Monday, January 20, 2014

The Worst: Lunar - Dragon Song

 A collection of bad ideas.
 Lunar is a series I'm quite fond of. I first learned of it during the N64 era, were I would see ads for Lunar: Silver Star Story Complete and Lunar 2: Eternal Blue Complete and would drool as I read through the add, cursing that it was Playstation only. Next gen game and I opted for a PS2, which gave me the means to get into the series. Lunar: SSC I quite liked, but Lunar 2: EBC is one of my favorite PS1 RPGs ever for multiple reasons, the fantastic characters with a main cast that gets a lot of development and their own character arcs, to neat story and gameplay segregation, initially Lucia's AI is very selfish, usually running and leaving you undermanned, slowly she begins to heal other characters than herself and by the end of the game, she prioritizes Hiro even over herself(which is tied to the story since they are the main couple) and, well, the story itself. And I know that I would like Lunar 3 if I ever played it.
 I rarely play bad games because I know what I like so I'm rarely stuck with blunders. Lunar Dragon Song was a game I had read a lot about it and knew about it's many flaws, but I liked the Lunar series, so I maybe I could ignore some of them. I couldn't. This game is like a collection of bad ideas, didn't they have any playtesters to tell them that it wasn't any fun? Even worse, did no one in the design team noticed just how bad these ideas were? It's truly baffling how they could come up with this concept and think it would be fun.
 I'll get the best thing out of this game out now, the main villain is named Ignatius, which is the most badass name one could honor their son with. But then again, rhe main villain isn't even the final boss and you don't even get to fight him. Ever. You just kill his pet, opens up a whole on the floor, Ignatius falls and refuses Jian's help. Oh yeah, spoilers, but it doesn't matter since the game is a torture to get through.
 The big one first: You have to choose if you want to get money or experience points before each battle, and no, you can't get both. What? What where they thinking? So now grinding becomes a two-fold task, since enemies level up with you, which I hate when games do it, since one of the most fun things you can do in RPGs is to go to older areas and see how strong you got(Which is, actually, a bit of a false sense of accomplishment  since mashing the "Attack" button rarely means you got better, heh.). Still, you are gonna want more experience to extend your MP gauges. Speaking of MP, Magic skills are fairly limited, with almost no offense-oriented magic available. Later in the game you get items that change one of Jian's special attacks Elemental affinity, but that means taking away an item slot, and most often than not, they are not even worth it.

 Combat is just the worst. You can't target enemies, that's right, there's a really dangerous monster among the group? Pray that your characters choose to gang up on him, otherwise they'll just go after whoever strikes their fancy. But there's a further annoyance, enemies can and will break your equipment. Bosses too. And this isn't just "Go to town and repair it" or what have you, once it's broken, it's gone for good. You have to go back and buy it again. Fun. Paired up with the fact that if a equipment-breaking enemy comes up with a group you can't even aim at him, makes combat potentially vexing. Scratch that, it's vexing all the time. There is a way to avoid equipment breaking... using the right enemy card. Enemy Cards are dropped at random while in "Get items but not XP" mode. Cards have limited uses and can't be hoarded. Remember how annoying the Draw system from Final Fantasy 8 was? This is worse. You can't possibly get 99 uses of an Enemy Card since you can't accumulate them, and they are dropped at random. Who came up with this? WHO THOUGHT THAT HIS WOULD BE FUN!?
 It can't get any worse, right? I mean, all of this is just incredibly rage-inducingly stupid, how can you get any worse? Easy, running takes away your HP. It doesn't matter where you are, if you want to move around faster than at a snail's pace, you are going to have to hold that B button in order to run. And do you know what else happens? The HP of the entire party drops steadily. After they get to 20% of their HP, it stops dropping.... and you stop being able to run. So now you are weakened and you can't run to avoid enemy encounters. Who the ****ing **** came up with this **!*?! The combat system is a mess and it's infuriating, but this? Who could EVER even ENTERTAIN the IDEA that this could be fun? It's not even challenging, it's just infuriating.
 The story can't even save this game, nothing could have saved this game, not even the Lunar licence. Lunar Dragon Song is a game I wanted to like, I wanted the Lunar franchise to come back, I just... Sigh. Lunar DS is a terrible game, it doesn't have a single redeeming quality, absolutely nothing. It definitely is one of the worst games I've ever played, right alongside Xenosaga II, but that's a story for another day.

1 comment:

  1. hey do anyone know y after the first battle being teleported to the cathedral by lucia can't i save anymore?? it has a big red line on the icon! if someone know please tell me!!!