When I heard Lunar: Dragon Song was being released for the DS, I got excited. Its predecessor, Lunar Silver Star Story Complete is one of my top 10 favorite RPGs of all time. So seeing a sequel, I had high hope, but after playing Lunar: Dragon Song, let’s just say it won’t make my top 10, or anyone else’s for that matter..
The gameplay of Lunar: DS is a bit different from most other RPG titles, and takes a bit of getting used to. You start out as a simple package delivery boy. You are then forced to run around and talk to everyone in town just to find the right person to actually start the story. It literally took me 10 minutes to run around and find the right person, because I skipped over him! Once you start making your package deliveries, you get to experience the painful battle system. Why is it painful…well, you can’t choose who to attack! Yeah that’s right, you cannot choose who you want to hit with your attacks. It just lines them up and lets you take a gamble on which you are going to kill first. The game does well at choosing who it kills first, but sometimes you will hit one person, and then next turn attack a completely different person leaving your first target alive and ready to attack you. This is the single biggest upset in this game; and it completely kills the balance (and fun) of the game.
Dragon Song does make good use of the touch screen. The touch screen serves as an interface to navigate through menu options, choose attacks, and look through your items. There’s an option to use the L and R buttons to help speed combat, but it doesn’t seem to really affect anything.
The graphics of Lunar: DS are on par with most SNES games, making it look just like Lunar SS Complete. While the graphics aren’t the best in the world, they can be dealt with since the gameplay, outside of combat, is decent.
The sound is, at best, tolerable. I left it to keep the game pacing, although it did get very annoying during extended battles. Maybe someday a Nintendo handheld game will have decent audio, but that won’t happen until the audio hardware gets better.
This is one of those games that, should you decide to finish it, you won’t come back to. Even with the option to share items through the DS’ wireless connection, it’s not enjoyable enough to come back to.
Overall, the game is good but far from great. The combat system, with its inability to let you choose a target, proves a flaw that takes away from much of the enjoyment you might get from Lunar: Dragon Song.
- Gameplay: 7
- Good gameplay, but you cannot choose who you want to attack.
- Graphics: 6
- In serious need of an update.
- Sound: 5
- Tolerable, but tiresome
- Replay: 5
- One run through and you’re done, if you even bother to finish
- Overall: 6.5
- If you really need a DS RPG, you could check this out. Just be warned that the combat system is very frustrating.