Lunar 2: Eternal Blue Preview
Being released last year, Lunar: Silver Star Story Complete was a very well received RPG game that was ported over from Sega's defunct Sega CD console. It was pretty obvious that the sequel to Lunar that was also released on the Sega CD, would be released for the Playstation as well. When the announcement was made fans were anxious to get their hands on this new RPG. Well you aren't too far away from that day, Lunar 2 is scheduled to be released in less than two days, read the hands-on preview to find out what to expect from this new RPG, and find out how it stacks up to Final Fantasy IX and Chrono Cross.
For those who feel that a marvelous visual feel is a must to make an RPG game worth playing then click the "back" button on your browser and don't read this any further. To those who are "true" RPG fans, or at least claim to be, then Lunar 2's visuals won't matter to you that much. The graphics are composed of pretty pixels and hardly (if any) polygons, but to say that they are nice is one thing, but to say that they are bad is another. I wouldn't really say that Lunar 2's visuals are poor, they are after all ported from the Sega CD, so it wasn't as if Game Arts would completely revamp the graphics engine, but compared to today's games, we can all come down with the fact that Lunar 2 doesn't hold up. The characters are tiny, and don't pack a whole load of attention to them, but I was able to distinguish the characters easily, think something along the line of SNES' Earthbound. The houses and villages on the other hand are nicely drawn, and look quite good for a game with 16-Bit visuals that is. The cut scenes are actually in 3D with anime-drawn characters on the scenario, all of the structures and surroundings are fully three dimensional, while the characters of the game are 2D and have a distinct anime look to them. I wouldn't really say that the visuals "suck", I would define bad visuals as being 3D, grainy, chunky and blocky, now that's bad graphics.
The game starts off with the main protagonist Hiro and his feline dragon friend Ruby. They are in a cavern looking for valuable items and find a few (one that will come in handy just a bit later in the game). At the beginning of your journey you will encounter a huge ship called the Dragonship Destiny, with a character named Leo piloting it. At first he comes off very big headed and demanding, but as the game progresses your relationship with him will spur as he will tell you that his mission is to seek out and destroy a savage beast roaming the world of Lunar. Gwyn will be the second key character that you meet, he is Hiro's grandfather, and will accompany him in journey. There are a total of 17 characters including Hiro, Lucia, Ruby, Gwyn, Leo, Althena, Ronfar and many more. The game's plot is revolved mostly around romance rather than nothing but action, although don't be discouraged because Final Fantasy VIII was mix of action and romance, and look how great the game turned out. I don't want to reveal too much about the game, I want to save most of it for the review, but I'll spill some of the beans on the battle system.
There are no random battles, so I know you wanted to hear that first. The battles work with you having to choose if you want the AI to play for your battle, or you prefer to battle manually. After you make a selection you choose what action you want to use, of course the average 'Attack', 'Magic', "Items' and 'Run' options are available and we all know what they do so I think that it isn't very needy to explain them. During battle if you are quick enough you will be able to chain an attack performing two hits and causing double the damage. It's a shame that Lunar 2 doesn't take you through the battle system and teach you how to battle better and let you get to know the game better, but you'll eventually learn it very quickly.
I will conclude with saying that the soundtrack is incredible, Isao Mizoguchi did a grand job of composing some of the best musical tracks in an RPG game to date. Luckily with the purchase of Lunar 2 you will not only be given a making of the game CD, but also a soundtrack CD, as well as tons of other things that are packaged when you buy Lunar 2: Eternal Blue Complete this week. Look for a review on the game soon.