Lunar; Silver Star Harmony is an updated version of the original Sega CD RPG developed by Game Arts. The first version of the game originally on the Sega CD, but it was later released for the Saturn, PlayStation, and even had a version for the Game Boy Advance. However, I can confidently say that this is the best version of this classic RPG.
For one, the game has improved dramatically in terms of its look. The art style has been completely redone, and it fits the PSP perfectly while making the game look a lot more fresh and original among the various other PSP RPGs out on the market. Everything looks clean, and the character art is just as good as it ever was.
The music is excellent as well, with some very memorable tunes that rival some of the best RPG soundtracks out there. The downside to the presentation is the voice acting, which has also been redone, but still is not very good. Actually, it’s pretty terrible, but it’s still an improvement over the voice acting found in the PS1 release.
In terms of gameplay, Silver Star Harmony is as traditional as you can get. The thing that makes this a worthwhile adventure and how it stands out among the rest of the portable RPGs is both the world itself and the cast of characters. While the voice acting may get on your nerves quickly, the characters themselves all stand on their own, and it does not take long before you find yourself invested in their story and in this world.
While the gameplay is very traditional in nature, it does not stop it from being a blast to play. Monsters appear on screen, and you can choose to run past them or fight them. You have your basic attack, special attacks and magic attack, and as you fight them, you gain experience, so on and so forth. Nothing new or groundbreaking, but it is still a very engaging game to play despite how dated it may seem in this day and age.
What doesn’t work about the gameplay? Nothing in particular, but certain dungeons are incredibly lengthy and very tedious to navigate through. It’s also standard to have a handful of these tedious dungeons in JRPGs, but they feel a bit out of place with most of the dungeons and the world itself, which is generally a blast to go through and explore. Also hindering the experience are very long loading times, something that never became too apparent to me until these specific dungeons.
Aside from those little problems, Lunar: Silver Star Harmony is a great RPG that fits the PSP perfectly, so much so that it may be hard to return to any console version of the game. It is still a very memorable RPG, and even those who have never played it will get a kick out of the story, characters, and the world, and may just find an RPG that puts itself above and beyond most found in a handheld.
Pros: Turn based gameplay holds up well and is a blast to play; memorable cast of characters and world to explore; incredible music; updated art style fits the PSP perfectly
Cons: Some dungeons are unnecessarily long and tedious; incredibly long loading times; awful voice acting