Lunar The Silver Star

Video Games December 1993

We Sega CD owners can stop sniveling and whining:for a few glorious weeks, at least. Working Designs has unveiled the system's first RPG, a top-to-bottom translation of the Japanese megahit Lunar-The Silver Star.

Lunar is 100% role-playing; there's no quick-action joypad juggling required. The menuing system that controls combat choices, inventory management and so on can be mastered in a couple of minutes. A rough edge: Moving your party of characters around takes getting used to, as the characters automatically move in another direction when they encounter a character or obstacle (this makes precise positioning very difficult). Fortunately, the game allows you some leeway in positioning.

One of Working Designs' calling cards is the quality of its text translations. I was constantly delighted by all the modern colloquialisms and offhand remarks made by the characters in conversation-and there's TONS of conversation, since most characters will say different things the more you speak to them.

The game's chock full of the stuff we look for in a good, varied RPG: side quests, new and interesting character joining your party, an extensive magic system, and lots of items to find and puzzle over. Save up to three games in progress with the Sega CD's memory.

GRAPHICS-7/10

The Japanimation cartoons are great: big, bold, multi-layered and quick to load. But most of the game is spent in a more humdrum world of small characters walking around in overhead views of maps, towns and dungeon like mazes adequate, but not spectacular. Occasional scaling and scrolling effects.

SOUND/MUSIC-9/10

The best music I've ever heard in any home video game (CD or otherwise) orchestral and rich, with plenty of variety. Crystal-clear voices and absolutely authentic sound effects. Truly excellent. The opening song's a little on the dorky side, but who cares?

PLAYABILITY-9/10

Excellent play balance. You don't go into combat every three steps as in many RPG's. Lots of area to explore, big towns, and the mazes aren't endlessly complicated. Not as linear as Exile, Working Designs' last RPG. Combat is fast-paced, and the computer does a fine job of fighting for you, if you ask it to.

EDITORS' RATINGS

GORE: 6/10

MIKE: 7/10

CHRIS: 8/10

NIKOS: 8/10

BANG FOR THE BUCK: 8/10

OVERALL RATING: 9/10