Luna: Shattered Hearts – Episode 1 (PC) Review

By Athanasios 23.06.2015

Review for Luna: Shattered Hearts – Episode 1 on PC

The gaming industry is possibly one of the most competitive and rapidly evolving ones out there. One day, a Korean MMORPG dominates the world through ample cleavages and skimpy bikini armour; the next one, it bites the dust due to the bigger jugs and smaller outfits of its competitor, which might even have - gasp! - good gameplay. This extremely antagonistic market is twice as tough for indie creators, since they usually lack the required budget, like Luna: Shattered Hearts - Episode 1, which was made by a single person. Is that an excuse for how bad it is? Is there hope for this subterranean fantasy action-adventure? Should the gaming community have mercy on its mortal soul? Read why, after experiencing the first episode of what is supposed to be a trilogy, Cubed3's answer to these questions is a big fat 'No.'

Although a videogame can't be solely judged from its initial menu, it can sometimes set the tone for what lies ahead, and this title's start-up screen feels a bit amateurish, with options that are quite lacking, and an overall design that, while good, could be a lot better. What is this all about, though? The story begins with Lithien, a dark elf-like man who has fallen in a dark cavern, and who - cliché number one - suffers from amnesia. Dez, a somewhat pirate-ty lady with a long tail awakens him, gets pinched by Cupid's arrow, and - cliché number two - decides to accompany him.

After this brief - and unavoidable - intro, the plot disappears, and will only show its ugly, puerile head again right after the one and only boss fight, something that, for a - supposedly - story-driven RPG, isn't very encouraging. Furthermore, these few shreds of plotline that are available aren't even remotely interesting, don't answer anything, and are voiced by a very bored couple of voice actors. What is between the 'A' and the 'B' of this mundane exercise in spelunking, then? The answer is two lame grind quests.

Even for a single episode this adventure is way too short. In fact, if a long and boring search for some ingredients wasn't required, this would only take 10 or so minutes! In order to craft the two needed key items, the player must keep on killing the same three monsters over and over again in the one and only - and tiny - stage available, a task that is unbelievably tedious, not only because it's extremely repetitive, but, mainly, because everything, from the controls to the various gameplay mechanics, are severely flawed.

Screenshot for Luna: Shattered Hearts – Episode 1 on PC

Jumping is so slow and floaty that controlling Lithien feels like controlling an astronaut. Thankfully, this is not a platformer; therefore, this is far from the worst aspect of the game - which, without a single doubt, is the part where this terrible excuse for a hero must use his sword. The enemies are, theoretically, not a challenging bunch, yet the hit detection is so bad, and the three available attack moves so slow, that they make them "look" hard. Furthermore, hits don't temporarily stun them, so they keep on attacking no matter what - and they are surprisingly lethal.

Although Lithien soon turns out to be a weakling, he is always followed by Dez and a flying orb. Besides providing light, this magic artefact leaves behind healing energy, as long as it's charged, which requires hacking at some blue crystals that are scattered around, a chore as boring as it is meaningless. Since dying is still quite easy, though, Dez must also do her thing, which, besides hitting enemies when she feels like it, is the ability to bring the dead back to life.

One final thing that must be said about this ruin of a videogame is the Love system. Dez is supposed to be far more effective as a teammate when her heart "gauge" is full. There are two flaws with this system, though: #1 this meter goes up by doing simple, non-challenging things like staying close to each other, or riding an enemy beetle(?), and #2 it doesn't really make a difference! Even if it did, however, this would remain a boring, needlessly-stretched grind quest, with god-awful controls, and a plot that mostly shines through its absence.

Screenshot for Luna: Shattered Hearts – Episode 1 on PC

Cubed3 Rating

3/10
Rated 3 out of 10

Bad

The fact that this is an extremely low-budget project made by just one person is no excuse for its mind-numbingly low quality. Out of Order, Minecraft and Cave Story are all one-man jobs, yet they are great - especially the latter, which should be taught in videogame design classes. Daniel Gill said in an interview that his creation is like his child, and that he doesn't want people to pick on it, so, maybe he should try becoming a better "father" by skipping the development of the next two episodes altogether, and start again from scratch in order to create something that may not be a lot better, but at least be playable.

Developer

Daniel Gill

Publisher

Gillis LLC

Genre

Adventure

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  3/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date Out now   

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