Lufia: Curse of the Sinistrals Design Issues

March 22nd, 2013

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When my brother and I were kids, we finished SNES RPG, Lufia II, about six or seven times between us. Every time you beat the game, in the subsequent New Game+ file, your party’s EXP is multiplied by the number of your current playthrough. So beat the game once and start a New Game+ file and your party will receive double EXP each battle. Needless to say, we adored this game. When Square-Enix announced that Neverland, the original developers, were going to re-envision the game for the DS, it seemed too good to be true. Unfortunately, this gorgeous-looking dungeon crawler is full of bad design. I got a bit further than half way through the game (the Mountain of No Return, ironically) and gave up. Here’s why:

Here’s what I did like:

Ah, now that I’ve written this article, I don’t feel so guilty over ditching this game early.

  • Steve Johnathan

    “Since levelling is useless, there’s no “incentive” to participate in the tiresome battles.”

    This quote has me wondering what you think about Paper Mario Sticker Star’s lack of a leveling up system since people seem to have a similar complaint about no “incentive” to battle.

  • In most games, levelling leads to statistical upgrades, but since the enemies’ stats also improve as the player progresses, levelling doesn’t add anything to the game. Never mind that better stats in and of itself doesn’t improve the game’s interaction. I’m not sure about Sticker Star as I haven’t played it. Having played all the other Mario RPG games, though, I was pleased to hear that they removed the stats and levelling and replaced it with something more concrete. The stats and levelling do nothing to improve the strategy, options, or input challenges of the battles in the previous games. I guess the reason why some players don’t feel any incentive to do the battles is because they’re use to the psychologically-abusive skinner box design of many RPG games. I’d much rather play a game where battles organically feed into side quests which back into battles.