Thoughts on a Demo – Stella Glow
The demo of Stella Glow by Imageepoch has left me with some positive impressions. Granted, the demo only covers the prologue which, in itself, is only an hour or two long. However, it still provides an interesting set-up for things to come. The demo also provides 4 battles and a “tuning” section.
To summarize the prologue: there was (still is?) a God on the moon. People praised and worshiped this God and made it very happy. However, once Regnant Kingdom was founded, people stopped caring about the God. Due to this, the God sent his angels to kill the people who didn’t believe in him. In return a boy went to the God to calm him down. The boy’s plan ended up working and he was regarded a hero. This story is now regarded as a fairy-tale to children which brings us to today’s time. Alto (the main character in this game) goes out in the woods where he finds a witch named Hilda. There’s two things that tell us that she’s a witch not only can she use magic, but she can also sing. For some reason only witches can sing. Upon their meeting she tells him to leave the village he lives in. When he ignores her request, she uses magic to crystallize his entire village. Tragically, this crystallizes everyone in it with no apparent way to get them out of it. Hilda escapes as the Kingdom’s guards show up and demand that Alto and his sister, Lisette, come back with them without question because Lisette turned into a witch, herself, during the events of village’s destruction.
The combat of Stella Glow seems to be of standard SPRG fare. You have normal HP and SP bars, some characters have special abilities (Alto for example can counter some attacks), and the position you strike your opponent in determines accuracy of the move and even output damage. The overall presentation doesn’t seem to be too bad either. Character portraits look nice, the environments feel alive, and when you get into a battle you get a nice little cutscene of the exchange. If anything, sure it’s only the demo, but so far the gameplay seems to be on the simpler side with the story being the main draw. It’s far from boring, but I just need to see a lot more of it before I can really judge it.
Tuning in this game refers to the process in which one turns into a witch. In the case of the demo, Lisette didn’t feel at ease of her village being destroyed and once you reached her, you had to calm her down by making the right choice in conversations. I don’t know if failing them is possible or not, but if they’re all like they are in the demo, then there might not be anything to worry about. Of course I’m sure there’ll be some sort of obstacle in the way as you get more witches in your party (judging from the opening theme).
All-in-all, as long as the story doesn’t fall apart or the game remains too easy, this has the potential of a really good, if not marvelous, game. It would be highly unfortunate if Imageepoch’s final game would be remembered on a sour note. They weren’t the best of the developers, but they were far from terrible.