Lunar Silver Star Story for the PS1 was one of the last games I got for the PS1 before I set out for college. It was a really fun, if a little standard RPG by Working Designs. Eternal Blue was way better, to be completely honest. All the same, they were both enjoyable RPGs that I would still highly recommend, especially if you’re looking for a more retro RPG.
When I heard there was going to be a Lunar game for the DS, I was stoked. See, at that point, there really weren’t a whole lot of RPGs for the DS or PSP and I was aching for an RPG fix. I saw some of the reviews for Dragon Song and pretty much ignored them, waiving the reviewers off as “haters.” Boy was I wrong.
LDS is probably one of the worst, if not THE worst RPG I’ve ever played. But what makes it so bad? I mean, it can’t be bad, right? It’s Lunar! Well, it’s Lunar in name only, sadly. First off, your main character, all the side characters, the plot…yeah, really the whole nine yards isn’t well done and is mostly forgettable at best.
Behold the main character, who has the amazing ability to suck out loud
Now it’s been about 15 years since I played Silver Star Story, so there are a lot of characters I forget, but I remember the characters’ faces, personalities, integral parts of the story, etc. THAT is the hallmark of any good game, let alone story. This game? Nah, nothing. About the only plot point I remember is your main character is a bit of an acrobat and he gets a curse placed on him to make him clumsy…yeah.
But hey, even if the plot, characters, and everything else sucks, at least there’s the battles, right? Well, they suck too. First off, you can choose outside combat to foster either a normal or pious stance. Why? Because a pious stance nets you XP, whereas the normal stance nets you…sundries.
Why sundries? Because you pretty much only make money in this game by selling sundries you don’t need (for very, very little money) or doing fetch quests for sundries that have a VERY low item drop rate (for still very little money). And of course, you need LOTS of money for all the equipment you’re going to need to constantly keep up to date because most of the bosses vary between the difficulties of rape to am I really supposed to win this battle holy shit I guess I am.
Look at all these enemies I wish I could know which one I was going to target oh my god
And of course, even THIS wouldn’t be so bad, except that you can’t target enemies in combat. Yes, that’s right. When you hit attack, you’ll just hit whatever random enemy. SOME skills allow you to target an enemy, but most of the time it’s random. As a result, there’s virtually no strategy whatsoever in combat and it makes the game unnecessarily hard.
Oh, but it gets better. The game features a dash button. Awesome, right? I mean, the landscape itself is relatively large, so it’s nice to be able to move faster than a snail’s pace. But not so fast. See when you dash, it drains your HP. What? Yes. Worse still, it doesn’t recover. So if you want to get from one edge of the screen to the other in less than SEVERAL MINUTES, you pay an HP penalty, which is dumb and unnecessary.
And if you have only 1 HP left? Well, you can’t dash. So imagine you NEED to dash because, oh hey, you have no HP and need to get back to town or whatever. Well, you’re FUCKED. And yes, the monsters on the map move faster than you do, so you NEED to be able to dash to get away from them.
Riveting dialogue that appears to be suffering from word wrap-itis
There are no redeeming qualities to LDS whatsoever. It’s not just a game I couldn’t recommend, it’s a game that I resent its very existence. Not only is it a stain on a short-lived, but awesome series, it’s the fact that it was one of the few available RPGs out at that time for portable gaming systems that poor saps like me picked up because, oh hey, it’s fucking Lunar.