Review by Ofisil

"Am I the only person who has Deja Vu?"

Shining Force 2 is a TBS\RPG developed by Camelot Software Planning. Am I crazy or are most of the people immature blind fanboys that haven't played any other strategy game other than this one? Or maybe both? Probably both but I digress. Shining Force 2 apart from very few TINY changes, is the same freaking game with the original… so what exactly do most people see here that is so far better? I've seen reviews in the original: “Nice game but the sequel is 1000 times better”. Huh? Are they kidding me???

Story: 2/10
Presentation: 2/10

The plot once again is just… “there”! The game is marketed as a TBS\RPG hybrid but those of you who expect some plot due to the RPG aspect forget it… there won't be any character development whatsoever and everything follows the typical formula of “evil has awakened and we must put it back to sleep”. More specifically something happens in the beginning of the game that unleashed a certain demon and you must now kill him, however throughout the game the plot takes a backseat, with you just fighting with enemies that stand in your way.

Gameplay: 5.5/10
Replay Value: 1/10

Like in the first game all you do is fight with enemies and nothing more. The game is marketed as hybrid of TBS & RPG but the only RPG aspect of the game is that your characters level up, buy weapons and interact with some people in towns. However don't expect Final Fantasy-like exploration here. You just enter a town, buy weapons, recruit a character if available and after a small conversation with a key character you move out and fight with the enemy's army. The problem is that even in the Turn Based Strategy section the game leaves something to be desired. This game will not appeal to true Strategy fans that expect a mind-boggling challenge. The game is a easy and there's only one way to play it, a one and only “strategic” to make in all 40+ battles of the game. Sent in your “tank” characters to fight and keep ranged fighters and healers\mages in the back. The game soon becomes boring not only for its repetitive nature but also because the battle arenas are too damn big! I swear I've spent more time moving my units than fighting with them and I didn't even think where to move them, I just send them running towards the enemy! Finally the game, as I've said in the intro is EXACTLY the same with the original one, so if you loved the first game but want something more expect nothing more than the same game with better graphics.

Graphics: 7.2/10
Design: 6.7/10
Sound: 5/10
Music: 5/10

The graphics of the game are noticeably better, with better designed sprites, more detailed areas with actual texture and not just green for grass, brown for rock and so on. The small battle “cutscenes” have also been improved with better enemy design and special effects, (when casting spells), and finally very good portraits for the characters. However like with the first game this one lacks class, it lacks character. There are two-three areas that look quite good but most of the time is just grassland after grassland and the enemies are similar to the ones in the first game, just better designed. Sound wise Shining force doesn't have anything special to give you. The sound effects are the typical videogame fanfare you would expect and the music consists of a just a bunch of simple tunes that get boring too soon.

[+]:
-Simple and fun TBS game
-Good graphics

[-]:
-No plot
-Too easy and forgivable for a strategy game
-Battles become boring too soon
-Exactly the same game with the original
-Below average music

Also Play:
Advance Wars (GBA)
Fire Emblem (Series)
Langrisser 2 (Various Platforms)
Ogre Battle (SNES)

Overall: 4.3/10

If you've read all SF2 reviews and still can't decide because of all these 9's and 10's go straight to the original's reviews where many of the reviewers aren't fanboys and since the games are almost identical they will help you shape a better opinion than with the typical “Everything-is-PERFECT!” reviews in the SF2 section!


Reviewer's Score: 4/10 | Originally Posted: 02/16/11

Game Release: Shining Force II (US, 10/19/94)


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