Tales of Luminaria - Leo Episode 1 Review: Budding Heroes

Episode Leo

There's only one way forward. That's to keep on fighting nobly!

Another Tales mobile game? It’s an original title? Let me see how this goes. My thoughts with Luminaria so far are that it’s decent. It’s not good or bad. It’s a good introductory chapter, but it only introduces the gameplay and a portion of the world building.

  • Played on: Android
  • Half of the gameplay was after the 1.06 update

The gameplay is kind of complicated. The game uses a vertical screen, unlike Crestoria, and the controls revolve around circle pad and two other circles for artes. The game’s exploration paths are long hallways that are as linear as Final Fantasy XIII’s exploration paths. The characters traverse through long hallways and then press buttons every now and then to get items, open gates and to cross ledges.

Speaking of which, these ledges are the worst part of the gameplay so far. You cross through the ledges and you cannot go back. I don’t think the game allows you to go back; you can only move forward.

The camera control for the battles is really frustrating. There are instances where I cannot see an enemy and I have to move Leo around just so the camera can focus on the enemy. The camera gets better in later chapters, but it’s frustrating during boss fights.

The circle pad is also super annoying because I want to fight but when I keep moving the pad, Leo keeps rolling around. However, I think I am getting a better control of it now.

The wonky camera controls and the annoying circle pad are really frustrating during boss fights. Some bosses just cannot keep still and when they attack you until your HP depletes to a danger zone, you have to waste at least four healing items (or that’s what I usually do). I get worried about wasting all of them and losing bad in a boss fight, which could happen in a later episode.

I think I vented out enough frustrations with the gameplay. I’m going to talk the details about it that I like. I do like the conversations that happen while the characters are moving. They’re like automatic skits that give insight to the world and character. There are some funny dialogues like Celia and Hugo calling themselves “Mama” and “Papa” because they’re constantly looking out for their idiot son Leo and how Leo would be easier to watch over if he were an infant.

I also like how some characters are long-range attackers like Celia, so she can be used to attack enemies from a distance or she can attack traps from their source point. Michelle also uses a staff, so she can provide long ranged attacks as well. Though, there are annoying aspects like Celia being forced out of the party due to traps and the other characters have to protect her from monsters until a certain amount of time passed.

For now, I’ve only played Leo’s episode, so I’m sure my opinions about the gameplay will change later on. I’m not the biggest fan of it from what I’ve seen so far.

From what I can gather from the story so far, there are two sides, the Jerle Empire and the Imperial. Both sides are at war with each other. The Jerle Empire is training new cadets with Leo Fourcade and his childhood friends, Celia Arvier and Hugo Simon amongst some. The cadets are a part of a class called Blaze. Lisette Regnier is the instructor. Leo, Celia and Hugo aren’t the only members. There is Michelle Bouquet, another new recruit, and four upperclassmen, Maxime Hasselman, Yelsy, Vanessa Morax and Lucien Dufaure. What’s interesting about the cadet training in this episode is that the upperclassmen are grouped into teams of two while the childhood friends are grouped as a trio. Michelle is the only one without a partner.

The mention of the Imperials is prominent. Details about them are given throughout the chapter. I now know that there are three high ranking soldiers called the Three Wolves; they have high quality technology that can brainwash people when they’re at their limit; and spies have a tendency to sneak into enemy territory.

Leo, as a character, seems interesting. He spews about being and acting noble, but there are times where he doesn’t adhere to it, like how he killed the shapeshifters despite Hugo telling him not to and how he realized that the person he helped out was the spy and that he had to eliminate him when the reactor possessed him. I think Leo has potential to become great. The only aspects of his character that I didn’t like was how the writing seemed to make him a bigger idiot with his friends having a tendency to reiterate details for him; they all seem to patronize him.

He also has interesting dynamics with the other characters. Like I mentioned with Celia and Hugo, he is the idiot son friend of their group. He seems to respect the upperclassmen, but cannot handle people like Yelsy who is a free spirit. He also seems to be afraid of strong women since he’s terrified of Lisette. He also behaves differently with Michelle. Celia seems to ship them, but I think they’re just awkward with each other. He also behaves amicably towards adults like how he’s nice to Gaspard despite him being confused with how he managed to out speed them at times.

He’s a grandma’s boy and I find that cute. There are also details about how his hometown was destroyed eight years ago and it seems to have an effect on him to this day. I assume his grandmother was one of the casualties. It must have been a terrible incident for the childhood friends to feel melancholic about it when it’s mentioned.

Where will Leo go from here? Will he be able to move on from the fact that he helped an Imperial spy and had to kill him? Will he be able to obtain the noble lifestyle he wants?

Overall, this is a good introductory chapter to the world of Luminaria and I’m excited to play other chapters to find and piece together the story.

Tales of Luminaria
Tales of LuminariaTales of Luminaria is an upcoming Tales of Series original title for iOS and Android to be 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.

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About Grace 39 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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