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Lunar 2: Eternal Blue Complete (PlayStation) artwork

Lunar 2: Eternal Blue Complete (PlayStation) review

"I knew a girl once. We got along perfectly. She was the most interesting and fascinating creature I ever met. I could spend hours with her, always happy, sharing the good and the bad times. It seemed like every time I talked to her I learned something new. Despite being perfect for me, she did have her flaws though. She was kind of chubbyÖ ok ok, she was pretty damn fat. She also wore thick glasses that seemed to triple her eye size when she was wearing them. I was not shallow though, so I staye..."

I knew a girl once. We got along perfectly. She was the most interesting and fascinating creature I ever met. I could spend hours with her, always happy, sharing the good and the bad times. It seemed like every time I talked to her I learned something new. Despite being perfect for me, she did have her flaws though. She was kind of chubbyÖ ok ok, she was pretty damn fat. She also wore thick glasses that seemed to triple her eye size when she was wearing them. I was not shallow though, so I stayed with her and gave her a chance. She ended up being all I could ask for from a woman. Thatís when ZOPHAR ATTACKED!!! There we were fighting off MONSTER AFTER MONSTER together for our very dear lives, and the horde of terrible creatures just never seemed to end. We were barely alive as we fended off the beasts! GOD DAMN IT, GOD DAMN IT, AGGGH.

The story is fictional, but the metaphor is real and relates to that ugly duckling that youíll just want to hug and squeeze and love forever, even when monsters are all over the place attacking you all the time.

Lunar 2: Eternal Blue

You see, the thing about Lunar 2 is that it was originally made for the Sega CD. It was then ported to the Saturn, and eventually to the Playstation. Because of this, it plays like an old RPG. It has the graphics that donít measure up to this generation. It also has some of those searing flaws that some older RPGs had. This basically means that there are way too many fights. Despite all this, Lunar 2 also has some of the charm and great characters that many modern RPGs lack, as they strive for the coolest angst-ridden hero. In fact, the heroes are anything but depressed and bitter, which is part of the appeal of Lunarís players. They are people you can realistically see trying to save the world. Not that they donít have their problems. Each has their own issues, but unlike RPGs like FF7, the people with problems arenít complete asshats, so you care about them. You will desperately want Hiro (main character, hopelessly in love, but shy) to be with Lucia, and youíll feel heartbroken yourself when he is having difficulties with her. Gamers everywhere will slowly watch as Lucia (main female character) turns from practically a robot, to having normal human emotions. They will also turn from annoyed with her because of how she uses Hiro like a tool, to sympathetic towards her, during some of the tough decisions she has to make late in the game, which are only difficult because of her new found sensitivity.

And I must say, we are very fortunate that the character development in Lunar 2 is done as well it is. Not just because of how much better it makes the game, but for the fact that it helps to make up for the menace that lurks in Lunar 2Ö

ITíS THOSE BLOODY ENEMIES. If I told you that you could see all of your opponents in Lunar 2, you might think the fighting in this game wasnít a big deal. BUT THATíS WHERE YOU ARE DEAD WRONG BUDDY. The monsters are all over the place, and super fast to the point where you cannot avoid them. You will find yourself fighting way more villains in this system then you probably would have in a game with random battles. Even if you do master the art of avoiding the beasts, this will eventually screw you over when it comes to bosses, as many are quite tough.

And the boss battles themselves though end up being pretty similar. Youíll end up using the same moves over and over against bosses, and healing with a character or two. The fighting in Lunar 2 pretty much all comes before the battle. This is because the game usually gives you a few options on what you want to equip. For example, early in the game you can use a sword that attacks twice, but is weak, or a sword that is strong but only attacks once. While that is just a small example, the main way you choose your different equipment is in crests. Over the course of the game you get loads of different crests. Each character can equip 2, and certain combinations will give you strong stat upgrades, but usually a bad side effect too. For example, a certain combo of crests gives you a ďDarn tootin I kick ass!Ē attack, but with that combo you also lose the ability to use magic and skills. You must decide whether it is worth it or not. Itís decisions like this that help to keep Lunar 2ís gameplay fresh despite the FRIGGIN MONSTERS.

OK, OK. Iíll shut up about the games numerous enemies. Only for one reason though, Lunar 2ís story. While there are many RPGs where an excellent fable carries along average gameplay, this game is probably the best example of all time. Like most RPGs, Lunar 2ís tale starts relatively light hearted. From there the game slowly delivers one plot twist after another, eventually leading to some awesome turns in the adventure. Especially one at the end of disk 1 that fans of the original will be especially in awe at. Not that people who didnít play Lunar 1 wonít appreciate the plot. Lunar 2 does a great job of bringing new players up to date. And whether youíve played Lunar 1 or not, some of the moments in Lunar 2 will be with gamers for all time. There are quite a few cutscenes and moments on Disk 3 that I will remember as long as I am gaming. Itís tough to explain why some things in Lunar 2 will touch you so deeply. One reason is, once again, how the game manages to really get you to care about your characters. Another reason is how well these occasions are presented. Lunar 2 has anime cutscenes that go along with some of the more important parts of the game. These cutscenes help you to feel more like you are apart of the action since they are so perfectly done. Not to mention the incredible voice acting that accompanies the FMVs, and many important conversations throughout the game. All of the voice actors do a terrific job representing their characters and they are another reason you can imagine yourself in the Lunar 2 universe.

The best way in which the game makes you feel like you are in this Lunar 2 world though is with the towns. A decent amount of the time, RPG developers like to concentrate on the story so much that they forget to pay attention to one of the most enjoyable parts of great RPGs. The towns! It is the villages and cities in the RPG that can truly make you feel apart of some sort of fantasy universe. It seems like Game Arts recognized this fact, as their towns are some of the best I have ever encountered. Every villager will magnificently capture your attention with a witty remark, a helpful thought on what to do next, or maybe some input on a current event. Eitherway, they are all interesting and help to bring even more life to the game while you are lolly-gagging about in a town. Game Arts took this a step beyond too. Lots of events in the story happen while you are in a village. Every time something happens, the villagers have something different to say. This not only makes the game more realistic, but makes it even cooler in towns as well.

Not even the poor graphics could come close to ruining anything about the towns. Outside of the anime FMVs, the graphics in Lunar 2 are outdated. This is to be expected, as the game is a port from the Sega CD so it looks like, well, a Sega CD game. The graphics do have some upside though. There are quite a few character sprites, and all the sprites have pretty good detail. Still though, itís a big step down from the norm, as are the environments. While they are also detailed nicely they look straight out of a SNES game. When you first see the environments and characters you may actually be a bit shocked and get a bit deterred from playing. You grow to see that it isnít such a big deal though, and the graphics end up not being a key point in the game at all.

Lunar 2 reminds me of my grandpa. An old man, but heís always there to offer a smile and a storyÖ You caught me. Iím lying again. Sometimes you have to lie though, as people wonít understand something that is the truth. The truth is that Lunar 2 has average gameplay, a HELLISH amount of enemies, and bad graphics. It also has a great story, awesome character development, and towns that are a joy to explore. This may sound like just an OK game, but reality is that this is one of the greatest RPGs Iíve ever played. The shallowness in most of us may try and stop you from true love, but donít let it.

icehawk's avatar
Community review by icehawk (November 29, 2004)

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