Shining Force CD
Sega / Shin Force
Shining Force CD

Sega/Shin Force > Elite Series > Shining Force (Series) > Shining Force CD
Sega/Shin Force > Systems > Sega CD > Reviews

Shin Force ~ Shining Force ~
Shining Force CD :: Reviews
Sonic Software 
Jul 21, 1994 
Mar 22, 1995 
Jun, 1995
6 Button
Backup 99
     > Shining Force CD is actually four games (books) in one. The first two books, Shining Force Gaiden I&II, have the same story line as their corresponding Game Gear versions. The second two books, which are exclusive to Sega CD, carry on with the story (the fourth book being hidden). Unfortunately, only one of the the above two books was released in America, "Shining Force: The Sword of Hajya" (Game Gear, Gaiden II, 1994). "Shining Force Gaiden: Final Conflict" (Game Gear, 1995) takes place between Shining Force and Shining Force II, and is a Game Gear title that's only available in Japan.

     > Books 1 and 2 are available from the start. Book 3 is unlocked by completing Books 1 and 2, and character stats can be carried over by saving on a back-up RAM cartridge. Book 4 is unlocked by completing Books 1-3 and finding a "Museum Ticket" in battle #5 (search the wells) of Book 2. Character stats from Book 3 can be carried over to Book 4 by saving on a back-up RAM cartridge as well.

     > Naturally graphics and music are greatly upgraded over the Game Gear originals. Anyway, Shining Force CD remains true to the series, with emphasis on hex, turn based battles. Of course, there's some talking, searching, and shopping to spice things up. (Book 1) The Ambassador of Cypress, Woldol, has enchanted Queen Anri, so the player (Nick) must lead the Guardiana forces on a rescue mission. (Book 2) The Forces of Cypress and Guardiana must fight the nation of Iom to retain control of "The Sword of Hajya". (Book 3) Taking the role of Nick again, the player must lead the Cypress and Guardiana Forces to rescue Queen Anri from her captor, Dava. (Book 4) Nick and his comrads visit the museum in Cypress when the exhibits of Nick's boss battles come to life and must be defeated!

     > The basic formula hasn't changed since the first Shining Force game, except that there are no towns to go searching in now. However, there are plenty of new characters to find, control, and fight against in Shining Force CD. The main attraction, graphically, is still the various magic effects one sees during battles (these improve with experience and class). As usual, the view is top/down during most of the game, and switches to a side view for the battle animations. The graphic interface is simple, familiar, and practical.
     > The control scheme is unchanged (thankfully)... I mean, why change a good thing? Everything one does is menu driven and easy to perform. As in the previous iterations, the game follows a linear story line, so getting lost isn't a problem. Basically, the player has to buy weapons/items, listen to the story in camp, manage equipment/items, select a Force (team), and engage in strategic battle(s). The player must defeat the opposing Force in order to advance the storyline. All the while gaining experience, levels, equipment, magic, and new members. Part of the challenge is trying to keep one's entire Force at, or about the same level -- that way, nobody falls behind in usefulness.
     > Shining Force CD's soundtrack is hands down the best of the 16-bit series, and gives Shining Force III a run for its money. It's filled with inspiring orchestral masterpieces, albeit a little repetitive. Anyway, I own the official soundtrack (Symphonic Suite the Another Story of Shining Force), and listen to it often. 

     > The sound effects are the best in the 16-bit series as well. They are largely the same as their cartridge cousins, only now they sound even better, thanks to the advanced Sega CD sound capabilities. Maybe it's just being coupled with an amazing soundtrack? 

     > Play through four games in one. Forget all the searching, wandering, and endless talking. Command up to 12 characters in strategic, turn based battles with magic galore! Find hidden characters throughout more than 50 battles, which will take the player many hours to complete. Level up members of the Force, promote them, and learn increasingly powerful and impressive magic. Simply said, Shining Force CD is the best 16 bit strategy/RPG video game you can find!
Bottom Line
     > Take the best strategy/RPG series... Shining Force... Make it more than twice as long as usual... Add new magic effects, locales, and characters... Compose a wonderful soundtrack for it... And you get Shining Force CD! It's my favorite 16-bit Shining Force game because it's straight forward, lengthy, loaded with characters, and the music is timeless. This video game is very hard to find, and well worth the price. Good luck!
Overall: 9.5 | Graphics: 8.5 | Control: 9.6 | Sound: 10 | Fun: 10
~ Shinobi ~

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