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Lunar 2: Eternal Blue Complete - Review

More Amazing than the first!

By:Scorch


Review Breakdown
   Battle System 7
   Interface 10
   Music/Sound 9
   Originality 8
   Plot 10
   Localization 8
   Replay Value 9
   Visuals 7
   Difficulty Moderate
   Time to Complete 20 - 35 hours  
Overall
number
Criteria
Title Screen
 

     Lunar 2: Eternal Blue was originally an obscure RPG on the now virtually forgotten Sega CD add on. Despite it being on an obscure system, I've heard it was a hit. But don't go on me, I purchased an SNES. I heard quite a buzz when   "Lunar: The Silver Star Story Complete" was released, but sadly I did not purchase it. Then when at the mall, I went into Electronics Boutique and saw a preview for Lunar 2. I waited till January to purchase it. And I was very glad I did so. I got a whole mess of what playstation magazine calls "fan boy material" aka extra goodies. With it came a paper map (useful during the course of the game), cardboard standees, which I can't fathom what they're for, Lucia's pendant (no one would be caught dead wearing that), and a soundtrack. Not bad eh? But was it worth the price of 59.99??? In a word yes... 

   Well, to start off, no new ground was broken with the battle system, but it was fun either way. It didn't use the ATB bar that's become so popular with RPG's these days. Instead it runs on a system where you choose your moves at the beginning of the round and the character's speed and agility stats decide when they will go in the round. This is good because you can get used to a specific order and use it to determine when to use items and what not. The AI is crappy unless you use tactics to determine what your players will do. I accidentally set it off at the final battle and my characters used all my good items. Other than the AI, the battle system is fun and completely old school.

   Outside of combat is very well done also. The overworld and towns are all that of a typical RPG. But I might add that some of the townspeople say rather comical things. Dungeons are very unique though. First of all, dungeons are the only places where you can confront non boss enemies unless it's part of the plot (walking in town and girl gets attacked, you save girl). So you'll find yourself revisiting the dungeons a lot to level up. And enemies can all be seen on the screen so you can avoid enemies. Though this may sound like making the game too easy, it's not. You cannot continually run in dungeons, so avoiding enemies involves walking in the right places and dashing at the right times. The menus are all very user friendly, using a picture system so you don't have to read all the options figuring out where to go, but names are provided. Equipping is easy and you can clearly see the difference between the different weapons and armor. What surprised me at first is that you could not name your heroes. But then the reasoning came across clear as the character's names are used frequently in the voice acting. The control is smooth and the frame rate is constant, I have seen no load times of noticeable length, and everything is very smooth.


Lulu
Lucia Has arrived  

   The music compliments the locations and and the battles very well. And it is very memorable on it's own as well. Mainly orchestral instruments are used, with the occasional add on like a rock guitar or anime (crystal) synthesizers for battle themes. Ah yes, the battle themes, one word for you, catchy. The music in general could very well rival that of the Final Fantasy series.
As for the sound effects, keep in mind this game was developed in the age when rpg's were by no means famous for their sound effects, so there was nothing elaborate there. The voice acting is done professionally, or at least more professionally than most games I've played (cough cough, star ocean, megaman), and the voices fit the characters nicely. The battle cries are all right, better than star oceans for sure, but they still made me feel kinda aqward when I brought it over my friends house, or how my dad constantly repeats Ronfar's "Lady Luck be kind!". But the voice acting is overall not a flaw, and doesn't detract from the game.

   There's both a lot of originality and cliché' in this game. The setting is the cliché, with your typical fantasy setting somewhere between a fairy tale and a Final Fantasy 9ish game. The plot and characters is where the originality lies. All of them have their own personality, and they're realistic. They also all have their own background story as well, uh, those aren't so realistic. While not very original in game play, the originality in the plot makes up for it. 

   As mentioned above, it's original. Though you are thrown into the role of the hero (named strangely enough, Hiro) kind of quick and slightly sloppily, but you pick up the basic background rather quickly, even if you haven't played the first Lunar. The focus seems to be more on Hiro and Lucia than any of the other members of the cast. What's funny is I remember certain townsfolk, strange. I don't want to spoil anything so forgive me if this category feels kind of empty without a little bit about the plot.

   The translation is wonderful. The text is all perfectly spoken as if the game was written in english. This should come as no surprise because the translation was done by Americans (thank you behind the scenes CD). Many American jokes and references to American Pop culture are made so on so forth. It's done pretty well sales wise, considering I picked up the last one in stock three days after that particular shipment. And with a big flashy package like that, it was probably naturally eye-catching.
 

trunk
What a boss, a TREE!!!  

   This game has no extreme plot divides or extra quests galore, but something about it would just want to make me play it again, I don't know if it's the anime (I have the rememberizer, so it's not) or the dialogue, or the fact that it's just plain fun! I've already begun my second play through the game after the epilogue. Which brings me to another aspect of the game. There is an option to play an epilogue quest to tie up the final loose end. You just gather your party members and go for it. But that would be a waste of the option. There's a myriad of new dungeons, bosses, ahem, bromides... and quests to complete. Which will definitely keep you playing after the final battle. Overall, I personally think this game would be fun to replay at least once, but that's just me.

This is a remake of Sega CD game for cryin' out loud! What makes you think graphics would be good? This is where most new age gamers (generally audiences born halfway through the 16 bit era or who haven't played any till say... the psx came out) would be turned away. It has a very dated appearance, I'll say that. But the graphics are very colorful and nice to look at, even if they are 16 bit. But the big picture here is the anime. They are the graphics saving grace. The quality is of any anime made in the past two or three years on television. I could go on and on but... I won't.

   ONe of this games strong points was that it's an actual challenge. If you're used to leveling up on the level of Final Fantasy games, you're in for a rude awakening. You'll need to level up at least three levels before facing most bosses. And a lot of the regular enemies aren't exactly a piece of cake either. So if you're looking for a change of pace for most of today's terribly easy rpgs, this will definitely be one to look into.


hyper?
A little too much sugar, Jean?  

    This game took me around 35 hours from start to finish of the normal game, and about 45 to 50 (I can't remember) for absolutely completing the epilogue. And that was with bare minimum leveling up. Without the epilogue, you'll find this to be a very average rpg in length, but it's quality, not quantity, right?

   Well, that about does it. This isn't the ultimate rpg, I might've given it a ten if they revamped the graphics a little more and made more fluid animation. But you can't have everything. Overall, this is one of the best rpg's I've played.


 

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