Promotional Consideration: The Buxom Witch Trial [update 1]

Promotional Consideration is a weekly feature about the Nintendo DS advertisements you usually flip past, change the channel on, or just tune out.

Grabbing someone's attention while simultaneously providing useful information about a game can be a difficult task, especially when you only have a fraction of screen space to do so. This week, we'll be chewing over several banner advertisements for Luminous Arc, tallying their strengths and, more often than not, shortcomings. Join us past the break for more site ads from both ourselves and Atlus.
"Star-tatted (chest) banner"

Passion-red robe. Christmas ornament earrings. Metal garter belt.

Atlus uses the animated transitions of this Penny Arcade Flash ad to beckon any gamers who've enjoyed the company's other niche titles with manga-styled artwork. Vanessa, one of Luminous Arc's Witch antagonists, anchors the fifteen-second slideshow with a chesty pose. She has a few compelling characteristics -- heterochromic eyes and a huge, rune-carved scythe, for example -- but it's safe to assume that she was chosen for this banner for her "sex appeal."

The advertisement doesn't even attempt to mention the selling points that first attracted us to the title when it was announced months ago. An SRPG that makes heavy use of the DS's touchscreen? Support for online battles? The humorous approach to localization that Atlus is known for? These are all features that we'd take time out of our day to learn about. The banner comes off as more run-of-the-mill than run-out-and-get-it.

Though the other Luminous Arc ad on Penny Arcade's front page shows off a lot less bosom, there's still very little that indicates any depth beyond Shibano Kaito's character designs. The game's story can be quite serious, actually, questioning religious faith and following the maturation of a young soldier, but none of that is hinted at with either banners.

In Atlus' defense, this isn't a symptom that only Luminous Arc's advertisements suffer. We've seen plenty of ads for other great games that similarly fail to catch the spirit of their product.

We came across two more lackluster Luminous Arc banners marking the pages of 1UP, and found another annoyance that ground our gears:

The compression that you're seeing in these two images isn't ours; that's exactly what the ads looked like when we loaded them up. We haven't seen that many artifacts since our years spent as archaeological excavationists! Seeing any advertisement distorted to that extent is an almost immediate turn-off, and it's further emphasized by the fact that none of 1UP's other banners have the same problem.

If you can get over the steps these banners have taken to not sell Luminous Arc, it's a remarkable game that's well-worth your interest. Even with all the other SRPGs that're due to hit Japan and the states later this year, there are plenty of distinguishing features that separate this title from the rest, as we've noted several times above. Keep an eye out for Luminous Arc this August 14th.

[Update: The portion regarding the 1UP ads is not replicable on all machines. Thanks, Covarr!]

This article was originally published on Joystiq.