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All Aboard The Love Train

  • Addit
  • 06/18/2016 07:00 AM
  • 7120 views


A Game Made By: unity & Sooz
Created Using: RPG Maker VX Ace
It's A: RPG Game
That Roughly Takes Around: 12 - 20 Hours To Complete
And It's A... COMPLETED GAME!!!


It’s amazing just how much progress has been made in the last couple of years in terms of social acceptance in the film and media industry when it comes to valuing and judging ethnicity and equal rights for all, especially for the LGBT community. And while it, unfortunately, still provides a lightning rod of controversy for some individuals, there are definitely those who welcome change and are generally quite accepted of it - and I’m glad that’s happening.

To think that years ago that the sight of having a strong female lead be the main protagonist in a video game was something more frowned upon as it was somewhat more baffling to some. And while we have plenty of games today that show off that women can do a lot more than just be the damsel in distress or just there to be nothing but attractive eye candy – that really wasn’t the case back then. But a few courageous attempts to break the boundaries with games like Metroid and the original Phantasy Star showed that there was, indeed, a place for strong female protagonists in gaming and that they could be just as awesome and just as powerful and courageous as their male counterparts. And slowly, but surely, you had a lot more games with more female protagonists over the years, like Mischief Makers, Final Fantasy VI, Perfect Dark, Beyond Good And Evil, Tomb Raider – the list goes on! It just goes to show you that as long as you can take that first step into the unknown that many more will follow suite along with you.

And I like to think that today, in regards to the LGBT community, that these small steps towards becoming the norm are slowly being paved the way today, but it’s just gonna take some more time and more understanding on everyone’s part. You can’t rush progress, but you also have to be patient. Change will eventually come when the world is ready for it…and I would like to think that will be much sooner than later.

And speaking of change – ohhhh my – do I have a game that definitely defines the word “change,” especially with what I’m used to playing!

Luxaren Allure is a traditional RPG created by the all-so-loveable and likeable unity along some helpful assistance by Sooz and many other individuals made with using RPG Maker VX Ace and was first uploaded to the site back in 2013, just roughly after unity arrived on the RMN scene.

Despite the game’s traditional mechanics, it mainly got a name for itself and spread across the Internet fame simply because of one thing and one thing only: this game has lesbians in it.







…Oh, and, um…some other things too, I guess.

But yeah – this game has an all-female playable cast that are all (mostly) lesbian. It’s definitely something that you don’t see every day around here, especially in an RPG.

Originally, when I first heard about this game a few years back, I really wasn’t too interested in it myself, despite its obvious biggest selling point. I thought that the title of the game sounded strange, that the team of lesbian leads would be too preachy about the message that it’s okay to love regardless, and the art style and direction is VERY different than what I’m used to playing. I basically had written it off at this point and moved on to bigger and better things. I mean, not every single game around here can peak your interest.

But then, suddenly, weird and unfortunate things started to happen as the game started to pick up more steam upon its release and the general consensus of this game from its followers and players were pretty positive overall. Hell, it even surprised me when the game ended up ultimately winning the “Best RPG” and “Game Of The Year” in the 2015 Misaos in their respected categories, over many other finely crafted projects as well. I mean…what?

After that, it was my sole purpose to see through the looking glass and give Luxaren Allure its fair shake and see if its accomplishments were really worth the acclaim for it or if it was all just pure rubbish generated by its fan base.

- Unfortunately, though:

01/11/2016 04:03 AM
…You know what - f**k it! I’m going to give in to the hype finally after all these months and give this “strangely exotic game” of yours, unity, the old Addit tries!

Expect a review up whenever I can. In the meantime, just think happy thoughts. :)


Yeah…that was way back in January when I first said that, ugh…

Thanks in large part to the Review Fantasy IX event that we were having at the time, I had to postpone playing Luxaren Allure until the event had finished up, consider that there were a lot of sweet, sweet achievements and makerscore on the line and I didn’t wanna miss out on any of it. By the time that the event had wrapped up in March I wanted a bit of a break away from writing or playing anything for a while so I could focus back on my own projects. But then Ara Fell was coming out, and charblar wanted me to play it and review it and gave me a free copy of it for free, and I couldn’t say no, and then a bunch of other stuff happened, and then the Stanley Cup Playoffs started…and by the time that the games were all done late night I was too tired from that, plus work, to do anything else, and, well – yeah.

But in May, I finally decided that the time was now to finally play and review this game – and he we are today: five months later...

(Woo boy… I just hope that Ara Fell’s review doesn’t take until December for me to finally do it, lol.)

Anyways – enough with the history lesson… IT’S TIME FOR LESBIENS!!! :D



The Story


Geez, you really ARE desperate.


It’s just your typical day after sword practice on the Isles of Luxaren in the town of Erdengard as Karuna and her blonde haired apprentice and bestest bud in the whole wide world (*cough, cough, COUGH*), Aurelie, leave the school of the Unwavering Blade for the rest of the day to reflect on how Aurelie’s training performance went when, suddenly, a steady-fast lady in panic run on over to the pair to inform them that her son went to the south to Castle Darkloft where he was playing over there and hasn’t come back since. Karuna and Aurelie agree to find the lad and head off to the south in search for him…but not before Karuna has the bright idea along the way to muster up some courage to tell her bestest bud in the whole wide world about how she truly feels for her…like, REALLY feels for her.





- But…unfortunately, for her, she then chickens out. :(

Anyways, eventually, the pair does locate and find the missing kid, but not before rescuing the frightened boy that Aurelie is soon drawn towards a certain particular room in the castle that seems to be calling out to her as she walks by. But as soon as she’s about to investigate that particular room, she’s soon snapped out of it by Karuna who is the midst of calling out to her for help. They then rescue the boy and deliver him safely back to his mother in town.

That very same day, though, Aurelie decides to go alone back to Castle Darkloft to search for the room again and investigate what the voice that called out to her was without Karuna knowing about it. She eventually then finds a strange, sinister looking armor that seems to be nothing but a hallowed shell. But suddenly the armor then comes to life and speaks to Aurelie and attempts to fuse with her body in order to completely control her. Aurelie then tries to fight it off and is then unsuccessful of doing so. She eventually fuses with the sinister looking armor and slowly loses control of her mind and body and eventually succumbs to the evil entity.



Eventually, after finding out that Aurelie hasn’t come back yet on her own, Karuna starts to get a little worried about her and begins to search for her at Castle Darkloft but to no avail. Soon afterwards, an evil entity known as Overlord Darkloft has begun ravaging the Isles of Luxaren by unleashing waves and waves of vicious monsters and wreaking havoc all over the place. What’s worse is that Overlord Darkloft is actually Aurelie inside the armor but she is being currently controlled by it and is acting out because of it.

Karuna in one last ditch attempt to save her friend calls out for a search party to help her confront Overlord Darkloft at her castle to see if she can try and reason with it and bring her friend back, but her and her entire team is defeated quite easily and Karuna, miraculously, manages to somehow get back to town in one piece. Saddened by the loss, Karuna then feels immense grief for not only coming along with Aurelie to the castle the second time but also that she didn’t get the chance to tell her how she really felt.

Two years later, and after many failed attempts at stopping Overlord Darkloft, the King of Erdengard in one last ditch attempt effort sends forth for the Unwavering Blade’s most priced pupil, which is Karuna, to come forward and collect the three mystic artifacts on the Isles of Luxaren to become the legendary “Hero of Prophecy” and vanquish the evil from this land. Karuna thinks it’s all just one big joke, but eventually decides to undertake this task because collecting these strange artifacts might hold the key to not only stopping Overlord Darkloft but also bring Aurelie back from being under its mind control. So she then sets off on a huge adventure, along with another squire in training, in hopes of one day seeing her beloved companion once more again…

The general start of the game, hell, I’d say the first quarter of it, is definitely a bit underwhelming when you first get into it. You basically, seemingly right off the bat, are quickly introduced to Karuna and Aurelie and not even five minutes in she’s about to pull her patented moves on her. The relationship between these two come off as more shock value at this point more than anything and it just simply doesn’t feel very believable. Yeah, I know that they’re long-time friends and all, and their relationship does become a lot more fleshed out and a lot more fluid towards the latter parts of the game and becomes a lot more genuine thanks to various flashbacks and backstory, but it certainly seems like there’s very little buildup in the beginning to make it seem very believable. It’s the same sort of situation with two of your other playable characters that join the party, Chisa and Merel, instantly falling in love with each other within seemingly seconds. I mean, yeah, same thing with Karuna and Aurelie, they do become a lot more genuine as the game goes on, but it’s still quite unusual and quite sudden to see something like that unfold so quickly, even for this type of subject matter.

The main drive towards the game’s overwhelming goal seems to borrow that heavily used cliché in other games about collecting the three or so what-a-ma-jiggers before you can ultimately face off against the final boss which has been SO overly done throughout the years and that you are the “great hero of prophecy” sworn to slay evil, and all that junk. It just comes off as a bit uninspired and is a bit of a poor plot device to get the ball rolling. It also originally brought up the question in the beginning about what type of theme is this game going for? It is a light-hearted comedy or something supposed to be taken seriously, especially in regards to the subject matter at hand? Eventually I found out the answer to that, but I wasn’t really totally sure at first what the theme was originally going for at first. And as for the artifact collecting, I wouldn’t have minded the three artifact collecting quest as long as Karuna wasn’t simply labelled the hero of prophecy but someone who wanted to find a way to help her friend in the end. I think that would have been great motivation enough for her to get the journey going without being labelled as some sort of a divine hero bent on saving the world.

Luckily, though, for this type of game and its direction, the narrative really isn’t the main driving force behind this quest. Sure, the story picks up at times here or there throughout the game and the game does provide some neat backstory and sheds a bit of light on its own history and lore, but I didn’t really get invested all too much into it as it really were the characters and the interactions that they had that really sold me here.

First off, you got the game’s main protagonist in Karuna who’s the typical heroine of what you would expect from a fledgling warrior. She definitely gets some good lines in here or there, but what really stands out for me as a character is basically what she represents, which is a first that I’ve ever seen: a black, female, lesbian main character. I mean…wow, it’s unbelievable when you think about it. Although that shouldn’t be the main drawing point that I should think about in a character like this, but here it’s more of a measure of boldness from the creator themselves than it is the personality behind her. I mean, I do LIKE her as a character in regards to her overall personality, and I absolutely dig her design, but it will be what she represents that truly defines Karuna’s character with me in the long haul, and, overall, she’s a great, likeable heroine.

Then you got Chisa who joins up with Karuna shortly after her quest begins. She’s basically the Aurelie replacement when she goes missing as she’s Karuna’s new apprentice. She’s a master of wielding an axe and she also provides some great support magic in battle, such as healing, and has an unique ability to drain monsters health and give it to her own. She also has a bit of a sutter whenever she happens to talk at certain times. I mainly like Chisa more as a fighter than I do as a character overall. She’s mainly the cute, shy, but strong silent type sort of girl that eventually grows as the game goes on. When she originally joined up at first, I thought that there would be some sort of love triangle going on between Chisa and Karuna and Aurelie and that Chisa would eventually get her heart broken after finding out who Karuna really loves – but that simply wasn’t the case here. Oh, she eventually finds love alright…but not with whom I was originally thinking of.

And speaking of that love, Merel is the third character that tags along on your quest when you reach a town called Mardelen. She’s a powerful mage that uses deadly black magic in battle and seems to be that of a snake…



"Hey there, big boy!"


…No, I’m not saying that she herself is a snake but that she IS, indeed, an actual snake, as she is a member of the Naga clan who seems to have a certain hatred towards humans with Merel being one of the only exceptions to that. She originally joins up with Karuna and Chisa to help decrypter some ancient ruins in a dungeon but she ends up ultimately befriending the two (especially Chisa *wink* *wink*) and she ends up ultimately joining the quest to rid the world of Darkloft’s forces. And I must say, to have a half-snake half-human hybrid joining your team is pretty cool! The last time that I had a snake woman wielding magic user on my team was WAAAAAAY back in Breath Of Fire I and II. (It has been a while…)

And eventually, down the road, you meet up with the game’s fourth playable character in a blue haired girl (with a sick tattoo on her face, mind you) in Lynette. Lynette apparently is a great descendant of the legendary hero from the past and has been training throughout most of her life to rid the world of evil and honor her family’s great legacy. You meet up with her around halfway through the game, and, honestly, I actually really like this character. She’s supposed to be the actual hero based on her linage, but apparently she didn’t happen to acquire her family’s divine abilities so she’s mainly stuck using water and earth like magic instead. She starts off joining you with basically the sole purpose to eliminate Darkloft and her forces and she’s rather quite stricken to that goal. But when she finds out Karuna’s true intentions behind her motive in gathering the artifacts and bringing back her friend, she’s rather quite vocal about it and finds it absolutely absurd of what she’s planning to do. She eventually gets into some other choice words with Merel and Karuna during certain times, and they banter back-and-forth between each other, and I actually think it’s quite hilarious. There’s actually one particular part in this game that I absolutely love where Lynette gets paired up with Karuna in a couples contest which is just too hilarious to see. I like her as a character because she’s a bit snooty to the other party members and she basically just wants to get to the bloody point. Although it’s not quite hinted officially about her sexuality as a whole - I actually think that she has a bit of secret crush on Karuna towards the end of the game. I mean - how else would you explain her stalking her around?

The characters are likeable because they simply shine whenever they’re on screen and part that has to do with the magnificent writing. And it’s not just the central characters that provide great quality personas, but also some of the NPC’s, like the various fairies, and even some of the central villains working for Darkloft have some really great lines and a lot of in-jokes in between. It’s nothing sexual or extremely perverted, as it’s just the right type of humor for the situation suited for something like this enough to be clever. Even though that the thought of playing a yuri based RPG might bring out some of the kinky stuff that would be too R rated for T.V. even, the handling of the relationships between the characters is handed very well and very mature for itself. I mean, yeah, there are some brief scenes of smooching, hand-holding and characters sleeping together in some parts, but it isn’t constantly thrown in your face to basically be all shock value expect for maybe the beginning of the game and that’s it. I think the whole lesbian-romance thing was handled with the best of care here. And by the end of the game, you do feel the connection between the couples.

Although the first three hours of the game is definitely on the rough side of things in regards to the narrative, if you do manage to stick with it long enough, the story does eventually flesh itself out and becomes a lot more interesting as time goes on along with the building of the relationships between the budding cast.

The Gameplay


Jesus, f**k – why are there so many of them!?!?!?


Luxaren Allure pretty much plays like your standard turned-based RPG of the RPG Maker VX Ace variety – but with a few creative twists! Instead of, for example, having to input all your characters commands on convention, you each take individuals turns between the party, and enemy groups too, basically one action at time, before eventually the next character in order goes up before going a full round with everyone. I actually like this, as you can plan out your next move way more cautiously and effectively instead of just laying out all of your commands all at once.

This game also has an interesting mechanic introduced where monsters can unleash more deadlier attacks the more that the battle goes on, forcing you to end the battle as quickly as possible. The thing is, despite the mechanic, it really didn’t feel to me like it really added all that much because each enemy has such a wide variety of different attacks in combat so you really can’t necessarily pinpoint what type of attack is new or not when the battle begins to drags on. And most of these new abilities where shown in times when I had only one monster left to defeat and I was just using Merel’s “Ethereal Aura” ability to heal lost MP’s along with Chisa’s “Pearl Breeze” ability, or other general healing, to restore the party’s health to full. So while I like the mechanic and what it was trying to do, but I really don’t see or feel much of a difference when the enemies have so many different types of attacks at their disposal already. Maybe an indication about what type of attacks that they gain would probably be more sufficient.

Speaking of those abilities, each of your party members uses regular and magical types of attacks that cost MP and another type of ability called “Impluse” that uses IM points. You can gain impluse by simply getting hit or by causing damage to the enemies. You can learn new impulses and special abilities by simply levelling up or acquiring certain ones throughout the game. Each of your characters are pretty unique in battle and have their own wide array of different skills, so nobody here really feels completely useless in a fight. Each of them are pretty well-balanced and have a rather good roll here to play.

For example, Karuna can use various wind and light based magic along with various status buffing spells, like raising your speed or strength. Her impulse attacks are also quire devastating to use, so she’ll mainly be your main fighter in most fights. Chisa, who I consider the best character overall, has high attack stats, can use healing magic and alleviate certain conditions with both her normal specials and impuses, and she can also drain monster’s health and even learn some pretty devastating attacks of her own later on in the game. She is an absolute monster. And speaking of monsters, Merel is basically the mage of the group who can cast various elemental magic and even have some very useful impulse skills later on. Although she’s not much of a fighter, and at certain times can be a bit on the redundant side, at least for me, she can be a great support character. And then you got Lynette who can use water, earth, some healing based magic and she can even de-buff some enemies stats by using her impluses. And then the final character that you can get can use shadow based magic with the only exception of sacrificing some of her own health. She also gains an ability to summon various different past allies to heal or hurt the enemies as well. Either way, the team feels pretty balanced, actually.

Difficulty-wise, one of the features that this game does do is to allow you to select your own difficulty level at any time you choose during the course of the game freely, very similar to the Tales of series. You can select between basically stupidly-easy all the way up to basically OMG, PLEASE STOP!!! Depending on what you select the enemies stats will be heightened and adjusted based on your settings, but you’ll still acquire the same amount of experience points and gold regardless, so that doesn’t happen to change at all, unfortunately.

Now, I really would recommend playing this game on normal myself, as the game’s provides a pretty modest challenge and it’s definitely something that I would deem pretty fair. The game DOES get a lot harder towards the final quarter of the game, especially in regards to the last couple of dungeons, but the option to change the difficulty at any time if you’re having any problems or you just want to experience the story is mainly there for you to do at any time. But…try to do this on a last resort, okay? Part of the main reason why I like the gameplay so much is because of the challenge factor, actually; it’s tough but fair…(until you get to the last part).

As for grinding, I really never had to do all that much until the latter half of the game where it’s basically required if you’re playing on the more harder difficulties. But if you have to put on your grinding pants, then there’s one thing that might annoy you during the process, and that’s in regards to enemy spawns.

You see, when you defeat an enemy on the field or in a dungeon, as this game uses touch-based encounters instead of random ones, the enemy stays dead until you basically leave the dungeon or field completely before it re-spawns again. So if you basically just want to face an enemy and then go back to a previous screen and face it again – you’re shit out of luck. You’ll have to completely leave the dungeon or field map and THEN come back from the entrance again in order to fight these guys again. It’s a bit of a double-edge sword here, because I like it when you kill an enemy that they don’t come back to chase you again but I also hate the grinding part of the equation where I have to leave the area completely and then come back to fight it again. It makes grinding a bit of a pain, and it also sucks when you get to see the same enemy groups over-and-over again, as they’re all set to a particular encounter pattern with each one.

Another feature that this game also uses is something called alchemy which you can use to create some pretty powerful equipment and some very useful items out of it. There are various alchemists and alchemist pots all over the world, so when you meet up with any of them you can make items at seemingly any time. The best thing about this system is that it doesn’t cost you a single dime to use it, but it will cost you some ingredients. For you see, you need certain ingredients that you can acquire from monsters, chests, people, whatever, in order to make said items. Some of these ingredients are quite common while others are extremely rare to find, so make sure that you look as hard as you can and be very careful about what you make. Eventually there’s a way to acquire pretty much every single ingredient towards the end of the game, but, still, do your best to look around and find these things pronto. Some of these pieces of equipment are absolutely godly in the right sort of setups, and the more advanced healing potions that you can get here will also be better suited towards some of the later bosses in the game. Although it’s technically not required in beating this game by using the alchemy system, as you can get by with most of the stuff that you can get in towns, dungeons or rely on your very own abilities, it’s something that you should look into doing.

I do like this system but it would be kind of nice to know where I can find certain said ingredients, because it’s basically all left up to you to find for yourself. I also would have appreciated if the alchemy ingredients were broken up into a different category in the inventory screen instead of just sharing the same space along with your items. It can get quite cluttered at times.

Also, this game has some really rather expensive equipment to buy when you reach one of the game’s shops. Some of these prices can be quite outrageous without at least grinding for it for at least a little while. Although you can find some of this expensive equipment in the upcoming dungeon ahead, you still will need to fork out plenty of green yourself if you want to be able to afford some of this stuff on your own.

Then there’s the final dungeon towards the end of the game and – holy hell – is this one a doozy! Never before have I played an RPG since Breath Of Fire II that was so long and arduous to go through that it could practically be in its own game in itself.

So through the first two three-quarters of the game everything is smooth as jello... You’re having a good time, the game is fun, challenging but not too challenging – you’re having a blast! It’s the way that it should be. And then you get to the end of the game and - holy shit, where do I start!?

First off, you lose a valuable party member before you come around here, which is already a bit of handicap in itself, and you don’t get another one ‘till around the halfway point of the dungeon. You also got hordes and hordes of monsters up the wazoo here as well – and they’re pretty damn powerful and you can’t run away on the dungeon overhead from a lot of these guys because of all the tight corridors and you got very limited healing spots along the way with places to restock on some supplies. There’s also TONS of bosses as well to fight here, with some of them being optional (but they do sport some of the best equipment in the game) and a rather confusing structure to navigate through. This place will probably take you around 4 – 6 hours to complete, which is mainly a good chunk of the game just spend being in this hellish place. For a final dungeon, this one takes the cake for being one of the longest and hardest.

But you know what? Despite all of this, I don’t really “hate” this dungeon as much as I do, say, the first quarter of the game, but I wish it was a little bit more forgivable. Having the ability to warp out of here once you cross the gates of hell at any time would definitely be nice, and also having the ability to warp back to old towns and dungeons that you visited would be really handy to have, especially if you missed a rare alchemy ingredient. You also when you acquire your fifth party member have to basically go all the way back out the dungeon’s entrance to get her decently equipped with shit because she basically starts off with basically nothing unless you’ve been keeping some of your old equipment around and not selling anything. Stuff like this would have made things a lot more smoother all around.

This game also supports a few puzzles in a couple of dungeons, such as the tidal wave sections where you have to basically book it underwater to the right location before you’re swept away and the whole Love Labyrinth thing where you gotta work together with another partner in order to clear it. I didn’t mind these particular puzzles, as they did provide a bit of a colorful distraction from the norm and they weren’t too bad to solve and figure out. The only puzzle that I had a bit of trouble on was the one in the Chambers Of Rest regarding placing the element icons in the right order. For the life of me I must have done this thing about thirteen times before eventually giving up and finding the solution for it online. This is the only puzzle that I had to really use a guide on - which is not too bad, actually, as I’m glad there is a bit of a guide on solving these things on the game’s gamepage at least.

But overall the game’s a lot of fun simply because of the challenge factor and character balance in regards to ability handling. Every character has enough of an arsenal to make a difference in battle and almost all the abilities each character has feels rather important and plays a rather large part in the strategy of success. The boss fights are also well-designed as they have a ton of neat and interesting attack patterns and unique ways of defeating some of them. It truly reminded me a lot of the golden days of RPG’s in regards to these setups, so kudos!

The Soundtrack


Lita, I know that Ara Fell’s out and all and you have to boast about it
– but you gotta stop showing up unannounced in other people’s games like this! It’s not healthy!


And here we are with probably one of the most perplexing soundtracks that I’ve ever heard in an RPG Maker game before. When I was first imagining what type of music that I would hear in a game like this, I was expecting more calm, more soft…you know, something along the lines of easy listening tunes with a bit of f new age involved in it. It just made a lot more sense in my mind.

But what we got here is something completely out of left field…

Luxaren Allure features various different types of music, such as a bit of dubstep, techno, rock, thrash rock, some gothic instrumental thrown in for good measure and a few easy listening tunes. It’s quite a lineup of different types of musical scores, if I do say so myself, and it definitely can be quite jarring to listen to at first. I remember first hearing some of the game’s music and went like, “WTF? Why would she put something like this in here? It doesn’t fit at all,” and I even had a bit of a headache listening to some of this stuff for a while initially. For quite some time I didn’t really know what to think about it, it was like something lifted straight out of Earthbound, more than anything.

But the strangest thing was after some time has passed and I got a chance to get more invested into the game itself the more that the music just…sounded great. I don’t know why I had such a negative impression at first on it, but the music really started to grow on me after a while, with some of these tunes ranging from pretty good to overall excellent with some of my favorite tracks having to be Battle 1, Dungeon 3, The Final Dungeon, Mushroom, Theme 01, The Opening / Ending theme and even the victory theme with its little fanfare that plays just before the victory theme plays. These songs sound great and they’re a nice fresh approach to the type of music that you would usually listen to in a game like this.

Not all the tracks are memorable though, as probably the ones that disappointed me the most were almost all the town themes, as a lot of them really sounded quite uninspired and a bit on the bland side of things listening to them. I never really got a good kick out of visiting these places because the music here was just so very uninteresting to me. Even some of the field themes, like the one called Progression that plays in a couple of spots, sounds like something that you would hear from one of those annoying car commercials that don’t seem to stop, so not all the music here is a homerun, but there are definitely a lot of songs here to cheer about.

Sound effects are an interesting lot because a lot of them seem to be from quite a rarity of many different sources, and they all sound overall pretty good. Sure, there’s a few samples taken from games like Final Fantasy VII and Breath Of Fire in regards to menu scrolling and such, but they’re not really that much of a problem and they fit in here actually quite well. There even are a few RTP sound effects in here, too, for good measure. I like the overall sound direction used for this game, and there’s even some odd ambience thrown in the background in certain locations as well. I’m not sure where a lot of these custom sound effects come from, but I welcome it whole-heartingly, nonetheless.

The Aesthetics


Is that…river giving me the middle finger?


Presentation-wise upon first glace looking at it, Luxaren Allure really doesn’t look all that impressive compared to other RPG Maker VX Ace games, and I would even argue that most of the field graphics here look like something straight out of an XP game more than an Ace one, which makes me think that this game was originally attended to be on RPG Maker XP before being ported over to Ace at some point. While the field graphic do look simplistic enough, most of the tilesets here, especially in regards to the dungeons, are all custom-made and provide some pretty interesting dungeon layouts here, especially in regards to the final dungeon that look more like something lifted straight out of a horror game more than anything else. The mapping overall here is pretty well-done and I never really had that much of problem with it besides maybe the towns. For some reason, I never really liked the towns in this game that much besides maybe the final town before eventually going to Castle Darkloft again, and that was mainly because of a certain event that triggers during your stay here that I found quite humorous and really provides some neat character interactions there. The town’s really just felt more like a stopping ground more than an integral part of the story to me, and I wish they had more personality to them along with some more memorable things to do there and people to see and talk to.

Luckily, though, if there are two things that make this game absolutely shine in the graphical department it has to be the different character facial expressions and battle sprites. The custom facial expressions were done by M-3-1 who also provided the game’s title page. These facial expressions look absolutely fantastic in-game and have a certain rather unique charm to how their drawn that really portrays the character’s emotions during that particular scene. Although it’s just mainly limited towards the main party and some of the minor characters, these portraits look pretty great in painting a good picture with what the character’s going through at the time and I really like ‘em. There’s even some good custom artwork thrown in together during particular cutscenes at times that look just as good.

The battle sprites, though, are pretty damn amazing in action. Not only do the character sprites look pretty spiffy in combat and have a wide array of different looking reactions depending on their moves, but the enemy sprites also have a second form whenever they happen to get hit by an attack, almost something straight out of Breath Of Fire II. In fact, I actually think a lot of the graphical style sort of resembles that of something like Breath Of Fire II in regards to its sprite work, but here they’re more humorous when they get hit because of not only some of the enemies names and regards to its humor but also their reaction on their faces that’s rather priceless. unity did a splendid job at making all of these battle sprites not only look great but also provide various different animation cycles with them and provide some rather unique enemies designs that make you just go like, “Wow.”

The End Result





Overall though, despite the first three hours being a bit on the weak side of things due to its rushed relationship building and blatant use of a tired old cliché to get the ball going, the game does start to pick up after that and definitely gets a lot better and lot more fun. Part of that has to do because of the characters and how interesting they are compared to the norm and how likeable they seemingly are. Plus, by the end of the game, the relationship building feels a lot more genuine and you can definitely tell that it’s not only believable but quite touching as well. And another great aspect for me was definitely in regards to the overall challenge. Playing the game on normal mode provided a stiff, but rather entertaining challenge that gave me quite a run and made me feel quite accomplished when I eventually beat the game on this setting. But the great thing is that you can also change the difficulty whenever you wish, so others can enjoy the game at whatever pace they want. Also take in account the great alchemy system, the clever dungeon design, the well-balanced characters and the rather uniqueness of the situation, especially in regards to the music, and you have one game that will definitely leave an impression on you towards the end.

Yes, Luxaren Allure is quite different than most RPG’s here on the site, especially in regards to its all-female cast and its choice of sexuality preference, but it’s really one of those types of games that you should look past all that stuff and just give it a try. On the surface, it might be something along the lines of experimental, but deep within the heart of it lays a great traditional RPG that plays rather well and is quite fun overall. Don’t let the lesbians scare you away, okay? This is, indeed, a great game.





OVERALL GRADE:
4.5 / 5 - B+ ~ Oustanding. Truly Outstanding.

Posts

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unity
You're magical to me.
12188
Wow, Addit! This is an amazing review! Thank you for being so thoughtful, thorough and detailed in this! It was a joy to read and I'm so happy you enjoyed the game despite its slow start and some of its frustrations. This was 1000% worth the wait and I couldn't be happier! :DDDDDDD

Also, your comment about the graphics looking like XP graphics made me laugh. While LA was indeed made for VX Ace (my first VX Ace project, too!), before Ace I spent several years making a game in XP with the XP RTP, so the custom tilesets in LA were very much XP inspired! ^_^ (Not to mention all the character sprites are based on the XP RTP)
Dragnfly
Beta testers!? No, this game needs a goddamn exorcist!
1809
More memes than game screenshots... *scaredface*
Marrend
Guardian of the Description Thread
19779
author=Dragnfly
More memes than game screenshots... *scaredface*


From what I've observed, Addit's reviews have that tendency. For my own part, I find them hilarious, and makes for an interesting read.
Dragnfly
Beta testers!? No, this game needs a goddamn exorcist!
1809
Not that it's a bad thing. I was just like @.@
Red_Nova
The all around prick
7616
Another wonderfully dank review by Addit! You've done a great job capturing the heart of the game, and went into an insane amount of detail on every point you could have. Seriously, this might be one of the longest reviews I've ever seen here! So much so that it's difficult to comment on anything since every point is backed up pretty well.

Great review!
Yeah, lol, I think I went a little too overboard when I was writing this – but I was having so much fun!!! This definitely has to be one of the longest reviews that I’ve ever written so far on here both in terms of overall word count (over 7000) and how long it took for me to get it all typed and proofread (which, actually, took me a couple of days to do so…but I blame most of that on my general laziness to finish it more than anything else).

Overall I’m just happy that unity’s happy and this is finally off my bucket list. Now I can finally move on to bigger and better things now…like finally getting Ara Fell’s completed version done and reviewed! (...yay?)

But after playing this game and having a pretty good time with it I’m actually interested to see what your other games are like, unity. Maybe I should give “Werid and Unfortunate Things” a try sometime down the road? Either way, I would definitely like to try and review another one of your games someday.

author=unity
While LA was indeed made for VX Ace (my first VX Ace project, too!), before Ace I spent several years making a game in XP with the XP RTP, so the custom tilesets in LA were very much XP inspired! ^_^

Oh, that’s interesting. Did anything ever come out of that XP game and does it share any connection with LA at all, maybe perhaps an earlier build for it? Either way, not a bad first attempt with using Ace, if I do say so myself, lol.

author=Dragnfly
More memes than game screenshots... *scaredface*

I don’t usually go this overboard with adding a ton of pics and memes (especially with some of my earlier reviews) - but I thought that they were pretty funny here and had to be added in, especially with the “Lesbian Seagull” song towards the end which was the very first thought that I had in mind to put in when I was first doing this review. I just couldn't pass up the opportunity to put it in there.

Oh well, at least Marrend likes the pics and memes. :P

- And, hey, I just realized that this was my 60th review and I forgot to mention it above! (Drats!)

Even though I’ll probably never catch up to nhubi or Kylaila, or really anybody else that’s right above me right now (except for maybe pianotm, Sated and maybe CashmereCat someday), all I can do now is keep doing my thing and see what happens towards the end. Who knows? Maybe I might get lucky... Or maybe this might happen:



Marrend
Guardian of the Description Thread
19779
Huh. I guess you do have more reviews than me! Oh well. Being in 10th place in number of reviews submitted isn't a bad place to be.
unity
You're magical to me.
12188
author=Addit
Oh, that’s interesting. Did anything ever come out of that XP game and does it share any connection with LA at all, maybe perhaps an earlier build for it? Either way, not a bad first attempt with using Ace, if I do say so myself, lol.


It's called Lilies of Vanigale and is about finding love at a warrior/mage academy (and stopping an evil force that is sealed below the grounds). It's also a yuri game, except that you can choose which girl the main character ends up with. Here is the character art for it ^_^



It ultimately got put on hold while I made Luxaren Allure, and I just haven't gotten back to it. I'm unsure if I want to keep making it in XP or make it from scratch in another engine, as looking back at what I made, there's a lot that could be done better >.>;;;;

Dunno what will happen to it, but given that I put years of work into it, I certainly don't want to just drop it.
Dragnfly
Beta testers!? No, this game needs a goddamn exorcist!
1809
At first I didn't care about writing reviews. Then I read about makerscore and went for it full-tilt. Then I learned that I misunderstood makerscore so now I can't be bothered much anymore LOL. Sometimes but not often.

author=unity
Dunno what will happen to it, but given that I put years of work into it, I certainly don't want to just drop it.


Geez. I know how you feel there.
Cry Alone - 2 years. Not done.
The Mirror is Reflecting Somebody Else - 2 years. Not done.
Child Dreamer - 16 years. Not done.
Resolem - a few months. The most progress LOL.

By the way, is the main character one of these 4 lasses, are they a faceless or are they somebody else entirely?
unity
You're magical to me.
12188
author=Dragnfly
Geez. I know how you feel there.
Cry Alone - 2 years. Not done.
The Mirror is Reflecting Somebody Else - 2 years. Not done.
Child Dreamer - 16 years. Not done.
Resolem - a few months. The most progress LOL.


Yeah, it certainly becomes a problem XD;;;; Best of luck on your projects! :DDD

author=Dragnfly
By the way, is the main character one of these 4 lasses, are they a faceless or are they somebody else entirely?


The main character is the green-haired one, Arisa. ^_^
Dragnfly
Beta testers!? No, this game needs a goddamn exorcist!
1809
Ah. If that's the case then I'll likely hook her up with Hammer Girl. Of course personalities, chemistry and such can change this but at a first glance they're my choice. Which is odd because I tend to favour mages.

For the record, if Luxaren Allure had open choices I still would've paired everyone up exactly like you did. All best couples.
unity
You're magical to me.
12188
author=Dragnfly
Ah. If that's the case then I'll likely hook her up with Hammer Girl. Of course personalities, chemistry and such can change this but at a first glance they're my choice. Which is odd because I tend to favour mages.

Gisela (hammer girl) is one of my favorite characters, so I'm all for that XD

author=Dragnfly
For the record, if Luxaren Allure had open choices I still would've paired everyone up exactly like you did. All best couples.

Hehe, thanks! That makes me happy :DDDDDD
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