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Lunar 2: Eternal Blue Complete

Publisher: Working Designs Developer: GameArts
Reviewer: DatPixieGirl Released: December 14, 2000
Gameplay: 87% Control: N/A
Graphics: 89% Sound/Music: 93%
Story: 96% Overall: 94%


For all gamers who loved the original, Lunar 2: Eternal Blue Complete is definitely worth the time and money. Although, I wouldn't recommend starting it until you have about 5 consecutive days where you can go without sleep and have someone bring you food and water (sorry, but since you can't do anything about the toilet, you'll just have to hold it.), because the storyline is so compelling that you don't want to stop playing for anything.

It begins with Hiro, a treasure hunter, and his pet "baby red dragon" named Ruby, disobeying Grandpa Gwyn to go searching in some dangerous ruins near their home. I don't want to say much more about the beginning, cause it takes the fun out of all the opening cinematics, but it's sufficient to say that something world-threatening appears and Hiro can never resist a pretty girl (especially a nude one in a floating crystal.).

In the area of graphics, both Lunar games remain true to the 2-D graphics and great anime sequences. Since the game is mostly relying on the storyline to grip the gamer, impressive graphics aren't really necessary. Plus, the cute 2-D landmaps and sprites help set the tone of the game, which seems to be, "Help save the world, but joke and have fun on the way".

One of the best features about this game is the fact that there are NO enemies on the world map. So you are free to explore from one end of Lunar to the other, without any unnecessary interruptions. Also, there is no random encounter system in dungeons either, because all enemies are visible. Therefore, the gamer has the option of trying to avoid battles. However, because of the advancing storyline, I often found myself plagued and seriously annoyed by the enemies in dungeons and thinking, "C'mon, I want to know what happens next, not fight some stupid minor evil guys!" But if you take out most of the enemies in the dungeons, there is never really a need to go on level up rampages, so that makes up for the delay in the advancing storyline.

The battle system is turn-based and takes a little bit more time than most, even if you're taking on exceptionally weak enemies. If you are interested in cool fight scenes with 3-D graphics, this is not the game for you (heck, this probably isn't the SITE for you; go check out Tekken.). But if you have a lot of patience and thrive on strategic battle, this system is your best friend. Most of your armor and equipment is bought in stores in the towns you visit, with the occasional exception of what you find in dungeons or hidden treasure chests in towns. There were many times I found myself short on cash, but fighting enemies to get money also helps with the leveling up problem. Accessories abound in the many treasure chests throughout the game, so there is not much need to buy those.

As far as the music and sound go, this is one of the areas where Lunar 2 is even better than Lunar: SSSC. The sound has been put into permanent Stereo instead of giving the option of Mono, which may pose a problem in the form of skipping during anime sequences if your TV doesn't have Stereo support, but it definitely improves the sound quality of the game. A few songs from Lunar: SSSC have been revamped and sound much better. As for the new songs, I think it's enough to say that this is one game soundtrack that's worth listening to. The music helps to add emotions that 2-D graphics can't convey, and generally makes the game more fun.

There are a wide variety of musical styles presented (my personal favorite being Jean's Theme, played when you view her bromides.), all of which are very well done. During battle sequences, the characters have voice clips that play when you cast spells or use certain weapons. These can get annoying, but a handy feature was included on the options menu that allows you to turn off the battle voices.

The main storyline is one of the most well developed I've ever encountered. Not to mention this game has taken the simple theme of "save the world" and turned it into something truly original. As opposed to other games where I start playing and then get bored with one aspect or another and quit, even if you get sick to death of some other part of the game, the storyline keeps you playing just so you can find out what happens next. And once you get through the main storyline, there are so many more things you can do that this game never seems to end! (That's a good thing, by the way.) There are many optional dungeons to explore, an Epilogue, and those ever-elusive Bromides to find. Also, many side stories can be explored just by talking to different people throughout the course of the game.

One of the best things about the Lunar series is that the games show each of the character's growth throughout the storyline, and make it fit into the overall puzzle. Aside from the writers' need to put a lot of "we can't lose if we stick together" speeches near the final battle, there are many positive themes presented in the game, like facing your past and never giving up.

Despite the game's seemingly child-aimed graphics and beginning storyline, it develops into a game mainly geared for a more mature/adult & teen audience, due to the strong "suggestive themes" aspect. But that area makes for great joke material, and gives a lighthearted atmosphere to the dialogue and some certain scenes.

To get the full "Lunar 2 Experience", I would suggest packing up your electronics and moving to a remote island (that miraculously has power outlets), and playing like it's the last game you'll see. But if you can't do that, at least try to explore most of the aspects of this 3-CD marvel, cause there sure are a lot if you know how to find them.

DatPixie
Girl

The mixture of anime and CG gives new life to the cinemas.

The battle system stays true to the original.







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