Lunar: Silver Star Harmony Hands-On

We set off on our quest to become the next Dragonmaster in the latest remake of Lunar.

by

Originally released in Japan as Lunar: The Silver Star, this game was remade multiple times, most recently for the PlayStation. But here's a new and improved one for the PlayStation Portable. More than 15 years have passed since the original graced the Sega CD, and now it's back with updated visuals and sound, as well as added cutscenes and story sequences that reveal more about the history of the four heroes. We had an opportunity to play a bit of Lunar: Silver Star Harmony in Japanese at the 2009 Tokyo Game Show, and now that we have our own build, we've been able to play from the beginning to see what has been added.

The original story didn't go into great detail about the four heroes, which included the Dragonmaster Dyne, a man that the game's protagonist, Alex, aspires to be. Silver Star Harmony looks to reveal more about the world's history and starts off with the legendary quartet trying to rescue the Goddess Althena. During this sequence, you'll be able to control the heroes in battle to get a taste of the gameplay, without worrying about dying, because the game will make sure you can get past this introduction. The presentation is what stands out the most: the backgrounds have been touched up to look more detailed and vibrant, and the characters are much better proportioned than the original sprites. The cutscenes look like what you might remember from the previous iterations as you start the game with Alex at Dyne's monument.

For those who aren't familiar with Lunar, enemies can be seen onscreen as you travel through different sections of the world, and battle is turn-based. You have the option to let the AI take over for a turn, or you can manually tell your teammates what to do. Before battle you can place your party members on a grid to determine how close or how far they should be on the map when the battle starts. Depending on your character, you may want to keep some party members in the back, but if they're too far and they need to move closer to reach the enemy, you'll waste a turn just to get them to move closer. It's pretty standard stuff if you're familiar with the traditional Japanese role-playing game formula, and this is one of the better ones from the mid-'90s.

See the difference!

Join Alex and his friends on their quest to become the next great adventurers in Lunar: Silver Star Harmony, which is set to be released March 2. Be sure to look for our full review then!

Discussion

62 comments
hitgro
hitgro

i have played the lunar legend and i want to play this one too.

IMDLEGEND
IMDLEGEND

This was a good idea to remake this game. A classic for Sega CD.

lindseyiluvyou
lindseyiluvyou

You all have to admit. This game may be good, great, even amazing. But it will never compete with the original versions. The PS1 version was the best IMO. But besides the GBA version and this demo I never tried the other ones.

Deepflow2
Deepflow2

Cool cant wait ! i've played the original and its fantastic

StJimmy15
StJimmy15

I've been waiting for some good RPGs for my PSP... Been playing Jeanne D'arc while I wait. Great game.

Eilanzer
Eilanzer

Only great rpg titles for psp coming one after another...Persona Grandia 2...Mana Khemia 2...LunarSS...FF agito...Valkyria Chronicles 2... \o/ But the title i´m REALLY waiting is Growlanser for psp XD

GDCalibur
GDCalibur

Sweet, this should be great to play again. Can always use another great RPG for the PSP.

Sophia
Sophia

@snxx - I wish. Monkey island got a remake so there's hope that my other best game of all time will get a redo :) and thanks, I had a good time.

snxx
snxx

@Sophia - Well, as a journalist, I know we sometimes make some mistakes - and the best we can do is correct 'em and as quickly as possible, and that's what matters: you corrected your article as soon as you got back from your trip (hope you liked your Mexico cruise). That's nice. Now, don't you wish they remade Secret of Mana also? :)

dragonshifter16
dragonshifter16

already have the special edition pre-ordered cant wait for it to be released

bhmg
bhmg

This title is a masterpiece, one of the best rpg´s created so far!

little_Adamska
little_Adamska

The game sounds interesting, even I do not know the original.

ArctheLad19
ArctheLad19

@ mrklorox, I believe the video above is about the First Dragonmasters, I think its just an opening, The boy that looks like Alex might be Dyne

mrklorox
mrklorox

Nice! I might have to buy this again! I can't find the box and game to my Silver Star Story Complete collector's edition. I think it was stolen along with most of my other PS1 stuff. I hope they hurry up and redo Lunar 2, because that's the one I've never played. edit: Also why are they sticking with the Working Designs translation instead of re-translating it and fleshing it out? The PS1's text limitations aren't the problem this time. Jeez. edit: And now they're adults? In the original they were young teens, in the first remake they were older teens. Now they're nearing their 30's. I watched the making of the first remake just last night and they mentioned how they decided to use the voice actors from the original even though they were slightly older and instead worked it form the standpoint that the original audience has grown also. But it's totally weird to see that idea used again, especially without the original actors. I mean it's somewhat understandable for a 13 year old boy to have a pet cat-dragon... but a 30 year old man with a pet cat dragon is weird.

Sophia
Sophia

@snxx @AboboSVT - I apologize for the error, I knew there had been two Sega versions and I wrote the Sega Saturn one down for some reason. I'm only human and I make mistakes too :p but thanks for pointing that out.

Mkeegs79
Mkeegs79

One of my all-time favorite games getting another remake :)

termadoyle
termadoyle

i was really interested in this game when it was released on the PS1 but never had the chance to play it. This seems like a great chance to play the (hopefully) definitive version of the game.

CharonEX
CharonEX

This looks interesting right now, I may have to get the demo for this. And I know I'm about to complain about something stupid, but I wish they had chosen a different font for the text, it doesn't look that good.

charma
charma

I've been playing the demo buy couldn't get to the end. I talked to the dragon but couldn't figure out where to go after that. I wanted to save my game at the end of the demo like it says.

pip3dream
pip3dream

Ya know, yes the graphics on the psp version are more polished... but in that graphics comparison, i still find myself more drawn to the original version. in fact, shown so small on equal terms, you could of told me the one on the left was the re-make. Much brigher, poppier colors, looks a lot more detailed. As a young gamer I really fell in love with this game on the SEGA CD, and I bought the collectors edition for PS1 just to have- Still have yet to actually play it, but I may spin it up on the PS3 just for kicks.

lokey013
lokey013

Damn I really want to get a PSP just for this game....loved the Sega CD/psONE versions =/

dark_surge
dark_surge

Thank you brucelery5000. I was just about to say that. :) Lunar for the SegaCD was one of the games that got me into RPG's. It puts a smile on my face when companies put as much love in games as was seen in the Lunar series.

tu2pac
tu2pac

I just replayed the original one (for ps1) ... this almost makes me want to play it again ... ps3 download .... perhaps.

Noctobum
Noctobum

makes me want to get a psp now

travisstaggs
travisstaggs

I played the demo and it was a bit different then the original which is a classic and a must play RPG kinda reminded me of Chrono Trigger a bit.

velocityu
velocityu

Heard alot about this game but never got to play it. Will def play it now.

TheTrueMagusX1
TheTrueMagusX1

@ Nuk1euz You should know that the golden age of rpgs term is something that really is subjective. If one thinks its the PSONE days then by all means they can think that. And again some of the games you mentioned IMO I donot think are that great...and that also is subjective when you say they all are instant classics. I thought Palladins Quest was a horrible game with the most broken magic system out there. But if you like it, thats fine...and as for Illusion of Gaia which is a great game, I would consider that game more in the Zelda mold then anything else. It has some rpg elements but not a traditional rpg. But again whatever one says its subjective simple as that.

slingshot_ylo
slingshot_ylo

I absolutely love Lunar! The Sega CD versions were great for their time (Lunar II: Eternal Blue is still one of my all-time favorites). The PS remakes were good but, even with all of their enhancements, they just didn't seem to have the same charm as the originals, at least for me. I know I'll end up buying this eventually, but how many times do you need to re-release a game/re-tell a story before you've completely ran it into the ground and whatever allure it had is gone?

vladdguevarra
vladdguevarra

i can't wait to hear luna's singing again! :D

TENTHROW2
TENTHROW2

one of my all time fav games, cant wait

brucelery5000
brucelery5000

"More than 10 years have passed since the original graced the Sega Saturn" don't you mean more than 15 years since the original graced the Sega CD.

Nuk1euz
Nuk1euz

@edhc44 Just an FYI, the golden age of JRPGs were during the SNES. Back then they werent called JRPGs, they were just RPGs lol Almost every RPG for the SNES was an instant classic, even the forgotten RPGs for the SNES are top quality....Paladin's Quest, Lufia 1 and 2, Illusion of Gaia, Earthbound, Secret of Evermore, Secret of Mana, Star Ocean (most cutting edge RPG for the SNES era with primitive voice acting) PS1 was the rise of video games commercially and in the mainstream IMO

Emandudeguy
Emandudeguy

This absolutely must become a part of my PSP collection! I can't wait!

edhc44
edhc44

I played it once in the "Golden Era" of JRPG's back in the PS1 days (great time to be a teenage gamer, I tell ya) and I liked it a lot. If lutomboy is right, I sure am gonna give it a chance, the Sega CD version always lured me, even though I never had one.

lutomboy
lutomboy

@lindseyiluvyou they used the original script from the Saga CD game and not the one from the PS1 version ... but i hat the new voices :( but the game itself is very good its a must have

Shadow_Fire41
Shadow_Fire41

@Gelugon_Baat you know whats funny? i was thinking the same thing, and visuals are something i rarely care about.

lindseyiluvyou
lindseyiluvyou

I tried the demo of this on the Playstation store and its nothing like the original one I played for PS. Its way to different so I think I'm going to miss out. I wish Work Designs didn't go outta buisness :(

lozvil
lozvil

i'm getting this...

hellpolice
hellpolice

They forgot to mention Working Design's awesome port over of Silver Star Story.

Lionhart_basic
Lionhart_basic

I wish they would release this and Lunar 2 on the PS3 in HD.

Dualmask
Dualmask

I dunno, this game is starting to see Final Fantasy I levels of remakes. I played the worst version of the game (on Game Boy Advance) but I remember it also being on the Playstation (in a sexy collector's edition pack with a cloth map and what not) too, and the Sega CD first. It's got a cult following to be sure and was probably the first anime-infused RPG that most older gamers ever encountered, so it has a lot of nostalgia behind it, but outside of that, it's got a pretty standard story and standard RPG conventions. Still, I guess a new generation deserves to experience it in all its glory.

chyng85
chyng85

It's really worth playing, a beautiful RPG.

Fantasy_Gamer
Fantasy_Gamer

I love this game! I hope Lunar 2 will be remade as well. Too bad there is no longer Working Designs who is very good in giving freebies in their packages.

First_Descent
First_Descent

I loved this game back in the day. I love the whole idea of it. Awesome game, and if I had a psp, I would definitely pick this up!

piker04
piker04

The article says the original was lunar silver star story on the sega saturn... but the first was lunar silver star on the sega cd 5 years before that. And in my opinion was the best rendition of the story.

Vang665
Vang665

played this game on the ps1. liked it then, but dont know if i will still like it though. the story is pretty standard

hitgro
hitgro

i am a whole lot excited.

I_eat_chias
I_eat_chias

Lunar is great, I really hated the voice they chose for Alex though. Too bad that it will probably cost $40 or some absurd price like that.

edant79
edant79

Its looking a lot better than I figured. Can't wait!