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Review: Lux-Pain

by: Felix ; edited by: Michael Hartman ; updated: 4/17/2012 • Leave a comment

Another visual novel game come to the Nintendo DS platform. Named Lux-Pain, this game revolves around the main character Atsuki as he talk and interact with people of Kisaragi city, while searching for evidence of the "Original Silent". How good is this game actually?

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    Since its announcement, Lux-Pain had been greatly anticipated by people. With its interesting plot and gorgeous artwork, many people have thought that Lux-Pain might be the next Ace Attorney franchise that will sell millions. Unfortunately, this is proved to be wrong. People bought and played this game, then closing the DS in disappointment, including me. Nevertheless, I will review this game—and tell what’s bad and what is actually good about this game. This game will be reviewed on three sectors: story, graphics, and gameplay.

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    On first look, Lux-Pain did have a good storyline. The story in Lux-Pain is narrated around a high-schooler with the name Atsuki, which is actually not a real high-schooler, but a member of a special organization called FORT that destroys Silent, which is negative feelings of a person which manifests into a monster—and Atsuki’s job is supposed to be finding them and eliminating them.

    There is absolutely no problem in this game’s storyline. The plot was interesting and caught my eye. But this proved differently when I finally played it. After clicking New Game, I was suddenly threw right in the middle of the story, with the game narrating itself, until to the part where Atsuki, the main character, does something that turns one of his eye golden. That time, I absolutely don’t know what is going on. What is happening? Where am I? And I was just suddenly given a screen in which I have to find something, and when I do find it while scratching the screen (the game didn’t even tell you to do that), I was told that it was a shin’en, without the game even explaining what a shin’en is. Fortunately, I managed to find some background information about the story by accessing the Encyclopedia menu on the map menu screen, which I find while randomly going through the game, completely oblivious that it even exists. I managed to find some background information about the story, and only then I finally understand the story completely. Don’t get me wrong—the storyline in this game is actually good, but it is just executed badly.

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    The graphics in this game are 2-D graphics combined with 3-D render. With anime-styled but dark-looking artworks, Lux-Pain emphasized that this game is serious, and it actually has a darker tone compared to other visual novel genres—being mostly involved with killing and suicide attempts. The only problem with the graphics in this game is that generally they have low-resolution backgrounds. Try to compare this with other games such as Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney and you will find out that this game’s background is made unprofessionally and low-res compared to the character’s artwork.

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    Gameplay - No Tutorial?

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    While for ordinary visual novel the gameplay cannot be rated, this game can because it contains several involvements in players, and this is where it suffers most. I am not talking about the idea that we cannot control the player’s movement, or that playing this game is just like reading a book. The gameplay I am talking about is “battles”, such as finding shin’en or fighting Silent, and this is where the game suffers most. First, like I said on the storyline, I don’t know what to do, because the game doesn’t even tell you how to do something—there aren’t even any tutorial explaining the game. I know that it is something obvious to do/discover, but making a game without a single tutorial and having the player think of a way to advanced by themselves is clearly unprofessional. Even the Ace Attorney or similar games like Hotel Dusk still have tutorial, which tells you at least about the controls and who are you controlling. You might have no trouble until you fight your first real “boss”, in which—again—the game doesn’t tell you how to do something.

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    I must say from this that I don’t recommend this game. Even though it has a good plot and concept, it wasn’t implemented well, which only leaves the player clueless of what to do. From chapter 5 onwards, you have to figure out everything by yourself, and use your deductive reasoning of what happened to someone, and how to deal with it. Failure to do it, especially on Chapter 6, might cause a character to die (someone unexpected) which rewards you with a big “Game Over” screen. If you are interested and don’t mind about this game’s faults, you might as well get this game.