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Lunar 2: Eternal Blue Complete
Review By: Jared Black
Developer:   Game Arts
Publisher:   Working Designs
# of Players:   1
Genre:   RPG
ESRB:   Teen
Date Posted:   3-8-01

Are you burnt out on RPGs that feature brooding lead characters with deep personality complexes? Do you miss the "Golden Age" of RPG-ing when stories were simple and characters were super-deformed? Do wish most RPGs these days wouldn’t try to confuse the player with religious symbolism and nonsensical ranting in an effort to seem "mature"? If so, Lunar 2: Eternal Blue Complete is the perfect cure for your RPG blues.

Classic Working Designs Humor

Lunar 2’s story is a very simple one. You are Hiro, a young boy with dreams of big adventure. With you is Ruby, a flying cat who claims she’s actually a red dragon, and who happens to be in love with you (and isn’t afraid to admit it either). The game opens with Hiro and Ruby exploring a dungeon, and eventually taking a precious jewel found there. After being chased out by the local monsters of the area, you return to your grandfather’s house where you live. Your grandfather, Gwyn, happens to be an archaeologist who enjoys exploring old ruins. While you’re with gramps, a mysterious light shines down on the even more mysterious Blue Spire to the north. You and gramps decide to check it out (as it’s ruined the Destroyer has come) and thus the adventure begins. What follows is a well-crafted storyline, full of light-hearted humor, predictable plot twists and clear-cut villains and heroes. In short, your typical 16-bit RPG.

In typical 16-bit fashion, this is a very long story that can drag along in places. What makes this bearable though is the sheer amount of optional dialogue found throughout the game. Every NPC (and there are lots) has something new to say after virtually every local event. The sheer amounts of dialogue present in NPCs are astounding, and really add to the "feel" of each town’s environment. What will make you want to talk to every NPC though is the hilarious dialogue found throughout. Working Designs continues to achieve excellence in this area, poking fun at things like the WWF, commercial slogans (such as Nyquil), Squaresoft ("It’s a chocob…err…I mean a Chukookoo") and virtually every other popular saying and institution in American culture. This is also the primary reason for the game’s Teen rating as well, since some of that dialogue can be a bit crude. Not only that, but also each main character is more fleshed out than in your typical 16-bit RPG. While not quite as in-depth as Final Fantasy III, you’ll never be presented with a situation where a particular character’s actions don’t make sense (even when they’re surprising).

Oh yeah, the bromides are back!

The graphics certainly don’t hold up well to modern standards. Despite being re-worked somewhat, they still pale in comparison to the most ugly of 32-bit games. This is not to say that they’re bad though, as this simple visual style presents a very "clean" world. By clean, I mean that there is a lot of detail to be found everywhere, and everything you see is rock-solid (whereas polygonal environments can sometimes "shimmer" and be jumpy) since it’s all sprite-based. It will definitely take some getting used to though, especially if you’ve been playing PS2 games the past few months. Compensating somewhat for the lacking in-game graphics are the gorgeous cutscenes. By mixing hand-drawn anime-style art with CG effects, Working Designs has created some stunning FMV cutscenes that have a unique and vivid style on their own. Since this game clocks in at three disks, you can be sure that there’s plenty of FMV to enjoy.

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