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Lunar 2: Eternal Blue Complete

Review by Jason Venter

If you grew up loving videogames, you saw Sega's decision to release a delightful little add-on known simply as the Sega CD. This little Freudian wonder slipped into the slot on the Genesis and produced some interesting offspring: Sega CD titles. And while it's widely known that most of these titles sucked so bad they're in the dictionary acting as the definition of suckiness, perhaps ten titles the system saw were actually worth owning. Two of those were RPG's brought to us by Working Designs. One was Lunar: Silver Star Story, and the other was Lunar 2: Eternal Blue. Well, years passed and people pretty much ignored the Sega CD. It looked like those gems were in danger of never being seen again, until Working Designs re-released them on the Sony Playstation for newer gamers to buy. This review will take a look at the second game.

If you played Lunar: Silver Star Story Complete on the Playstation, you'll have a good idea of what to expect from the updated sequel, Lunar 2: Eternal Blue Complete. Working Designs seems to have taken the same general approach to things, including awesome FMV and lots of digitized voice that simply didn't make it into the game the first time around. In fact, there's so much FMV that the game spans 3 discs!

Assuming you have some familiarity with the first Playstation remix--and if you don't, you should, you dork!--I'll skip right to what's been changed the second time around. First of all, the battles with bosses are different. In the first game, the difficulty level went up as your levels increased. That's a thing of the past. What this means, then, is that if you can't beat a boss, you simply traipse around the dungeon an extra 2 hours. Problem solved.

Other changes are slightly more subtle. The battle system seems to have undergone some tweaks. Nothing major, perhaps, but there are appreciated changes just the same. In the last game, it was far too easy to turn the battle over to AI without meaning to do so. That's been adjusted. Now you have to actually make an effort in order to switch to AI. That's the way it should be.

As for the storyline, the real reason some people play RPG's (for others it's the thrill of exploration and a nerdy desire to say, "Yep, I've completed every RPG known to man"), it's changed a lot but not so much that this feels like an entirely different world. Not only do you visit some of the same locations in the game, but there are numerous references to events in the first title. And some of the villains return.

Things start out with a young man named Hiro (prounounced 'hero') exploring the ruins with his friend Ruby, who claims to be a baby dragon. Events unfold nicely enough, and soon he finds himself trying to protect a withdrawn girl from the forces of goodness who don't know they're really fighting for an evil guy. It's all very cool and you'll love how things unfold, both through in-game sequences and through FMV.

If anyone can really complain about this game, they can say the graphics suck. Let's face it: this isn't a game from Squaresoft. It was made for a sucky system and that sometimes shows. But if you don't mind glorious, turn-based battles and simplistic design of monsters and locales, you'll be absolutely delighted with the sheer brilliance of this game. Thank you Working Designs for making sure we got to see it again!

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