atypicalreview

Lunar: Genesis

It wasn’t the triumphant return I imagined. There was no confetti.1 The fascist bastards down at administration had cleared out my desk. Which wasn’t strictly true. I probably never had a desk. It’s hard to burst in shouting “Well, I’m back!” with any sort of conviction when you secretly habour doubts you were ever really there in the first place.

You guys remember me don’t you? I wrote a review for you once. I also have a blog here, maybe. No? How about those movies we all did years ago, you have to remember those right?

So here I am. Andy still won’t talk to me, and Tom said I can’t have a computer or a desk so I’m stuck with some butcher’s paper and a crayon on the floor. Neither of them will tell me where they hide the Tim Tams. I hates them.

I know what you’re thinking. You are wondering when the fuck I’m going to start reviewing something. This is a review isn’t it?

Well, yes. Yes it is. And the review is NO. You don’t want to buy this game. You don’t want to rent this game. You don’t want to waste valuable minutes of your life reading about this game. It’s easily the worst game I’ve ever played. It’s a fucking piece of shit.

Have I made myself clear enough? Good. In that case I would like to take this opportunity to announce my retirement. It’s been one hell of a ride and we’ve been through lots together but it’s time I moved on.

Well as you can see I’m still here. Tom has since informed me that my review is lacking in several key areas and that I will need to finish it before he lets me go home.2 Bastard. I don’t really want to do this, but here it goes.

Lunar: Dragon Song3 is a “traditional japanese RPG” apparently — and by that I can only assume it means, among other things, the story progression is totally linear, the battle system is turn based and you don’t really get to decide anything when you level up. Fine. So essentially we run from town A to town B and fight monsters in between.

This would be okay if just one of the following statements were true.

  1. The story characters were compelling / interesting / not fucking cliched.
  2. The battle system was deep / fun / involved any kind of strategy.

Sadly for the $69 I spent on this game neither of them are. For some unknown reason the designers thought it would be a good idea if you can’t select your target in battle. I want you to think about this. It’s your turn. You have a choice of actions. You can either a) attack, or b) use an item. Look I don’t really want to go into it, but it’s fucking boring okay? I’m sure there are people out there who didn’t mind it but the fact is that for just about every battle I could look away and just mash ‘a’ until the battle was over. I say “mostly” because for the boss fights I sometimes had to heal myself. Oooooh.

To be fair there are almost some interesting ideas here. Combat has two modes you can choose from, a ‘combat’ mode and a ‘virtue’ mode. In the latter you earn experience and have a certain time limit to defeat every monster in a region and after doing so the game unlocks a chest for you. In the former, you do not earn experience but instead you receive items. Items which are neccessary to complete various delivery missions4 which is the only way to earn money needed to buy better items. Which you need in order to fight the invariably tougher baddies further down the line. This had the potential to be interesting until you realised the game is effectively doubling the amount of time you spend button mashing on the train.5

In another awesome masterstroke of gaming design, running damages your health6 — even in towns where there are no monsters. So you walk everywhere. It takes longer. I’ve always wanted to make a totally unenjoyable experience longer. The whole idea has “padding” screamed all over it.

Yes, and the story is cliched and uninvolving and not in the least bit compelling. Sorry but I can’t go on. I hate this game. I hate reviewing it. Just don’t buy it okay?7 I can’t bring this review up to standard. It looks like I’m stuck here for a while.

  1. Traditional, I feel.
  2. Andy has also started kicking me on a regular basis and demanding coffee. At least we are communicating now, albeit on a very basic level.
  3. Or Lunar: Genesis locally. I was unfortunate enough to import my copy. I feel if I use the incorrect name in the main text people might get confused.
  4. So you are a courier that has to deliver items to people, okay? Exciting thrilling items. Once I had to find and deliver 8 acorns to somebody. It took me dozens of battles before enough monsters collectively dropped enough acorns. And all the while I’m not actually earning any experience. For the love of God, Why???!
  5. I’ve come a long way.
  6. They should put it on a packet somewhere
  7. Given what I know of our readership, I think I’m pretty safe.
2 comments posted — most recent by Shannon on 11/03/06