Author’s Note: This review was originally published on July 21st, 2003. My-oh-my, how times have changed. Lunar Legend is one of the weaker entries in the franchise, but it’s still a good time. Is it “mega-legendary”? Not particularly. Try not to cringe when reading this.
Perhaps my favorite RPG series, I was a bit hesitant at first to buy Lunar Legend because I felt that converting a PS (or Sega CD) game to a small cartridge wouldn’t work. Oh I was wrong, and I’m mad that I didn’t pick up this game sooner!
Alex dreams of becoming a dragonmaster like his hero, Dyne. One day, his friends Ramus and Nall (a flying ”cat”) hurry up to Alex to tell him that a wizard from the magic city of Vane has arrived. His name is Nash, and he asks Alex, Ramus, Nall and Luna (the heroine) to guide him to the White Dragon Cave. Little does Alex know that the world is ready for a new dragonmaster, and Alex is the chosen one.
The story is very light-hearted. I really enjoy it. Those of you who’ve played Lunar: SSSC on the PS will notice a few differences in the tale. But, what I don’t like is how predictable the story can be. I mean, it’s so obvious you know who is good, who is evil, and who is a giant dragon. Regardless, the story is mighty fine.
The menus have gotten much easier to handle from the PS predecessor. Instead of everyone holding certain items, now there is just one item menu. You walk at a very quick pace, so there is no need for a run button. What I’m very happy with is that in town, when you talk to someone more than once, they say something different. The same thing goes for after you complete a certain event! I was very impressed that they kept this from the PS version. One new thing to the GBA Lunar are the trading cards. Can you collect them all? This game has great gameplay making the game much more enjoyable.
The battles can get a little tedious at times because there are a lot, but that’s the only real flaw of them. Once again, you have your standard turn based battle systems. You can attack, use magic…same old stuff. Unlike the PS version, you don’t have to take the Range into account. I’m very happy with that. Another fun thing is that each character has a bar that charges up after one attack. When this bar is at MAX, you can unleash a powerful special skill! For the most part, I really enjoy battling (and leveling up) in this game.
One thing Lunar does better than almost any other series is that they make characters that you actually get to know. Just like in Lunar: SSSC, in Lunar Legend the characters develop very well over time. You learn very interesting facts about each person.
HOLY BEJEEZUS!! Not only are the character sprites BETTER than the PS version, but they are actually animated! In the PS version, the only actions you saw most of the time were the characters walking in place. But this time, you see them move around and act lively! The same thing goes for the battles. The way the characters move is flawless. The backgrounds are very colorful and detailed as well. And there are also little anime snap shots of each character (the GBA just couldn’t handle the anime cut scenes ^.~) This game has the best graphics I’ve ever seen on the GBA, hands down!
Music and Sound: 9/10
You’ll hear Luna sing Althena’s theme plenty of times. And it sounds exactly the same as the PS Lunar. The other tunes from the PS version are there as well, and each one is fitting. While the GBA does not have the best sound system, it still works in playing the music. Well done!
The sounds are a different story. This is mainly because there are so few of them. They really can get annoying at times. But hey, just turn off the volume or ignore them.
Replay Value: 5/10
Once through will be enough for a long time. The story is predictable enough, and starting a new file would seem rather pointless.
Buy or Rent: Buy
For only 20 bucks, you get one awesome game. Totally buy it. If you like RPGs, then you’ll like Lunar Legend.
For the most part, this game is pretty easy. There are some challenges, but they’re nothing that can’t be overcome with a little training.
I’m one satisfied RPGer now that I have Lunar Legend. Looking for a GBA RPG, or just an RPG in general? Then find a copy of Lunar Legend!