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Old 04-09-2008, 10:21 PM   #91
Seraph
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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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Old 04-09-2008, 10:40 PM   #92
Alexander
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It just seems notably bad. Did you buy it?
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Old 04-09-2008, 11:21 PM   #93
Mistatee
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Your too lenient...

And I almost beat the game, took me about 19 hours to get to the second to last dungeon.

Story is so worthless that it makes all the other games redundant and terrible. You better believe I do not accept this monstrosity into the canon of the series. I doubt the developers can even say it belongs there with a straight-face.



More or less the storyline is cut and paste from Lunar:SSSC, but without the 4 heroes, quark is a lion (and also not named, but seeing as history from Lunar:EB states he was around when Althena defeated (and locked away) Zophar on Earth and transported everybody to the silver star I can guarantee he is supposed to be quark...), there are a total of 5 characters (one gets kidnapped almost instantly, one dies less than an hour after you get him, and the last 3 are extremely retarded), and the Vile Tribe happens to only have 1 member of the Vile Tribe in it, with a lot of monsters. Plus somehow the main character manages to become a dragonmaster when there already is a dragonmaster, which invalidates the lore in so many ways, especially when he becomes a dragonmaster by kicking the shit out of the dragon's spirits who aren't even there....

Fuck that is one shitty game.
Worst RPG I have played, though because I know about the Lunar world. If I didn't I'd say it would be Second worst behind Unlimited Saga.
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Old 04-10-2008, 07:27 AM   #94
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Yeah, I hope you didn't pay very much for it. But those screenshots are great. How'd ya make 'em?
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Old 04-10-2008, 09:54 AM   #95
Seraph
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No I didnt buy it. It was a gift to me from somebody who didnt really know what to buy me. I'm actually going to sell it soon.

eastx, I made those screenshots using a digital camera and photoshop. I can teach you how to do it or write up a tutorial if you want to try it yourself. I used a different technique for each screen in that review, some turning out better than others.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mistatee View Post
Your too lenient...
I thought you would get a kick out of this review. ;)
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Old 04-10-2008, 12:23 PM   #96
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seraph View Post
eastx, I made those screenshots using a digital camera and photoshop. I can teach you how to do it or write up a tutorial if you want to try it yourself.
Yeah, a tutorial would be great. I think my problem is I don't know how to manually focus, and my camera always focuses on the portable console rather than the screen itself. Not that I've tried repeatedly or anything, but I definitely need to learn.
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Old 04-10-2008, 03:10 PM   #97
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Anyone who has beaten Lunar 1 and 2 should watch the ending of this game on youtube. its terrible. Also worth noting, you never fight the final boss...
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Old 04-10-2008, 06:16 PM   #98
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Sounds like a pretty awesome game. Right up there with Ice Climbers and M.C.Kids.

Actually I take that back, M.C. Kids looks a lot more fun than this.

By the way the screen with the town area select looks the best.
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Old 04-10-2008, 06:44 PM   #99
Joe Redifer
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M.C. Kids was one of the first games ever that wasn't completely bogged down with racist overtones.
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Old 04-10-2008, 06:55 PM   #100
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I think the black kid's eraser-cut took up a whole extra sprite block.
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Old 04-20-2008, 05:54 PM   #101
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Nintendo Wii
1-2 Players
Developer - Cavia, Capcom
Publisher - Capcom

My Bias
-I love the Resident Evil series
-I love the arcade light gun genre

My Completion
Completed every mission on Easy difficulty

Story
Every light gun shooter I’ve played in the arcade has had a storyline, but it’s always some ridiculous “Save the President” plot. And quite frankly when you play a light gun game, who cares about the storyline? You just want to shoot stuff. Umbrella Chronicles changes this though and for once it’s nice to get a little more engrossed in the experience.

The story is actually a recap of the previous games in the series. It’s made up of highlights from Resident Evil 0, 1, 3 and a new chapter. The last chapter is brand new to the Resident Evil timeline and tells the conclusion of the Umbrella Corporation. It’s a pretty cool ending to the series and finally wraps up some things that RE:CV left loose for years.

The new characters they added were really stupid to me. One is a guy with a thick Russian accent named Sergei. He is stereotypically Russian and that’s basically all you need to know. The worst part is that he has these Tyrant body guards that follow him around wearing sunglasses that make them look like the front of an Alienware computer. Resident Evil has never been THAT serious of a series, but his Tyrant bodyguards are just over the top goofy.


And dont worry, the cheesy RE dialog is still intact

As a fan of the Resident Evil series this game was great fan service. It was really awesome seeing the buildings and environments I experienced as pre-rendered backgrounds now fully realized in 3D. The missions you run through are awesome highlights of each of their respective games and you fight all the trademark bosses.

What I find really disappointing is that Resident Evil 2 and Code Veronica are missing in action. There are 2 side missions from Resident Evil 2 which follow the side stories of Ada and Hunk, but nothing from the main game. I am dumbfounded as to why they left these games out because as far as the overall storyline goes, these two games had the most to do with the Umbrella Corporation. Not to mention RE2 was the most popular game in the series, so for a game that is trying to cater to RE fans its confusing.


How cool would it have been to run through RE2?

Graphics
Supports 16:9 Widescreen and Progressive Scan

On a technical note this game was made for widescreen TV’s with the normal standard aspect ratio as an afterthought. If you try playing this game on a normal square TV, two black bars fill the screen the whole time. I really hate it when games do this.

The graphics in Umbrella Chronicles are about average for a Wii game. Despite being from the same company, they are not nearly as impressive as RE4’s visuals. Nothing in this game is going to blow you away graphically. Still considering the usual quality of light gun shooters this game fares pretty well.


The mansion has never looked so good

Most of this game is made up of the dark and drab environments of the series. This isn’t exactly a bad thing because that’s what the series has always been about. Because this game grabs from different titles in the series, you get some nice varied locations and it helps keep things interesting despite the overall dark theme.

Unfortunately from what I’ve been told, the Resident Evil 3 scenario’s use the exact same assets from the RE:Outbreak games. I can’t confirm this because I have never played the Outbreak spin-offs, but they do look a bit worse than the rest of the games areas. It’s certainly a believable claim.

Music
Like the rest of the series, there aren’t many memorable tunes. However instead of a few awesome tracks thrown in there isn’t anything here like that. What the other titles in the series have always done right to make up for the lack of music, is add a certain ambience that fits the mood and adds suspense. RE:UC replaces ambience with these subtle rock loops that sound neither inspiring or memorable. The menu screen music is probably the best track in the entire game, if the rest of the games music was like that it would be awesome.

The other disappointment is that they didn’t bring back any of the memorable tunes from the games this revisits.

Gameplay
This is an on rails light gun shooter. If you don’t know what that is (which you should if you have ever been in an arcade) the game basically walks you along a track and all you have to worry about is aiming and shooting.

This game differs from most light gun games found in the arcades as well as most home light games you buy for other consoles. You aren’t actually aiming at points on your screen, your moving the cursor around like you do on the Wii main menu.

There is no screen calibration like found in other Wii light gun games, so this game will always feel like your positioning a cursor rather than pointing a gun directly at the screen. Interesting tidbit, the technology used in the Wii Sensor bar is the exact same as what’s used in Arcade games. It’s true, I went to my local arcade and confirmed. So theoretically if you could position or even build your own sensor bar to accommodate your screen size, then you could have 1 to 1 screen pointing. Not anything I’d expect any normal person to do, but interesting nonetheless.

I can’t tell you how different this game plays or feels with a plastic gun shell. I own neither the official Zapper or a 3rd party shell, but when I eventually get one I will update this review. I have heard reports that a good gun shell (not the Zapper) makes the game more fun than it already is.

The quick time events from RE4 are back with a vengeance. These are by far the most frustrating part of the game. During certain cut scenes the screen will inverse colors for half of a second, and then prompts you to quickly press a random button. If you fail to hit it in time or push the wrong one by mistake then its game over and you must restart the entire stage (or halfway through if you hit the checkpoint). What’s worse is that sometimes it wants you to repeatedly mash the displayed button because there have been many instances where I pressed the required button once and still died. I wish it would have told me that.

The bosses in this game are really fun. Most of them do some creative things, which aren’t exactly new to the light gun genre, but fun nonetheless. Although this is a Resident Evil game its not scary at all. I'd like to say that its because of the genre, but I know thats a lie. Like RE4 its an action game.


Even in the dark its not scary

One complaint I have with this game is it’s so dang hard. It starts off pretty easy but by the time the last levels come around it’s near impossible. When games of this length are this hard, it becomes very frustrating redoing entire 10 minute levels just to get stuck at the same part. I understand some players like their games hard but there are three difficulty options in this game, at least make easy mode EASY. Part of what makes this game so hard is that most enemies require pinpoint accuracy to be killed in one shot. It’s not just a matter of shooting a zombie in the head, you have to nab a specific part of their forehead to do it. The game has way too many instances where enemies jump at you and you have a split second to react in time or you get hit. The only way to stop the attack is to get that critical hit, which is REALLY hard to do.


Even at this close its hard to get headshots

Also counterattacks often do more harm than good. In this game you can counter attack if a zombie grabs you by rapidly shaking the Wii Remote. While this can save you from getting hit, a lot of the time it actually puts you in more trouble than you were in. While your character performs the counter attack animation the other zombies don’t stop moving forward. So when you finally get back in control, you have zombies standing point blank in front of you ready to attack.

Umbrella Chronicles is full of fan service. Throughout the stages there are secret files hidden in breakable objects such as lights and chairs. These files are full of Resident Evil history and fun facts, which makes for a good read through for any RE fan.


Congrats to me, I unlocked a little icon of the G-Virus.

Like any light gun shooter, 2 player makes this game even more enjoyable. What I love about the way this game handles 2 players is that you both share the same health bar. Most light gun shooters divide the screen in half and forces players to worry about their half of the screen rather than working together.

Another cool part about this game is its weapon upgrade system. Like Resident Evil 4, you can use the points you earn in missions to upgrade your guns. You may then pick that gun to be your starting alternate weapon or find it somewhere on your next stage. The only bad part about this whole system is that once you upgrade all the guns to max level, you can then upgrade them to have infinite ammo. This sounds awesome for a light gun game and trust me it is, but once you do this it’s impossible to go back. Like a cheat that can’t be turned off. There is no way outside of resetting your save to get rid of the infinite ammo.

Lasting Appeal
One of the great parts about this game is the amount of content it has. The bad part about most light gun games is that they can be beaten within an hour and get pretty stale after you’ve played through it multiple times. Umbrella Chronicles takes a good 10-15 hours to beat all the missions, including the bonus mission. And because this is a light gun game there is a good amount of replay value. Include the unlockables, the gun upgrade system and multiple difficulty levels and you have a light gun shooter that lasts as long as a full blown game.

Final Thoughts
If you’re a Resident Evil fan than getting this game should be a no brainer. It’s fun and it’s full of RE fanservice, enough said.

If you’re not a fan of the franchise I still recommend this game. It’s a fun light gun shooter that will last a very long time.

Gameplay Video

Last edited by Seraph; 07-22-2009 at 03:10 PM.
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Old 04-20-2008, 08:08 PM   #102
Naoko Suki
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It's so scawwry T___T
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Old 04-20-2008, 09:24 PM   #103
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You liked ALL the bosses in RE:UC? The one tyrant you fight in the tunnel (the all white tyrant. It might have been a Wesker mission...) was so cheap it made me wanna throw the game in the trash bin. The last boss was also very very.....stupid. I liked most of the bosses myself, but the ones that suck, really suck...
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Old 04-20-2008, 10:36 PM   #104
eastx
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Great review. I love the game but I hate those quicktime events and difficult headshots. If not for those glaringly bad ideas, this would just be the best lightgun shooter ever made. And yeah, the Perfect Shot definitely increases the fun factor.
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Old 04-20-2008, 10:54 PM   #105
Joe Redifer
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I don't own this, but I played it once. It was moderately amusing for maybe 10 minutes, but then got really boring. It isn't as good as a House of the Dead game, even though it wants to be. The graphics have next to no color in them and were pretty dark and bland. It made me want to sleep. I don't remember anything about the audio. This should be downloadable WiiWare for $5 and not a real release.

And arcade light gun games are not exactly like the Wii. As you can tell by your own pic, there are sensors all around the entire screen. The Wii just has a little podunk bar laying there. Even if you built your own IR emitters all around the TV, it would confuse the Wii and the WiiMote since they are not designed for that. Only projection/big screen arcade games even work like this (they have to). Older light gun arcade games that used CRTs worked differently.
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