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When I was young, i was obsessed with an RPG called Lufia. It was one of the few games around that was translated in my native language which means it was one of the few rpgs i could fully enjoy as my english was nowhere near as good as it is now. It was called Lufia 2: Rise of the sinistrals in the US and the game was actually a prequel to another game called Lufia: The fortress of doom. Unfortunately, the fortress of doom never made it to europe, hence the name of the 2nd game in the series was just Lufia in Europe.
It was a classic, typical turn based medieval fantasy RPG with a good story, fun gameplay, great puzzles, memorable heroes and villains and an amazing soundtrack.
Lufia games aren't released all that often. Lufia 2: Rise of the sinistrals for the super nintendo was released in 1996. The next installment was released for the Gameboy colour in 2001 called Lufia: The legend returns, and another for the Gameboy Advance in 2003. Lufia: The ruins of Lore. Neither were very good games.
The series went quiet after the release of Lufia: The ruins of lore.
You can imagine my excitement when Square Enix announced a brand new Lufia game. I got even more excited when I heard it was going to be developed by the original Lufia team, and my excitement peaked when I heard it wasn't going be just a new game in the series, it was going to be a full blown remake of Lufia 2: Rise of the Sinistrals!
Lufia 2 never was a huge successful game like Final Fantasy, Secret of Mana or DragonQuest. Never in my wildest dreams would i ever imagine there would be a remake.
and......then I saw it.
The first dark clouds appeared when it was announced for the Nintendo DS. Now the Nintendo DS is a great handheld system, but one genre that is completely wasted on the system are turn based RPGs. They just don't use the touch screen all that well.
I didn't expect the game to be released on Playstation 3 or Xbox 360, but I at least hoped it would be released on the Wii or at the very least, the PSP.
My excitement dropped even more when I saw the new character designs. Let me show you.
This character is Selan, a female magician. as you can see, she has traditional sorceress design that was typical of old 16 bit rpgs. She was turned into this for the remake
Eh..it's alright I guess. I liked the old design better, but I suppose this game also releases for a new generation which have different expectations. She still looks recognizable enough.
Next is Maxim, the main character of the game.
As you can see, he is a classic hero design. Good outfit, good looks and overall a timeless look. No need to mess with him.
But Neverland, the developer didn't agree.
Maxim was turned into...this
Butchered. Just butchered.
He was turned from a classic hero into a teenage J-rock reject.
The final nail in the coffin for me was when it was revealed the game would completely abandon the old turn based gameplay style and would instead create an action rpg, similar to The Legend of Zelda.
You don't turn a turn based game into an action game! that would be as silly as turning Diablo into a turn based game.
I'm actually quite upset like this. I have very fond memories of this game and this is probably going to be the only time they are going to make a remake.
For some comparisson, here is some gameplay of the old game
And the remake trailer: