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   Lunar 2: Eternal Blue Complete - Staff Retroview  

Return To Lunar
by Derek 'Roku' Cavin

BATTLE SYSTEM
INTERACTION
ORIGINALITY
STORY
MUSIC & SOUND
VISUALS
CHALLENGE
Moderate
COMPLETION TIME
40-80 Hours
OVERALL

4.0/5

Rating definitions 

   Lunar 2: Eternal Blue Complete returns to the world of the original Lunar several hundred years later. It is interesting to see the changes that have been made to the world for those that completed the first game. The game follows the adventure of a boy named Hiro, his catlike red dragon Ruby, and a mysterious girl, Lucia as they attempt to reach the holy city and speak to the goddess herself. To plague the heroes on their quest are a number of rumors about Lucia being the destroyer in disguise.

   Despite battles being fought based on which enemies the player runs into on the dungeon map, there are too many unavoidable enemies that shoot the encounter rate as high as, if not higher than most random-encounter RPGs. That aside, battles are well done. Characters can move around freely as needed and can unleash many attacks and skills. Each character has a unique skill set, and, through the use of various crests, they can be customized as well. Crests have various effects when equipped such as teaching lightning magic, boosting speed, or even boosting the number of physical attacks that can be executed in succession. Aside from simply moving around and getting in range of enemies, a character's proximity is important due to attacks that have areas of effect. This is a nice feature, though it doesn't come anywhere close to the setup of a tactical RPG or the freedom of movement given in action RPGs.

Tons of anime cutscenes, yay Tons of anime cutscenes, yay

   There are a number of powerful bosses in Lunar 2. Most normal enemies can be defeated easily, but bosses can really test the player sometimes. If the player doesn't quickly learn to read a boss's movements, they will be ill prepared for a number of mighty attacks that can often wipe out half of the HP of the entire party or almost completely kill a single member. Generally offense and defense must be balanced much more than in other games. While it's harder than most RPGs, once the player gets used to it, it isn't so bad. There are many games that are far worse.

   The interface is quite good, with the exception of dashing. Though the reasons for the dash being limited are obvious, it is far too limited to be of use most of the time other than a run command that needs to be refreshed every few seconds. It takes forever to get around this way. That minor complaint aside, the menus are good and there are plenty of useful shortcuts to assist the player. It's even possible to set up tactics that help make the many normal battles more tolerable. Localization is quite good as there are few noticeable errors. Lunar 2 also features a great deal of spoken dialog, all of which has been translated well into English.

   Though it is similar to the original Lunar, the second is still reasonably original. It takes the story in a new and interesting direction based on what happened in the first game. There are some new abilities and such too, but Lunar 2 is only average in originality.

One of them was hard enough... One of them was hard enough...

   Lunar 2's storyline is the best part of the game. The story is relatively fresh and interesting and even builds slightly upon some of the events and characters in the first game, giving things a new and interesting twist. The strong point is character development. Every character is important several times during the game and everyone gets their chance to shine. The flow is damaged by too many battles, but story is still very good.

   The large amount of battles add excessive playtime. Lunar 2 is likely to take about forty hours for those who rush through it. Those who wish to complete the epilogue and complete extras, such as collecting artwork and anime clips, will probably end up spending about twice as long.

   Though all of the dungeon themes are extremely repetitive, there are tons of excellent tracks in Lunar 2. Most of these tracks heighten the mood and fit in very well with what they represent. Boss tracks are simply incredibly and add to the excitement of battle. Most of the sound effects are plain, but the voice acting is simply incredible for such an old game. Every important scene is spoken, which is a very nice touch indeed.

   While most of Lunar's visuals are plain, it does have a number of anime clips which help. Though anime clips are always nice, they aren't enough to make up for the rest of the game. Character sprites are very small and lack detail. Enemy sprites, aside from bosses, aren't much better and are often victim to palette swaps. Backgrounds are relatively plain as well, with the exception of the beautiful world map.

   Though the second game in the Lunar series is improved over the original, it is still plagued by too many battles which slow the game down a little too much. Nevertheless, Lunar 2 is still a good game that has plenty of excellent features, including beautiful anime cutscenes and a good story. I recommend it, especially to those that enjoyed the original Lunar.

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