Lunar Legend - Review  

A Classic Remade, Again.
by Lucky Melchior

20-40 Hours
+ Good story with interesting characters.
+ Outstanding Interface
+ Functional Battle System.
- Little Originality.
- Easy game does not offer a challenge.
- Mediocre Soundtrack.
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   In 1993 The Silver Star was released in North America by Working Designs for the Sega CD. In 1999 an enhanced version was released, again by Working Designs, in North America for the Playstation titled Silver Star Complete. In 2002 a remake for the Gameboy Advance was published and released in North America by Ubisoft. In the interest of full disclosure, I have never played the original Lunar title, having only watched a friend play it a few times, and have only played a few hours into Silver Star Complete, when a friend lent me the game for a day. I therefore can not personally account for all the changes in this version.

    One of the highlights of Lunar Legend is it's story.You play as Alex, a young man who lives in a small hamlet called Burg with his two childhood friends Luna and Ramus. Alex dreams of becoming a Dragonmaster like his idol Dyne. One day a wizard from the magical city of Vane comes to visit Burg requesting help finding the nearby White Dragon Cave. Alex and his friend embark with this wizard and Alex's quest to become Dragon Master begins. The overall story arch is nothing spectacular, a very generic save the world type of story. What makes the story a little above average is the characters. All of the characters' personalities and backstories are developed well. Unlike most other RPGs, when talking to townfolk and other NPCs, your party members often speak as well. The interactions of your party members, whether between themselves or other NPCs, really gives you a good understanding of each character's personality. Overall, the story is good, but not great. It is a little cliche, but is carried by the personalities of the characters.

   The musical score was average at best. The limited aural capabilities of the Gameboy Advance does not help matters much either. There are a few songs that really stand out, the Grindery theme for example, but for the most part all the other tracks are either average or below average. The music, while not bad, is not one of the games highlights. The graphics are a little better. There are decent character and enemy sprites. Also most of the backgrounds are pleasing to the eye. While there are no cut scenes or FMV, there are decent anime stills that are peppered throughout the game. Overall, the graphics are slightly above average for it's time and platform.

Classic RPG Battles Classic RPG Battles

    Those RPGamers who crave a unique and original battle system are best served to look elsewhere. Lunar Legend employs a basic turn-based battle system. Enemies are encountered randomly on dungeon maps; there are no encounters on the world map. You can have up to five characters involved in a battle at one given time and, unlike previous incarnations of the game, they are fixed on the battle screen. When you first enter a battle you will have four initial options: Auto, Tactics, Command and Run away. If you select auto, all of your character will fight with regular attacks. The auto feature will continue to be in effect throughout the battle unless you cancel it before any subsequent turns. The tactics option is similar to the auto feature in that your characters will automatically attack, but this time based on your preset tactics. The Run option is self-explanatory, attempts for all of your characters to flee. The command option allows you to enter each characters commands individually. When entering commands manually you have options to attack, use magic, use item, defend or run, just that character will attempt to retreat, the others will remain and fight. A new addition to the battle system is art skills. Each character has a special attack similar to limit breaks in Final Fantasy. This attack becomes available when a character's art skill gauge fills up. This occurs the opposite way from how limit breaks occur. Rather than filling up each time a character takes damages, the art gauge fills up each time a character attacks. The gauge will not increase when you use magic, an item or defend. Like limit breaks the gauge is cumulative from battle to battle. Another interesting quirk in the battle system is that characters can attack multiple times in a row. Each character has a NOA stat(number of attacks), the higher the number is the more consecutive attacks that character will make each turn. Overall the battle system is average, but very functional. The battle system does not offer much of a challenge, especially with the art skill and consecutive attacks, and you will breeze through most battles with out much difficulty.

   One of Lunar Legend's more exceptional features is it's excellent interface. Saving is easy and simple as you can save anytime and anywhere by simply accessing the menu screen. The menu screen is well laid out and simple to navigate. The controls are simple and easy to use. Contrary to the excellence of Lunar Legend's interaction, it's weakest aspect is it's originality. Despite a few minute changes, like art skills and minor plot changes, Lunar Legend is essentially the same game that has been released several times before and on several different systems. Finally, Lunar Legend is not a very long game. It will take around twenty-five hours to complete.

   Overall, Lunar Legend provides a somewhat entertaining RPG gaming experience. While it has plenty of flaws, it's reasonable length and easy gameplay allow you to quickly enjoy a decent story with interesting characters. If you like classic RPG style games and you want a quick game to enjoy on the road using your GBA or Nintendo DS, you may want to pick this game up if you find it for a good price. However, if you have played one of the previous versions of the game I would recomend passing on this game.

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