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Old 08-16-2006, 12:32 AM   #1135
Joe Redifer
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Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Denver, Colorado
Posts: 20,149
Lunar 2 - Enternal Blue
Sega CD

You probably should play this game.

Yeah. So, like, I just finished playing Lunar 2. And I figured I'd write up the best review for the game on the 'net. And here it is. I'm sure you already agree that this is the best review of the game. Anyway Lunar 2 takes place after Lunar 1 and that right there is crazy insane. I don't really recommend that you play Lunar 2 immediately after finishing Lunar 1 like I did because it can seem quite a bit slower as a result. Instead give it a week or two before you start on the second adventure. I must also mention that this was the last Working Designs game ever released for the Sega CD. What does that have to do with anything? Absolutely nothing. Is this game better than Dark Castle for the IBM PC? Hell yes. Is it better than Gran Turismo 3 and/or 4? Oh goodness gracious yes.

Some of the mazes will drive you insane with their evil tricks.
Also, since I did not play this game on an emulator, I instead
took pictures of my TV screen with a digital camera.

Story: 8/10
Playing through Lunar 1 is almost a prerequisite before playing this game... it really helps and makes this game's story much more enjoyable as a result. This time the story seems more urgent and catastrophic. It is very, very doomsday-ish. The whole world is going to hell in a handbasket and everybody will die. The situation is indeed quite dire. But in typical Working Designs fashion, all of the characters remain quite chipper and love to joke around. Can the situation really be all that bad when one of the characters keeps saying "Oh, pooh"? All of the protagonist avatars feature a smile even when they are trying to be serious. The game takes place 1,000 years after Lunar 1... or maybe just a few hundred years. It's never really made clear since the game states both. The main character, Hiro, has a tattoo of two green lines on his face for NO REASON! I guess he is trying to be as cool as Ryo from Shenmue (not even close to being possible). Although the game purports to take place on "Lunar", it actually takes place on Earth. This is proven by many things: The picture of the planet at the end of the game clearly features Earth continents, the characters love to mention things like Bill Clinton, Rush, Abba, Barney and other Earthly things. So therefore this game MUST take place on Earth... unless Working Designs screwed up the translation, which they probably did. Speaking of which, the dialog pretty much sucks (once again, typical of Working Designs). I must give them credit since I only found 2 typos in the game, but they try too hard to be funny as often as possible and it really does break the mood of the story.

Here's a typical battle scene for ya. You can't control Lucia, but she'll
help with magic attacks... eventually. For the first part of the game she
likes to defend herself or run away. Thanks a bunch, whore!

Graphics: 7/10
Most of the graphics are definitely better this time out, but they still run at 256x224. There is a bit more color this time and much more animation. No super-blocky scaling, unfortunately. This may piss off some Final Fantasy players, but they'll just have to cope without it. This game also does not use Unreal Engine 3 for some bizarre reason. The Duke Nukem Engine 8 is used instead. But overall there isn't really anything to be displeased with here graphically.

The opening animation features full frontal nudity of Lucia.
Really. Everyone loves full frontal nudity. Rated T for Teen.

Sound: 8/10
The sound effects aren't quite as loud and scratchy this time, but they still aren't anything special. There is a lot more voice in this game than in the previous game. This is good and bad. Good because voices are fun. Bad because the actress for Lucia really, really, really, really, sucks! She sounds like she has the personality of an empty cardboard box. This does kind of hinder the story since it is hard to care about anyone so amazingly dull. Many of the voice actors are from other Working Designs games. Hiro was Van in Cosmic Fantasy 2 (also the main guy in Mansion of Hidden Souls which was not from WD). Pretty much all he says in Lunar 2 is "Lucia.... Lucia..." again and again. He has a few other words but not too many. The music was again done by Noriyuki Iwadare of Warsong fame and this is probably one of his best scores (except for Devil's Crush in which he rocks da hizzouse). It is very well composed and overall way better than Lunar 1. The music when fighting the second form (out of about 90 it seems) of the last boss is so surreal and calm. Unfortunately the music is streamed off of the CD so it sounds a bit muffled like a 3DO game (Guardian War comes to mind). I have to knock the rating down because of this. The Playstation and Saturn version had the same music, only slightly re-arranged... mostly for the worse, though really not by much. Since this game is from Working Designs, that means it also has at least one insanely awful song in it with horrible lyrics. This game is special since it has two horrible songs in it. It seems that they did get a better singer for the 32-bit versions but they still are teh suXorZ.

The ultra-slow overworld map. Your vehicle moves
no faster than you can walk, but protects you
from annoying random battles.

Gameplay: 8/10
If they had kept in everything good about Lunar 1, this game would rank a 9. But they decided to break a few things. First of all the overworld map is tremendously slow. Even when you get the "Starship" Destiny you move slower than a dial-up connection trying to download a two hour uncompressed high definition movie. The Destiny is also horrifically difficult to navigate, constantly getting stuck. They took out the ability to warp directly to towns you've already visited, and that really makes traveling a chore. I can barely remember the names of the towns much less where the hell they are on the gigantic overworld. Also the game has to stop and load every time a battle takes place, and load again when you are done unlike the first Lunar. I'm betting that all of this was done to give you a false sense of the game being longer. And "longer" it is. The battles are a bit slower and the AI a whole lot dumber. But you do have more options in a fight than you did in the first game and you can level up your favorite magics as well... up to level 30. You earn magic experience and can choose what magic and when to upgrade them. It also costs magic experience every time you save. This was a feature Working Designs put in (are you really surprised?) just to piss people off. It gets more expensive to save every time your level goes up. In all honesty I never had a problem saving and the game is pretty generous with magic experience, so overall it really isn't an issue. I love the ability to save anywhere you want. This should be mandatory in ALL RPGs without exception. The game is fun, addicting, and it can be pretty tough at times as well. Another thing I really liked is that once they join your party, most of the characters are with you until the end of the game. I really like that. I also like that the same statue that refills your HP also refills your MP, unlike the first game. Sometimes you must donate $$$, but you'll always have plenty of $$$, just like in real life!

The entire game took me about 38 hours, and that included
powering up to level 99. Hell yeah... might as well kick ass!

Wrap Up:
Lunar 2 is a great RPG and a must for any RPG fan who owns a Sega CD. It is better than part 1 in many ways and worse in many others, so overall it ranks pretty much the same. Definitely worth a playthrough.
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