More than anything else with the Luminous Avenger titles, you could never say they aren’t visually stunning with their pixel art. It’s hard not to marvel at it as things get rolling, and there’s even a fair amount of excitement initially when you start wielding your buzzsaw-like weapon and bisecting your enemies with a vengeance. Throw in a mix of quick dashes, some tricky traversals at times to get at secrets, a powerful auto-targeting attack you’ll need to get well-acquainted with, and a powerful and somewhat cinematic special and there’s no shortage of flair to be found here. Challenge though, aside from simply trying to max out your rank and score?!? Not so much. The ever-present ability to heal at any time is a bit weird, and actually feels like a bit of lazy design where the stages weren’t tuned well enough to place heals a bit sparingly and push players to do well enough to earn them. Nope, you can request a heal at any time, even if it does ruin your combo multiplier. Then there’s the pretty limited amount of overall content, allowing you to plow through in less than a handful of hours yet even within the first hour or so you’ll really start feeling the lack of variety as you dispatch more and more enemies without much room for changing things up and keeping them fresh. Folks who are more fond of sexy visual flourishes and style over gameplay substance may still get a kick out of this, but if you prefer something a bit more meaty and satisfying it will likely leave you feeling under-nourished.
Justin Nation, Score: