Lunar: Silver Star Story Complete was actually a remake of a Sega CD endeavor, but it’s the first brush many of us had with the brilliant RPG Lunar: The Silver Star. The classic tale of a Dragonmaster and his dearest companions has made its way to iOS as a fantastic mobile port under the name of Lunar Silver Star Story Touch, and while this isn’t the first time the memorable journey has been translated to a handheld or portable capacity, it may well be one of the best.
Aspiring Dragonmaster Alex lives in a quiet little town and dreams of one day becoming just like his hero of heroes, Dyne. Joined by his faithful friend Nall (a chibi-fied white dragon), a childhood friend and obvious sweetheart Luna, and a host of other colorful RPG stereotypes, Alex is shooting for the stars in order to become a revered Dragonmaster just like Dyne did in his day. However, he didn’t account for some underhanded behind-the-scenes events taking place by one of the members of the cast of characters he trusts the most.
When things grow ever darker within the world of Lunar you can expect plenty of twists, as well as the haunting transformation of what was once the sweet and innocent Luna with the gossamer pipes into a conduit with which one diabolical man plans to channel the destructive powers of the unstable Goddess Althena. Without giving too much away for those who have never experienced the story, you can expect an engaging tale of friendship, redemption, growing up, and quite a bit of romance (especially if you count Jessica’s relationship with her womanizing boyfriend).
This is not a remake of the PSP Lunar: Silver Star Harmony, but a spiffed-up port of the Working Designs release back on the original PlayStation. As such, it’s important to note what you’re getting here is old-school sprites (though cleaned up considerably by SoMoGa for neatness’ sake) and the same content you may already have explored previously.
You won’t notice any changes aside from the newly dubbed opening song (which can’t hold a candle to the original “In Your Dreams” set of lyrics from Working Designs’ opening) and the sprites until you actually begin playing and notice the newly revamped touch controls, perfect for RPG grinding on the go. They take a bit to get used to at first, but instead of transplanting touch controls for players in place of tangible buttons like so many ports are wont to do, SoMoGa opted to streamline party member selection and breezing through menus. Rather than hitting the start button to check inventory and swap out items or armor, you can simply tap your way to better equipment and tap through battles with the greatest of ease. It’s all about making things easier for the player, and these improvements are immediately evident and more than a little appreciated. It goes a long way in ameliorating the transition from the PlayStation controller or PSP to the iPhone or iPad.
This is a long quest if you don’t rush through the main storyline, and should run you 25-plus hours if you put the time in. You can also grind away ceaselessly to learn Luna’s songs, and Alex’s special techniques, and collect all of the bromides to round it out into an even longer adventure.
Lunar sets the stage for a world of fairly standard fantasy, magic, and dragons, and if you’re a genre vet it may be hard to convince yourself to give into yet another similar adventure. But there’s a reason we return to classics like these, and in this case, it’s all about the enduring personality and timeless charm. It may take a while to become acclimated to its touch system, but Lunar vets and RPG junkies alike should set some time aside for this hidden gem that’s only gotten better with age.