Okay, how many of you read the title and got all excited for a Lunar: Silver Star Story port? Well, simmer down there, little buckaroos, cuz this ain’t it, but Luna Story is still a decent little RPG.
Like Zenonia, Luna Story is all about bringing old-school RPG elements to the app store. They’ve totally got you covered with epic storylines, a hero with a mysterious past, and lots of gorgeous, retro 8-bit stylin’. The game looks great, in a classic Zelda kind of way, and it recreates all of the retro gaming goodness that we know and love. Unfortunately, as with many Asian RPGs, this comes with a price, and that price is painfully bad translation.
Now, bad translation can come in many different flavors, and Luna Story seems to have them all. First, there’s the best kind of mistranslation, the hilarious kind: Batman-styled “OMG!”s depicting violence. Then you’ve got your awkward, but still grammatically correct translations: “How much of what I commanded you to do did you accomplish?” And finally, there’s the truly mystifying head-scratchers: “orks under the bright blue moonlight…”
Most of the time you can decipher what they mean, but I would advise English-speakers to take a fairly forgiving attitude towards the translation if you want the game to stay fun. For example, I found the “Pudegnable soldiers” absolutely hilarious, because they made me think of “pudendum”. Yes, I have the sense of humor of a 9-year old. In any case, thanks to the awkward translation, the story falls on the confusing side, so the game would strongly benefit from some better localization. Translation errors aside, the story is still on the heavily clichéd side, so lovers of strong story-driven RPGs are going to be out of luck here.
Sadly, the game controls also need a bit of work. The game run smoothly enough, but it’s played entirely in portrait orientation, which makes managing the tiny on-screen buttons very challenging. You can play one-handed if necessary, but it’s clear that’s not how gameplay was intended. I have seen a few rumors that landscape orientation is coming. That along with some general control tweaking would definitely make Luna Story a more enjoyable experience, but it’s not there yet.
Still, if you like epic, old-school RPGs, this is a totally legitimate addition to classic gaming. The developers have a few hurdles to overcome if they are going to make it palatable to an English-speaking market, but if they can address those issues, I have no doubt that Luna Story will be able to compete with popular titles like Zenonia or Inotia 2.
Here is a video demo of the Luna Story app on the iPhone
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