Review by Psycho Penguin

"If all RPGs were as good as this, I'd never leave home!"

Introduction

Lunar: Silver Star Story was a game that I was eagerly anticiapating. The Sega CD version was one of the best RPGs of alltime, so I expected nothing less from the PSX version. So how does the PLaystatioon version compare? Well, not only does it do the Sega CD version justice, it blows that game away!!! Now all I need is a perfect coversion of Lunar 2 to PSX....

I expected a lot from this game, and it delivered bigtime. The game is just fantastic. I had heard a lot about the storyline and writing of the game and figured, it's just storyline, how good could it be? Well, that was until I actually played the game. This game is just fantastic! Everything from the storyline to the music and sound effects in the game are top notch, and Working Designs really did deliver the perfect game. Well, as perfect as it is going to get.

Storyline (9.5/10)

You start off the adventure a a young boy from Burg called Alex, who dreams of becoming a Dragonmaster. Soon, you meet up with Ramus, a childhood friend, who dreams of becoming rich. And the adventure begins. Really well written dialouge (bar none the best writing ever in a RPG) and a moving and heartwarming story, great story that puts most other RPGs to shame. The whole story really deals with Alex's dream to become a Dragonmaster.

The writing of the dialouge in the game is outstanding. Most of the dialouge is funny, as the dialouge really fits the feeling of the scene. Some of it is sad and touching, while still other parts of it is funny. The dialouge is truly wonderful, and the people at Game Arts and Working Designs should be proud that they wrote such good dialouge.

The storyline is a lot different than the storyline featured in the Sega CD version of the game. There is a reason for this, and it is very simple. In the Sega CD version of the game, Luna stayed behind and did not get on the boat with Alex and company. In the Playstation version, she came along with them. This is the reason why the storyline in the 2 versions are a lot different.

Overall, the storyline in this game is fantastic. The dialouge is well written and moving, and the storyline twists when you least expect it to. Great stuff here, and one of the best storylines I have ever seen in a role playing game. I especially enjoyed one of the major twists that occured halfway through the game, as it was totally shocking.

Graphics (9.2/10)

Yes, the graphics are 2D!! My question is SO WHAT??? I read GamePro's hideous and biased review of this game and I was terribly disappointed. They ran their mouths about how the enemies didnt look good. Sure the enemies aren't scary or anything but the designs are GREAT. The anime scenes are outstanding and overall these are some great graphics.

Enemy designs in the game is an interesting topic. A lot of people did not like the enemy designs in the game, mainly because they didn't look as scary as they were supposed to. Well, I have a problem with this statement. First off, the enemies in a RPG do not have to look ''scary''. Beating my characters up is good enough for me to classify them as enemies. Secondly, some of the enemies in the game did look pretty scary. The enemy designs in the game were actually pretty solid, as there was a wide variety of enemies. I also like how you can see them before engaging in battle with them. The boss designs were also pretty good, especially the dragons in the later part of the game. Overall, the enemy designs in the game were pretty good, even if they weren't as ''scary'' as expected.

Character designs in the game are great, as well. The first thing you have to realize about this game is the fact that the graphics are completely 2D. Yes, there is sprites and everything, and nothing 3D is shown, not even in the cut scenes (thanks to anime). So, the character designs in the game are 2D sprites, and let me tell you, the character designs in the game are pretty good. I especially like how there is a portrait of the character talking during dialouge scenes. There is also a nice variety of characters. Overall, the character designs in the game are fantastic.

Overall, the graphics in the game are pretty good, considering that they are supposed to be 2D graphics, with sprites when it comes to enemy and character designs. One of the coolest thing about the graphics in the game are the fact that the cut scenes in the game are anime based, and are not full motion video like they are a lot of other role playing games on the Playstation.

Music/Sound (8.4/10)

The battle music is great, the soundtrack is wonderful, and the score is memorable. The only reason I gave the score of 8 is because the stupid songs get very annoying after a while. I know that songs are a key point of Lunar but come on... ''La, la, la'' isn’t that great. The characters speak some of the parts with excellent voices, which is an added bonus. Voice acting in RPGs have always been key for me, and Lunar does feature some voice acting, which is a nice touch.

Music in the game is incredible, and completely worthy of the soundtrack that came with the game. First off, the battle theme in the game is great, and does not get annoying after a while. The boss theme in the game is fantastic as well, especially later on in the game when you fight the dragons and, eventually, the final boss. The music is moving, and definitely fits the scenes very nicely. For instance, when something good happens, a happy and cheery tone plays, but when something bad happens to the group, a sad and mellow song is played. This is definitely a nice added touch to the game, because I hate it when the game plays certain songs at the wrong time. The only major problem I had with the music in the game is some of the singing, because it gets plain old annoying after a while. Overall, the music in Lunar is incredible, save the one flaw.

Sound effects in the game are pretty good, as well. First off, Lunar does feature some voice acting in the game, which is a nice sign. Basically, there is voice acting featured in the anime cut scenes, as well as certain cut scenes in the game which don’t involve anime. The voice acting in the game is quite good as well. Even the voice acting during some of the battles (like later on in the game) is generally not annoying, unlike that certain other game (Star Ocean: Second Story). The rest of the sound effects during battle are pretty good, as well. Most of the sounds that occur during battle are basically the enemy getting hit critically, and that sound effect is awesome. Overall, the sound effects in the game are impressive, and I especially like how Game Arts and Working Designs included good voice acting.

Overall, the music and sound effects in the game are awesome. The music in the game is great and completely worthy of the soundtrack that came provided with the game. The battle theme and boss themes are especially good, and the overworld music is nice, as well. The sound effects are impressive as well, especially the great voice acting featured in the game. It does not sound cheesy at all.

Control (8.6/10)

The control is great but sometimes the menu system gets confusing. For instance, to move from character to character in the menu screen, you have to push the L1 and R1 buttons, located on top of the controller. While this is a good idea (actually a great idea), it does get kind of confusing after a while. I was used to just pushing left and right, and had to adjust to pushing L1 and R1. Otherwise, the control in the game is solid, despite the fact that you can’t walk diagonally. The game supports analog control, also. Overall, the control in the game is solid, yet somewhat confusing in certain spots, namely the menu screen.

Gameplay (9.7/10)

The gameplay is vastly underrated part of Lunar: SSSC. The menu system has been completely redone and is great. However, the menu system is sometimes clumsy and confusing, especially at first. But over time you'll get used to it. The battle system is great, and involves strategy because you have to strategically move the guys around to avoid hits. Each character can only walk a certain amount of steps so you cannot hit an enemy if it is too far away. GREAT gameplay.

Battle System: The battle system in Lunar: SSSC for Playstation is one of the best battle systems that I have ever seen in a role playing game, bar none. First off, the battle system commands have been completely redone from the original Lunar (featured on Sega CD). Now, the commands are featured in a box on the top portion of the screen, and each of the commands have a logo next to it. For instance, the attack command has a sword logo above it.

The battle system involves strategy because it is key to place your characters in certain spots during battle. Why? Mainly because each character can only walk a certain distance per turn, and if the enemy is farther away than your walking range, then you can’t attack it. Also, it is wise to keep magicians in the back rows, and attackers in the front row. A cool thing that I like about the battle system in the game is the fact that the HP and MP totals change color, depending on your situation. Overall, the battle system in the game is fantastic.

Overall, the storyline and dialouge of Lunar: SSSC may be getting all the hype, but the game delivers in the gameplay department, as well. The quest is involved and has you doing a lot of different things. There is a lot of stuff to find, and the battle system is one of the best battle systems I have ever seen in a role playing game. Definitely some of the best, if not most underrated, gameplay I have seen yet.

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Other Important Scores
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Replay Value: Medium


The biggest problem with the game, in my opinion, is the game length. It only took me about 17 hours to beat the entire game. And due to the fact that I have already gotten most of the secrets (like all of the Bromides) the first time through, there really is no reason for me to replay through the whole game again. Maybe one day in the future I might want to, but for now, I really don’t feel like replaying through the whole game again. So, the replay value is not great, at all. Overall, the replay value in the game is merely decent, and suffers once you actually beat the game.

Challenge: Medium

Like I have already mentioned, the game only took me about 17 hours to complete. And I really had little trouble in the game, except towards the end, where I had to build up my levels a bit more in order to continue. I think the reason why I breezed through this game so easily is because I spent a little bit of time building my levels, as I do in any RPG. So, the key to success in this game is to keep your levels high, and also to buy and equip as much equipment as you possibly can. Overall, the game is a decent challenge, and increases towards the end of the game.


GOOD POINTS
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-The battle system in the game is one of the best I have ever seen in a role playing game.
-The music and sound effects in the game are simply amazing.
-The best writing and storyline in a role playing game, bar none.

BAD POINTS
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-This game was pulled off of store shelves to ring in the new year, so good luck finding a copy!
-The game length really disappointed me, as I beat it in 17 hours.
-The game gets quite frustrating as you near the end.

Overall (9.7/10)

Overall, the storyline and dialouge of Lunar: SSSC may be getting all the hype, but the game delivers in the gameplay department, as well. The quest is involved and has you doing a lot of different things. There is a lot of stuff to find, and the battle system is one of the best battle systems I have ever seen in a role playing game. Definitely some of the best, if not most underrated, gameplay I have seen yet. Truly, GameArts has blessed us again, with a moving storyline and great dialouge!! Forget what GamePro said, this is a classic RPG!! And an outstanding value. Buy this now before Y2K hits (they're gonna stop selling this game in retail Dec. 31, 1999)


Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 07/02/00, Updated 07/16/01


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