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Author Topic: Luminous Arc Impressions  (Read 2126 times)
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Lee
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« on: August 17, 2007, 06:14:50 AM »

Very limited impressions, but something none the less.

The reviews I have read on Game Rankings are pretty much spot on, although so far it seems to be better than a 69%. Most reviews say its a good game, it's just that it could be better. So far it's just another tactics RPG, nothing new or ground breaking. Graphics are great, not too cartoony and not everyone is a kid which is a nice change. Maps look good. Sound is good, it's odd hearing voice acting on the DS. Opening song is in Japanese, but everything else is in English. Acting is mediocre, not bad, but not great either. It works ok. Sometimes there is voice acting, and sometimes there isn't, you never really know when it will kick in.

Gameplay is typical. Turn order decided by the characters move skill, and then modified by what they did last turn. Move and attack last turn and you go last, anything less and you will go sooner, especially if you wait. Terrain helps, back stabbing helps, your characters have different special abilities, etc. Game play is not really anything new.

So far it seems if you like the genera, its a must get. If you are burnt out on the gameplay, don't bother.
« Last Edit: August 17, 2007, 06:43:33 AM by Lee » Logged
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« Reply #1 on: August 17, 2007, 06:31:51 AM »

You're a real piece of work.

Anyone else that reads this................he teams up with me in batracer, and then just bails on me out of the blue. No word, no reason, no heads up. Now i'm left to fend for myself until I get another teammate.

I expected more from a fellow forum member, but I guess this POS doesn't have any sense of code or honor.  thumbsdown
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« Reply #2 on: August 17, 2007, 06:37:21 AM »

Quote from: Zekester on August 17, 2007, 06:31:51 AM

You're a real piece of work.

Anyone else that reads this................he teams up with me in batracer, and then just bails on me out of the blue. No word, no reason, no heads up. Now i'm left to fend for myself until I get another teammate.

I expected more from a fellow forum member, but I guess this POS doesn't have any sense of code or honor.  thumbsdown

Thanks man. Take it to PMs.
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« Reply #3 on: August 17, 2007, 06:40:07 AM »

Zekester is now stalking.

 Bring your own!

Spoiler for Hiden:
IBTL
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Lee
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« Reply #4 on: August 17, 2007, 06:43:10 AM »

Quote from: ATB on August 17, 2007, 06:40:07 AM

Zekester is now stalking.

 Bring your own!

Spoiler for Hiden:
IBTL

Please don't lock this, I am trying to start a thread about a game that no one seems to be talking about. Yeah I can be an ass and probably deserve it, but I was hoping to get some discussion in this thread.
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« Reply #5 on: August 17, 2007, 06:45:13 AM »

Quote from: ATB on August 17, 2007, 06:40:07 AM

IBTL

no, the mods should just kill the stalking while keeping this thread open.  Lee has valid impressions but Zeke decided to bring his 'grief' over instead of leaving it in the previous thread.


On topic: is voice acting really rare on the DS?  I don't have one but have been kicking around the idea of getting one, but lots of text annoys me at times.
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« Reply #6 on: August 17, 2007, 06:47:50 AM »

What the hell is batracer?  Is that like where you get miniaturized and have to ride on the backs of bats as they swoop crazily through the night, trying to manoeuver them through a race course?
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« Reply #7 on: August 17, 2007, 06:49:36 AM »

Quote from: EngineNo9 on August 17, 2007, 06:47:50 AM

What the hell is batracer?  Is that like where you get miniaturized and have to ride on the backs of bats as they swoop crazily through the night, trying to manoeuver them through a race course?

no, it's like Mario Kart but with Batman. DUH.  but that's not what this thread is about.  take it over to the Delete Me thread.
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« Reply #8 on: August 17, 2007, 06:53:48 AM »

It's an online Formula 1 turn based game where you have partners. But again, can we talk about LA here, use the other wasted thread.

CK: I haven't heard any voice acting in a DS game until tonight (I don't own many games), but Harvest Moon seems to have a bit too (bought that today too).
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« Reply #9 on: August 17, 2007, 06:55:59 AM »

Quote from: CeeKay on August 17, 2007, 06:45:13 AM

On topic: is voice acting really rare on the DS?  I don't have one but have been kicking around the idea of getting one, but lots of text annoys me at times.

Unfortunately, it is.  I'm really hoping that since the DS is selling so well, we'll start to see some better production values.  Hopefully, with big-name RPGs like Dragon Quest IX and Tales of Innocence, we'll get some more developers who make full use of the DS's capabilities.
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« Reply #10 on: August 17, 2007, 07:08:12 AM »

One thing that does bug me. On the world map, I can use the buttons fine. Once I get into battle it's stylus only, which is a bit clunky in areas. I believe you can change it to buttons only, but I like to mix it up, I don't want to be limited to one control method.
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« Reply #11 on: August 17, 2007, 07:25:20 AM »

I think the reason you don't see much voice acting on the DS isn't necessarily the lack of production values, but more because it is still a cartridge-based medium so space is pretty limited compared to most disc-based stuff and is more expensive to make.  Although now I believe they can support up to 256 MB carts, usually if they can fit the game on a smaller one then it saves them money in manufacturing.  I also read that the larger carts have slower transfer speeds than the more normal sized 64MB ones, but I'm sure it still has to be miles better than UMD's transfer speeds. 
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« Reply #12 on: August 17, 2007, 11:41:00 AM »

Quote from: Lee on August 17, 2007, 07:08:12 AM

One thing that does bug me. On the world map, I can use the buttons fine. Once I get into battle it's stylus only, which is a bit clunky in areas. I believe you can change it to buttons only, but I like to mix it up, I don't want to be limited to one control method.

You can easily switch control modes with the...select button I think. Only barely got started last night. First battle was really frustrating because the default setup has up on the d-pad moving up and left (it's an isometric view at an angle) instead of up and right. Fortunately this can be changed.

The voice acting is pretty good, though tends to drop out at odd moments as mentioned. The art style is nice, if not unique.

Seems like some goofy interface decisions. For instance, when I highlight an enemy to attack it, why don't I get to see a life bar?

As an aside--What the heck is it with DS games where stylus recognition doesn't work properly? Is there not a standard set of control functions (like an SDK)? Do developers not understand how to use them?

The way experience works seems pretty neat. It's easy to see when a character will level (every 100xp) and you get a big bonus when defeating an enemy. Any excess beyond what you need to level is wasted. So if you get 60xp but only need 5, you're wasting half a level of xp. So choosing who is going to land the final blow on an enemy can be important.

Looking forward to playing some more.
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« Reply #13 on: August 17, 2007, 01:20:50 PM »

Thanks for the impressions guys.  The lukewarm reviews were giving me pause, but it sounds like this one is right up my alley.  Even the bad reviews (like 1Up's) make it sound interesting for me.  As someone who has put nearly 200 hours into Final Fantasy Tactics Advance, something like this sounds exactly like what I'm looking for (from the review):

Quote
For all intents and purposes, Luminous Arc is a Final Fantasy Tactics clone. And not of the original, but of Final Fantasy Tactics Advance, the Game Boy Advance installment from 2003.

It also seems like the user rankings on the bad reviews are much higher than the review scores, which indicates to me that it simply didn't click with the reviewer.  Looks like I'll be picking this one up this afternoon!  smile
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« Reply #14 on: August 17, 2007, 01:34:31 PM »

If this one wasn't coming out in such close proximity to Jeanne D'Arc then I might be interested.  But it sounds like Jeanne D'Arc does everything LA does, only much better (with the possible exception of music since LA has Mitsuda doing the score).  If this one ever drops into the bargain bin I'll take a look at it. 
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« Reply #15 on: August 17, 2007, 01:44:12 PM »

Quote from: Kevin Grey on August 17, 2007, 01:34:31 PM

(with the possible exception of music since LA has Mitsuda doing the score)

Damn you Kevin, now I have to buy a PSP.

Actually, a PSP, Jeanne D'Arc, and Brave Story are all on my birthday wish list for next week.  Between LA, Etrian Odyssey, JDA, and BS, it looks like I'm in for some serious handheld gaming for the next little while.
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« Reply #16 on: August 17, 2007, 02:28:57 PM »

Quote from: Misguided on August 17, 2007, 11:41:00 AM


Seems like some goofy interface decisions. For instance, when I highlight an enemy to attack it, why don't I get to see a life bar?


You may know this already, but there's a button you can push that'll pull up a life bar beneath every enemy, along with their initiative order.  It's either X or Y when you have the interface in no-stylus mode.

What I'd like is a way to see an enemy's other stats, or at least what they're armed with, before I attack them.  A few times I got tagged by enemies with bows, because I couldn't even tell they had bows since their backs were towards the screen.
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« Reply #17 on: August 17, 2007, 02:48:09 PM »

Quote from: Gratch on August 17, 2007, 01:20:50 PM

Thanks for the impressions guys.  The lukewarm reviews were giving me pause, but it sounds like this one is right up my alley.  Even the bad reviews (like 1Up's) make it sound interesting for me.  As someone who has put nearly 200 hours into Final Fantasy Tactics Advance, something like this sounds exactly like what I'm looking for (from the review):

Quote
For all intents and purposes, Luminous Arc is a Final Fantasy Tactics clone. And not of the original, but of Final Fantasy Tactics Advance, the Game Boy Advance installment from 2003.

It also seems like the user rankings on the bad reviews are much higher than the review scores, which indicates to me that it simply didn't click with the reviewer.  Looks like I'll be picking this one up this afternoon!  smile

from the little bit i've played, it's not very original (gameplay-wise) or special (like ffta-special) - but it's very nicely done & looks to be fun...
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« Reply #18 on: August 17, 2007, 03:00:50 PM »

Déjà vu  paranoid
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« Reply #19 on: August 17, 2007, 09:27:09 PM »

Just picked this up, but it will be another 4 hours until I'm off work to play. 

Stupid job.  icon_evil
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« Reply #20 on: August 17, 2007, 11:39:56 PM »

Put it in a couple hours today. Some random thoughts.

* The cut scenes drag on a little long. There is a lot of chatter going on and while I am enjoying the story, sometimes I just want to fight.
* Very linear. Couple random battles, next story battle, repeat. So far no decisions to make.
* Can be a bit hard to see who is where when everyone is clumped up, would help if you could rotate the map.
* I went with the stylus-less controls and they are pretty solid.

Enjoying the game, but it's not anything special.
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« Reply #21 on: August 18, 2007, 01:11:59 PM »

Quote from: kadnod on August 17, 2007, 02:28:57 PM

What I'd like is a way to see an enemy's other stats, or at least what they're armed with, before I attack them.  A few times I got tagged by enemies with bows, because I couldn't even tell they had bows since their backs were towards the screen.


Yeah, my biggest gripe is that you can't just move a cursor around the screen to examine units as far as I can tell.
For instance, it'd be nice if I could hop around between characters to see how much xp they currently have, so
I can decide if I want someone else to finish off a character for the xp bonus.

Played a bit further last night.
The controls/interface on the game are fairly poor, but I have a feeling there's a pretty fun game underneath it.
I just don't get how games get made with lousy interfaces like this, and we've seen it a number of times on
DS games (e.g. Mageknight Apocalypse). Stylus controls in LA are absolutely horrid, as in you touch one button
on a menu and it chooses a different one instead...repeatedly.

Despite all that, I do like the game so far, and look forward to playing it more.
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« Reply #22 on: August 18, 2007, 02:11:32 PM »

Quote from: Misguided on August 18, 2007, 01:11:59 PM

Yeah, my biggest gripe is that you can't just move a cursor around the screen to examine units as far as I can tell.
For instance, it'd be nice if I could hop around between characters to see how much xp they currently have, so
I can decide if I want someone else to finish off a character for the xp bonus.

You can, once a character starts a turn press B, then you can move the cursor around. You do have to press A on a friend or enemy to see their stats though. It will show their stats and highlight their move distance on the map.
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« Reply #23 on: August 18, 2007, 02:42:24 PM »

Oh thank you! I had even tried looking in the manual to figure it out.
That certainly will help some.
OH! That must be the mode where the only button on screen is "Cancel"...now I get it.
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« Reply #24 on: August 18, 2007, 03:18:50 PM »

Quick impressions after an hour:

1.  I love the feel of the combat.  Yes, it's exactly like FFTA, but that's completely fine with me.  Bummer that it doesn't include any job class switching (at least that I've read), but it looks like there's enough variety with the characters to keep things interesting.  My only small gripe is that you can't choose character facing after taking an action.

2.  Doesn't look like you'll be able to abuse the XP system as easily as you could in FFTA.  Small actions (items, etc) only give 5-10 XP, so you really need to get people into the battles to level them up.

3.  I like that you gain back all your XP & MP at level up.  Combined with the large XP bonus for a final blow, it adds a new strategic layer to combat.

4.  I'd agree that the cutscenes are way too long.  I've played about an hour and a half, and at least 2/3 of that has been cutscenes.  On the plus side, the voice acting is really good.  Actually, it sounds pretty amazing coming out of the DS.

Sure it's formulatic and not particularly original, but I'm really enjoying it so far.  One question: is there a way to do random battles?  I'd like to grind out a few levels, but the only fights I've been able to do so far are the story based ones.
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« Reply #25 on: August 18, 2007, 03:41:19 PM »

Yes on random battles. There will be some spots on the map between story locations. Entering those will yield a random fight.
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« Reply #26 on: August 18, 2007, 04:26:21 PM »

5 hours into it, and I haven't had the need to grind. A couple of battles were tough, but everything has been winnable so far. The game could use some random battles (the inbetween battles are the same everytime you enter them).
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« Reply #27 on: August 18, 2007, 09:18:40 PM »

Quote from: Misguided on August 18, 2007, 02:42:24 PM

Oh thank you! I had even tried looking in the manual to figure it out.
That certainly will help some.
OH! That must be the mode where the only button on screen is "Cancel"...now I get it.

Yeah, thanks!  nod
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« Reply #28 on: August 19, 2007, 02:29:56 PM »

Quote from: Lee on August 18, 2007, 04:26:21 PM

5 hours into it, and I haven't had the need to grind. A couple of battles were tough, but everything has been winnable so far. The game could use some random battles (the inbetween battles are the same everytime you enter them).

Really? I'd swear that the one I reentered at least had different starting positions. It was the spot North of Carwee Town.
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« Reply #29 on: August 19, 2007, 02:40:50 PM »

Quote from: Misguided on August 19, 2007, 02:29:56 PM

Quote from: Lee on August 18, 2007, 04:26:21 PM

5 hours into it, and I haven't had the need to grind. A couple of battles were tough, but everything has been winnable so far. The game could use some random battles (the inbetween battles are the same everytime you enter them).

Really? I'd swear that the one I reentered at least had different starting positions. It was the spot North of Carwee Town.

Hmm, I only entered 2 or so, and they looked the exactly the same to me. Will have to look into some more of them.
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« Reply #30 on: August 20, 2007, 03:59:42 AM »

I've played quite a bit more today, and I'm really enjoying it.
The game is just about my speed, meaning it isn't too hard, provided you use sound tactics.
The story is doing a fine job of pulling me along wanting to see what will happen next, which
is all I really look for in something like this. While there are things I'd certainly change about
the interface, it isn't keeping me from having fun with it. My save is at the 9 hour mark in Ch. 13
(though I've played more than that, what with some restarts and such), and I'm getting
the feeling there's still a long way to go unless the game throws a lot in right at the end.
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« Reply #31 on: August 21, 2007, 02:32:05 PM »

Anybody had any success with imbuing items?
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« Reply #32 on: August 21, 2007, 02:36:03 PM »

Quote from: Misguided on August 20, 2007, 03:59:42 AM

I've played quite a bit more today, and I'm really enjoying it.

How is the level of complexity with battle options/strategy? Are there lots of character building options or is it fairly linear? My copy should arrive from Gamefly any day now but I can't wait slywink
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« Reply #33 on: August 21, 2007, 02:59:59 PM »

Well, I thought that things had gotten a bit unbalanced to the easy side, then I waltzed into a fight and got mauled.
I'm trying to figure out how to take a different approach to that one now.
The biggest factor in combat is probably positioning/facing, though it is worth noting
that there is no "zone of opportunity" rule (you can freely move past hostiles or withdraw).
You can, however, block off areas with characters.

I'd say most of it is fairly standard stuff...the usual assortment of ranged/melee attacks,
heals, and buffs of various sorts. Which character finishes off opponents is a big deal
because of the boost they get to XP and also to the bar that lets you use the special attacks
(called "Flash Drives"). Some of the Flash Drives deal quite a bit of damage.

There really is no character building. Once you get to a certain point, though, there is
some item customization that becomes available. I'm messing around with that at the moment,
but not having much luck yet (see my previous post).

Still enjoying the story, and I find the characters to be far more likable than in many other games
(e.g. Magical Starsign, Advance Wars).
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« Reply #34 on: August 21, 2007, 03:11:24 PM »

Quote from: Misguided on August 21, 2007, 02:59:59 PM

Still enjoying the story, and I find the characters to be far more likable than in many other games
(e.g. Magical Starsign, Advance Wars).

An encouraging report. Thanks! Fortunately it sounds like it shouldn't take too long for me to determine whether or not I'm going to enjoy playing through this and can make a decision after just a couple of hours. Likable characters? Yay! I hope to Tyr that means the dialog is good too (bad game dialog is one of my biggest gaming pet peeves and can even overshadow stellar gameplay for me).
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« Reply #35 on: August 21, 2007, 03:31:14 PM »

I made the mistake of getting this and Etrian Odyssey on the same day.  I've spent a couple hours with LA, but it's taken a back seat for now.
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« Reply #36 on: August 21, 2007, 03:55:17 PM »

Etrian Odessy is like crack.  I'm in the post-game, and can't stop playing.  Not even for my new Wii...
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« Reply #37 on: August 21, 2007, 04:11:23 PM »

Quote from: unbreakable on August 21, 2007, 03:55:17 PM

Etrian Odessy is like crack.  I'm in the post-game, and can't stop playing.  Not even for my new Wii...

I agree.  Frustrating, throw-my-DS-through-the-wall type crack, but crack nonetheless.
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« Reply #38 on: August 21, 2007, 05:10:02 PM »

I enjoyed Etrian for a while, but it didn't engage me enough to carry me past my usual 15-20 hour stopping point.
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« Reply #39 on: August 21, 2007, 07:09:36 PM »

Quote from: Misguided on August 21, 2007, 05:10:02 PM

I enjoyed Etrian for a while, but it didn't engage me enough to carry me past my usual 15-20 hour stopping point.

I ended up putting it down for a while, but once I picked it back up, I had (unknowingly) just gotten past the part where it was really hard.

These kinds of games have a kind of "hump", and once you get over it, the game gets easier and your options open up.  And eventually, you just ascend into teh uberness.
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