Shin Force | Sega Master System Review
Shin Force
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Shin Force ~ Master System ~
 Miracle Warriors: Seal of the Dark Lord
(Ascii 1986;
Kogado 1986)
2 Megabit
1988 (USA)
Might & Magic II
Battery (5 saves)
         > The first console RPG for America! The Dark Lord Terarin has removed the Golden Seal from the Pandora Passage releasing evil and woe upon the land. A prophesy speaks of a hero who will awaken the 3 heroes who fought with the legendary Iason and return peace to the land. Are you ready to traverse the Five Lands fighting whatever evil may await?
         > The 5x5 square overview map is functional and the party view screen just has the occasional terrain change. The lower right hand box lets you know your gold, herbs, fangs, and character reputation. The life bars are a visual affair, no numbers for detail, takes time to get used to this method now, it's very old. But the backgrounds when you fight monsters are good. They give a good sense of atmosphere, be it the port city in the background in shallow water battles, or the stormy seas in the rough water battles. And the art designs of the monsters rival the creativity of most modern games, it simply must be seen. There is a plethora of unusual names and looks for monsters in here; easily a golden source for name handles (...ahem) or new monsters for pen/paper RPGs (ya know, the real RPGs... heh. I got some people upset with that one :) ). The pictorial status icons for items is nice and large. Graphically nothing big, but in total, of solid 8-bit quality.
         > Pretty easy as soon as you realize the window in which to pay attention. The menu system is self explanatory easy, just don't mistake Spell for Magical; there's no battle spells in this game only magical items, no loss really. And don't Talk to every monster, they usually just attack. The only bit of confusion might be the towns. It's easy -  when you are in the town there's enter button and exit button. No matter where you are in the town you can exit with the press of one button (wish they kept that nowadays, eh). Can't exit dungeons like this, but then the mazes would be no fun... Battles have one action for each side, unless you use a magical item which lets you go again. So you choose your attacker and engage the monster, they exchange blows and the round sets up again. But this doesn't mean there's NO strategy. You must know your enemy, and the capacities of your party members against your enemy, or learn a bitter lesson in defeat. And resurrection is VERY expensive. Got to know when to use magic items (expensive) and when to save them. Not nuclear physics strategy, but still challenging and fun. Remember this, "simple dungeon crawl" RPG.
         > I like the music, it fits well. Generally upbeat and dramatic when appropriate. No silly and sleepy sounding blips and bleeps. It left an indelible mark on my youth. Sound effects are satisfying too. Though the physical attacks will drone eventually in your mind from repetition, the overall quality of the sound effects enhances the game's atmosphere. The sounds and music help the battles seem epic, keep the towns cheerful, and make the surface/dungeon crawling adventurous.
         > Extremely fun, but this is heavy nostalgia talking. This is a dungeon crawl with story elements. The battles to better your characters may get monotonous, but such is the nature of early RPGs. The large mazes, dramatic battles, and element of discovery makes this one solid game.
     > For all those who like a good dungeon crawl from "classic" gaming days. A part of history as the first console RPG for America. A resource for study on how far and which direction the RPG genre has advanced. Also a great resource for monster art design. See how drama was done in the days of yore!
Overall: 8.5 | Graphics: 7.8 | Control: 8.0 | Sound: 8.7 | Fun: 9.5
~ Senpi ~