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My Heart... Oh How it Hurts!

  • May 11, 2010
In 1992 Working Designs released a game called Lunar: The Silver Star.  It was on the Sega CD and became one of the bestselling and most popular games on the system.  Unfortunately, thanks to the low sales of the Sega CD Lunar didn't make it into the hands of many gamers.  Luckily for Working Designs they released on the Sega Saturn in Japan and did another reissue for the Playstation called Lunar Silver Star Story Complete.  To this day, it's one of the most beloved RPGs thanks in part to some sharp writing, great characters and an irresistably good story.  The Playstation title was the most complete of the game and the best version.  There was another release on the Gameboy Advance that wasn't too good... but this release on the PSP is almost insulting to fans.  The story is still there, but it's lost just about everything about it that made it so special.

Lunar Silver Star Harmony keeps the basics of the story intact.  Alex is a boy that lives in the small town of Burg who is always craving adventure.  He looks up heavily to the fallen Dragonmaster.  Dyne.  One day he dreams of adventure, and it comes to him when his friend Ramus approaches him with an idea to go to the White Dragon Cave and get a Dragon Diamond to sell.  Alex takes him up on it.  This begins his adventure, and as he goes forth on his adventure he'll be joined by a lovable cast of characters.  There is Luna, his love interest, Nash an egotistical mage, Jessica a tough as nails priest, Kyle a barbarian brute and Mia, a sensitive mage.  They comprise the cast of the story.  Despite how basic the story is, Lunar has a really good cast of characters that make it every bit as heartwarming and charming as it ought to be.

At least that's what I would be saying if it were the Lunar Silver Star Story Complete.  Lunar Silver Star Harmony isn't as charming.  In the first place, the voice acting is very different from the Complete version.  It's not as good and the voices are changed.  Instead what they did was give you a completely new voice cast that, for the most part, does a horrible job!  Next, they changed the script.  Which may be the worst part about Lunar Silver Star Harmony.  The original script was what made the story so endearing in the first place.  The dialog was clever, witty and very comical that you were glad to be with the characters.  It also made the story touching.  The story is still fairly good, yes, but the new script is absolutely horrible.  Mix that with the horrible voice acting and those who have fond memories of Lunar Silver Star Story Complete will find them ruined.  Now I know exactly what those Star Wars fans feel like when they realized George Lucas changed it all to make it "better."  Silver Star Harmony isn't better... it's a whole lot worse.

It's a wonder why they didn't simply just port it over.  The chances in script and voice acting would've made sense... if they didn't leave in all the original cutscenes and have voice overs in the original spots.  They changed everything despite that they didn't have to.  As a result it's like playing a destroyed memory.  Newcomers probably won't care in the long run.  They've got nothing to fall back on in terms of memories.  Even with that in mind, however, it doesn't help the voice acting or the script.  Both are just bad no matter how you slice it.

Graphically, Lunar Silver Star Harmony has just this one edge over it's original counterpart.  The game is gorgeous looking, for the most part.  Not quite as charming, but the art style isn't so bad in and of itself.  The gameplay remains fairly unchanged, although the animations aren't nearly as charming as they once were.  For the PSP, it looks good artistically but doesn't take the console to its true potential.  Lunar Silver Star Harmony can still be played in about the same manner.  But with all the big changes already, it still feels like you're playing a different game.  The music still isn't bad.  The voice acting, as I said, is horrible. 

I suppose if those who loved Lunar Silver Star Story Complete can overlook many of the changes.  Those new to the game might like it... provided they know nothing of the original.  It's probably the only way some will actually be able to experience Lunar Silver Star Story.  If you can sit through the painful voice acting and bad script it might be enough.  Otherwise you're better off trying to find Lunar Silver Star Story Complete on the Playstation.

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May 19, 2010
I actually didn't mind the revamp to the newer format. You have to remember that when the ports were done through Working Designs, they certainly weren't done with the American audience in mind. Lunar was one of those "Cult", outside of the box hits that came out in the day; but in the end, much like Xenogears and Grandia, went by the wayside. I also don't mind that XSeed has managed to get their claws on it, seeing that they can do some amazing things with series (See Wild ARMs and Shadow Hearts: From the New World). Still, good review and I give you props! Look forward to seeing what else you have on deck!
May 29, 2010
Many of the changes might not have bothered me so much if some of them didn't seem to harm the game.  I rather like the updated visuals, but I'm not digging the new script and I'm a bit more annoyed with much of the voice acting.  The combat felt pretty familiar, though.  I might have been harsh based on Nostalgia, though.  I really felt the changes to the original script and the voice acting were two things that made playing through the remake pretty tough.  A port probably wouldn't perform that much differently than the performance you're seeing now.  The majority of gamers I talked to who picked this up were already familiar with what Lunar was to begin with. 

I've never been a big reviewer based on sales and popularity, though (or lack there of, I'm not, "No one played it so I'll give it a higher score" or a "This is overrated so it deserves a lower score") kind of guy.

I'm not entirely sure how I feel about XSEED as a whole.  I was immensey impressed by Wild Arms 4 and 5 (despite the very cheesy script in Wild Arms 5) but I didn't find Wild Arms XF to be that fun at all.  Although as much as I liked them, I was a much bigger fan of the earlier Wild Arms titles.  I liked Shadow Hearts: From the New World as well.  But aside from those I don't think I'm much of an XSEED fan.
May 18, 2010
reviews like yours and Trashie prove very invaluable since I as a returning gamer (and the economy), I have to be picky with getting new titles. Nice work always!
May 19, 2010
Lunar Silver Star Story Complete on the original Playstation was an awesome game.  But to buy it now will cost you a pretty penny.
May 11, 2010
I was new to this game, though, fully aware that the game itself isn't new. I actually didn't think the voice acting was all that bad. For me, it seemed like the voices didn't match how the characters look. I noticed that most of the reviews at Amazon and the pro reviewers gave Lunar top scores. Personally, I couldn't figure out why. Great review. :)
More Lunar: Silver Star Harmony reviews
review by . April 07, 2010
   I never played any of the older versions of this game, so I am not going to comment on any of the recent upgrades that were added to the PSP version of Lunar: Silver Star Harmony.      I played the demo initially, and didn't even have to play it through to realize this game seemed well worth the money and the download time.  The story caught my attention right away.  It has dragons, magic, and five (eventually) adorable heroes that ultimately end up on …
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Sean A. Rhodes ()
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I'm a more analytical person. I believe that the purpose of the review is not for me to give you my opinion but for me to give you an analysis and help you decide if you want to get it. If you reading … more
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Since its initial release over a decade ago, Lunar: Silver Star Story has continued to captivate fans with its timeless tale of love, betrayal and redemption, expertly woven into its involving gameplay and cinematic presentation. Now the original single player RPG masterpiece is reborn on the PSP as Lunar: Silver Star Harmony with all new graphics, added gameplay features, and a re-mastered soundtrack so that a whole new generation of fans can experience this legendary first entry of the Lunar universe, while newly added story elements will entice returning fans.

Lunar: Silver Star Harmony game logo Game hero Alex from Lunar: Silver Star Harmony

Quest through Lunar with would-be dragonmaster, Alex.
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While seemingly placid on the surface, the world of Lunar is slowly descending into chaos, as the Goddess Althena, the creator and guardian of the world, has disappeared and the valiant efforts of the legendary Dragonmaster Dyne and his faithful companions fade into obscurity. With Althena gone and no one able or willing to become the next Dragonmaster, a shadowy figure, known only as the Magic Emperor, has started plotting to usurp Althena’s place and become a god. In a remote village far removed from the decay that is slowly spreading throughout the world lives a young man named Alex, who dreams of one day becoming the next Dragonmaster like his hero Dyne. One day, Alex’s friend Ramus convinces him to head towards a cave near town, where it is rumored the legendary White Dragon resides. With Alex’s childhood friend Luna ...
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