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Old 04-09-2008, 10:21 PM   #91
Seraph
>:3
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Troy, MI
Posts: 11,005

Nintendo DS
1 Player
Developer - Japan Art Media
Publisher - Ubisoft

My Bias
-Loved Lunar SSSC & EBC

My Completion
-Got to the 2nd town (Healriz)


This is my first DS review and I am taking the screen grabs myself, so I would like your thoughts on them if you guys dont mind. I took each of them a different way so I want to know what looks the best.

Story
I didn’t get very far so I can’t really tell you what the story of this game is. You start off as a boy named Jian who is a common delivery boy. You then meet up with your childhood cute-girl-next-door friend and go on adventures delivering packages.


I swear I've seen this scene before

I found the storyline to be kind of bland and not worth my time. Sometimes if a game is bad I can drag my feet through it if the story is captivating enough, but Lunar DS just starts off way to slow. In the games defense the story might get pick up and become more entertaining down the line, but I wouldn’t know because after almost 2 hours in I didn’t feel compelled to find out what happens.

Apparently this game takes place 1000 years before Lunar Silver Star Story. Whether you want to take this game as canon or not is up to you because I’ve heard from some Lunar fans that it screws a lot of things up storyline wise.

Graphics
The is actually a good amount of 2D detail put into this game. The sprite work for this game is good looking and it’s nice to see a 2D RPG in this day and age. The sprites are a big improvement over the ones in the previous games. There isn’t much animation to these sprites as characters hardly ever move their arms and bodies, but then again this isn’t exactly a big budget game.


Some pretty good sprite work

The art for the main characters is really good. The cover art fits in perfect with the previous two games. However the art for everyone else in this game is some of the worst game art I’ve ever seen. They must have blown the artistic budget on the main characters because all the NPCs look like the stuff I used to draw when I was 13.


They hired DeviantArt’s best 13 year olds to draw for this game


The game also is trying too hard to make use of the DS’s dual screens. I’m fine with a game using the 2nd screen as a map or status display, but Lunar DS uses the 2nd screen when it’s not appropriate. When you talk to anyone in the game the dialog box takes up the entire bottom screen and it looks really amateur. It makes it frustrating constantly having to look down at the dialog and then back up at the action. During battle the game tries to split the action between both the screens, which has never been an effect I liked.

Another brilliant design choice was to have all the games menu buttons constantly pulsate in and out. Since the touch screen is always displaying easy menu shortcuts as you walk around dungeons, you get to have the word “Menu” constantly zooming in and out at your eyeballs. Every menu in the game does this and its one of the most obnoxious things ever. A lot of the menus also have text that comes right to the edge of the screen, making it look almost cut off.

Music
There are a few good tracks in Lunar DS. The battle music is pretty good and sounds a lot like the battle music from the original Lunar games.

Again I didn’t get too far in this game so I can’t speak much for the Music. The town and field themes I did get to listen to were pleasing to the ears. Nothing amazing or memorable, but nice sounding none the less.

Gameplay
The game plays like a normal straightforward RPG. You shop in town for gear, you go out into the field, you get in some battles, beat the boss, repeat. There isn’t anything in this game that’s ground breaking in the RPG genre.

This game is chock full of so many problems I don’t know where to begin. First of all your characters walk at an extremely slow pace. Naturally like any good RPG you can hold down the run button and your characters will sprint around. Except some genius decided it was a good idea to drain your HP whenever you run. There is nothing to counteract this drain, such as slow health regeneration or something, so if you chose to run then you might need to use a healing item before the next battle. Running through dungeons is out of the question as you need every bit of HP you can get, so therefore get used to walking PAINFULLY slow.

The battles in this game are a royal pain. The Lunar series wasn’t exactly known for its stellar battle system, but at least before it was tolerable. In Lunar DS the battle system is unbearable.

First of all you must choose before you enter a battle if you want to receive experience points or items for a reward. That’s right, you can’t have both, its one or the other. I’m not sure if they were trying to be clever/innovative or what, but what this boils down to is having to do twice as much tedious grinding. It doesn’t strike me as a clever game mechanic, it just comes off as really stupid and uncalled for.


The battles are pretty close to automatic

To drag out these battles even longer the game won’t let you select any targets in battle. When you select attack that’s it, you don’t get to choose what monster you’re going to attack. It becomes very frustrating having an enemy sitting at 1HP constantly smacking you but you can’t do anything about it because your characters keep automatically targeting others. This eliminates a lot of the strategy found in even the most primitive RPG’s.

Unlike about every RPG ever since the NES, Lunar DS doesn’t let you walk around towns. Instead you are presented with an overhead map of the town and you put your little goto cursor over the house you want to enter. This makes towns feel a lot less alive and all around boring.


This is how you navigate the map screen

If complaints are all it seems like I have for this games Gameplay then that’s because it is all I have. I generally am pretty good at researching games before I buy them, so I don’t play many bad ones. But that said, this is the worst RPG I have ever played. Story/Music/Graphics aside it’s just not a fun game at its core.

Lasting Appeal
I lasted about 2 hours in before I couldn’t take anymore. I hear if you actually follow the game to its end it will last about 35 hours.

Final Thoughts
This is one of the few games I think would be better off not existing at all. Lunar 1 and 2 were fantastic RPG’s and this game really tarnish’s their good name.

My recommendation is to stay away from this game, even if you’re a fan of the Lunar series. It’s not worth the money even to satisfy your curiosity. There are much better RPG’s (and games for that matter) worth your time on the DS.

Last edited by Seraph; 08-04-2009 at 02:27 PM.
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