Lunar 2: Eternal Blue Complete - Review

Timeless Fun

By: Jake Alley

Review Breakdown
   Battle System 5
   Interface 5
   Music/Sound 8
   Originality 5
   Plot 10
   Localization 10
   Replay Value 5
   Visuals 4
   Difficulty Medium
   Time to Complete

35-40 hours


Lunar 2: Eternal Blue Complete

   A year and a half after the remake of the original arrived in the US, Lunar 2: Eternal Blue Complete continues to prove that high end graphics aren't needed to make a great game. Instead, it enchants players with its well told story, well developed characters, and challenging gameplay.

   Set several hundred years after the original, Lunar 2 offers up a story revolving around a small group of well rounded characters as they explore their world, as one expects from Game Arts. However, unlike the original game, with it's carefree story of exploration for its own sake, things take a more serious tone this time around. Lunar 2 also successfully manages to give each character in the game a solid background and motivation, a very rare occurrence in recent RPGs.

   Story alone does not a game make, but Lunar 2 backs up it's plot with solid challenging gameplay. While the world is scattered with statues that fully restore HP and MP for free, random monsters are dangerous enough to wipe out the party of a careless player, or at least wear one down before a boss. The battles themselves are extremely traditional, playing out in the same turn based style as the original Lunar. Like most older RPGs, the player choses an action for each character before the round begins, then watch as every character and monster does as it's told. While in the original Lunar, this could grow somewhat annoying due to the larger than average party size, Lunar 2 gives players the option to set up three sets of actions for all characters in order to remove the tedium of saying Attack 5 times each round. It's even possible to reprogram these shortcuts in the middle of a battle, so if a set of actions is particularly effective on a boss, it can be executed again in just one or two menu clicks every round after.

Tiny sprites, the backbone of our genre.
Tiny sprites, the backbone of our genre.  

   Outside of battles, Lunar 2's gameplay is fairly standard issue. Shops and menus provide a fairly friendly interface, and the world map connecting the various towns and dungeons follows the same simplistic and battle free tradition as Chrono Trigger and the original Lunar. New to the series however is the ability to dash briefly while exploring in order to avoid enemies, and the inclusion of crests, two of which can be equipped on each character, with different combinations yielding a wide variety of bonuses and abilities.

   While the plot and gameplay are perfectly satisfying, mention must be made of the game's more aesthetic aspects. While the music in Lunar 2 is quite good, it seems to be a little lacking of the variety found in most Game Arts titles, instead relying primarily on variations of a select few tracks. The graphics meanwhile betray quite clearly that this is a remake of a 16-bit game. Allowing for this however, most of the games backgrounds look quite nice, despite the small pallette. Those seeking eye candy shouldn't be discouraged either, as the game features frequent high quality anime cut scenes, with one present at nearly every significant event in the game.

Who doesn't love anime cut scenes?
Who doesn't love anime cut scenes?  

   To match the fact that the gameplay is wrapped in beautiful anime, the game itself is wrapped with an abundance of special bonuses. In addition to delivering their usual first rate and funny translation, Working Designs blessed the US release of Lunar 2 with the most lavish packaging ever. In addition to the 3 disc game itself, the box is stuffed with a hardbound manual, Making of and Soundtrack CDs, a world map, a full scale replica of a pendant worn by one of the characters, and more.

   On top of everything else, Lunar 2 alleviates two complaints some had with its predecessor. While the last game weighed in a tad on the short side, taking only twenty hours, Lunar 2 takes roughly twice as long to complete. Furthermore, while some players were put off by the rigid linearity of the first, upon "completing" Lunar 2, one gains access to a ten hour long epilogue, consisting of a number of optional quests which can be completed in any order.

   All in all, Lunar 2: Eternal Blue Complete is an excellent choice for anyone who misses the style of older RPGs, or anyone just looking for a good story. Although some fans of the original Sega-CD version may have minor complaints with the changes in music, and the removal of a few areas from the game, it still stands out as a finely polished product that anyone can enjoy.

© 1998-2017 RPGamer All Rights Reserved
Privacy Policy