Lunar Legend
Game Boy Advance
Reviewed: 01/12/2004


Now matter how many ways you hear the Silver Star story of Alex, Luna, and Ghaleon, it never gets old. Lunar Legend is proof of that.The first thing the player will notice when switching from the Sega CD version of this game or the Playstation remake will be the changed graphics. When GameArts decided to develop this game for GBA, they knew a visual change would be required, and adjusted accordingly by pumping thousands more sprites onto the screen, resulting in a much more polished look than any previous versions of the game. There is also some added camera movement in the semi-cinematic parts of the game. Add those to the nice-looking anime still shots (because they obviously had to remove the full sequences), and you’ve got an excellent looking game.Legend‘s box plainly advertises that it contains scenes that were not in any previous version of the game. This is an understatement.

The story is completely rearranged, from details such as how things happen, to when you meet certain characters, to why you need to go certain places. Basically, the story has the same beginning and ending, but the middle (while similar) is noticeably different. This adds some play value for those that have already played any of the other versions. The story is good, too, so this also serves as an excuse to not replay LSSSC.

Screen Shot
Nice “cinematics”

However, with the different plot execution comes a different script, and most of the dialogue from the original Silver Star Story has been rewritten. While much of it is still entertaining, this reviewer was not as prone to laugh this time around as in LSSSC, and especially not as much as in Lunar 2. This version also contains many more spelling and word-order mistakes that will leave the gamer occasionally confused. Respect goes out to GameArts though, for preserving all of the characters’ unique personalities.The battle system is quite different than it was before. Previously, location played a part in the battles, but no longer, as the characters all stand still (like most other RPGs) on the battle screen. In addition, the fights have been made ridiculously easy. In LSSSC, the HP of a boss was determined in an equation based on your party’s HP, but in Legend, that system has been removed, along with much of the strength of regular enemies. You’ll hardly run into a tough fight in this game. It’s nice to not get game overs, but not like this.

Most of the music has ben changed, too. A few compositions remain intact, but the bigger part has been replaced. This is okay, since alot of LSS’ music got old fast, anyway, but the sound capabilities of the GBA just can’t handle much of what’s being played, resulting inthat horrible “broken speaker” sound coming from the Game Boy. Luna’s vocal parts are okay, but not much else.

Another addition is the card feature. While nothing elaborate, this allows you to collect a wide variety of cards of all the characters and enemies. Then, to pass time, you can flip through your list and check out the animated sprites that act as the images. There is also a gallery of all the anime shots in the game, more of which become available as you progress. These and the other extras that appear after clearing the game don’t add a whole lot to the game, but are nice to see. You can even trade cards with other players by way of the GBA’s gamelink feature.Lunar Legend is a very worthwhile adventure. At $20 brand new, it could easily end up being your next handheld project.

-Heath Hindman

Score Breakdown
Out of 10
See our Review Criteria
Gameplay Good
Story Great
Graphics Good
Sound/Music Average
Replay Value Good
The Verdict: Six