Shin Force | Sega Genesis Review
Shin Force
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Shin Force ~ Genesis ~
8 Megabit
1991 (USA)
Side Scrolling
6 Button
         > The Valis series has a rather rich history. It has appeared on all the major 16 bit consoles (Genesis, Turbo Duo, and Super NES), and even though each format has it's own strengths/ weaknesses, they all share one thing, the gameplay.  You play as Yuko, a school girl chosen to become the (scantily clad) Phantasm soldier, wielder of the Valis Sword!  It is your duty to re-balance the Yin and Yang, and stop evil King Rogles from conquering both the Human and Dream worlds.  Reluctant at first, you engage in mystic combat none-the-less.
         > I can't explain how impressed you'll be when you first see this game in action... as long as you think you are playing on a Sega Master System.  The backgrounds lack any kind of animation or parallax.  The colors are so lacking you'd think the Genesis was limited to six colors on screen, instead of sixty four.  The cover boasts "8 Meg Power", but you'll be wondering what they used the other 7 megs for.  The one neat thing about the game are the fairly long cut scenes.  Now you get to see the two-frames-per-second-open-mouth-close-mouth animation on a Genesis game that used to only grace the Turbo.  The enemies are repetitive and uninspired. I think there were like four enemies per stage, they just kept repeating and repeating and repeating. The magical abilities you gain through out lack any kind of flair.   In all fairness, the game is nine years old, but when I see what Strider accomplished back then, and then look at this, my sympathy exits stage left.
         > The one thing I can't complain too much about is the control. But I can complain a little. To use magic you need to push up on the D-pad, and press your attack button; but it takes so long for the game to go through it's little "He-man" like posing, that you usually get hit by an enemy, which cancels out the magic.  Jumping was responsive as were the attacks. They got something right.
         > I have to admit it, I kind of liked the music here.  I'd swear I've heard some of the songs somewhere else, but I can't remember where. It's very catchy. I'd gladly swap this games soundtrack with any of the crap that is tacked onto today's 32/64/128 bit system's games.  The only thing missing is the voice on the cut scenes, but that's ok.  Voice acting in the early Nineties was no where near the high quality you see in today's games (he typed sarcastically...).  Instead of voice, you get r-e-a-l-l-y s-l-o-w- s-u-b-t-i-t-l-e-s. You can't speed them up, and it's really painful to sit through. Pressing start will skip over them though.  Sound effects were minimal, and you'll get tired of the sound it makes when you get hit.
         > This one is kind of iffy. I originally bought it for Nomad play. The character sprites are fairly large, and so I thought it would play fairly well on the small screen, and it does. The lack of detail goes pretty much unnoticed until you hook it up to a TV.  The minimal use of color and flat backgrounds make it easier to see. However, when I did play it on a large screen I lost all interest. It's just too archaic and static.  The one thing that Valis has always had across the many platforms it has appeared on is it's game play, WHICH ISN'T MUCH! There are no points. Kill it if you want to, or don't. Unless it's a boss, it doesn't do you any good or bad.  The magic you get takes up way to many points, and you only have a set amount of those. Same with your life gauge. You start out with as much a you'll end with. It makes it really easy in the beginning, and real frustrating towards the end.
     > Someone once said that Valis was the game you bought for the cut scenes, not the game. If you don't have a Nomad, I'd agree with them.
Overall: 6.9 | Graphics: 4.5 | Control: 8.0 | Sound: 9.0 | Fun: 6.0
~ Adon ~