[Beyond PlayStation] Stella Glow
Stella Glow is an excellent RPG that, unfortunately, was the final game from imageepoch. The studio closed down before the official launch which is a shame, because Stella glow is such an amazing game and a total credit to the team’s dedication – they clearly worked hard to make the game as good as it is.
Stella Glow is a strategy role-playing game (SRPG) that is incredible fun, with a fantastic story that spans a huge world that will take you 40-50 hours to complete – and while you do it, you’ll be having the time of your life.
Stella Glow starts after a short tutorial in a small village, where you take control of Alto, the game’s main protagonist. Alto hears a strange melody that appears to be emanating from the forest, and he goes to investigate and finds a witch, a very powerful witch called Hilda. She seems to be friendly at first, but she soon changes and becomes hellbent on destroying the world. Alto decides to head to the Royal Capital to join the Army. His friend Lisette, who is a water witch, tags along to help him find the remaining witches and use their power of Song against Hilda to bring her down once and for all. How is the game sounding to you? That is only a short version of the story, but there is a lot more to the game than meets the eye.
Stella Glow plays quite similar to Final Fantasy Tactics, so the game will definitely appeal the fanbase of said release. The characters are Chibi style, and the battle system is grid based – you can move around the map in blue-highlighted squares, and you can attack anywhere in the orange highlighted squares. The best method of attack is always from behind as the damage level will be higher, so never attack from the front as the damage level is considerably lower and you’ll just be wasting your time. You can use standard melee or skill attacks, and you can also use items to heal yourself. Eventually, Lisette will be able to use her healing magic so you can save your healing items for emergencies. If you think you are too far away from an enemy to attack, you can choose to wait until your next turn when you can move closer. During combat some party members will have automatic counterattacks – Alto is one such character.
Most battles will have victory and defeat conditions which you can view at the bottom of the screen in the missions tab. Some missions will have a “special” condition. If you clear them and get a mission clear screen, you will earn items or weapons, and as you progress you will get better and rarer items and weapons while you complete harder missions.
You can increase a weapon’s strength with orbs, which work in a similar kind of way as augmentation, so if your weapon has open slots you can use orbs that have different effects on weapons – the more powerful a weapon is, the more slots you have for orb placements. Click on a character and you will have a choice to equip or orbs choose orbs and place any orb you want into the weapons it is that simple.
Stella Glow has a fantastic overworld map, with various icons, but the most important ones are yellow which starts a story event, and red icons are battles. The green icon is the Royal Capital, which you can access anytime to save your game progress. Time will pass during battles.
During your adventure, you will meet and recruit roughly fifteen party members, but you can only have a maximum six at any given time. I suggest picking your team and sticking with it. Make sure to have at least one healer in your party for every battle since fights will get tougher so you will need a properly leveled healer.
Along with the main story, Stella Glow also has a Free play mode. Free play is absolutely amazing, and a good way to level up before a tough battle or if want to relax and just get some extra money and loot. You get to fight lots of different monsters.
Stella Glow is a massive game with lots to see and do. I have enjoyed dozens of hours playing, and I plan to keep playing until the end. Remember, Stella Glow is the final game of imageepoch, so the physical copies even the standard editions will have a limit on print runs, so grab a copy while they are still available! In a few months, it will be particularly difficult to get one for you collection.
Dialog is first class.
This review is based on an European 3DS copy of Stella Glow provided by NIS America. Atlus is the publisher for the game in North America.