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[Review] Stella Glow

Posted on November 14, 2015 by (@LyonHart_) in 3DS, Reviews

System: 3DS
Release date: November 17, 2015
Developer: Imageepoch
Publisher Atlus

Author: Dennis

Imageepoch’s unfortunate demise doesn’t go without a stellar track record with games like 7th Dragon, Fate/Extra, and the Luminous Arc series that have all delivered unprecedented RPG experiences across a variety of platforms since their founding in 2005. The studio’s final game, Stella Glow, is a title that they can proudly leave with as the developers embark on future endeavors. Stella Glow is a beautifully animated and vibrant world that is as fun as it is nice to look at.


Stella Glow is a very story-rich adventure that puts players in the shoes of Alto, a young hunter who can’t seem to remember anything beyond three years ago as he was found unconscious near the village he currently resides, Mithra. One day while scavenging for goods, after defeating some wolves, you hear a melodic sound in the distance that sounds unfamiliar. Due to the monotonous nature of tones because the concept of “song” has been lost for so many years, humans being bereft of harmonious sounds became the norm, causing anything that sounds melodic to catch the attention of passersby. It is not too long after which you run into the main antagonist throughout the game, Hilda, the Witch of Destruction. Things soon go awry, your village is crystallized, and you must embark on a journey to gather Witches from across the land to sing in unison to stop Hilda once and for all.


One element that’s interesting about Stella Glow is that the way it presents itself is almost like a visual novel. There are extremely long scenes in which characters will converse for an extensive period of time, which may appeal to some while turning away others, though the option to skip them if you please is there. That being said, I would highly advise against doing so as there is a lot of great material, even if it does begin to feel drawn out. Luckily the voice acting is quite nice and fits each character perfectly. Though the voices are exactly as you’d expect them to sound for your average localization, they still work well and the actors put in enough effort to give the characters life and not sound so boring.

Unfortunately, saving can only happen after cut-scenes or mid-battle by a suspend save. The linearity of the story and the fact that it wasted no time bringing you right into the action and understanding the mechanics of the game is much appreciated, but forcing players to get through a certain portion of a scene – which there are many after every battle – could prove to be annoying to some. The game does, however, deliver full-fledged animated cut-scenes from time to time, which I found extremely captivating and makes me hope that a potential anime could happen in the future, much like Devil Survivor. The story of Stella Glow is one that could be beautifully told through an episodic format, just as it is in segments in the game as it delivers each portion of the game in chapters.


The gameplay included in Stella Glow doesn’t differ much from your typical strategy RPG. You’ll be placed in fixed maps and you have objectives to achieve in order to win battles, which will typically be to defeat your opponents. The game does have its own twist, however, in which the power of song via Witches can be used to heavily change the outcome of battles in the field. Witches you obtain throughout the story of Stella Glow will all have their own perks that are extremely useful in battle, sometimes obliterating all enemies in your path. They’ll be extremely useful in the more difficult moments the game provides when a situation is looking extremely dire. The intricate animations when you unleash these beastly beauties is amazing to watch on screen as the colors and music complement each other to deliver such a satisfying blow to your enemies.


Being such a story heavy game that’s presented in a linear fashion with no real way of giving players a choice of where to go next, which is entirely fine, it’s hard to speak about Stella Glow much without spoiling important story aspects, awesome moments, and the more poignant scenes, but it is without a doubt that Imageepoch’s final effort on 3DS is one they’ve put all their effort in in every department that makes a game great. The gameplay after a while will make you feel powerful with what the various Witches and and power of song will give you.

The Verdict
thumbs up review

The recommendation?

For strategy RPG enthusiasts who also love a great story to invest in, Stella Glow will give you all you need with benefits like a gorgeous art style, animated cut-scenes, and a vibrant world to bring it all to life at the palm of your hand on your 3DS. Imageepoch’s final title is one that exemplifies their talent and exudes the effort they put into making one final experience to give players a fun game and rich world that will leave players talking with each other about the game and all it has to offer.

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