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Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Lunar Silver Star Harmony on PSP Impression

Lunar: Silver Star Harmony on PSP
Lunar: Silver Star Harmony on the PSP is plain and simple a gaming classic polished and brought back to life for a new generation of gamer to experience. From Sega CD to PlayStation and now PSP this gaming gem is classic RPG with a long boy-to-hero story, lots of leveling up and plenty of turn based battles to take on. The characters and settings retain all their charm into its third decade of life. Yup, this puppy has been refined from its original 90’s release, 00’s re-release and now a new decade. So what makes Lunar so special? Let’s take a look.

Gameplay
– Assume the role of a young boy, Alex, as he joins childhood friends Luna and Ramus on a local adventure that quickly blows into a world spanning adventure that will see the rise of a new Dragonmaster, a champion not seen since the disappearance of Dragonmaster Dyne 18 years prior. The adventure is very linear with quest and objects, tons of leveling up through turn-based battles. Random encounters are still missing, replaced by enemies that are viewable on screen. This is an RPG in its most basic elements where plenty of hours and leveling up are needed to experience once excellent story and adventure.

Graphics
– Updated from the originals and remakes with bright settings and character designs. The graphics scream RPG and will never be confused with recent, more modern RPG’s but it looks really good and will spark major nostalgia in gamers of the original. The animated cut scenes are excellent, not to be missed.

Sound
– The music is RPG gold for those longing for the 16-bit era of sound. While updated the tunes a classic from the moving around town tracks to the battle sequences. The voice work is top notch and bring the anime sequences to life. Humor comes across really well with some subtle jokes thrown in along the way, all delivered on cue. Gotta say the lyrics for the PlayStation opening are missed.

Design
– Linear, point A to B, fetch quest and the like. Lunar is a reminder of a more direct time in RPG history and is a top notch J-RPG that requires stat building, level grinding even with the enemies that can now be seen on the field. This is a true old-school RPG done well, done right.

Miscellaneous
– Nostalgia is the name of the game. Remakes usually happen with major facelifts but Lunar has received two major remakes, PlayStation and now PSP, and both times all the core elements were retained and updated. This is a testament to the excellence of the Sega CD original. The expanded story elements alone warrant yet another play through for veteran gamers also.

Overall,
gamers looking for a good, a really good, role-playing game in the traditional Japanese mold of turn-based battles and level grinding minus the random encounters will do themselves will to get Lunar: Silver Star Harmony. This remake is excellent; a great service to fans of the franchise and PSP owners looking for a great app to spends hours on. Lunar does not deliver anything new but refines everything it does to a tee.

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