To Play or Not to Play

For discussion of Lunar: Dragon Song (Lunar: Genesis), the only Lunar game on the DS
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Vyse of Arcadia
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To Play or Not to Play

Postby Vyse of Arcadia » Mon Feb 08, 2010 12:42 am

So, in a couple of weeks I'll have a bit of money that I can actually spend on myself. I've been wondering off and on for the past couple years whether I should give Dragon Song a go, for completeness if nothing else.

I've heard the game is mediocre at its absolute best. Is there nothing at all redeeming? At least the soundtrack, maybe?
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Re: To Play or Not to Play

Postby ShindoW » Mon Feb 08, 2010 12:50 am

I managed to get past the first dungeon (after I was already stuck because it doesn't really tell you where you need to go after the bosses are defeated when you need to get your box back) and then when I went to upgrade my equiptment I said screw this game. I don't remember the music much, but the art stood out and the battle system was "fine". Im sure it would've gotten better had I a third party member.

One thing I disliked from this that the change began in Legend was the wierd items like Healing Gum.. I like my Herbs and Starlights. XD
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Re: To Play or Not to Play

Postby Alunissage » Mon Feb 08, 2010 1:17 am

That's what the names were in Japanese. After years of people complaining about WD taking liberties with the translations, you can hardly blame UbiSoft for using the Japanese names for those items.

As for whether it's worth playing... you'll get a dozen or so posts from people telling you in various melodramatic and juvenile ways that it's not. It really depends on your patience. The game is full of a) poor ideas and b) good ideas implemented poorly. It's hard for me to say much about whether the story aspects are worth the trouble because I completed it in Japanese, which I do not read, and only played about a third of it in English. Still, if you can get past the abovementioned ideas, particularly the insane battle system, it may be worth your while. I do advise that you save after EVERY battle in which you don't lose a piece of equipment -- there's a card that mitigates this, but when I played the import I didn't know that -- and that you use the cards frequently. This will mitigate some of the battle insanity, though not much.

I do like the music. Most of the tunes are reworking of music from SSS, but different enough to be recognizable. There is a sound-test type thing in the game, but unfortunately rather a lot of the tracks are various non-music backgrounds, like crickets.

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Re: To Play or Not to Play

Postby Silver Phoenix » Mon Feb 08, 2010 3:07 am

You're telling me that from the beginning of the series Game Arts had named the items Healing Gum and Mental Gum!?!? If that's the case, thank God Working Designs and XSEED changed them to Star Lights and Silver Lights. I can't imagine they actually named the herbs - gum.

Vyse, if you plan on getting the game you can find it very cheap. However, with the soon to be released Silver Star Harmony wouldn't you rather focus on that? You'll enjoy Dragon Song more if you think of it as a side story, or anything other than Lunar canon historically. You can also speed through battle animations by holding the right (or left?) shoulder button.

I enjoyed some aspects of the game, but if you're looking at the main series it is definitely the black sheep.

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Re: To Play or Not to Play

Postby Kizyr » Mon Feb 08, 2010 3:44 am

Silver Phoenix wrote:You're telling me that from the beginning of the series Game Arts had named the items Healing Gum and Mental Gum!?!? If that's the case, thank God Working Designs and XSEED changed them to Star Lights and Silver Lights. I can't imagine they actually named the herbs - gum.

Healing Gum / Mental Gum were a Lunar: Legend-only thing. The original console games had names closer to "Herb", etc. KF

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Vyse of Arcadia
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Re: To Play or Not to Play

Postby Vyse of Arcadia » Mon Feb 08, 2010 4:05 am

Silver Phoenix wrote:Vyse, if you plan on getting the game you can find it very cheap. However, with the soon to be released Silver Star Harmony wouldn't you rather focus on that? You'll enjoy Dragon Song more if you think of it as a side story, or anything other than Lunar canon historically.

Well I'm certainly going to play SSH first! But I was just wondering if I should pick up a copy while I have money for both.

I find that sort of thinking works for another Game Arts series. Grandia XTreme was a bad dream I had once...just a nightmare. No substance. It never existed.

While we're on the topic, is Grandia III worth playing at all?
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Re: To Play or Not to Play

Postby Silver Phoenix » Mon Feb 08, 2010 4:15 am

Grandia Xtreme doesn't even exist in my universe, so I avoided that like the plague. Some people like Grandia III, but Enix stuck their dirty poopy fingers in the game and pretty much ruined it if you were a fan of the first two.

I watched some videos of it, and there are some amazing spells. It has the split division fans, where you either love it or hate it. I was tempted to buy it when I saw it at Walmart a few years back, but I didn't like what I saw at the same time. The art direction was not the same, and the combo system just weirded me out so I didn't touch it. The world map is supposed to be pretty nice, and the last boss seems epic but I couldn't tell you if it's worth playing. I'm sure it's not horrible, but I'm also sure that it doesn't have the essence of what made Grandia and Grandia 2 so good.

I'm still hoping that Game Arts remakes Grandia in a major way as I never played it in English (caca is caca). So, if you decide to play Grandia 3 then tell me how you feel about it. Like I said, it seems to have some amazingly awesome attacks.

Oh yeah, and you might as well get Dragon Song for the sake of series ownership and to have your own experience with it. I bought the original model DS just to play it when it was released. The original model DS also has better speakers than the Lite, but the screen sucks.

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Re: To Play or Not to Play

Postby Sonic# » Mon Feb 08, 2010 4:48 am

I thoroughly enjoyed Grandia 3. I never did finish it, but that was unrelated to how much I liked it. The battle system was extremely good, and the story was decent. I enjoyed flying around especially, sort of like I did with Dragon Quest VIII.

I don't think it's quite as good as the first two Grandias, but I don't think that Square-Enix ruined the series either.
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Re: To Play or Not to Play

Postby ShindoW » Fri Feb 12, 2010 4:39 pm

Im still in the process of playing Grandia 1. It's... interesting. ^_^ I picked up that and Xenogears because people say theyre great (much like CT/CC), but I ended up playing Xenosaga and CC first so I love them more. However, I have huge appreciation for any RPG that tried, so I will get back to them soon ;) I need to finish Persona 1 Portable, Star Ocean 3, FFXII... a huge backlog.
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Re: To Play or Not to Play

Postby Silver Phoenix » Fri Feb 12, 2010 8:29 pm

Unfortunately the American version of Grandia has been completely bastardized from the amazing Japanese Saturn original. The Saturn version is a gem in my collection, and it was truly innovative for it's time. This game needs a proper remake, and it would be nice if I could enjoy an amazing localization so I could fully understand the story.

This is what GameArts did to Lunar 3. They left Lunar on the backburner and brought some of it's essence into Grandia so they could focus on a new series.

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Re: To Play or Not to Play

Postby ShindoW » Fri Feb 12, 2010 9:21 pm

Woah, what's the difference? I must sound like an idiot for asking and I've always wanted to import that Grandia collection set so I am aware of the Saturn version, just wasn't aware of the differences.
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Re: To Play or Not to Play

Postby Vyse of Arcadia » Fri Feb 12, 2010 9:26 pm

What's wrong with the American version? Other than the crappy framerate, occasional lockups, and mostly terrible voice acting, I mean. Sue may have been the only decently-voiced character in the entire game. Although everyone was better than Justin's lisptastic VA.

Really, it's better than not playing Grandia at all, in the event that you can't play import Saturn games and/or aren't fluent in Japanese. It's still one of my favorite RPGs of all time.
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Re: To Play or Not to Play

Postby Silver Phoenix » Fri Feb 12, 2010 9:33 pm

^Pretty much this. It is better than not having Grandia at all, and you'll probably still enjoy it. It just wasn't handled nearly as well as it deserved, so I never bothered getting it.

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Re: To Play or Not to Play

Postby ShindoW » Fri Feb 12, 2010 10:36 pm

Im used to bad voice acting (Star Ocean 2 ftw, haven't picked up Chaos Wars, its on my shelf) so I didn't notice. ^^; I did however have the game freeze in the middle of the first ruins or whatever. THAT ticked me off since I had to do most of it over.
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Re: To Play or Not to Play

Postby Vyse of Arcadia » Fri Feb 12, 2010 11:43 pm

ShindoW wrote:Im used to bad voice acting (Star Ocean 2 ftw, haven't picked up Chaos Wars, its on my shelf) so I didn't notice. ^^; I did however have the game freeze in the middle of the first ruins or whatever. THAT ticked me off since I had to do most of it over.

Yeah, that happened to me three or four times over the course of the game. I wonder if it's because I played it on a PS2.

Xenogears also locked up like that. Even more frequently, if I recall correctly.
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Re: To Play or Not to Play

Postby Silver Phoenix » Sat Feb 13, 2010 1:57 am

I hate when games are badly coded, because I've had PS3 games lock up my system with their crap programming and it always worries me that it's damaging the system.

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Re: To Play or Not to Play

Postby ShindoW » Sat Feb 13, 2010 2:55 am

Vyse of Arcadia wrote:
ShindoW wrote:Im used to bad voice acting (Star Ocean 2 ftw, haven't picked up Chaos Wars, its on my shelf) so I didn't notice. ^^; I did however have the game freeze in the middle of the first ruins or whatever. THAT ticked me off since I had to do most of it over.

Yeah, that happened to me three or four times over the course of the game. I wonder if it's because I played it on a PS2.

Xenogears also locked up like that. Even more frequently, if I recall correctly.


I played it on a PS2 as well; never had problems with 'gears though.
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Re: To Play or Not to Play

Postby Silver Phoenix » Sat Feb 13, 2010 3:09 am

The game itself is an inferior port, thus badly coded (Grandia on PS1).

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Re: To Play or Not to Play

Postby Vyse of Arcadia » Sat Feb 13, 2010 3:21 am

I've never played it, but my understanding is that Grandia II's PS2 port is just as bad.

At least the original of that one made it to NA.
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Re: To Play or Not to Play

Postby Silver Phoenix » Sat Feb 13, 2010 3:54 am

The Grandia II port on the PS2 suffers as well, but overall it's much better than what was done with Grandia. Of course being a Dreamcast owner I have the best version. *hugs Dreamcast*


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