“You owe me nothing. I did this for myself.”
Do you have that one character you didn’t have a good impression of at the beginning and then your opinion of them changed when they got some focus? That’s Maxime for me. In some of the Jerle Federation episodes that he made appearances in, he was haughty and a bit insufferable. I found him annoying. Then, I played his episode and my impression of him changed a lot. I found him relatable with his low self-esteem and his impulsive actions; overall, he’s kind.
I like how his dreams are all doodles. It was an adorable opening. The first chapter of Maxime’s episode starts with him on a solo mission to pick up herbs. His personality and character is practically given to us here. Unlike his dreams, he’s seeking acknowledgement from his father and brother who probably think very little of him and that’s how his personality warped into believing he’s someone worth little. That’s why he has a rivalry with Lucien who is everything he wants to be and has everything he wants, which is heavily implied in chapter 2.
Chapter 3 is where the pivotal portions happen. In Chapter 2, there are constant mentions of bandits and thievery going around town and Maxime was unfortunate enough to have been pickpocketed by a little girl named Disa. Chapter 3 is where he decides to infiltrate the village. Chapter 4 is him intruding into the village.
Chapters 3 and 4 are where the gameplay shined positively and negatively. Before I talk about Maxime’s gameplay, I just want to vent a bit. Why does Luminaria have characters face off against enemies that they clearly have a huge disadvantage with? In the first chapter, Maxime had to deal with multiple rampaging boars by himself. The boars move around a lot and were not suited for Maxime’s gameplay. They move all over the place and Maxime can only shoot from a distance at a time. The same thing applies to August. He’s always with companions because his gameplay always had him in a disadvantage! However, unlike August, Maxime is consistently alone in the gameplay portion and the only part he had companion was in Chapter 2 where it was just Lucien. Having Lucien around was helpful!
And now in Chapters 3 and 4, Maxime is on a solo mission. He’s consistently around moving enemies and it’s hard to avoid them! Forunately, Maxime is my strongest character of the 21, but this episode has the distinct honor of me getting two game overs because the enemies moved around too much that I ran out of healing items.
One of Maxime’s moves involves him jumping to attack multiple enemies, but it was hard to do that when the moving enemies don’t give you that chance. I rarely had that move happen. For me, it was just either trying to get Maxime’s attack up and then attacking them by long-range triple bows or using those platform shoes to get him to kick enemies into oblivion.
If I have to compare Maxime with Celia, I’d say that Celia’s easier to control while Maxime’s very hard to use. Celia’s max power attack is easier to achieve while Maxime’s jump target attack is harder to use. Like, I would play as Celia if I had to pick between her and Maxime.
Now that I’m done venting, I’ll talk about the positives in Maxime’s gameplay. Chapter 3 was where the creativity shined. I loved the gate infiltration portions where Maxime has to use his arrows to move the switch. That was pure genius right there and it gives insight on how to use an archer right in gameplay.
Chapter 4’s boss battle with the village chief was also where the gameplay was used positively. Multiple enemies do not surround Maxime, so he can be used without hindrances. Though, this was the portion where I got a second game over, but I ran out of healing items so that was my fault for not being prepared. Because the village chief uses a short ranged weapon, Maxime has to avoid the attacks and be used long range. The Embleo power was a huge help and it’s easy to charge up attacks since he’s alone and doesn’t have anyone to bother him.
Other than the gameplay, I do like the story in general. It shows a side of Maxime that you’d never expect him to have. His actions are impulsive and a bit selfish since he did it with hopes to get good thoughts and be the Head of Blaze, but it’s also kind of stupid. Despite his loud personality, Maxime has a heart of gold and will sacrifice his fortunes to make people happy. I don’t think I could stake away my entire savings for the poor. I need money to help people but I can’t help people if I run out of money.
The only difference between Maxime and me is how we feel about Lucien. He is hostile towards him while I simp for Lucien. However, Lucien doesn’t really do much in this chapter other than be the source of envy for Maxime—his goal, apparently.
But, do you know who shines in this chapter? Frederick! Luminaria devs, why is he not playable? How DARE you make him an NPC? That man has ninja-like stealth and infinite wisdom. He has the potential to be the most OP character in all of the game and you choose to NOT make him playable? That’s fair, but still. I want Frederick to be playable. He was amazing in the way that he appears out of thin air. It gives him an air of mystery. Who is Frederick? Why does he work for House Hasslemans? I want to know more about him. Heck, even Lucien likes him a lot! I want a butler that makes amazing tea! Also, this episode gives out two dishes and I find that cool.
Speaking of which, Yelsy makes an appearance at the end. If you play chapter 2, Maxime’s episode takes place some time after hers when he talks to the guy in front of the mines. I like the continuity. There’s also a lot of ship tease between the two starting from chapter 1 where he thought about giving her herbs. Do I ship them? I do.
What are your thoughts about Maxime’s first episode? Let me know!