Version Reviewed: 1.0.2
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 4
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We iOS device owners are pretty blessed. From one device, we can choose to purchase a frivolous casual game like Bejeweled to pass the time, we can opt to run a city in Cityville or we can throw ourselves into a mystical new world courtesy of JRPGs such as Lunar Silver Star Story Touch. The sheer wealth of variety from one such device is quite delightful.
For $6.99, players can enjoy 25-30 hours of JRPG goodness. The kind of goodness that we'd be willing to pay full retail price on years ago, when it was first released on the Sega CD and subsequently ported to the Playstation One. Has it dated? A little, but the well drawn sprites ensure that there's no need to cringe at early attempts of 3D animation. Instead, it's pretty easy to get drawn into the world of aspiring Dragonmaster Alex and his inevitable path towards saving the world.
It's an immensely fun game, full of good humor and personality, even despite the relatively cliched storyline. Lunar Silver Star Story Touch offers more than its fair share of turn based combat but it's the kind that can be avoided. Players see the enemies on the map before encountering them plus it's possible to set some of the team to AI controlled, lending itself quite well to the mobile format.
Controls work similarly well through the touch screen. A choice of using a virtual d-pad or tapping anywhere on screen arises. The virtual joystick and buttons cover half the screen when the device is rotated vertically, while holding the device horizontally shows the splendid visuals in their full glory. It's perhaps not quite perfect compared to using an actual controller but it's a pretty decent replacement.
As has been the case with Square Enix's re-releases of classic JRPGs, it's great to see titles like Lunar Silver Star Story Touch come to iOS. Even better, there's no sign of awkward in-app purchases, it's just all here at a good price and demonstrating just how great the genre can be. An Universal build is the icing on the cake.