As most of you know, I was a gigantic role-playing enthusiast back in the days of the PS1; in fact, I played that genre almost exclusively, with a few exceptions here and there. I’ve moved on to appreciate most all other genres but I continue to have a soft spot for the old classics, which is why I was interested to learn more about the upcoming remake. Game Arts and XSEED will let PSP owners revisit one of the most beloved RPGs ever: it’s Lunar: Silver Star Harmony, which is an updated version of Silver Star Story Complete that arrived on the PS1. We’ve already seen a few remakes of this game but the latest promises to be the most “complete” adventure yet, and if you enjoyed the Star Ocean remakes, you’ll want to jump on board once again. And speaking of the latter remakes, you might recognize the visual overhaul found in Silver Star Harmony; the revamped sprites and smoother lines is very similar to what we found in the PSP versions of the Star Ocean titles.
However, I should clarify that certain graphical aspects of the game will remain the same. While the character avatars and designs have been redesigned and will now stand out more – the remodeling looks more like modern-day sprites, the likes of which you might find in the Atelier Iris series – the anime cut-scenes won’t be altered. You may see some slight refinement but they didn’t actually change the overall look. Now, if you’re unfamiliar with the game, this is a turn-based, old-school RPG that features an excellent storyline, great characters, and a style of exploring and gameplay that will resonate with veteran RPG aficionados. Although it was on the PS1, it looked and felt a bit more like an SNES role-playing quest, with the exception of the FMV cut-scenes. And perhaps the one element that stands out most of all is the sound and music; so much of the game relies on music (it’s actually part of the plot), and the songs remain some of the more memorable in history.
During the game, you will see the enemies on screen but touching one brings you into a separate turn-based battle screen, with your foes on the left. Standard exploring brings you through forests, caves, and dungeons, and of course, you will find plenty of new towns and allies (Jessica, Kyle, Nash, Mia, etc.). You will play as Alex, a young boy who idolizes the great Dragonmaster Dyne, a hero of heroes that helped to save the world from impending disaster. Not surprisingly and sticking with the theme of most old-fashioned RPGs, Alex soon finds himself in a very similar position, and he strikes out from his small town with a few childhood friends in tow…along with a weird white flying cat-like creature named Nall. As you progress, you will learn that your friend Luna can not only sing, but her voice actually possesses special powers and the evil at work needs it to fulfill a very dark plan.
The upgrades will also include some “additional gameplay features,” although we haven’t quite learned what they are just yet. If I had to guess, I’d say they were adding new abilities for characters and I know for a fact that more story elements will be included. Therefore, if you factor in the new and improved graphics, one has to conclude that Silver Star Harmony will be the best edition yet. If any of you still have the soundtrack from the PS1 version, you’ll remember just how amazing it was and for more good news, I’m here to tell you that the PSP version will boast a remastered set of tracks. All in all, this is one RPG that no fan should miss and if you haven’t yet had the pleasure, you’ll definitely want to pick this up when it arrives early next year. Really, this is old-school role-playing at its very finest and it’s guaranteed to put a wistful smile on your face.
12/7/2009 Ben Dutka