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Lux Pain Review

Genres: Adventure
Year of Release: 2009
Developer: Killaware
Publisher: Rising Star Games
Review Date: 9-9-2009
Review Platform: DS
Review Region: UK Available In UK
Est Playtime: 21+ hrs
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Review By: Bradley Beeck

Atsuki is a member of FORT, an organization dedicated to eradicating SILENT. A disease which amplifies negative emotions. On the trail of a SILENT carrier Atsuki travels to Kisaragi City and enrolls in the local highschool. Using his Sigma ability Atsuki must track down and destroy the virus residing in the city's inhabitants.

lux_pain001As a fan of anime Iíve come across my fair share of poorly translated or released media. However Iíd begun to think that sort of thing was largely in the past. Unfortunately Lux Pain is just that, badly translated, tending to fall apart whenever a character tries to explain something. Genders are mixed up, who is speaking is wrong, and there are sentences that donít make sense. This time we have donít have soulless American producers to blame, it was all done in house.

lux_pain008Lux Pain is an adventure game so the shoddy translation is really unforgivable. The quality of the writing is the crux of these types of games. That said Lux Pain does have a significant amount of actual gameplay, much more than other titles in the genre. The virus called Silent has to be removed through simple but enjoyable mechanics. Thereís a bit of variation in the method but essentially the player has to tap on dots that appear with increasing speed. Doing so inflicts damage on the virus, and failing to do so drains the playerís energy bar. Itís game over when your bar reaches zero but the battle can be immediately replayed. Additionally there are the Worms which represent a NPCís emotions and thoughts. Activating the main characterís Sigma ability allows the player to find them, which is performed by scratching away parts of the screen. Thereís a health bar and time limit for this too. Once a worm is discovered and caught the characterís thoughts are displayed on the top screen but theyíre hard to read. They appear quickly, donít reveal a great deal, and perhaps suffer from the translation. The Silent viruses are used as bosses while the Worms are used as investigation tools. I would have preferred that a lot of the information that came from worms simply came out in conversations instead, rather than having to so frequently activate the Sigma ability. Catching Worms and defeating Silent rewards you with XP as well advancing the game. More XP leads to leveling up and a larger time limit and better skills.

lux_pain013The storyline in Lux Pain is fairly dark, as Silent causes negative emotions characters will try to kill themselves and murder people. All told in written form of course but thereís a decent amount of spoken dialogue. There are also regular choices between usually two dialogue options and choices of your characterís emotional reaction to something. This emotional reaction is quite novel and ranges from laughing, sad, cool, angry and totals 7 options. Though itís not used very often and the best choice can be a little odd. Despite the dodgy writing I liked the gameís characters and the way the game unfolds. Your time is split between school and wandering around town, occurring across most of a calendar month. Itís very slice of life as you meet up with people around the place and get involved in their lives. The Bulletin Board accessed through the Netcafe helps; users continually post comments on events happening in the game. Unlike Time Hollow I cared about the characters because they have their own lives, you get to learn about them, how they feel, and you spend more time with them. The game has different endings depending on whether you remove Silent from certain characters or not. I missed them and got the lesser of the endings, which isnít much of one as basically the credits just start rolling. That was disappointing given my affection for the characters. It also leaves a lot of plot holes but again maybe that was due to the translation.

lux_pain020Graphically Lux Pain is a standard adventure game; characters blink and move their mouth but have an absence of scene specific reactions. There were a few static images of special scenes to make up for this. The music ranged from boring to decent and the voice acting was serviceable. The spoken dialogue was different to the written text but it was in the ball park. It seemed to be part smoothing over and part telling you something extra.

Lux Pain is an adventure game that at times is right down there with the worst fansubs in the translation stakes. It tends to fall apart whenever someone tries to explain things. Despite this I liked the characters and the way the story unfolds in a slice of life manner, even if I did get jibbed on a proper ending. The game also has a lot of actually gameplay that, simple as it is, is enjoyable if over used. Lux Pain is a reasonable adventure game that was majorly hampered by a poor translation but still managed to entertain me.