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Lunar: Silver Star Story Complete - Review

Old-School Fights Back

By: Red Raven


Review Breakdown
   Battle System 6
   Interface 9
   Music/Sound 9
   Originality 5
   Plot 5
   Localization 10
   Replay Value 4
   Visuals 7
   Difficulty Medium
   Time to Complete

30-60 hours

 
Overall
thumbs up!
Criteria

Title Screen
 

   Working Designs has a long history that is devoted solely to their fan base. They delay their games not because of politics but because they want to release their game with the very best quality possible. And true to the title, they have finally released Lunar: The Silver Star Story Complete, on May 28th, 1999, and it's great. While it is not only a traditional RPG but a remake of one as well, this Lunar should not be passed over by anyone. It has exactly the right combination of charm, simplicity, and fun that any game would die for.

   Being the traditional RPG that it is, Lunar's battle system is turn-based but also features the ATB gauge from the FF series. The battle system also has a small element of movement added, but it is more for the enemies than it is for your party. Another small addition is that Nall, the sarcastic flying fuzzball, accompanies you in battle and will sometimes revive fallen comrades automatically. Everything else you've come to expect from classic RPGs is there: attack, magic, item, and defend. One contemporary change is found when getting into battles, you can avoid fights ala Chrono Trigger.


AIEEE!
"This would be a time to panic."  

   The one thing that counts a lot to the game's overall feel is the amount of extra touches Working Designs put into the game. Every person in every town has something unique, and often funny thing to say which makes it worth the trouble to talk with them all. Other small bonuses are Alex's Flute and Rememberizer. The flute, which you have at the beginning of the game, allows the player to hear any song in the game that has been heard before. The Rememberizer is won at the completion of the game and allows you to view all the game's movies at any time afterwards. These are such fantastic ideas that you begin to wonder why other game companies haven't included similar features as well. If you couldn't tell already, Lunar interfaces smoothly and beautifully with the player, which only heightens the rest of the gaming experience.

   Even though the game's plot is fairly linear, it is very well presented and is interesting to play. All the characters have well fleshed out personalities and mannerisms, most of which are quite amusing. The pace of the story is good enough to keep the gamer playing and interested. It begins with a young Alex wanting to be a great adventurer but quickly snowballs from there to encompass the fate of humanity itself.


My brain hurts!
"Focus, grasshopper."  

   Music and story are blended delightfully as one, with Lunar's heroine actually singing two songs during the course of the game. Reoccurring melodies remind the player of the game's humble beginnings but there are also delicious battle and villain tunes. Sound effects were an easy score in this game; the characters have competent voice actors talking during the numerous anime movies.

    Originality is not as clear because the only new additions to the mix are tiny details. In its defense, Lunar does not claim to be a fresh new entity into the RPG world, but more of a classic reminder to the roots of the genre.

   This reminder is in essence only; it certainly surpasses the graphics of the ancient NES marvelously. The FMV is of the highest quality I have seen outside of actual anime. While the rest of the game seems more at home on a 16-bit system, it certainly is colorful and lively enough to get the job done right.


duh?
"Duh."  

   Lunar was originally showcased on the now defunct Sega CD system, and was remade to appear on the Playstation. Not content to simply port the same game over, Working Designs chose to optimize the game for the Playstation and add a lot of extras for their supporters. The game now captures the charm and innocence of the early RPG genre and immortalizes it with an overall outstanding game. The people who made the game obviously put their heart and soul into the effort and it clearly shines through. To quote from the game itself, "Delays are temporary, but mediocrity is forever!" It would be extremely prudent to pick up a copy seeing as the game is now out of print. You will not regret the decision.





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