Atlus USA., inc recently released the demo for their upcoming SRPG, Stella Glow, Developed by Imageepoch (Luminous Arc franchise) on to the 3DS eshop in time for Halloween. We got our hands on the demo, and though it was brief. I do believe that we have a proper grasp on what the final product will be like.
The game reminded me greatly of another Atlus SRPG called Luminous Arc. Something that I regarded as a good thing during my brief time with it. Mechanically it’s as good as any of the best SRPGs I’ve played, making use of the environment, mobility of characters and their locations. It also borrows heavily from the art style of Luminous Arc. The character art is very cute, while remaining rather sexualized, and I know in many cases these two would clash, but just like *LA it works well here.
Stella Glow also seems to borrow story tropes from LA, in that it’s main character also has amnesia. The main character was found near the village Mitra, 3 years prior to the events of the game with no memory of his past. He is Taken in by Lisette (the other main character) and her mother, and given the name “Alto.” Alto has a good-natured personality and is sensitive to the suffering of others. Whenever he is cornered or strongly wishes to protect someone, he displays an extraordinary ability to take action. When the village of Mithra is crystallized by Hilda, he decides to join the Regnant Knights in order to undo the curse.
As you may be able to tell the story is nothing new. For those of us that have played other games in the J/SRPG genre should all too familiar with this type of plot. It’s not unique, but it’s safe, and with great mechanics, interesting characters and maybe the occasional fan-service I’m sure this title is going to sell well among fans of these types of games. I don’t think it will attract much attention from gamers that are not already interested in this type of game, and chances are if you’re reading this you’re in the camp of those that will be interested, and I can confirm that if you’re anything like me you’ll like it.
Visually the in game graphics look pretty nice on the 3DS. It’s similar to the graphics used in the Pokemon mystery dungeon games for 3DS, which I am a fan of. That being said the game didn’t seem to use the 3D capabilities of the 3DS much, however I didn’t really mind that. Most of us pretty much switch off the 3D when playing longer games such as this one, which is between 40-60 hrs. The voice work for the game is also pretty solid. The characters we met in the demo all sounded great, even the side characters, but make sure to make use of the auto play feature to make the dialogue flow smoothly.
Stella Glow will be fully playable on November 17th, and is currently available for pre-purchase on both the 3DS eshop and Amazon, and many other online sellers for the price of $50 USD. (I’m not counting that $0.03 off that amazon has, it’s ridiculous).
if you’d like to hear more of my thoughts on this topic, then I suggest you listen to the Buttonsmashers podcast.