For those who didn't experience this wonderful story in the Sega CD days, you owe it to yourself to play it through. It ranks among the greatest stories ever, and in many ways is surpasses the original telling (which had too much humor for its own good).
The graphics are very 16-bit, so the game lacks graphical titillation. (The FMV is gorgeous, though.) The gameplay, likewise, is archaic, and actually a step down from the Sega CD original. The magic system, which was one of the greatest merits of the original, has been simplified to the point of mindlessness, which is ridiculous and dumb. Actually, the gameplay seems more tiring than I remembered, the dungeons being particularly exhausting. The game is a little tougher though, which creates a sense of urgency not often associated with many RPGs these days.
While the gameplay hasn't aged well, the story is as timeless as they come, and that makes the game worth playing.
All the extras are a nice treat as well. I personally found the "Making Of Lunar 2" CD very interesting, and while I have no use for the amulet or the character standees, they are nice bonuses. The map is a nifty keepsake, and the full soundtrack is great. I don't listen to the soundtrack, because I don't really enjoy the Lunar music outside the context of the game, but I appreciate the gesture, and there are still several good tunes included (Lemina's theme is fookin' catchy). Hopefully other publishers will include soundtracks with their games in the future.
What did you think of this review?
The story in Lunar 2 doesn't take itself as seriously as other role-playing games, which contributes to the fun. The game's hero, Hiro, and his sidekick Ruby must help a young girl locate the goddess Althena. The quest turns out to be long, spanning three disks, most of which hold full-motion video cutscenes.
The video sequences in Lunar 2 are probably the best part. They mix Japanese anime with computer graphics and are completely stunning. The in-game graphics, on the other hand, are ported straight from the 16-bit Sega CD, with a few enhancements, so those who like eye candy should consider themselves warned. --Robb Guido