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Lunar Legend Package Art
 GENRE
  RPG
 DEVELOPER
  Media Rings
 PUBLISHER
  Ubisoft
 NUMBER OF PLAYERS
  1
 CONNECTIVITY
  No
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Lunar Legend

Lunar Legend isn't identical to Lunar: Silver Star Story COMPLETE, but it's essentially the same game with a few differences in presentation. For those of you who never played the PlayStation version of this game here's a brief introduction to the storyline.

This game centers around a character named Alex and his dreams of someday becoming a Dragonmaster; a person who has become a brave warrior by completing tests from one of the four great dragons. Along with his friends Ramus and Luna, Alex's adventure involves love, heroics, deception, light-heartedness, and exploring the fundamentals of human nature. It's quite the serious game, and although a lot of this sounds cliché, it's done in very fine style.

visuals

This game is very pretty for a GBA game, although not quite as detailed as the Golden Sun series or Sword of Mana. Nevertheless, you can notice detail down to seeing the anime-styled mouth movement during an angry sentence, and great animations for magic spell attacks. There are a lot of pretty sights, especially in the 2D mini-cutscenes, which make great use of the color palette the Game Boy Advance utilizes. The towns actually look better than the towns presented in the original version, although they're laid out exactly the same still.

I really have no complaints in the visuals department, as far as it being a Game Boy Advance game -- and by that I mean if this game's hype was pushed further, and more people bought it, and had Ubisoft been confident enough, I'm sure Media Rings could have fit a bit of the PlayStation version's FMV in here. I must tell you, though, you'll only see important captures from the FMV you saw in the PlayStation version. Also, I noted that the game is a tad glitchy if played on the Game Boy Player, so buyers beware if things like that get on your nerves.

audio

This audio is definitely like-it or hate-it. Like every RPG, there are specific themes for specific areas and feelings, if need be. The quality is decent if played out of the Game Boy Advance, although it does sound a tad washed out, and really not-so-great if played on the Game Boy Player. The tunes are soft and melodic, and the battle theme is great. Every theme is lifted directly from the PlayStation counterpart, as far as I remember, so all the PlayStation game fans can rejoice. If quality is not an issue, fans will be surely pleased, and if you beat the game, you'll be given an option to listen to sounds and themes from the rest of the game.

I have one major gripe however: The two lyrical songs in the PlayStation version aren't included. With the quality of the other themes, I'm sure the intro song and Luna's Boat Theme could have fit somehow. These two songs added a lot of atmosphere to the original game and it's a shame they were left out.

gameplay

Lunar Legend contains the classic RPG formula -- you have your level-up system, your armor and weapons, your accessories, and your battle system. Of course, like any typical RPG, when not battling you control the main character and explore various cities, towns, dungeons, etc.

This game is full of puzzles and well thought-out dungeons. While in dungeons, especially in the last couple, solving puzzles correctly is key to getting to the end. One of the most typical of puzzles you'll encounter is the switch combination, and then you have your dead ends. It could have been done better, but at least it's not frustrating.

In battle, it's not as simple. You have a tactics function, and you can setup everything by hand so your characters have a predetermined style in battle. You can also use the AUTO command for everyone, ceding control to the CPU controls while facing the enemy (trust me, don't do this). Then you have manual, which offers up an attack, abilities, defend and your run functions.

Newly added to Lunar Legends is a "super attack" which occurs after being hit a set ammount of times. Most of the characters' super attacks or super spells are decent, while a few are pointless and you can certainly get through the game without them.

You'll come to enjoy the fast pace of battles, and toward the end, you'll need to have at least a level of 32 in order to get by. With the final boss, I recommend level 38 or above. Don't spend too much time leveling up however; you'll be doing plenty of that along the journey. Here's a little hint for the sly: Save and load your games instead of healing while traveling.

There's one major change from the PlayStation version I want to gripe about: The on-screen enemies encounters have been replaced with random battles! Was it Media Rings' budget that kept them from pushing the GBA with keeping enemies on-screen? Perhaps they wanted to try something new? Despite this heinous choice, the fast-paced battles prevent this from being a show stopper. You won't need to throw your GBA across the room that often...

The story's very much there, and like I mentioned earlier, it involves love, deception, etc., like any normal RPG. If you've played the PlayStation version, you'll be pleased to see that all dialogue is still in place, and the suspense that unfolds makes it quite an entertaining game. Even though it's a portable RPG, it seems a tad bit watered down, but still great for at home use on your GBP, or on the road with family.

Overall, it's a really great time-consumer that will draw your attention off most anything else.

multiplayer

There isn't multiplayer, however, you can exchange cards you collect throughout the adventure.

overall

All I can say is, with the minor technical gripes aside, this is a perfect RPG to play for anyone. Don't be silly like me and get rid of your PlayStation version and purchase the GBA version instead. Keep it and come back to it after you've finished your GBA version, and you'll be quite impressed. You won't feel empty-handed much like the feelings people shared when they completed Golden Sun.

Furthermore, this game is very much affordable costing you only a measly $20. The RPG gamers out there will eat this up. Don't overlook it for the lack of hype, but instead heed my words and buy this underrated baby. You won't regret it.

final score 9.0/10





WRITER INFORMATION
Staff Avatar Alex Sankowich
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"It's only after we've lost everything we're free to do anything."


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