Repost: Lunar: Silver Star Harmony Review

Even with the PlayStation Portable slowly becoming the place for nostalgia with PlayStation Classic titles hitting the PSN and other slightly improved titles releasing on both the retail and digital fronts; Lunar: Silver Star Harmony is an upgraded version of Lunar: The Silver Star that does two things very well.

It introduces the classic title to players who never played the title and reintroduces the classic to those who played it on PlayStation in 1998.

A decidedly JRPG title, Lunar: Silver Star Harmony‘s gameplay is of the older vein, but retains the challenge and consistent fun that is a little lost on current RPGs.

The Plot

Lunar: Silver Star Harmony is very much a standard story of a teenage boy becoming a hero with the help of his friends. Alex, the main character, is a fan of the Dragonmaster Dyne who was from the same town of Burg that Alex lives in. With his friends Luna and Ramus and Nall, his flying, talking cat creature; they set out to gain a Dragon Diamond and from that first decision begin an adventure that will circle around the world of Lunar: Silver Star Harmony.

The plot is simple on the surface, but it does contain one of the strongest narratives that is still strong today even after ten plus years. The title uses a lot of text and some voice audio, but with the title being linear, each area is completed pretty quickly. In the end, it is very much “history repeats itself.” With this release, new story elements were also added.

The Look

Lunar: Silver Star Harmony features updated graphics and it is easily visible. While still retaining the animation-influenced look, the colors and visuals have a pop that ported titles don’t carry. The title also pushes a lot of effects during gameplay so the world of Lunar: Silver Star Harmony looks very lived-in and realistic.

As a PlayStation Portable title, it’s not as astounding as it’s older brother, but it’s among the best for the use of 3D sprites. Though the cutscenes are pulled from the source material, they do look dated and it is a bit jarring to go from the actual in-game to the animated scenes which are a bit darker.

The Sound

The audio of Lunar: Silver Star Harmony was remastered for the release and it sounds good. While the English audio borders on campy, it defines the game very well. The soundtrack is a great listen and creates a nice mood for each scene and encounter in the title.

While not containing as much voice work as other RPGs, the amount voice work is alive during key moments of the story, and that’s really where it needs to be.

Function

Lunar: Silver Star Harmony is an old school RPG complete with turn-based battles, exploring, and linear gameplay. The customization of each character is in the hands of the player which is a welcome return and the ability to assign tactics is a plus as well. Also the auto-battle function during fights is a fun diversion to see how the title plays battles, even when it makes bizarre decisions.

While not as challenging as other titles, Lunar: Silver Star Harmony‘s level progression is developed well and even though enemies can be seen on the maps, they will chase the party to fight.

The only real issue is that with the UMD, there is a lot of loading from battles to the map or loading new areas. It does become a little annoying that entire areas couldn’t be loaded and going from room to room isn’t seamless.

Decisions

Lunar: Silver Star Harmony is a great RPG, and with it being portable, there’s not a reason not to buy it if RPGs are the genre that players enjoy. The updates in the title improve on many aspects of the title and the added story elements add something for those who completed the game when it originally released.

Even if it’s just for nostalgia, Lunar: Silver Star Harmony is something that even beginner RPG players should experience, the story alone is worth the purchase, like true RPGs should be.

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