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Lunar: Silver Star Harmony Review

The PSP has housed a myriad of classic JRPGs since its 2005 launch, but while most have been largely unchanged ports, Lunar: Silver Star Harmony has been given elaborate audio and visual facelift. So aside from the same beautifully rendered anime cut scenes, this classic Game Arts adventure has a completely new look. And while there are certainly better options on the PSP to sate your classic JRPG appetite, Lunar: Silver Star Harmony is a decent game in its own right. It may have aged (and not well in some aspects), but it shouldn’t be overlooked by fans of old-school RPGs.

Lunar: Silver Star

As far as JRPG stories go, Lunar’s can be filed under pure vanilla. The protagonist is a small-town boy who dreams of becoming an adventurer; a dream that soon become reality when he is tasked by an ancient cave-dwelling dragon to become a Dragonmaster just like his long-deceased idol, Dyne. It’s a story that flows quite well, despite some standard JRPG meanders along the way. Plus, the characters, while cliched, are charming and interesting.

However, while the story may flow like a mountain stream, the transition from area-to-area does not. Entering a new room blackens the screen and kills the music as if you were watching the final frame of an early twentieth-century film. This occurs every single time you exit and enter a new screen, so you’ll often be watching a five-second vignette of nothingness, which really hampers the flow of gameplay.

Latest Reviews On Lunar Silver Harmony

The turn-based battle system, which is initiated by touching enemy sprites on-screen, is another dose of standard JRPG flavor. You have your typical battle options: attack, magic, special move, flee, item, etc, and it’s all decent fun. That is, save for one potentially frustrating element: stepping before executing a non-ranged regular attack.

You see, non-ranged regular attacks (sword-swipes and such) are preceded by stepping up to the enemy, so if your character (usually the one in the back) is far away from his target, he’s probably not going to connect until his second turn. This wasn’t a problem for me, but a friend of mine who’s relatively new to the genre dropped the system before even completing the game’s first dungeon. So the battles, which will be a boon for the most austere of JRPG fans, may turn away players raised on more streamlined systems.

The sound is charmingly old school and cheesy at the same time. Village themes are standard JRPG ballads, and the redone voice acting is hilariously bad. But you will feel spirited away by said ballads, and at least have chortles for the duration of these spoken-dialogue scenes.

The visuals department is where Lunar really shines, as this is a downright beautiful game. The animated cutscenes look great and are extremely sharp on the PSP’s small screen. The game’s towns, dungeons, and other landscapes, while not particularly extravagant, exude with likewise brilliance. The top-down view of the gorgeous rivers and villages spawned several nostalgia-filled flashbacks. Where RPGs were first and foremost interested in provoking warm and fuzzy feelings in the player. There’s no denying that Lunar: Silver Star Harmony is a visual feast for anyone who has played the old versions.

Conclusion

Lunar: Silver Star Harmony brings the best and worst of the old school to your PSP. It has that classic, yet mass-produced, JRPG story, epic, yet cheesy, soundtrack, and old-school friendly, yet potentially frustrating, battle system. There are also some terrible load times: which constitute a serious hamper to the flow of the game. But Lunar”s one of those cases, where the final product is greater than the sum of its parts. Indeed, there are better classic options for the system (especially on PSN), but none with the polish of Lunar. So, if you’re in the mood for a refurbished, lengthy quest that hearkens back to the adventuring days of old, Silver Star Harmony is a decent place to start.

Pros: Brilliant visuals, endearing characters, and a decent battle system that will appeal to the hardcore

Cons: A potentially frustrating battle-system for newcomers, horrid voice acting, a run-of-the-mill story, and bland environments

MacBook Impressions

I have owned the MacBook for approximately 2 weeks now. It may not be perfect but it does come pretty close. The MacBook Impressions looks very slender, yet feels strong to the touch. Apple listed it as being 2.13kg, but it feels much lighter than that. My old 2.4kg Dell Inspiron feels much heavier by comparison. There’s a lot of curves, which gives it a nice contour to look at. At one glance, you can tell that the build quality of the machine is about as good as the Thinkpads, or maybe even better.

MacBook Impressions

This is one of the two notebooks that I have encountered where lifting the screen does not require you to hold down the base. (The other is a Dell Latitude D630 if you’re curious.) The hinge does not feel too sticky nor too loose, but care must be taken not to exert too much force of course, since hinges are mechanical and prone to wear-and-tear.

The use of magnets on a computer may be an anathema to some, but it really does its job well. Instead of mechanical clutches, the screen is kept in place when it’s closed by a magnet, strong enough to hold it in place but weak enough that it is easy to open and shut the lid. The other part is the patented MagSafe power connector. I am absolutely in love with this. The power cord is held in place to the MacBook using a magnet.

MagSafe power connector

This achieves two things: it is very simple to mount it (just hold it near and it will latch), and if someone were to trip on it, the cord comes off safely without causing the notebook to experience death (or near-death) by falling off the table. One thing I did by accident was to affix the cord backward. And it started charging! Of course, by doing so, you block a whole range of ports, unless you’re willing to bend the wire at an extreme angle that would lessen the lifespan quickly.

Since I just mentioned it, all the available ports are on the left (with respect to you). There’s the power port, an ethernet port, a mini-DisplayPort out, 2 USB ports, a 3.5mm headphone jack an oval-ish hole that I have yet to figure out what it’s for. Ventilation maybe? This plethora of ports is quite disappointing. Only 2 USB ports? A mouse and an external HDD and there’s no spare. And shipping a laptop with a niche display out port without the necessary adapters to convert to VGA, DVI or HDMI is an act only Apple can get away with.

New Arrival

So I would recommend getting a powered USB hub and 3rd-party display adapters if you want to output to a monitor, which is totally an unnecessary expenditure. The right is the slot-loading disc drive, which I discovered requires you to push the disc all the way in. I was a bit hesitant at first and expected the drive to detect it when the disc is at most halfway in. I don’t want to push it all the way in and damage the receiver mechanism.

Chiclet keyboards are always a pleasure to type on. The MacBook has a nice clicky feel to it and is fully featured, minus the Numpad. However, while typing, I sometimes feel as though the sharp edge of the notebook is digging into my wrists. Good thing it’s not that sharp though. I could die by blood loss just by typing this post alone! The only major difference between Mac keyboards and other PC keyboards is the use of Command, Alt, and Control. Another major difference is that in order to use the function keys, F1, F2, etc, one needs to hold the fn key on the keyboard.

Else, the keys are for media, adjusting volume and brightness, etc. Somehow I feel that this makes more sense. I don’t really use function keys that often, and on a laptop, I usually turn the volume up and down, and adjust brightness settings a lot, because of the change in natural lighting since you go places with the laptop. I also use iTunes a lot on OSX, so the play/pause, back, and next keys get hammered as well. All these differences take some time to get used to of course, and once you do, you’ll appreciate the changes for the function keys a lot.

Multi-touch

But of course, the piece of hardware I’m most pleased with is the oversized multi-touch trackpad. I’m a huge advocate of a mouse since most trackpads suck ass big time. I didn’t believe it when a friend touted the virtues of the trackpad. How can one NOT use a mouse? It’s much more accurate and precise! However, Apple solves this by making the trackpad extremely huge, so you wouldn’t require too many swipes of your finger to reach your intended target. A huge trackpad also means that it can accommodate all 4 fingers. (I’m a huge fat guy, so if my 4 fingers can fit, so can yours!).

With multi-touch, this means that there are supports for 2, 3, or 4 finger gestures. I was a bit disappointed to find that 3-finger clicking is not official. I am too used to the middle click to open links in new tabs or close tabs in firefox. Luckily, this is easily solved as there are many applications that extend the gestures of the trackpad. If you just want to middle-click, the aptly named Middle Click app will suffice. No, I will not Cmd-click. Why use two hands when you can use one since this seems to be the underlying philosophy behind this awesome trackpad.

Apple reported that the battery life on a full charge can supposedly last for 7 hours, a fact that is confirmed by Anandtech. I have not really tried to last that long without charging, but it does give me peace of mind to take the power cord off and just run on battery power. One catch is that it is not user-replaceable though and requires you to send it back to Apple to be replaced for them to perform some voodoo.

MacBook Intro

I am also impressed by the Nvidia 9400m integrated graphics solution. I can run WoW perfectly in 1280×800 resolution at medium settings. All my other games, mostly indie, aren’t too bling-bling. I have yet to install games on my Windows partition in the MacBook, though I suspect it won’t suck as bad as Intel’s integrated graphics solutions.

The use of the rubberized base is another huge disappointment. The whole base is a giant rubber plate which means (1) it picks up the slightest hint of gunk easily, and (2) you can’t clean it off. After just two weeks of use, there are well-developed black marks at the four corners where the MacBook makes contact with whatever it’s placed on. I have resorted to placing it on my cloth mousepad on my desk, like that will do much good.

Since I got this MacBook from a promotion, I just got the base configuration. So I spent an additional $270 to upgrade the ram, from 2GB to 4GB, and the hard drive, from 250GB to 500GB. The ram upgrade is very worthwhile in my opinion as there is a noticeable boost in its operations.

Conclusion

Having owned/used the Dell Inspiron 640m, Dell Mini 9, Dell Latitude D630 (OMG! So many Dells!) and the Lenovo T400, and a whole host of various notebooks of friends and family, the MacBook has impressed me with its attention to the little-est detail that other manufacturers usually take for granted that its users will forgive them for not improving them. However, it’s yet to be the ultimate consumer portable computer, since issues like the rubber base and available ports are not as good as others. Despite its flaws, it’s becoming my main machine now for surfing, coding, and a bit of light gaming. OSX is another impressive OS, which I’ll probably chronicle soon if my in-built laziness hasn’t been activated.

How to Leverage Article Marketing?

Setting up success via article marketing is pretty easy to do. It’s like every other kind of web marketing: you need to focus on putting top effort to get top results. A lot of the best Internet Marketers out there get the bulk of their traffic from article marketing. Why do they choose this? This is because they understand for sure that the highest quality traffic comes from writing and posting the highest quality articles possible. They see that article marketing can help with building a brand for themselves. And they will know that publishing great articles online is the best sustainable strategy for marketing a website.

Article Marketing

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Article marketing cannot exist without relevancy. This means that if you don’t make sure that your article is relevant, they won’t be worth actively promoting. When you write articles on martial arts but try to promote a website based on dog training do you really think that will work? Absolutely not. When content is considered king, relevancy must be the queen. Search engines are far more appreciative of articles that are both relevant and that link to relevant websites. What you need to learn, then, is the best way to tailor your articles according to your current marketing needs. This is how you guarantee yourself some much-needed exposure in a very targeted fashion.

When you’re submitting articles, don’t do it all at one time. Put some space between your submissions so that you can get the most out of every single one of them. To use one example, if you are submitting an article at ten one morning, do not submit another until the evening time. You can also let there be a gap between your submission days. The entire point in this situation is to reach out to as much of your audience as you can. This can only be done when you spread your submissions out across a variety of sites and a variety of times.

Don’t forget that when you are working on article marketing, your articles shouldn’t be essays. They need to be quick and get to the point. It’s not a good idea to just start publishing long articles and expecting your readers to like them. The goal with your article marketing is to send traffic to your website, not impress them with your writing skills. So try to keep the word count of your articles to 400-500 words. But see to it that you don’t go below that. The reason for that is the search engines don’t really count articles that are very short. So you have to focus on the readers and as well as the search engines. Everywhere you look these days, people are turning to this maxgxl testimonial, celerity, glutathione supplement website

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