Imageepoch's swan song.
The story pits you in the role of Alto, a mysterious, amnesiac, teen who was taken in by Lissete's family in the town of Mithra. After coming in contact with Hilda, the Witch of Ruin, and suffering the entire town of Mithra turned to crystal and Lissete awakening as a witch, Alto and Lissete join the 9th Regiment Knights in order to restore Mithra and stop Hilda. The story is pretty generic for anime standards, characters follow many different anime tropes and.... and I felt the story was the game's weakest front, easily. It also borrows a lot of ideas, themes and even character designs from Luminous Arc 2, albeit anime-fied as much as they could, so you'd be forgiven for thinking that this was a remake of sorts. There's little character development or 'shocking twists', you'll see everything coming a mile away. They also deal with certain issues in very anime ways, like instantly forgiving a murderous psychopath who constantly talked about enjoying killing people, but hey, defeat equals friendship in the world of Anime. On the flip side, the game sports gorgeous graphics, and a phenomenal soundtrack.
Speaking of party members, the final party won't be finished 'till Chapter 9, which means that you'll barely get to play with some party members. New Game+ doesn't let you keep your characters either, which is rather disappointing. Especially because all 15 characters have very different roles and styles, Unlike other Strategy RPGs, I found myself experimenting with different party set ups depending on the battle, since some characters were better suited under certain circumstances, which is a huge plus. There's also a certain degree of customization, as you can equip orbs, which confer different abilities, onto every characters' weapons.
As cutesy as the game looks, it can get relatively challenging, the last stages in particular are downright brutal. If you know what you are doing, their are certain strategies that can make short work of the bosses, but they rely on you knowing which character's affinity to raise. Grinding free battles for experience points and levels is a fruitless exercise, as there's a rather harsh experience gain penalty on enemies even one level lower than you, a penalty which is removed in New Game Plus. There's a few 'bonus' free battles that offer higher level enemies, but they cost play coins, so I skipped them. I'm not sure if I was just unlucky, but it felt as if any attack with less than 96% accuracy would miss most of the time. I understand that 80-95% chance of hitting means that there's a slight chance of missing, but I missed most of the time. As a matter of fact, I made a suspend save before launching an 80% accuracy attack, and I missed 5 times out of 6. 80% accuracy should mean that it should hit around 4 times out of 6, not 1 out of 6!! Maybe the game just hated me.
8.0 out of 10