Shining Force II
Review by Doom
"The beautiful sequel to one of the best rpg's!"
This is the second Shining Force game for the Genesis/Megadrive and the third game of the series on the machine.
The gameplay is amazing, it's what we now call a ''force'' game. This series has a unique style of gameplay.
In battles each character can be played once per turn. you get a total 30 characters (Many of them are hidden characters), from time to time you'll meet brave warriors who will join your force (could be mage's, archers, knights (which are centaurs), dwarfs or many other classes.) When a character gets to be played you can move him a certain amount of steps and then cast a magic spell, attack or defend. Since you play an army you can send some of you men in groups to make them stronger.
Story line: 8/10
Not the best of the series but it has a pretty good story, a few plots and some sad moments as well. You learn a lot on pretty much all of the characters which makes them more interesting. The story is quite long, this is the longest Shining Force game of the series (except for the third game on Sega Saturn), the hero as always doesn't say a word during the entire game. :)
You get to hear and read about some events from the first Shining Force as well as Shining Force CD. This game takes place around 50-60 years after the original Shining Force (though this is not certain). The hero is a young swordsman named Bowie (you get to choose his name at the beginning). Bowie goes to class with his two friends (a third one was late so you'll only see him a little later) and your master tells you that a problem has occurred in the tower of the ancients (remember that from the first Shining Force? ;). And I won't say much more as the beginning is quite nice so you go try it. ;)
The game is big and full of good sprites. It's once of the most beautiful Genesis games. It's full of colors and nice designs. The battle animations are nice as well. Perfect for a 8 year old game.
Some great melodies (worth buying the soundtrack if it weren't so rare and expensive...). Simply fantastic. In my opinion it's the nicest tunes after the ones from Shining Force III. The sounds are fine too, just lay back and enjoy the music. :)
It can be really challenging, some enemies will be very annoying and some bosses will require some good exping to continue further in the game. The only downside is that Sega made a code that allows you to control the enemies! If I were you I'd never use it! It destroys the game! However if you use it after you've played the game many times it can be interesting to experiment how much damage they do to whom etc...
Replay value: 10/10
This game can keep you in front of your screen for a real long time. If you like exping then you can train various characters and try new teams. There's so much to do in a Shining Force game. Just try finishing the game with only 5 characters if your looking for a good challenge. In fact some even play through the game with one character (don't try this the first time of course). And even if you get bored with it just wait a few weeks or months and try playing it again.
This game is nearly perfect it only it had more adult looking characters. I would recommend this game to any rpg players, you must try this out (if it's not already done).
The game has been released in Japan, US and Europe and is quite hard to find but not impossible.
Definitively a classic that you won't forget.
Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 11/03/02, Updated 11/03/02
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