I beated it.
Our dedicated fanbase may have discerned that tho' Reviewiera undertakes many a videogaming projekt, most of these campaigns flame out, tire out, are eclipsed by the new kid on the block, get boring, cease to be rewarding1, get frustrating, require too much MU, seem awesome at 1st but then end up sucking. And so forth.
Personally, my ratio of games completed-to-not-completed isn't too bad due to a sterling PlayStation service record2. Since those halycon days of leveling, alcoholism, & leveling, things are less productive. I've beated Advance Wars II & Super Robot Taisen: Original Generation.
And that's it.
Pokemon:FireRed? Got bored, got interested again, got bored again at Pokemon Mansion, or whatever. Still pissed I can't catch a Scyther.
Drilldozer? Love the way it looks, love the way it plays. Somehow always end up buying something else...
Much beloved Astroboy? Got really really far, like to the brink of victory, & got burned out on the 3rd or 4th consecutive sub-final-boss fight in a row.
And it was after this burnout I decided I dearly wanted to sink my GBA SP teeth into a JRPG level-fest. For sentimental reasons related to the never-finished-on-the-PlayStation Lunar 2: Eternal Blue, I was gravitated towards Lunar Legend, a GBA port-thing of the original Lunar: Silver Star, originally for the Sega CD.
Lunar's got the combat system, sorta, that I remember from Lunar 2. The hallmarks of the Lunar series (in my mind) are strong & frequent voice acting, & well-drawn & frequent anime-style cut-scenes. The anime scenes make for nice stillscreen asides in the game, tho' sometimes these seem a bit a silly. The voice acting, of course, is gone, &, sadly, the script has not picked up the slack. There's 7 playable characters but they're pretty predictable. I mean, christ, Taisen has like 3 times that many playable characters but at least they make me chuckle.3
Aside from these, admittedly, matters of taste, there are some major gameplay faults.4
1. You cannot "free-roam" the world map. You can only take "roads" from set point to set point. In other words, outside of dungeons, there are no random encounters. I believe that a prime tenet of JRPGs & rpgs in general is the ability to leave of the confines of city & town & wander hither & thither.So yeah, I beated it. The reward was I could put the game away knowing I NEVER HAVE TO TURN IT ON AGAIN, not that it was that bad, just nice to not have it nagging me like those other games.5
2. This may be more of glitch than a flaw. If you port something to a portable system like the GBA, you have to add an on-the-fly save option so that when you have to get off the bus or your boss is going to be coming by or whatever you can just save, shut down, & go back to the boring world for a bit, until later. Lunar has this, but when you do so & then turn it back on, you continue where you left off w/ all yr HP & MP recharged. I'll admit, its kinda sweet to do every dungeon in ONE FUCKING TRY but it kinda takes the challenge out of it.
That, & that now I get to play Taisen2.6
1 Stimulation of the brain's reward center being, in my interpretation of ludology, the primary appeal of video games. 'Course, different games reward you in different ways.
2 Fat suggested a theme months ago where one lists every game, going back to the dawn of time, one has
3 Excellen, you fucking tease...
4 In Phantasy Star II, for example, you barely see the playable characters' faces, much less get to know what they're talking about, what their hopes & dreams are, etc. But I LOVE that game b/c the RPG play element is strong.
5 Looking at you Shenmue, Space Channel 5, Jet Grind Radio ( I swear, I'm really close to the end in this one!! SWEAR!!!), Phantasy Star II (cart battery probs), Astroboy, Drilldozer, Pokemon, uh, probably others.
6 That Atlus logo came up the 1st time in Taisen2, a solitary tear marched down my chiseled cheek...