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Ruins of Lore succeeds on nearly every level—it's an attractive, engrossing, complex adventure that easily ranks alongside heavyweights like Golden Sun and Lunar Legend. In terms of plot, it's standard ragtag-kids-versus-the-evil-empire stuff, but impressive visuals and deep gameplay make it worthwhile. Environments spring to life with bright colors and nicely animated touches, and combat sequences feature clever 3D effects. The excellent battle system provides the real draw, however. You can fight with eight party members at once, capture and breed monsters, cycle your characters through 11 different jobs, and even link-up with three friends for a creative multiplayer dungeon hack. A tinny soundtrack and occasionally uneven difficulty knock minor dents in the game's armor, but overall, it's a winner.
So what does the latest Lufia hold for those who seek more RPGs for their Game Boy Advance? Well for those who can appreciate a very classic, very "old school" story accompanied by gameplay of the same nature, quite a bit. Followers of the series or anyone who can enjoy an outdated adventure in terms of ingenuity and diversity can still find a measure of enjoyment in The Ruins of Lore. Those looking for an adventure with a bit more complexity and aesthetic appeal with a less cliché plot should probably look at some of the more advanced GBA RPGs. While certainly not mediocre, Lufia: The Ruins of Lore fails to impress, managing to walk a thin middle line in just about every category.
Lufia: The Ruins of Lore is a solid addition to the Gameboy Advance's RPG library. It is not outstanding, by any means, but it is fun enough to warrant a purchase for any RPG fan out there. After playing through the gaming equivalent of a 70-hour gaming orgasm with Tactics Ogre: The Knight of Lodis, I was really expecting a lot more from Atlus on this one. It shows flashes of inspiration in some areas, while being content to rehash ideas in others. If you're the type who wants another fun RPG romp without worrying about trying anything new, you'll have no problems with this title.
With popularity comes selection. Like the PS2, the mainstream console of choice, nobody could suggest that the GBA is suffering from an RPG drought. Nintendo's got its high-flying Golden Sun series, and Capcom's Mega Man Battle Network games offer a refreshing take on the genre. And, of course, there's the formidably popular Pokemon series -- as well as many more. With variety comes varying quality, of course. While Lufia: The Ruins of Lore doesn't reach the ignoble depths of Dokapon or that Fellowship of the Rings game, it doesn't have what it takes to compete with the top games in the genre.
It's become clear by now that the Game Boy Advance is like a refuge for near-extinct genres of games, such as 2D side-scrollers and traditional console role-playing games. RPGs are particularly well suited to the system, and the GBA's got a good number of high-quality ones already, including originals like Golden Sun and Tactics Ogre: The Knight of Lodis, as well as accurate translations of classics like Phantasy Star Collection and Breath of Fire II. Now another recognizable RPG series has found its place on Nintendo's handheld. And while Lufia: The Ruins of Lore may appeal to hard-core fans of the series or the genre, it's mostly a straightforward RPG that's not recommendable over the competition.
En bref, "Lufia : The Ruins of Lore" est un RPG sympathique qui s'adresse avant tout aux "hardcore gamers" nostalgiques de l'époque des 16 bits, proposant bon nombre de bonnes idées qui gomment les quelques défauts dont il souffre, et qui est doté d'une durée de vie plus que conséquente pour un jeu portable. A essayer donc !
The point of this review is three-fold. It is, first, a means of letting you, the reader, know that you will not enjoy this game, and to pick it up is both folly and a complete waste of whatever amount of money you throw away on it. Two, it is a lesson learned that while sometimes nostalgia can get the best of all of us, from time to time it really is better to rent first rather than trust in developers who are obviously past their prime. Lastly, this review is a vent to let off the extreme frustration I have faced throughout this ordeal. Never before have I had to slog through such an obviously terrible game, and with a little luck, never will I have to do it again. In short, save your money and sanity. The next Lufia 2 has not arrived; let us look to the future instead.
While the game itself isn't bad by any means, it is extraordinarily average, if I can say that. The charm that earlier Lufia games held has somehow drifted off into the wind, and has been replaced with "Generic RPG with Coding Issues". That's a shame. The Lufia franchise deserves much, much better. For severely avid RPG enthusiasts, I'm certain that the journey will be somewhat enjoyable; for the rest of us... well, there's always Final Fantasy...