’t get a turn but she will still be there. You can revive her as much as you want as long as she’s still in the battle scene. But if an enemy attacks when she’s vulnerable (0 HP) then she will be gone from the battle scene and cannot return.

Graphics and Music

Tbh the graphics and musics are probably the only thing I can appreciate in this game. They have 3 opening songs, different for each arc. The 2nd opening song has 2 versions. All of them are good imo. The opening animation is pretty nice as well. Without a doubt, this game is basically an idol fantasy harem rpg game, therefore the music is actually quite nice. Each character has their own song performed during Lapis Burst which is a nice touch. As for the graphics, the 3D model looks cute eventhough it’s a chibi. The animation feels nice and smooth during Lapis Burst. During Lapis Burst you can watch a special cutscene for each character. This is a nice variety during battle rather than some boring copy-pasta magic effects. Let’s be honest the magic effects aren’t as many as the previous games. In the previous games I remember there are 3 stages of magic effects. For example a weak water magic, a mediocre water magic, and a powerful water magic. Each has different special effect. In LAI, not so much. You can even find a few different magic spell but both has the same special effects. This kills the mood a bit because I was expecting a big and spectacular magic by the end of the game but in the end it’s just, meh.

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CG cut before a Lapis Burst. It has an animation too which is pretty.

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Animation during Lapis Burst. Each character has their own atmosphere and feels which is a decent touch.

Conclusion

Son I am disappoint. I have been excited waiting for this game since 2014 when I saw a little bit of cutscene during SCEJA conference but when I played it, it’s just, bad. The story pace is boring and I am sure it can be done more. There are so much potential but I feel all of them are wasted. The girls can be annoying and tbh it’s hard for me to find a character that I really like. I usually find someone likeable from the start of the game and makes me want to always use that character in battle. In this game? Nah. I only use them because they’re useful in battle. That’s it. Maybe because all of them are all over Xird’s heels and I’m here playing the game just ಠ_ಠ Battle System is ok but not really grand. It may feels hard at first but when you get the hang of it, it won’t be hard. Heck the last boss feels cheap imo. I beat him on my first try? All the battles aren’t memorable, only 1 or 2 when I fought a certain human boss. The rest are just fighting against monsters.

Maybe because the maker is different but I feel the Luminous Arc thing from the previous games has been lost in this game. Maybe it’s because of the harem feel? I don’t know. Except for the animation and graphics that I appreciate, I don’t think I can see this game in a positive way. It could be because I’m a girl and playing a harem game feels weird. A guy might appreciate this game a lot better. Then again, I don’t know. Depends on your preferences. I’m pretty sure the last time I checked, the game has a good rating in amazon (nvm the game was rated 3.2/5 and some people actually rated it 1/5) but I can’t feel the same way. You can try this game if you like SRPG (but I recommend the older Luminous Arc games) and ladies getting all over you with some touchy fanservice. A Luminous Arc fan might find this game okay but I don’t feel like it’s better than its predecessor.

This is a review to end the year. Sorry I couldn’t finish it sooner. Thanks Kahoko for some of the screenshots since I’ve lost my Vita. See you in 2016!

 

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2 thoughts on “Review : Luminous Arc INFINITY

  1. 聖剣の騎士 December 31, 2015 at 8:36 pm Reply

    おつかれさま!
    I was also dissapointed with the game. There’s a rumour that Stella Glow was going to be Luminous Arc Infinity but after some problems that Imageepoch had, Marvelous decided to hire Felistella for the development. But Imageepoch decided to continue developing the cancelled Luminous Arc and it became Stella Glow. In fact, some characters from Stella Glow look like the characters from the DS Luminous Arc games.
    If they make another LA game, I hope they decide to take the customer feedback of LAI and try to make it more like the DS games.

    • kurorisa January 1, 2016 at 4:34 am Reply

      wow there’s something like that? I see. if it’s true, no wonder Stella Glow is a better game and a much Luminous Arc game than this…. my friend gave it a positive feedback too and I saw it has a good rating in amazon. sigh. I hope for the same thing as well.

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