• Publisher: Atlus
  • Release Date: Aug 14, 2007
Metascore
70

Mixed or average reviews - based on 25 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 25
  2. Negative: 1 out of 25
  1. 85
    While this game will not end gamers quest for an irreplaceable Nintendo DS RPG, it can certainly entertain them for 15-20 hours.
  2. Beautifully presented with a fairly interesting story and fun cast of characters to interact with but it lacks a bit in terms of gameplay content. [JPN Import]
  3. A deep, engrossing tactical-strategy RPG weighing in with several weeks of play. [Nov 2007, p.93]
  4. The game may be a little rough around the edges, but it's got heart. [Sep 2007, p.86]
  5. Strategy RPGs on the DS are in no short supply but neither are the people that play them, and this one has pretty much everything a fan could hope for provided you prefer live lengthy dialogue over quick breaks between venues. [Nov 2007, p.76]
  6. Luminous Arc is a good game by all accounts, but quite frankly, this isn't the big DS RPG gamers have been waiting for.
  7. Luminous Arc may not be the next great title for the DS or SRPGs as a whole, but it is definitely entertaining enough to keep even the hardest of hardcore players enjoying it. Much like the whole game, the online play is equally simple and entertaining.
  8. Provides fun, simple tactical action, and really, who could ask for more?
  9. 75
    It isn’t great, it isn’t amazing, it’s just an entertaining strategy RPG that makes no excuses in adapting classic gameplay with an anime feel and a few twists and turns of its own gameplay-wise.
  10. The best part of Luminous Arc is its balanced and accessible gameplay, though it lacks some narrative depth.
  11. 75
    What I will say is this: When the RPG bug hits me, I always seem to stumble over the very game I need to satisfy the itch. Luminous Arc is my bug spray. Do yourselves a favor. Take off the elitist crown, get off your throne of indifference and play this game. You may actually surprise yourself and have fun.
  12. 74
    Overall, Luminous Arc has a lot going for it, and manages to deliver a mostly-solid TRPG performance with only a few flaws.
  13. My problem with Luminous Arc is that underneath the boring story, poor jokes, religious mumbo jumbo and endless button bashing to skip it all, there's a little gem of a game trying to break out.
  14. With a lengthy campaign, an addictive battle system, and a cooperative multiplayer mode, Luminous Arc is the kind of title that you can lose yourself in.
  15. Not exactly the most thrilling RPG, and the user interface is quite irritating, but it might be of interest. [Dec 2007, p.65]
  16. 65
    It's clichéd, it's hokey, and the design could have been far better - while nothing's individually or overly poor, the package just doesn't quite work.
  17. If you can stomach the story, and the isometric viewpoint giving you occasional trouble when trying to select your desired unit with the stylus, it stands as a decent bite-size alternative. Anyone else, though, would be better off waiting for the DS's next turn to see if it spits out something more meaty.
  18. Trying to maintain that balance between strategy and traditional role playing is ultimately its undoing, as it fails to fully deliver on either front.
  19. The characters never once defy players’ expectations, the story is poorly paced, and the combat offers no meaningful twists on the formula we’ve been playing for years. I can’t imagine anyone but hard-line genre devotees will get their money’s worth out of Luminous Arc.
  20. 60
    If you just want a simple and enjoyable portable strategy/RPG to whittle away some time with, Luminous Arc will fill that role very nicely. But if you were hoping for a deep, compelling SRPG you could play competitively against others, you'll find that this light doesn't shine anywhere near as brightly as it should.
  21. 60
    It's a decent enough game but it isn't the grand strategy RPG experience that we've all been waiting for. [Sep 2007, p.84]
  22. Sure, the core game gets the job done, but you might still consider waiting for a brighter spot of strategic swords-and-sorcery. [Sept 2007, p.100]
  23. Luminous Arc just comes across as a competent game with no single aspect that excels or attempts to push the genre forward. It's basically a generic strategy RPG that benefits from supporting WFC, though even this aspect is bare-bones. You could do worse...you could do better.
  24. 55
    When you think "Final Fantasy Tactics clone," your mind probably sees something like Disgaea: Hour of Darkness: a competent facsimile of the formula that stands on its own. But with Luminous Arc, you get the most similar, least-polished alternative yet.
  25. 40
    The lack of character customization is another issue, with fixed classes and no input allowed on individual skills, attributes, or spells other than purchasing armor, weapons, and accessories each time you visit town.
User Score
7.1

Mixed or average reviews- based on 19 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 5
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 5
  3. Negative: 1 out of 5
  1. Feb 17, 2013
    2
    So where should I begin...
    Well, I will start off with the good so that people reading this review won't think that I am criticizing this
    game because JRPG doesn't suit my taste when, on contrary, opposite is true. I appreciate Japanese TRPG like Tactics Ogre, FFT, and even more recent series like Disgaea; Luminous Arc is no where near sufficient to meet the standards for JRPG like the ones I mentioned.

    For those who liked this game, I'll give you that this game has above decent music score (composer being the same man who worked on Crono Cross), the character design is effectively aimed for the specific audience without having it to be too flamboyant about it (well, except for that witch with the ginormous pair of melons), the voice acting is annoying but I can appreciate how they were trying to please that said audience, and some dialogues were kinda funny whether it was intentional or not

    The plot for this game is nothing we haven't seen before: a naive protagonist being manipulated by their own organization to believe their lies. (see FFVII, FFX or any other JRPG involving religious power, or "evil" corporation) It is so mainstreamed that I often wonder if the writers were even expecting players to be surprised by its utterly obvious plot-twists.

    And even if the story isn't "that bad," the whole game only like 10-15hrs long at the most.

    The advancement of the story is linear as it can get: the point-A-to-B style. Despite of being provided with an open world view, allowing you to travel back to previous town, there simply isn't a reason why you should do that other than to needlessly level-grind your characters for a very very easy game (I'll get back on that later) The previous town doesn't offer better equipment nor does it offer any special events, QED: pointless feature.

    Each of the characters have "titles" like Warrior or Cleric but it all means nothing because there is no Job system in the game. Because being able to change the job and having the ability to customize your own squad would mean more variety depth and we can't have THAT now, can we?

    The battle tactic is heavily relied on "who strikes first" mentality; just wait for the enemy to come within your attacking range, let your archers/magicians whale on one enemy and let your melees finish it off.

    And if that doesn't make the game any easier, how about that broken, unbalanced warrior and the protagonist who can unleash a stupid amount of firepower while being able to soak up so much damage. Or how about that cleric who can buff up the defense/attack of 4 characters in one turn. Or maybe having all characters to be able to use items so there won't be a need for healers, ever. Or maybe having that unnecessarily overpowered Flash Drive attacks which you'll not likely to even use unless you got items for it or something...

    And if healing up to full HP/MP every time you level up doesn't make this game easier enough for you, while taking into account of everything I said just now above... I suggest you stay away from tactic game entirely.

    And what is a anime-influenced game without very flat, uninteresting, and cheap character development? I am of course talking about "intermission" system which is basically a badly written dating sim between protagonist and a character of your choice which occurs after every battle. And I wouldn't even call it a dating sim because there is no substantial dialogue between the two; it is just one character says a single line of text and protagonist needs to choose a fairly obvious "right answer" from the given three choices. Do you mean to tell me that writers were too half-assed to even write a simple conversation?

    And I can't even turn the camera view during the battle... WHY WHY WHY!?

    Those who are reading this might be thinking, "Stop nitpicking, it's their first game that they developed so cut them some slack..." and I would've agreed with you if they hadn't been making the character-oriented game that aims for the shallowest group of gamers who approved of this garbage (I'm looking at you Nintendo Power and Gamespot. Balanced gameplay my ass...) and they are quite shameless about it seeing from how they have made, not one but, two sequels to this.

    While those who are fan of anime, but just don't care for quality in game enough that you wouldn't shell out more than 10 bucks, then this is for you. Still, in my opinion, there isn't enough moe in world to save it from this level of atrocity.
    Full Review »
  2. Oct 9, 2013
    7
    This is a lovely little SRPG.

    It's not that deep or challenging but it's really pleasant to play. The characters are fun and the combat is
    toned down so anyone could enjoy this game, especially those new to SRPG's.

    Don't expect anything new or innovative and you will have fun with this game.
    Full Review »
  3. Jan 11, 2012
    10
    This game of ATLUS is awesome because it takes on a RELIGIOUS view and how the church conduct their plans under everyone's noses and by the end,you will feel on the top of the world (metaphorically of course!) 10/10

    *Voice acting made me laugh because the voices were so funny with the vulgar language I grew up with ^^ *
    Full Review »