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As Imageepoch's swan song, it may not be a slam dunk, but it's clear that Stella Glow was crafted with care from people who know the genre, even if at times you just have to stare at whatever just happened in disbelief and say, "Okay, whatever, game."
In many ways, Stella Glow is a by-the-numbers strategy RPG, but it does have a partially interesting cast, some unique storylines, and a working combat system. Imageepoch has had some ups and downs in their lengthy career, but thankfully they can at least end on somewhat of a high note.
Unoriginal yet competent, Stella Glow is your typical japanese SRPG with added fashion-witches.
Review in Italian | Read full review
Stella Glow does a lot of things well, but it also has annoyances that hold it back from being an easy recommendation on the 3DS to any SRPG fan.
Stella Glow isn't reinventing the wheel here, but to its benefit it's not trying to. It's trying to be a fun, engaging, and relatively brief tactical J-RPG that signs the end of Imageepoch's tenor with a franchise they started. The story is anime-solid. The combat and social mini-games are enjoyable, and what few irritants the game does have are easily bested by any invested role-playing gamer. Stella Glow has a talent for keeping you engaged all the way through, which is a rare trait for the increasingly niche world of Japanese Role Playing games.
While the story is a bit too predictable for my tastes, everything from the visuals to the combat felt very polished from beginning to end. It's quite unfortunate that this is likely the last game Imageepoch will release, but perhaps they will rest well knowing that they went out on a high note.
Overall, Stella Glow represents a polished rendition of the classic strategy JRPG that fans of the genre can appreciate. It doesn't introduce any groundbreaking mechanics but the mechanics it does have are mostly implemented well and make the game enjoyable. Despite a few issues with character imbalances and tuning sequences that aren't quite dialed down, Stella Glow does a good job overall of providing a modern rendition of the classic JRPG playstyle and should entertain old-school fans.
A great year for strategy role-playing games continues with Stella Glow, wherein a surprisingly dark story and entertaining battle mechanics combine to keep players hooked.
Even with those complaints though, Stella Glow is an awesome game if you like JRPGs. It has almost everything one could ask for: a lovable cast of characters, solid voice acting and music, a moving story, sharp anime stylings and most importantly, deep, satisfying game-play. As a new IP, I honestly thought Stella Glow would leave me wanting and with a list of improvements to be made in the sequel. Instead it left me surprised with how good it was, elated, and very hopeful for a Stella Glow 2.
Stella Glow is a good strategy game for the 3DS that I can easily recommend for those whose enjoy the genre or are fans of the game's developer. However, it is far from a perfect experience. The frequent use of cliches, the lack of speed, and few difficulty options alongside other flaws keep Imageepoch's latest work from being a memorable experience.