Title: Lunar 2   Developer: Game Arts   Type: Strategy RPG
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Lunar 2
"What we have here is a 2D, sprite based RPG that has all the classic elements of Story, magic, and mystery, all rolled into one epic quest. Fans of the first game can be assured that this is an excellent and fitting example of how a sequel should be."
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PSone REVIEW:
 
Over 1000 years have past since Alex the Dragon Master fought back the forces of evil from Lunar. Over this time though, the history has been muddled and people of Lunar have become content in life and care little of the Goddess Althena and the ways that were.

Now, Hiro, a young adventurer who thirsts for knowledge of Lunar, Althena, and the Blue Star, is off exploring to find the answers he seeks. You see, it is said that the Goddess Althena put the people there, directly from the Blue Star.

Little does Hiro, and his…Um..Kitty? Ruby know what they are getting in to. Ruby, a long time friend of Hiro, is a flying cat-like thing with delusions of being a Red Dragon. Ruby also is excited because legend has it that the Goddess is protected by a group of four dragons, and the Dragon Master.

If only Hiro and Ruby could find out more and have some excitement in their lives…


Lunar 2 plays almost exactly like its predecessor. But for those uninitiated with the original, I will explain a bit.

Each of the characters has stats like most RPGs, and with monster slaying comes the reward of going up in levels and getting your stats brought higher. One nice thing with Lunar 2, as in the first one, is that if one of your party is knocked unconscious they still receive the experience.

There are plenty of weapons and items in Lunar, including rings and crests. Rings will offer protection from certain ailments or conditions and crests will usually allow certain magic use or raise certain stats.

Battle can have a strategic feel for a couple of reasons. First is the characters range stat, and second is the characters speed. These two I found to be the most important. If you know who will go first or how far the character can run to hit the enemy, it makes for a less trying fight. Of course there is much more to take into account, such as magic, strength and so on. An added feature of Lunar 2 is the effect indication. When you are selecting an enemy to attack colored symbols will appear above their heads. Damage to the enemy is either going to be weak, normal, or strong depending on the display. This takes the guesswork out of determining which monster is weak against which attack type. Some may not like this feature, but I do. No more wasted magic points on ineffective attacks, ha!

Speaking of attacks. All the monsters are visible, no random battles. Keep in mind though that in areas there are monsters that can definitely out run you and you will have to fight a majority of those you encounter. Then again, there\'s always the run away command. But you wouldn\'t do that now, would you?

The towns are luscious and absolutely full of life. Taking on your typical 2D atmosphere and expanding into vibrant towns and dungeons, Lunar 2 has an immersive feel. There are loads of people to talk to, not once or twice, but many times. One very strong point of Lunar 2 is the story and with all the conversation you\'ll be having, that story gets conveyed well.

Also, to aid the story, Lunar 2 is packed with voice-overs during your exploration. This gives your eyeballs a break from reading all that text and as in the first Lunar; the jobs of voice acting are done superbly. Interspersed here and there are Anime style cut scenes, which again are done brilliantly and convey the story well.

Oh. Did I forget to mention the lighter side? The Bromides are back! For those left scratching their heads, I\'ll explain, Bromides are pieces of art that you acquire throughout your adventure. Pictures, mostly of the babes in the game. They are stored in your inventory and can be viewed whenever you need some inspiration. Also, Lunar 2 is loaded to the hilt with humor, both conventional and in reference to modern day happenings. Rich, I tell you.

Do I really need to mention the sound of Lunar 2? The first Lunar was awesome in it\'s soundtrack, and all I can say is that Lunar 2 is right up there with it.

Every town you enter, every dungeon you forage, all is enchanted with awe inspiring musical scores that will have you unknowingly bouncing in your seat and humming all day. Don\'t get me wrong. Not in a bad way like a stupid commercial for soap or something, but in a way that is prone to send chills down your spine. Just like the entire game.

FEATURES:
 
Explore the vast world of Lunar with a variety of characters to command.

Learn and control multitudes of different magic, to crush your enemies.

Enter vast and wonderful cities to learn from the towns people what exactly is going on in your world. Interactive battle design lets you control every aspect of your combat.

Beautifully rendered characters and surroundings that will entice you into Lunar.

A soundtrack that is as awe inspiring as the Goddess Althena herself.

OPTIONS:
 
• 3 Disk(s)
• CD Media
• 1 Block required on Memory card per save (min)
• Up to 1 Players (without Multi-tap)
• Uses Dual Shock Pad Buttons
• Uses Dual Shock Pad Analog Sticks
• Uses Dual Shock Pad Vibration facility

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Review SUMMARY and SCORE
Robert Gibson  "Lunar 2 is a template for what sequels should be. While not pushing the graphical limits of the Playstation, the involved story and excellent soundtrack are wondrous.

Game play is a good mix of strategy and old-fashioned RPG hackery. The 2D animation and beautiful background scenery is tops in it\'s own right. Voice-overs and Anime cut-scenes make the story addictive to unfold.

This title will surely please both Lunar fans and even first time RPG\'ers. Well worth getting and with all the goodies that come with the Lunar 2 set, this game is a gem well worth your time."
Graphics  13/20
Playability  48/50
Sound  10/10
Lastability  20/20
91%
This game either pushes the boundaries of it's genre further than ever before on this system, or creates a completely new gaming experience. Either way, it should not be missed and is an essential purchase in our opinion.
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REVIEW SCORE GUIDE:

OUR PLEDGE:

We promise that we have fully played 'Lunar 2' before writing this review. The scores given above are our honest opinion and were not influenced in any way by the manufacturer or distributor of the game.

SUMMARY OF FINAL RATING (%)

00 - 59 This makes your console seem like an older machine. It utilises little or none of the PSone power.

60 - 69 This game is little more than average and we advise renting or play-testing before considering a purchase.

70 - 79 This is a good solid title that should still appeal to those who like this type of game.

80 - 89 This is a fantastic game that we think you will enjoy playing for quite some time.

90 - 100 This game either pushes the boundaries of it's genre further than ever before on this system, or creates a completely new gaming experience. Either way, it should not be missed and is an essential purchase in our opinion.

IMPORTANT - PLEASE READ:

It is very important that you are aware that the criteria we use to obtain review scores on the PS2 is very different to that used for games on the original Playstation (PSone). The Processing and Graphical power of the two consoles are vastly different and as our reviews are graded against what we estimate is the achievable potential of each system, it does not mean in any way that a game scoring 80 percent on PS2 is worse than a Playstation (PSone) equivalent which scores 95.

A more detailed breakdown of this guide can be read here.


READERS REVIEWS:

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PSone Review SUMMARY and SCORE
Chris Brickwedde  "Alright Now Were Talking. When I Whined About Gameplay In My Articles For Ff9 And Bof4 This Is What I Was Talking About! This Game Exemplifies Everything In An Rpg That Is To Be Loved. A Wonderful Story, Stunning Animation Sequences, Voice Acting (something That Squaresoft Somehow Managed To Forget In All There Recent Ff Titles), And A Touch Of Fantasy (touch Being An Understatment.)

This Time In The Second Adventure You Take Control Of A Boy Named Hiro And His Pet Dragon Named Ruby. They Live In The Middle Of A Desert With A Spire To The North. One Day On Hiro's Journey Through A Set Of Ruins His Path In Life Was Forever Altered, When He Butts Head's With The Top Notch Commander Of The Althena Gaurd Capatain Leo. Leo Is Looking For The Destroyer Who Althena Has Forseen The Forth Coming Of. Hiro And Ruby Find Something Interesting That Evening, When A Light Erupts From The Blue Spire And They Investigate To Find That A Strange Girl Is At The Top Of The Tower. She Insists That Hiro Help Her Find Althena Immeadately That Zophar Has Come To The World. The Question That Remains Is That Is This Strange Girl Lucia The Destroyer That Was Forseen To Decend To The Spire, Or Is This All A Big Hoax. Want To Find Out Yourself...well Why You Reading This!!! Buy It, Borrow It From A Friend, Rent It, Do Something To Obtain A Copy You Won't Regret Doing So.

If There Is One Game On The Ps Console To Own This Would Be The One. With Over And Hour Of Hand Drawn Animation, 90 Minuets Of Spoken Dialouge, And Some Of The Smoothest Gameplay I Have Ever Laid My Hands On, This Richly Enghanced Version Of The Sega Cd Classic Is A Must Play!!!!"
Graphics  18/20
Playability  48/50
Sound  10/10
Lastability  20/20
96%
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