Summer Gaming Challenge #3 – Shining Force

It took me almost a whole month to beat another Summer Challenge game, which is bad considering how quickly I beat the first two.  Hopefully I can pick up the pace for the final month, and get close to beating them all!  Let’s get going on my thoughts about Shining Force.

I thought this was a Fire Emblem rip-off.  How’s it a classic?

I originally thought that Shining Force took… quite a bit from Nintendo’s SRPG series, as it probably it obvious in my First Impressions post, and that isn’t untrue.  Being Sega’s answer to SRPGs in general, it’s easy to compare the two, and find similarities.  However, Shining Force, and the rest of the expansive Shining series, does have a personality of its own.  For that reason, and for its solid gameplay, Shining Force has gained a bit of a fanbase.

What’s the verdict?

The game, overall, is a lot of fun if you’re an SRPG fan.  It also is the company’s first attempt at the genre, and it can show at points.  While the core gameplay is solid and the difficulty is mainly even (that battle with Kane, though, was really bad), a lot of little things feel as though they could have been tweaked for the better, such as the inventory system.  The story isn’t really impressive, but to be honest, practically every Fire Emblem game has the same story, eventually developing character supports.  Shining Force, of course, doesn’t have that, but it gets a pass.

I’m not sure about the rest of the Shining series, which has Action RPGs, dungeon crawlers, and all sorts of RPG related genres, but I can at least say this game is a solid entry in it.  Worth a try for SRPG fanatics, and also a bit easier than Fire Emblem (no permadeath!), so beginners can start here for a less intense first experience.

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