What I am playing: Lunar and Epic Mickey by Joey

The question I get asked most often after “How did you get in my house?” is what video game are you currently playing?  That was a lie.  No one cares what game I am playing, and the second most asked question is when will you leave?  Now that we have that out of the way I am going to tell you about what I am playing and there is nothing you can do about it.  Well I suppose you can click off the site.  I am not going to stop you, and I could, I am big guy.  This may become a regular segment because I love video and it is easy to bust out an article where I am ranting about a game.  Although keep in mind I do not often play new games, I wait for a price drop or buy a used game.  I get offended anytime anyone badmouths my Gamestop.  There are only a few titles I am willing to pay full price.  I wanted to do a list of my top five games of 2011; however I have only played five games from this year.  By default every 2011 game I played this year would make it on the list, and one of those games I have not even started yet.  My fifth game would be a game I am about to play and that sounds pretty shitty, but I digress.  There are two games that I am currently playing.  Let’s a go.

Lunar Silver Star Harmony (PSP)

You can’t go wrong with a remake of a remake.  Lunar is an old-school Japanese role playing game (or JRPG as the kids call them) that was originally released on the Sega CD.  Years later it was released as Lunar Silver Star Story Complete on the original Playstation.  Now Lunar has been rebranded as Lunar Silver Star Harmony and released on the PSP because the only two things the PSP is good for is RPGs and scaled down versions of PS3 games.  I heard it was also released on the Gameboy Advanced, but I never played that version, and if you did then I hate you.  Lunar is the story of a boy (JRPG makers have to pay a fine anytime their character is over 16) named Alex who is obsessed with Four legendary Warriors, so along with his “girlfriend” Luna; goes on an adventure to become a Dragon Master (which is the title of the warrior he respects the most).

Along the way they meet up with the typical but likeable cast of JRPG characters, discover an evil plot by the Magic Emperor, and foil said Emperor of Magic.  Well that was a vague description.  It may be concise but at least there were no spoilers.  The magic Emperor was one of the four heroes and Luna is the goddess.  Opps, sorry, I have turrets and instead of cursing my tick is giving spoilers.  Then Again this game is nearly 20 years old, so deal with it.  Lunar is a very standard good vs. evil rescue the girl story. You have seen this story a thousand times before and it is not going away anytime soon.  That is not to say that I dislike the story, but there is nothing new here.  You will see all the plot twists coming from miles away.  However where the game shines is in its dialog.  Conversations are well written, natural and funny.  Everything I am not.  The dialog helps you form attachments to the characters in the game and allows you grow to love them.

As previously stated Lunar is a traditional turn based RPG. So battles fallow the traditional RPG template. At the beginning of each turn you select what command you want each of your characters to perform, be it attack, magic, item or defend, and then watch them carry out these actions.  Watch the enemies attack and rinse and repeat until you or the enemy is dead.  If you are into more action oriented games this might feel slow and tedious, but if you are a RPG fan you will be well accustomed to this system.  I find it funny that there is an auto-battle command for those who find entering in commands too stressful and just want to watch the game play itself, which is how I feel every time I try to play a modern JRPG.  I grew up playing RPGs so I have no problems with this kind of game play, but if you have never played a traditional RPG before then this can be a very awkward style of game play.  RPGs have always been very story oriented with game play sometimes seeming like an after thought.

It is interesting to go back and play an old school game like this.  Gaming has evolved so much since this game was first released.  I can still enjoy the game play now, but it is not as enjoyable as it was ten years ago.  If it wasn’t for the likeable characters and witty humor I probably would have given up about half way through this game.

If you want a clichéd but well written story, then give Lunar a play through.  If you don’t like or haven’t played old school RPGs then you probably won’t enjoy this game. However if you do like RPGs, you should check this out.  On to the next game.

Epic Mickey (Wii)

I have got to say this game has one of the coolest concepts ever.  There is a magic book that all of the forgotten cartoon characters from yesteryear live.  One day Mickey accidentally knocks a bottle of paint thinner onto the book and ruins their world.  Mickey is drawn into the book to fix what he has done.  Going into this world Mickey has both paint and paint thinner at his disposal.  Paint will turn enemies good as well as fix and rebuild items.  Thinner kills enemies and dissolves items.  You are given the choice to use either or to solve puzzles and defeat enemies, however there is a morality system incorporated.  You can accomplish your goals easier with thinner however that is seen as negative and the characters in the game will treat you accordingly.  Paint solutions are more difficult but reward you with good karma (they don’t call it this; I stole that from the Fable series, who stole it from Hinduism).

I love cartoons, particularly Disney cartoons and this game is a love letter to old Disney cartoons.  You can tell the creators had a great deal of respect for the source material and that helps make this game a delight.  I am only a few hours into Epic Mickey right now but I am loving it.  The level design is great and I can not wait to see what the next level will look like.  The only negatives I have to say are the camera sucks and some of the stages are too dark it is hard to tell what is going on.  At certain points of the game I felt like the camera was actively trying to screw me over.  Is the camera a bad guy?  Should I try shooting paint at it?  Some of the platforming parts of the game can be frustrating, but if you stick with it you’ll be fine.  Although annoying those things are not enough to make me want to quite.  This games fills a void left by Kingdom Hearts 3 absents.

Well that does it for this edition. With Christmas coming soon I plan to go into the new year with a plethora of new games.  Number one on my list is the new Zelda game.  I also bought Duke Nukem for 10 bucks and can not wait to see if it is as shitty as everyone says it is.  So look for my opinions on those, unless I get lazy, then don’t look for those.  Until next time Stay Super.


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