Tales of Luminaria - Crossroads Episode 1 Review: The Habakiri Incident

"You think I'll abandon my beloved Habakiri when she needs me most...?"

Surprise! You thought I was done with these? Nope! I’ve played through ALL of the episodes, so I will give reviews to all of them. I apologize if it took a while for me to upload a new Luminaria review. I had a lot of other projects that I wanted to complete before resuming Luminaria reviews. I really do enjoy writing these.

What is a Crossroads episode? It’s basically an episode where you play both Federation and Empire characters and it links to the canon story. It’s not filler; every episode is canon in a way. It follows the same four chapter formula, but you zigzag between characters; basically, there is no central focus.

What is this Crossroads episode about? It’s basically the Blaze first-years going on a trip to a beach town with tired not-mom Lisette trying to control them. Soon, the town becomes chaotic when a rebellion starts. Much to the Federation’s surprise, the Empire characters are at the same town for a business trip too! However, the Federation people do not know that, so they have to cooperate in order to find the mastermind behind the rebellion!

The highlight of this episode was mainly the interactions between the Le Sant trio and the Empire officials. The trios of each group split up as they were interested in different things, but eventually bonded with each other.

Chapter 1 is a Celia-focused chapter. Celia becomes engrossed in shopping where she meets Laplace who is older and more mature than her. While their interaction is cute (probably my favorite interaction in this episode), my biggest gripe with this chapter is the gameplay. Why does the game have to make Celia be the central character? I’m sorry to all the Celia fans, but her gameplay SUCKS. In a beat’em up game system like Luminaria, archers like Celia are like the worst ones to use. It takes a while for her to charge up to start attacking multiple enemies and the enemies move around, so it’s hard to use. I almost broke down crying due to frustration. Why can’t I control Laplace instead? At least her attacks are easier to handle.

Chapter 2 focuses on Alexandra and Leo, with the former as the lead character. Their interaction was hilarious. I loved the dynamic between them as they try to sample all the local food. I liked getting all the recipes. What I love the most is that Leo gains a huge respect for Alexandra, which is a lot different from the way he behaves around other girls. He treats Celia like a sister. He is awkward around Michelle. He’s terrified of Lisette. I think that admiring Alexandra is showing an interesting side to Leo as he is someone who likes noble people and Alexandra is the noblest Empire soldier. The gameplay is pretty solid in this part since it’s Alexandra—she has the third best gameplay of the 21 characters. Leo is no slouch as second banana too.

Chapter 3 goes back to frustration mode as Hugo is the lead character. Fortunately, during the time I played the Crossroads chapter, Hugo had gotten an upgrade to his speed. He’s no longer sluggish, but the way he fights is still clunky. At least playing as him is better than playing as August? I don’t know who’d be the worse choice in this situation. All I can say is that August is much better gameplay-wise when he’s not controlled. But this chapter is the catalyst to how Hugo joined the Empire. A chance meeting with August is the factor that causes Hugo to defect. Hugo had already caught August’s eye from the moment they met. Although August used an alias to conceal his identity from Hugo, Hugo already figured out who he is. I do like how even though they are enemies, they get along surprisingly well. I like intelligent characters, so seeing two intelligent characters conversing makes me happy.

The fourth chapter consists of a party of Leo, Hugo and August with Leo being the lead character. You would be surprised on how happy I was that I didn’t have to play as Hugo anymore. Controlling Leo is so much better than playing as the other two.  Even with the big boss fights, using Leo is the best option. I knew the tour guide man Kuze was going to be a villain. I’ve read too many stories and played too many games to know this. He’s the only intricately designed NPC, meaning there’s more to him than his first impressions. I kind of feel bad for him in a way. The constant war and animosity between the two nations caused a neutral country, Habakiri, to go into panicked chaos. The way cannons and such were used were terrifying in a way. The mysterious power both Leo and Hugo had after they were defeated by Kuze is very mysterious. It kind of shows that there might be more to the story than meets the eye and it’s too bad that we won’t ever get to know what it is.

Too bad Lisette didn’t join the “fun”. However, it did leave an impact for some of the characters. Also, it seems that Hugo is a lot more protective of Leo than he is with Celia—and it also showed in his first episode where he mainly thought of Leo and little of Celia (he’s biased). I’m assuming Hugo’s mysterious power is the reason why August wants to scout Hugo as an Alpha. What are you scheming, you pasty man?

The reveal of Vicar Kanon surprised me. She looks...creepy in a way. How does her head hold that headpiece?

Overall, Crossroads is a unique and well-done idea that helps merge both sides of the story before they split off once again. I’ll be writing Episode 2 reviews soon, so I hope you’ll be patient until then. Thank you again for your patience regarding this review.

Tales of Luminaria
Tales of LuminariaTales of Luminaria is an upcoming Tales of Series original title for iOS and Android released November 2021. The game was first announced during Gamescom Opening Night Live. Unlike the recent Tales mobile games, Luminaria has been reported to have its own original world with only original characters and no previous Tales characters, as well as an English dub. Unfortunately, the game has announced termination of service worldwide on July 19, 2022.

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About Grace 71 Articles
Grace is an aspiring novelist currently rewriting her novel for the umpteenth time. When not writing or playing Tales games, she stares at her laptop for hours, ruining her eyes in the process, and watching anime and Let's plays. She is also VERY scatterbrained.
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