Luxaren Allure Review

As for the yuri label, I've debated that with myself a lot. Yuri is often associated with exploitative or pornographic content, so I understand why it would make people hesitant to try the game. Perhaps in the future I should go with just "lesbian romance" as a label?

Hmm. I get your concern about that, but at the same time, I myself would never have found Luxaren Allure if you hadn't labeled it yuri.

While the term yuri does have some negative connotations associated with it, it also has a long history related to some anime/manga/visual novels as simply being a descriptor for stories involving lesbians. And so there's actually a lot of positive associations for it as well. There are a lot of groundbreaking, positive, super influential stories involving lesbians/bisxual women that are labeled "yuri". And so I don't actually think of "yuri" as an overall negative label at all.

I'd probably be able to explain better what I mean if I wasn't so tired right now. Perhaps I can simply point out how a friend of mine helped host create a "Yuri Jam" recently.

That jam was awesome, super positive, full of good feelings, and featured a lot of incredible, sweet, and touching games and demos. And it's just another example of why, when I myself at least hear "yuri", I don't automatically think gross exploitative crap.

And while I was looking over the games released for Yuri Jam, I found one called "Super Yuri RPG." It was basically a pre-alpha incomplete demo that showed a potentially interesting concept, but was badly unbalanced and literally only lasted a few minutes.

Well, the creators never hid the fact that it was such, that it was a big work-in-progress that they couldn't finish or polish before the Yuri Jam deadline ended, and that they only released what they did because they wanted feedback and suggestions.

Now, I suppose I should get to the point of all this. The point is that, while playing this work-in-progress demo, I remembered just how much I love RPGs, including oldschool JRPGs. I realized how much I'd love to be able to play a full, complete, polished RPG that was yuri focused. And I, on a whim, expecting nothing would result from it, googled "yuri rpg".

And so I found Luxaren Allure, an incredibly awesome game. A game that just added to my view that "yuri" is not an inherently negative term.

Though again, I never actually viewed it as a negative term. Pretty much every single person I know using yuri in a positive way. Maybe I and my friends are an oddity that way, though I don't think that's the case.

Castle Chase 2

So, I just completed the first Castle Chase. I enjoyed it quite a bit! I really only had two issues with it.

(Since this is the page for the sequel I'm not sure if I need to bother with spoiler tags, but I'm doing them anyways just in case)
First, and this is pretty much entirely a matter of personal preference, but I was hoping for at least one GxG romance option. I had hopes for Clair, but alas they were dashed. Maybe in Castle Chase 2(I know Monica said she doesn't swing that way, but she's only 16, things could change! :D )

Secondly, several of the endings seem (at least from what I could figure out) dependent on telling Hyde that you'll help him steal the treasure(a dubious thing for a princess to do). And then, in two of them, betraying his trust(BETRAYAL!).

This makes perfect sense for the Hyde ending (well, excluding the betrayal part of course :P ) but felt a bit wrong in the Erol, Aydin, and Gilroy endings. I have no problem helping Erol/Aydin catch a thief, and indeed I tried talking to Erol after discovering Hyde and freeing him from the trap (and thus learning what he was after. What better way for Erol to show his courage then to enter a dark and treacherous basement full of traps?)

But that didn't give me an option to send Erol after Hyde. That option only seems to show up after you promise to help Hyde steal the treasure. So you can't send Erol(and I'm guessing Aydin as well) after Hyde until AFTER you personally promise to help Hyde. Which, again, felt a bit wrong to me. Though I guess it did make the decision to choose Erol/Aydin have some extra weight to it.

But, both of the above are minor nitpicks. Tiny details. I overall really, really liked Castle Chase. It was fun, cute, charming, amusing, and just a joy to play.

I don't know if the sequel will ever be made. I've never made anything with RPG Maker, but I've done a fair amount of stuff in Ren'Py. So I understand how easy it is for real life and other issues to delay a project, and I understand how sometimes certain projects just end up on the back burner, and then end up there so long it becomes difficult to ever pick them up again.

And screw the jerks who sent you rude messages about this! You're doing this for free, releasing free games. It's one thing to send a polite "hey, are you still planning on releasing this?" message. It's another to be all "I DEMAND you release this FREE game for FREE when *I* want it or else you're terrible!" entitled.

Anyways, if you do make a Castle Chase 2, I'll definitely play it. I'm really hoping for and looking forward to it, and excited at the possibility.

Even if it *doesn't* have the GxG option I want. :D

Good luck on all your future projects and endeavors, whatever they may be.

Let's Play: Spirit Blade - Parts 31, 32, & 33

Oh, I definitely agree with you. Even before the final dungeon, the maze obsession in the game was starting to get tiresome. The mazes started off fairly mild with the world map water maze(which even had a hint!) But they got progressively worse and worse, and the final dungeon was a horrific endless hellmaze. Which was made worse by the very high encounter rate.

And all but the early parts of the final dungeon have no loot, and you'll easily reach the level cap before it's over, so there's not even the most minuscule of nominal rewards as you explore the ENDLESS HELLMAZE. Just wander around tediously while escaping from every fight.

And then there's the final boss, which forces you to use every member of your party, when you may not have leveled them all up, or even have the proper gear for them all. And it forces all your members to fight in a very counter intuitive fashion, if you don't know how it works then your best group will face the relatively easy first stage, and the weaker leftover group will fight in the extremely hard second stage. So of course I wiped there my first time (would anyone not).

And then finally, the third stage, which requires you to have a very specific party makeup or else it's impossible, and which DOESN'T LET YOU SAVE BEFORE IT, so you can't even easily experiment to see what works, and... argggggg.

I'm preaching to the choir here of course, but it feels good to vent. I really wanted to like Spirit Blade. And there were parts that I really did like! But damn if there weren't parts that seemed like the game was purposely trying to make me hate it.

Let's Play: Spirit Blade - Parts 31, 32, & 33

Heh, I wondered whether I should use Spirit Charge on stage 4 or not. Glad I decided not to.

Also, congrats, it's finally over! :)

Let's Play: Spirit Blade - Parts 31, 32, & 33

Funnily enough, shortly after posting this, I discovered how to beat the boss. In case you actually want to come back to this, I included my strategy inside the tag.

Like you, I used Moxia, Terra, Miti, and Aja for stage 1. I had the advantage that I'd leveled every character up to 50 though. Fortunately, aside from Moxia the only character of these you'll need to use after Stage 1 is Aja.

For stage 1, I'd have Aja debuff the demon and Terra buff the party with a defensive boost in order to keep damage levels low. Aja could help with healing if need be (two actions per round thanks to her sword, plus a whole lot of 5,000 healing potions).

A bit slow this way because the demon's not doing enough damage to raise SP points quickly, but it's less risky, and I can melee attack and guard to raise SP some. I tried to end Stage 1 with Aja at full SP, though this isn't really that important, as it's not her SP abilities that are crucial to stage 3.

I didn't worry about whether Moxia would have full SP because she'd gain those quickly enough in stage 2.

Stage 2 ring loadout: Omni for Moxia, Stat for everyone else.

As soon as the stage would start, I'd immediately have Goldi use Omni Raise to fully buff the party (and then have Moxia, Spirette, and Halla use the status block items to make the party immune to status ailments.)

Moxia will get her buffs wiped off fairly quickly (I kind of wish I had 4 stat rings) but the other 3 characters (who are all much squishier than Moxia) are immune to debuffs and so will retain the defensive buffs.

With full physical and magic buffs on the party aside from Moxia, a Recover spell from Goldi and a Recover II spell from Halla can pretty much heal the party completely even after a full series of attacks from the boss. He'll still knock the party down pretty close to death, VERY close to death sometimes, but as long as the Double Physical Defense buffs and Double Magical Defense buffs remain on he shouldn't kill anyone, and with the Double Agility Buffs the healers will go before him.

Fortunately, since he'll be doing so much damage, Goldi will be gaining SP points like mad, and will reach 100 SP before Omni Raise wears off. This is important because if the buffs fall off the party dies very, very quickly.

With Goldi/Halla healing, it was up to Spirette and Moxia to do the damage. Fortunately, Ice works okay on the boss, so Spirette's ice magic and Ice nuke does good damage, and Moxia can hit him with her magic sword attack while charging up her spirit blade attack.

I actually used Spirette's health point check to monitor the boss, and made sure to have both Moxia/Goldi/Halla full on SP when he died. You can guard/heal if he's close to dying and some of the characters are low on SP.

I nearly screwed up at the end and forgot to monitor the status ailment protection, and it dropped off, but fortunately the boss only had a few thousand hitpoints left at this point and I killed him.

For stage 3, I used Moxia, Goldi, Halla, and Aja. Aja is the key, I do not know if it is even possible to beat this stage without her (and without her Flash Katana that lets her act twice in a round.)

I changed the ring loadout a bit: Omni for Aja, and Stat for everyone else. I did this because I was tired of having Moxia's attack buffs stripped off her right when I wanted to do a Spirit Blade. However, your Aja is lower level than mine and thus weaker, so you may want to keep her with a Stat ring so that her defensive buffs can't get removed. Anyways:

Here's how you beat the boss: he's vulnerable to blind and debuffs. As soon as the battle starts, have Aja reduce both his attack and magic attack. Have Goldi fully buff the party with Omni Raise, and use Halla's Neutralize super ability to make the whole party immune to status ailments.

Keep hitting him with the debuffs from Aja, blind him as well and reduce his agility with debuffs. He'll buff himself at various times but you can counteract that by just debuffing him again and again. You'll need to do this regardless actually because the debuffs don't last long, but with Aja's Flash Katana you'll be able to keep the boss's attack and magic attack fully debuffed.

With that, and blind, and party defensive buffs, he'll barely be able to do damage. Frequently he actually did zero damage with his attacks. The only problem is this meant raising SP was annoying, and Goldi couldn't reach 100 before Omni Raise would wear off. So I had to have her use her normal defense and magic defense buff spells. Fortunately, as with the boss blind and its attack and magic attack fully debuffed, I survived the transition.

Damage on the boss basically just came from Moxia. I had her use a fully powered Spirit Blade close to the start, then hit the boss over and over again with Magic Blade, slowly raising SP back to 100, then hit the boss with a second fully powered Spirit Blade, which killed it. So this is a bit of a tedious fight.

Also a very easy one, at least with a lvl 50 Aja. The fight went from nearly impossible to trivial. It's actually incredibly frustrating (as I'm sure I don't need to tell you.) There's no way to know that the boss would be vulnerable to blind and stat debuffs (or more specifically debuffs that reduce it's two attack stats), and so no way to know to take Aja into the fight (and you can't even save right before to experiment.)

Stage 4 is a one on one between Moxia and what's his name. Moxia is restored to full health and SP and magic before the fight, so just using Spirit Blade one shots the boss. At least as long as you have the Omega Sword (it sounds like in the first version of this, if you didn't have the Omega Sword Moxia wouldn't do enough damage to one shot him, and the fight would be basically unwinnable. Joy.)

Anyways, that's how I did it. I'll probably clean it up some and post it to the main comments in case others are having trouble.

EDIT: I just realized now that I never actually checked to see whether Aja's instant kill would work on him. I assume it probably doesn't, but considering how weirdly balanced this game is it wouldn't surprise me THAT much if it actually did.

Let's Play: Spirit Blade - Parts 31, 32, & 33

Darn, I was hoping you'd beaten the boss and I could copy your strat.

One of the comments on the page implies there's even a FOURTH stage which is I don't even...

Luxaren Allure

Regarding the final boss, yah, it was pretty tough (and I played it on normal). My characters were all level 57, except for
, who was 55. I had Passionate Rings and Goddess gloves, so my entire party was immune to all status aliments: I don't even know what sort of aliments it inflicts, so that wasn't the issue.

The issue was that first time I fought it, I simply wasn't able to kill it quick enough after it started boosting it's power like nuts (though seeing multiple people beat it with substantially lower level parties makes me feel a little weak now).

Second time I saved all my liquid impulse for the 3rd phase and was able to bring it down before things got too hairy.

Luxaren Allure Review

Interesting review, and it mirrors a lot of my own thoughts (and says them way better than I could.) The biggest difference is I didn't really have the issue with the dungeon fatigue that you did, though I think that comes down largely to a difference in taste. I also didn't have quite as much problem with the tonal issues, though they were still there for me. But your thoughts about how Lynnette's potential was missed were spot on, and perfectly expressed my issues with her character.

Still, a good game overall, and like you I really look forward to seeing what unity has in store next (whether it's a Lynnette focused game or not)

Luxaren Allure

Hmm, lots of posts since I last posted.

First of all, Unity thanks for the quick response and the fix. Some day if I have enough time I might replay this game on Hard, and if so the changes will be helpful. And even if I don't, they'll be available for others.

Now, regarding the cast and the double yuri romances, I don't really have an issue with either.

Yes, the cast is all women. But there are plenty of games with all (or mostly all) dudes, and overall the video game industry is still lacking a bit when it comes to quality games with decent female protagonists (I mean specifically female protagonists, not games that let you completely customize your avatar in all ways). This is also really a bit of an issue that goes beyond video games, but I digress.

So there's nothing wrong with a game focused on women and relationships between women. Heck, it's kind of nice to see.

And same thing with the yuri romances. If there was a game with two het romances, I don't think anyone would bat an eye. Well, I say "if", but there are plenty of games that do have multiple het romances. Change Chisa and Karuna to guys, and no one would think them both having romances would be a "gimmick," or that Luxaren Allure needs some special warning to let people know there is more than one het romance in the game.

It would just be a game with a bit of a focus on romance, nothing more.

Yah, people can point out that in the real world, there are more straight people than gay/bi people, but this is a fantasy game with magic and dark lords and nagas, a work of fiction, and there's no reason it has to conform to real world demographics.

I do think there is a fair point that there aren't exactly a lot of games focusing on gay men and their relationships out there. There is a serious lack there.

And I also think that, in the AAA gaming world especially, companies may be more likely to include female x female romances than male x male romances. The reason being the stereotypical straight guy reaction to them. IE two dudes kissing: "GROSS!", two girls kissing: "HOT!" I definitely wonder how much of a role this played into stuff like the very first Mass Effect having a lesbian romance, but it not being until the 3rd game that there was a gay romance.

But, well, that's another issue entirely. The lack of gay men in video games IS an problem, but it's not the fault of free RPG maker women-focused lesbian RPGs. A game like Luxaren Allure isn't the problem. (Rather, it's part of the solution to a different problem).

Anyways, I may have rambled on a bit, hope it what I said makes sense.


Pages: first 12 next last