Exploring Influences: Lunar: Silver Star Story

I have a very deep fondness for retro games. That includes newer titles that pay homage to games of old, though the classics will always hold a special place in my little gamer heart.

One of my favorite games that’s not quite old enough to be retro, but carrying a retro vibe, is Lunar: Silver Star Story.

In a time where most companies were pushing to create games with more realistic visuals, Lunar went the opposite direction, opting for a wholly sprite-based look. Here’s a little secret… I absolutely love sprite-based graphics.

The graphics were the reason I started playing the game, but they certainly aren’t the only part of the game I love. The story and characters are, of course, the other reason. And let me tell you what, the whole story of Lunar is pure, absolute, delicious cheese.

The great part about the title is that it doesn’t take itself too seriously. It’s deliberately cheesy and cliché, and that’s what makes it even better! The story is predictable, the characters are all comical jabs at stereotypical roles and personifications present in oldschool Japanese RPGs, and it’s all done with a sly sense of humor and a boatload of pop-cultural references.

I love the way the series repeats an old and tired storyline, doing it all with tongue in cheek. Lunar makes no bones about being a rehash of a dozen other games, they don’t even bother trying to veil it. The characters themselves often remark on predictable or cliché circumstances, the sarcasm and wit of the writers making it easy to laugh your way through the game.

Nonetheless, the writers add just enough fresh twists on overused ideas to make it enjoyable, giving a quirky take on an old tale that leaves you feeling plenty satisfied at the very end.

Last week: Legend of Mana
Next week: Dungeons & Dragons

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