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The GoodLunar Legend is the fourth iteration of the Lunar: Silver Star. There is of course the original Sega CD classic, the Sega Saturn remake, as well as the Playstation version of that remake. And as such the game had a lot against it from the get go. So it should come as little surprise that Lunar Legend is hands down the worst version of Lunar: The Silver Star out there. Not that is a bad game by itself, just by comparison, please allow me to examine why that is…..
The story of Lunar Legend remains largely the same as it’s predecessors, with a few slight changes, these I will go into later. For those of you unfamiliar with the plot I will give a quick summary. Alex is a young man living in the quite village of Burg, he dreams of going on adventures and becoming a legendary Dragonmaster like his hero Dyne. Along with his friends Luna, Ramus, and Nall, he will soon get the chance to play hero. As even as he dreams dark forces move to disrupt the peace of Lunar. And the fate of Luna and the world will be on he and his friends shoulders.
That said, Lunar: The Silver Star is one of the most beloved RPGS of all time. And one of my personal favorites. Therefore the story is LL, is it’s strongest point, that and the characters.
Speaking of characters, the Lunar series has always had some of the best in all of RPGdom. Alex actually acts like a hero, and it is easy to see why so many people are willing to follow him around the world on a quest.(This may seem like a minor thing yet so many RPGS never provide valid reasons behind the characters motivations.) Luna is the sweet girl next door type, that has a destiny far greater that her humble nature can imagine. To spare myself and my reader some time I will not go over every character. I will just sum up by saying that they are all interesting in there own way. And all have unique abilities that actually make them contribute to the party.
They way that they all interact with one another is very well done as well. You can actually see a bond growing between some of them and maybe more.(This too is often overlooked in other RPGS.)
The gameplay has changed a little here and there. Possible the most notable will be the way battles work. Random encounters with monsters are now back. And battles with regular foes is now more tedious that in previous entries. Before battles flowed smoother with less wasted time, party members approached the monster, attacked, and when their turn ends they stayed where they were. Now they do that dubious Final Fantasy esque jumping backwards, and landing exactly were they were before.(How do they do it?) All this does is draw combat out. Particularly later in the game when your party members have the ability to hit multiple times per turn. What the hell were they thinking?
Also new to combat are these ultra powerful moves, that can be unleashed once an orange bar fills. But they are not as useful as they sound. They are virtually useless against bosses. And seem a bit like a gimmick.
Traveling on the world map has changed as well. You do not actually walk upon. You just move the Alex icon like in Grandia. Some item names have changed as well. Now healing herbs are healing gum…..right. There is nothing like some Doublemint gum to heal your wounds.
Gone to are the FMVS. In their place are Phantasy Star esque stills. They look great but could have been implemented better. Oh yeah and for some reason Jessica uses a claw weapon now. Why?
The graphics are fantastic in Lunar Legend. The 2D graphics are very well detailed and quite a sight. The character sprites are bigger and very well detailed. This version of Lunar has the best looking sprites hands down.
Thankfully the music remains in tact. As are they sound effects. They just sound a tad muted due to the tiny speaker on the GBA.
The BadThe translation is HORRIBLE. Those of us used to the superb localizations of Working Designs will cringe at these. I have not seen a translation this bad since Final Fantasy VII. Ubi Soft should be ashamed of themselves. Half the time I could not even understand what the character was trying to say, permit me to demonstrate, Kyle: Way cool bro man! Alex: Me? Mia: At any rate there is things to do.
Okay, that is not actually taken from the game. However, it is similar to that. They all speak as if they are either 6 years old or just really dumb. These are not my beloved Lunar characters!
The changes to the battle system are atrocious. Why change it when it worked better before? It makes no sense.(See Above.)
And the game is clearly aimed at a younger audience. Which also makes no since as they previous versions of the game were not done this way.