|SRPG; Nintendo 3DS; Image Epoch; 2015|
Stella Glow's story is very VERY well traveled territory, and to people who have played Luminous Arc before you can easily predict several plot twists that occur later in the game. But that doesn't mean the story is bad, it's a charming little return to a simpler time of RPG storytelling that isn't found too often these days. And while the story holds no surprises (apart from one REALLY good twist later into the game) and the characters fall within clear anime stereotypes, there is a nostalgic charm to it that is aided by a really good script and voice acting. The story might not move mountains, but it is certainly worth your time to be invested.
However, Stella Glow isn't all about combat. The game is split into two types of "Time": Mission Time and Free Time. During Mission Time you are free to battle any of the free battles as many times as you want (the harder versions of which are locked with Play Coins) until you reach the next story mission to progress the game. During Free Time, Alto can do a number of different activities including going to part-time jobs for extra gold and perks, exploring the surrounding area for items, and talking with your party members. By spending time with your allies you can not only learn new things about them but also gain new abilities for them. However, spending time with your Witches will sometimes cause them to "close off their hearts" which means you need to "Tune" them. The process of "Tuning" is another thing that reminds me of Ar Tonelico, especially the innuendos surrounding it, as Alto (and your other party members) must enter the Witch's heart and battle their inner demons. While the idea of "Tuning" is to help the girl solve her insecurities the actual mechanics of it is simply a battle with unique victory conditions, like defeat more enemies then the Witch's Shadow, or defeat all enemies without using any Skills. Tuning takes up a segment of free time but the reward for it is more powerful Song magic.
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Until Next Time.