> Shining Force -- one of the videogame industry's Elite Series
-- naturally started out as an exclusive Sega console release. The
full title of the game, which can be seen upon boot up, is "Shining Force:
The Legacy Of Great Intention". This is one of the first times the
awesome creativity of Sonic Team and Climax were combined in what turns
out to be a great Strategy/RPG.
> You'll travel in the Land of Rune in an effort to force the Dark Dragon
and his evil hordes of Runefaust into submission. Along the way you'll
do some talking, shopping and resting. The battles take place on
large maps and are turn-based (square format).
> I must say, there really isn't anything new or overly impressive
about the graphics in Shining Force while you navigate menus, search towns
or traverse locales. However, what you do see gets the job done very
well considering the game's genre. The various towns have single
and multi level buildings to explore like castles, headquarters, homes,
shops, inns and taverns. The battle maps consist of all types of
terrain for your forces to clash in. The coolest part is when you
attack or get attacked... The screen switches over to a pseudo third
person view in which attacks can be seen with special effects -- very original.
> The game is entirely menu driven. When you're not moving
around with the D-pad, then you're probably selecting from an icon or menu
item. For instance, you can attack, use magic, use items, equip weapons,
and save games at church. Another cool feature is how different terrain
can effect your characters attack and defense capabilities. Naturally,
some magic works better on certain types of enemies. During battles,
your force gains experience from fighting and then character levels go
up. Once you get to level 10, you can go to church and have your
class raised (very cool). Finally, don't forget to go shopping for
better weapons and healing needs.
> Many people make fun of Genesis music. I believe that it
is quite capable of producing worthy tunes. Shining Force is an example
of great Genesis music. It's highly upbeat and motivating -- just
what the doctor ordered for this epic adventure.
> The sound effects are adequate, clear and helpful. You'll mostly
hear various cues, attack effects and explosions.
> Shining Force is the game that initiated my turn-based, Strategy/RPG
obsession. From start to finish this is a quality, polished product
that few developers could muster. There are tons of battles and even
hidden characters that you can convince to join your force. I've
beaten the game at least 4 times and I'm still not sick of it. The
game keeps you thinking and entertained without getting boring. Other
developers have (since) tried to match Shining Force, yet they always seem
to overcomplicate the story and/or battles.
> If you like to think, not just react... or if you like strategy...
or if you like RPGs, then definitely give Shining Force a try. This
game is a benchmark for 16-bit Strategy/RPGs. Finding it can be difficult
these days, but the experience is well worth the search and price.
|Overall: 9.3 | Graphics:
8.5 | Control: 9.6 | Sound: 9.4 | Fun: 9.6