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.
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.
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?
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.
BANG FOR THE BUCK: 8/10
OVERALL RATING: 9/10