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Shining Force

シャイニング・フォース 神々の遺産

20 March 1992
Shining Force [シャイニング・フォース 神々の遺産] - cover art
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108 Ratings / 2 Reviews
#1,031 All-time
#17 for 1992
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Title
Shining Force marked an abrupt turn towards tactical RPG gameplay, alternating between overworld maps and smaller, traditional JRPG areas for both exploration and combat. While the story, unit progression and missions offered little of note, its improved aesthetic and humor fulfills the promises of the debut, resulting in more memorable locations and entertaining moments.
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Blah_Blee 2022-01-12T22:33:49Z
2022-01-12T22:33:49Z
6 /10
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Title
Shining Force was the first great RPG on the Sega Genesis and departed from the monotonous dungeon crawling RPGs prior. Although a very linear storyline that takes the you a series of battles, there is rich character graphics and animation (for the time), a sense of progression with the characters and story, and most of all, no need for elaborate dungeon maps to find your way around. The battles on Shining Force are not random and are turn based. It is your goal to either advance to the next city/checkpoint, or kill some boss that stands in your way. To do either of these tasks, you are faced with one large battle as opposed to a series of smaller, random battles. The environment in which you are fighting is partitioned into grid squares and each character can move a set number of grid squares per turn. You can lose as many supporting characters you wish as they revive after the battle is over, but if your main character dies, it is game over. This tactical, turn based strategy is not the first of its kind, but remains a favorite for many (Final Fantasy Tactics and Disgaea are modeled in the same fashion). This also slows the gameplay down a bit from the days of random dungeon encounters and requires the careful thought and execution.

You begin as Max. There is very little background as to who you are and what you are doing outside a castle. Your task, like Shining in the Darkness, is to defeat Darksol (Dark Sol in Shining in SitD) who is attempting to revive a creature named Dark Dragon. Your adventure will take you through eight chapters and a variety of cities along the way where you will meet a whopping twenty nine unique allies along the way that can be recruited to your cause. Some are healers, some are offensive magic specialists, and some are melee specialists using a vast variety of weapons. Some of these characters are a bit hard to get so either use a guide or talk to everyone in the game often as the dialogue changes between major battles. You are allowed to have a party of up to twelve of these allies for a given battle and you can switch party members between battles. As with many early rpgs, Shining Force does require some character leveling between chapters as the enemies advance in level faster than your team will without power leveling.

What makes this game so fun is the battle system. The turn-based tactical style of Shining Force is pulled off well. When attacking or being attacked, the tactical screen switches to a combat screen showing the actual attack. This is coupled with a change in music to a battle theme. If you occasionally power level, this game is not that hard but the final fight can be a bit challenging if you are not at the suitable level and you did not bother getting your characters decent weapons and armor. The music is great throughout the game.

The English version of Shining Force apparently missed some aspects of the game that were not moved over from the Japanese version. Not a huge deal as the gameplay and combat is intact. The strict linear style of the storyline and gameplay can be a bit constraining but most point to the character Jogurt as the games biggest flaw. Jogurt is a hamster-like creature that only attacks for one point of damage, dies in one hit from anyone, and cannot be leveled up past level 1 no matter what you do. Any legitimate list on 'most useless rpg characters of all time' should include Jogurt. Many have thought that there must be a secret to Jogurt. None that I have found so far - he's useless.

Shining Force is an underrated game. The complaints I have are minor in the scope of the game and if you just never use Jogurt, you should be alright. This is a huge improvement over Shining in the Darkness and will be further improved with the final Sega title in the series: Shining Force 2.
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Rocky_Sullivan 2021-09-30T11:28:50Z
2021-09-30T11:28:50Z
4.0
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Title
Released in 1992, Shining Force was Sega's attempt to make another RPG series out of its successful dungeon-crawler title Shining in the Darkness [シャイニング&ザ・ダクネス]. As with that game, Shining Force is fairly light on plot and what is there is fairly trite but the game keeps its exposition to a minimum and the plot never really detracts from the game, There are a few nuggets of an interesting idea, specifically the existence of an Atlantis-like advanced civilization, none of it is really fleshed out but it helps to separate Shining Force from its contemporaries like Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon & the Blade of Light [ファイアーエムブレム 暗黒竜と光の剣].

Shining Force is a pure SRPG, with no weapon triangle or "natures/attributes". Your character's fighting abilities are determined by their stats which are raised via level-up, there's no allocating skill points or anything like that. Thankfully, grinding is kept to a minimum. In my play-through, I encountered one area where I had to grind and even then it was minimal. The earlier chapters take a little while to complete due to the slower pace of the game and the large map size but are fairly breezy. Oddly enough, the later chapters of the game actually feature smaller maps but many more enemies. The cramped conditions of these maps and the simple nature of the battle system means that your survival feels almost entirely dependent on the RNG. In addition, your units' movement will be stunted by mountain passes, trees, and other obstacles but the enemies are rarely similarly handicapped. This only adds to the feeling of helplessness that was felt commonly in the last two chapters.

The addition of towns is a noteworthy addition, a good note for the back of the box, but really adds very little. Your slow walking speed makes traversing the towns obnoxious and even though the townsfolk dialogue is livelier than your average JRPG, it's still a game from 1993 and the clunky translation does the game few favors. More impressive are the wide range of characters you can recruit which encourages replays. Much like Fire Emblem, these recruits don't add much to the (minimal) story but they offer new ways to tackle battles.

The graphics are decent, with bright colors and animated anime portraits but it doesn't do much heavy lifting past that. The battle sequences are lush and detailed, far better than anything seen in the Fire Emblem series, but they lack a real visual flair after the first handful of battles. Some of the promoted units look especially muddled. The music is irritating, there are maybe seven or eight tracks in the whole game and only the ending theme left an impression.

For an early entry in the console SRPG genre, Shining Force holds up better than its contemporaries and it deserves some commendation for that. It shows its age in a few areas but is worth a look for those interested in retro gaming or SRPGs.
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DreadToaster 2016-06-17T18:42:54Z
2016-06-17T18:42:54Z
3.0
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One of the first and best tactical RPGs. Unlike Fire Emblem [ファイアーエムブレム] and Final Fantasy Tactics [ファイナルファンタジータクティクス], Shining Force has towns you visit and a world map, lending it a more traditioanl JRPG feel in its scope and pacing. The simplicity of the game makes it a great first entry for someone new to the genre. The music can be grating, the field map battles are awful and the menus are a cumbersome mess. Almost all of these things were improved in its sequel, but the pacing and personality of the original is superior. Also, it is has Jogurt!
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SUPER_Lonely_Panda 2016-04-03T23:26:22Z
2016-04-03T23:26:22Z
4.0
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Catalog

dumey シャイニング・フォース 神々の遺産 2022-06-26T23:40:22Z
2022-06-26T23:40:22Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Mistertitanic Shining Force 2022-06-22T15:45:41Z
Mega Drive/Genesis • XNA
2022-06-22T15:45:41Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
ryan_a シャイニング・フォース 神々の遺産 2022-06-20T02:44:43Z
2022-06-20T02:44:43Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Pandoras_Folly シャイニング・フォース 神々の遺産 2022-06-15T01:30:39Z
2022-06-15T01:30:39Z
4.0
7
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
TiltControls シャイニング・フォース 神々の遺産 2022-06-14T01:26:35Z
2022-06-14T01:26:35Z
4.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
horrorfunk シャイニング・フォース 神々の遺産 2022-06-06T14:50:22Z
2022-06-06T14:50:22Z
2.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
gfly1994 シャイニング・フォース 神々の遺産 2022-05-29T16:37:51Z
2022-05-29T16:37:51Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Sieghardt シャイニング・フォース 神々の遺産 2022-05-27T11:56:50Z
2022-05-27T11:56:50Z
4.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Noidson Shining Force 2022-05-24T08:40:39Z
Mega Drive/Genesis • XNA
2022-05-24T08:40:39Z
4.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Nagual Shining Force 2022-05-20T11:48:30Z
Windows
2022-05-20T11:48:30Z
3.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
exitsense シャイニング・フォース 神々の遺産 2022-05-19T10:30:05Z
2022-05-19T10:30:05Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
EelSedaka Shining Force 2022-05-16T20:20:33Z
Mega Drive/Genesis • XNA
2022-05-16T20:20:33Z
5.0
1
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Also known as
  • Shining Force
  • Shining Force: Resurrection of the Dark Dragon
  • View all [2] Hide

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  • Fowlawneeshafow 2020-05-03 10:31:59.580815+00
    Pretty good Fire Emblem clone.
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