(XSEED for PSP)
By Mike Delano
With 2010 RPGs like Mass Effect 2 and Final Fantasy XIII making unprecedented strides in the storytelling and gameplay we expect from the genre, it’s interesting to see other new titles unabashedly catering to gamers whose tastes are decidedly more old-school. Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey for the DS turned back the clock for some first-person dungeon crawling, and now Lunar: Silver Star Harmony resurrects an 18-year-old Sega CD title to see how it fares in modern times. It holds its own, mainly because the original was so damn charming that time does little to rough its edges. Great music, snappy writing, and memorable characters and quests are all wrapped in a sterling updated presentation that retains the iconic anime cutscenes while reworking the original environments and characters so they pop off the PSP screen with color and clarity. The battle system isn’t given the same lavish makeover, though, and while that choice is understandable given that this is an updating of rather than a re-imagining of a classic game, the mechanics feel dated rather than classic in light of the string of combat innovations since 1992. Regardless, pull up your sleeves and get to grinding through those monsters. It’s worth it.