- Lunar - Silver Star Story Complete -
By: Emperor M
-= Overview =-
Lunar: SSSC is, as many know, a remake of the "classic" Sega CD game. It has new graphics, new sound, and all new anime movies. I should not say all new, because it is the third remake of the game (2 for Saturn). Anyway, the game is about a boy named Alex who dreams of becoming a Dragonmaster. Tagging along is a girl of unknown origin, Luna, and an annoying flying thing called Nall. You go on a happy, brightly-colored quest to become this Dragonmaster, and eventually end up seeking out to destroy the evil Magic Emperor. The game is all 2D, with the exception of some movie scenes, but the game still manages to have some charm. Although it is ont of the cheesiest games I've ever played, I managed to enjoy it.
The game also comes with several "goodies." These included a cardboard foil box, a hardcover bound full-color manual with interviews, a pretty cloth map, a Making of CD, and a music CD, with some music from the original and some new, including remixes. This stuff was obviously meant to give more bang for the buck. They are all nice, and add to the value, but don't do much more for the game.
-= Story =-
: Rating :
The plot... As I said, it's cheesy to the Nth degree. It's as cliched as you can get, and the humor rises to the fourth grade level. I've grown to prefer something more (much more, in fact), but for some, it's just what they're looking for. If you liked Chrono Trigger, Final Fantasy V, or Final Fantasy VI, (of any anime I bet) you will love this game.
It starts out and stays light-hearted. It combines a love story and a hero VS evil wizard plot into one. As Alex becomes the evil-fighting Dragonmaster, he meets several other chums along the way, and saves his precious Luna. I didn't buy a second of it, and found it unoriginal and lacking in depth and seriousness. Some would love it though. If you go for this sort of thing, it may be enough to make you cry, but not I.
-= Gameplay =-
: Rating :
Lunar's gameplay is just what the story and game are. Very unoriginal, but well executed. The game uses the standard fight command in battles, with a second menu for each character. Alex has his Sword Techniques, and some have Magic menus. How do you get more you ask? The same way you did in Dragon Warrior, by leveling up. I admit it's primitive, but it sure works. The battle system also uses a customizeable Tactics system where you can pre-define each character's sttack in one command. It sounds cooler than it is, but still sometimes useful. Also, bosses' HP are determines by your level, which keeps up a challenge for those who like to spend time leveling up.
The rest is pretty standard. You walk around and converse, just like any old RPG. Interesting things to note are: 1. No enemies on world map, 2. Save ANYWHERE, 3. Each character has a personal inventory, annoying.
The gameplay is just typical, and I give it a 4. It has some originality, but very little. It works fine though, so I give it a 4.
-= Music & Sound Effects =-
: Rating :
The music was done by Noruyuki Iwadare and Isao Mizoguchi. The music is, once again like the game, very average. It's very lighthearted again. I did not find it in any way spectacular, it was just all right. It is not PSX MIDI though, which is a plus and a minus. There are a couple of songs with vocals, which I found to be horrible. Some anime fans would probably eat them up though.
The sound effects are also so-so. They include some vocal stuff, which gets really annoying. Overall average though.
-= Graphics =-
: Rating :
The Lunar graphics are remade from the original, but are still very 2D. They compete with some SNES games, but I must admit I have seen better on SNES. The characters are tiny, and their animations are not very detailed or dazzling. Attacks are the same. There are a few attacks that look kind of cool, but other than that... The backgrounds and most of the game are hand-done, and look good. The graphics are well-intergrated, and don't really bother me on a PSX. They could have done more, but they look just fine.
As for the movies, they are nicely done also. I did not pay attention to lip synching, but the voice acting is fine, cheesy as expected. I am no anime expert, but it looks pretty standard. Well-done, but a bit over-used.
The graphics were not meant to be showy, and they are not. Judging overall, I think a 4 of 5 is about right.
-= Fun =-
: Rating :
It was pretty fun. The game's draw was that it was very much like older RPGs. It keeps going at a steady pace, and feels very complete. Unfortunately, the game is only about 25 hours long, short compared to others. This does not take away from the fun, though. It kept me playing, even if it was a bit stupid. It was cute, to put it in one word. It will be fun for anyone, even if you find it annoying.
Also, there are pictures of the female characters of Lunar througout the game which can be collected. Some are revealing, but then again, they are cartoons... Oh well.
-= Last Word =-
This is the RPG for everyone. It is somewhat unlikeable in terms of its unoriginal characteristics, but deep down it's what many want. If you miss old NES and SNES RPGs, this will be a game for you. No new Magic systems, no cool 3D graphics, and no deep plotline. Just a fun RPG that even monkeys can enjoy.
Total Score: 78/100
(Sum of all categories x 4 + 2 for bonus crap)