Cidolfas's RPG Reviews: Lunar: Silver Star Story Complete (PSX)
You Are: Alex, a typically heroic hero without much of a personality. But you're joined with a fun, ragtag group including: Luna, your childhood friend / love; Nall, a wisecracking flying cat; Nash, a wizard with an inflated ego; Jessica, a brash half-beastwoman priestess; Kyle, her frequently drunken thief boyfriend; and Mia, demure heir to the Magic Guild in Vane.
Your Goal Is: To become a Dragonmaster by meeting the four dragons, at first. Later, it's to beat the tar out of a big baddie who turns up about 1/3 of the way through the game.
General System: Generic RPG (walk around, talk to people, go into dungeons, fight enemies) except that you can see the enemies rather than doing random battles. Menu-wise, characters can only hold five items at a time (Nall is your backpack who can hold much more).
Battle System: Menu-based RPG stuff, except that the characters and enemies move around during battle (oddly enough, you can only manually move your characters if you use Defend). Sometimes this can lead to some annoyances when enemies move from where you wanted them to be when you chose your actions, but usually it just doesn't make much difference.
Graphics: Well... it's a port of a Sega CD game. Other than the anime sequences, which are good if a bit pixelly, the graphics are SNES-era, maybe slightly better.
Music: Unimaginative, both in content and in instrumentation. There are very few tunes I actually enjoyed listening to. And Luna's boat song was excruciating.
Story: The characters are a lot of fun, and there are just so many awesome lines - not only from your people, but also from all the NPCs around you. It's quite possibly the most fun I've ever had just going around talking to people. And there's lots of pop culture references - from Austin Powers to William Shatner to ABBA to Seinfeld. It's quite a departure from your usual RPG, which is too serious for its own good. As for the actual story... it's about average. There's one or two twists, but the genericness of the overarching goals (1: Find four dragons; 2: beat big bad guy whom you rarely see) kind of kills the magic.
Length: About 35-40 hours
My Thoughts: Lunar is an oddity. On the one hand, there's the dialogue, which is hands down the most entertaining I've ever come across in an RPG. I love the way your characters interact with nearly everything that's said to them, and the lines are frequently hilarious. On the other hand, there's the actual dungeons and battle, which are so boring and annoying it's almost torture to play through them. After realizing I'd have to level up for about half an hour to beat the first boss, I gave up, fired up the old cheat codes, and kept them on for the rest of the game. Even with that it was a pain to get through these things. I was aiming for a 5.0 rating here (because the dialogue is almost perfect but the gameplay is almost horrible), but I decided to add half a point for the cool "Making Of" CD that came with it, and another half for the outtakes that play after the ending. Then I lopped off half a point for the gall of actually killing me after I'd beaten the final boss.
Overall Rating: 5.5/10