Review by Khaos512

"The remake of one of the greatest RPGs ever made."

The Lunar series is synonymous with many things, lively characters, impressive storyline, topnotch anime, great music, colorful graphics and a certain quality that can't be explained which other games just do not have, Lunar 2 Eternal Blue is synonymous with all those things and more. ''Lunar 2 Eternal Blue'' is the 32-bit remake of the Mega-CD RPG entitled ''Lunar Eternal Blue. Even though this is a remake, the game still keeps the same style that the Mega-CD version had (Do expect a brand-new experience like with Silver Star Story). However, with everything enhanced, from the color palette to the anime FMV to the soundtrack, the effect is 32-bit quality that is still true to the 16-bit style.

''In The Darkest Hour, Hope Springs Eternal.'' Lunar 2 Eternal has one of my favorite storylines, no doubt. I would like to quote E-Chan's remark about L2EB's storyline, ''I'll spare you the bare-bones story synopsis, as it simply wouldn't do justice to what Game Arts has accomplished here.'' Which is very true since Lunar 2's story and character depth goes above and beyond the norm for RPGs (In my opinion the only games that have more impressive plots are Xenogears and Final Fantasy Tactics).

The cast of characters is where Lunar 2 Eternal Blue really shines; the innocent and adventurous Hiero (I will be using Japanese names), the brash, womanizing priest turned dice-jockey named Rong-Fa, Hiero's little ''pink cat'' Ruby, a feisty carnival dancer named Jean, a greedy and egotistical magician called Remiena and the naive and confused guardian of the Blue Star, Lucier are just some of the characters that round out the amazing cast. Gamearts adds to the plot in so many ways with the numerous ''text faces'' that accompany the dialogue, (Each character features about 15 to 30 text faces). Almost every main event is accompanied by an FMV anime sequences and voice acting, which adds to the experience tenfold. This game also features a playable 5 - 10 hour epilogue, which has additional dungeons, items, and an fmv replayer. And did I mention that the epilogue lets you tie up some :ahem: loose ends from the regular ending :).

The overall theme of Lunar 2 Eternal Blue is quite dark (towards the end of the game) which is a drastic change from the style of Silver Star Story/The Silver Star, but this is not a flaw in anyway IMO. I can guarantee that no one will be disappointed by Lunar 2's masterpiece of a plot.

Thanks to the high-resolution color palette of the Sega Saturn, Lunar 2 Eternal Blue looks much sharper, cleaner, and more colorful than the 16 bit Mega-CD version. It's actually painful to go back and play the 16-bit version since the Saturn version is so much better looking. The magic animation has improved greatly as well and spells have become more intense (Especially Remiena's level 51 spell ''Catastrophe'' which tears apart the screen with all the weather elements). However the real graphic draw to Lunar 2 Eternal Blue is the amazing 55 minutes of full screen anime by Studio Vanguard. The Saturn version of Lunar SSS suffered immensely from pixilation and small frames but that is somewhat fixed in Lunar 2 Eternal Blue since it is in hi-res. full screen wonder. Even though it can become pixilated at times, Lunar 2 Eternal Blue without a doubt has the best anime FMV on Sega Saturn without the use of an MPEG card. Lunar 2 Eternal Blue is 2D and anime at its finest.

Though it is not of the cinematic quality of Noriyuki Iwadare's (Grandia, Lunar TSS, Lunar 2 EB, Langrisser series) orchestrated masterpiece Grandia, Lunar 2 Eternal Blue has fantastic music and is without a doubt Iwardare's second best. The Mega CD version of Lunar 2 was plagued by foggy and dull sounding PCM music tracks, but everything is fixed in the Saturn version, and Lunar 2's soundtrack can finally be heard the way it was meant to be heard: clearly.

The tracks that stand out the most in Lunar 2 Eternal Blue are the boss and battle themes, the final battle ''Dark God Omni-Zophar'' and the two vocal end themes, ''Rondo of Light and Shadow'' and ''Eternal Blue.'' F.Y.I., the Lunar Eternal Blue Original Soundtrack is still in mass supply and can be found at most online anime/game stores. When it comes to music, the Lunar series never disappoints.

Lunar 2 Eternal Blue's gameplay received a slight adjustment as well. First of all, in the Mega-CD version each character carried individual items which became a pain in the ass if the only person carrying a silver star (restores MP) was knocked out and you happened to be out of an item to restore KO'ed characters. This has been changed for the better, since now all of your items are accessible by any character in battle. Also, just like in SSS the enemies are portrayed on the screen so you can run from them when necessary. While some people seem to have mixed feeling on this, I happen to like it more than the random battles.

The battle system is the same old solid Lunar system, a combination of turn based and strategy which enables your characters to move about the screen instead of staying in one place like most RPGs. Actually IMO the Lunar 2 Eternal Blue battle system plays a tad faster than Silver Star Story's. The flaw that I found in Lunar 2 Eternal Blue is the absence of puzzles in some of the dungeons. People who played the Mega-CD version will quickly notice that the puzzles in the Mystic ruins and the Black Dragon Cave are missing. However, it shouldn't bother anyone.

Lunar 2 Eternal Blue took me about 34 hours to complete and those were some of best 34 hours that I ever experienced in a video game. If you own a Saturn and do not own Lunar 2 Eternal Blue then you are depriving yourself of one of the greatest RPGs of all time. If you do not own a Saturn then you can either buy the Japanese PSX version or wait for the English PSX version that is in translation by Working Designs, and which is set for a late Spring 2000 release. Without Lunar 2 Eternal Blue an RPG collection is not complete.

Reviewer's Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

Originally Posted: 02/26/00, Updated 02/26/00

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