Talk about a cool cat, Spero is a man with a plan. But don't let his innocent, boyish appearance fool you -- he's all about the ladies. And when he's not acting under the pretense as an Imperial soldier for Lord Dignus dispatched to stop the evil mist, Miasma, you'll find Spero getting his groove on. Frankly, can you think of a better way to travel the land and meet new honeys?
Though in all seriousness, every time I sat down to play this game, I found myself envying Spero as he fights the 'good fight', unraveling a story which in spite of its clichés, is both compelling and entertaining. As he sweeps the land, killing every evil spirit in sight (purportedly, the only way to stop the encroaching evil mist). However, he soon realizes that there may be another way to save the world and thus, where the crux of the story is realized.
As a compulsive leveling-junkie, I greatly appreciate additional features like side-quests, among other extras, that actually beef up the main story and offer some non-linear enjoyment. While the story isn't remarkable, it's told through some of the finest-looking artwork and character design I've ever seen in an strategy role-playing game.
Stella Deus offers a broad range of areas to explore, taking you away from the point-to-point pathway of the main game. Using the map, players can access the town for shopping purposes (i.e. weapons, armor, items, and accessories), the Guild, and the Catacombs of Trial. In addition, the game features several character-based menus, allowing you to equip items, check stats, learn skills, and other helpful functions.
Just as real-life athletes require training to hone their abilities, the same can be said of our heroes. And what better place than the Catacombs of Trial? Initially, you're only allowed to advance to a certain level, but gradual progression through the story will unlock additional floors to test your battle prowess.
I also try to spend some time at the Guild, taking a few jobs on the side and forging new weapons. Guild commissions can range from crappy fieldwork to all-out bounty missions. Ultimately, the payoff will help to expand your personal budget, recruit additional characters and acquire special items.
It seems like most new RPGs these days incorporate some sort of item modification feature, and it's interesting to see the way different games play off the newly adopted tradition. In Stella Deus, two "ranked" items are combined to make a new one, and this ranking seems to affect the quality of the output. On some occasions, there are accidents where the fusionist ends up creating a super-powerful item. In my game, I ended up making a ridiculously powerful sword for Spero, ultimately increasing his damage attack level from 100 points to 400. Respect.