Review by Inthesto

"A different review from a different point of view..."

Okay, before I have a million Shining fanboys jumping down my throat and attempting to behead me and sacrifice it to the Goddess of All Things Shining, allow me to say something first:

This review is not really my opinion. In truth, I love this game like an only child. It was my 2nd RPG, and I still cherish it to this day. I'd give it a 15/10, if 15 other reviews didn't already do that. What I'm here to do is give a review that's radically different from the others, for different reasons. Confused? Well, just read on.

GRAPHICS: 8/10

Not much needs to be said here. For its time, Shining Force 2 is clean and beautiful, if not a bit grainy. Regardless, graphics aren't a major point in this game, but the goodness of it is just a nice bonus.

SOUND: 10/10

I love this game's music. Whoever composed for this game ought to be hailed as a musical god. The overtures are simply stunning, all the tunes make perfect mood-setters, and everything is all-around memorable. The only thing better than the music is Shining Force 2 is the Shining Force 2 Symphonic Suite Soundtrack. Believe me, do yourself a favor and get that soundtrack. You'll thank me. Anyways, back to the game...

STORYLINE: 3/10

*yawn*

You're a young schoolboy. You wield a sword. Some idiot steals some jewels that seal the King of the Devils. A bunch of coincidences happen, and you just wind up being the hero who has to re-seal the devil. Talk about unoriginal. Sure, the game can be cute and charming at times, but for the most part the story is just a flat-out fairy tale with a couple plot bumps. I mean, even Final Fantasy IV was deeper than this, and that says quite a bit.

GAMEPLAY: 9/10

THIS is the true high point of the game. Everything in Shining Force 2 just flows. Especially the battle system. The way fighting in the game works is very simple: you move, and you can either Attack, Use Magic, Use an Item, or Do Nothing. Despite its simplicity, the battles within this game are beyond words. I don't think I could do it justice just by saying things. Just go and play it.

ORIGINALITY: -5/10

And this is the true low point of the game. As far as innovation goes, this game completely fails, and then some. If you've played the original Shining Force, you'll know what I'm talking about. In reality, Shining Force 2 is little different than its predecessor. Sure, SF2 has nicer graphics, better music, smoother flow, but at its core, everything is the same. Sure, there are some basic changes such as a slight re-arrangement in how promotion works and a different stat scaling, but nothing fundamental. Most of the classes are the same, characters have similar stat patterns as characters in the original, and even the exact same weapons are used - same name, ''portrait,'' and all. In truth, Shining Force 2 is little more than a moderately updated version of its prequel. And with some players, that just won't sit well at all.

OVERALL: 4/10

Yes, while all the stuff on the surface was near perfection, one true fundamental flaw simply tears it down. If you've played the original Shining Force, and demand something drastically new within the sequel, steer clear of this game. It'll look exactly the same to you. However, if you haven't played the original before, or don't mind playing a lightly disguised remake of an older game, go ahead and play Shining Force 2. You'll love it anyway.

And as a last comment, I repeat: This is among my favorite games EVER. I'm just trying to give a different point of view.


Reviewer's Score: 4/10 | Originally Posted: 02/25/02, Updated 02/25/02


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