Lux-Pain DS Review
When a game has Pain in the title, it can go either one of two ways. Either it lets you deliver physical damage, like the downloadable PlayStation Network game Pain, or it puts you through a miserable mystery/role-playing experience with no joy to be found whatsoever. The second option sums up Lux-Pain in a nutshell. The game has an ambitious story that fails unless you want a DS game that lets you search for worms and talk to useless characters.
In Lux-Pain, you play Atsuki Saijo, who just lost his parents to a strange, almost non-visible parasite known as the Silent. These are worms that creep into human bodies, forcing them to perform heinous acts and even commit suicide. Atsuki can't get over his loss, so he modifies himself with a power called Lux-Pain. This enables him to see Silent more clearly than most common folks, and even turns his eye solid gold when it's in use.
Despite the ambitious story (and the inclusion of a nice little art book), Lux-Pain gets nothing right. Let's start with the gameplay. This game moves so slow, actual worms probably go faster. You'll spend a majority of your time moving through the city of Kisaragi, talking to those involved with the mystery and occasionally interacting with people that aren't important. There's no way to skip these conversations. You simply keep tapping the screen in order to clear up the dialogue. We wouldn't mind it so much if the storyline made sense, but sadly, it doesn't. The whole thing drags on like a daytime serial with zero characters to give a damn about.
There are occasional mini-games where you interact directly with the Silent worms but they're terrible. You simply move your stylus back and forth to dig out the worms and then tap on them for a few seconds to capture them. No option to physically rip them in half, no option to examine them... just dig, pick up and repeat. This is the liveliest part of the game, too. It almost sounds like something you should be doing in Gardening Mama instead of a murder mystery game.
The presentation doesn't do anything impressive either. Aside from the dig segments, the only things you'll see in Lux-Pain are static characters and backgrounds that don't do much at all. They don't even animate that well. Furthermore, you shift from location to location so rapidly, it's easy to get lost.
With a better interface and more (way more) work put into the story, Lux-Pain could've been sweet. Instead, its limp gameplay and uninspired design should inspire you to bury it in the dirt with all those worms.
What's Hot: Nifty art book that comes with the game.
What's Not: Bland gameplay, storyline makes no sense, static graphics and forgettable voicework, no long-term appeal.