Nightcrawler's Translation Corporation

General Message Board => Gaming Court => Topic started by: Nightcrawler on September 01, 2014, 12:35:27 PM

Title: Review - Shining Force I+II (Genesis)
Post by: Nightcrawler on September 01, 2014, 12:35:27 PM
I recently played through both Shining Force I and II. In a nutshell - Boo Shining Force I! Yay Shining Force II!

Shining Force I

I choose to play the Genesis original, rather than the GBA remake. In hindsight, that was a big mistake. I didn't realize what an unbalanced, clunky, broken game it was. I choose the Genesis version because of the higher resolution, better graphics, and cleaner sound. I would have much rather traded those in for better translation, improved menu navigation, and inventory improvements after having played the game. Doh! If you've never played Shining Force before, do yourself a favor and choose the GBA remake. It was enjoyable in the beginning. The game's major flaws take awhile to set in when things are still simple and there are few characters. I enjoyed the game up decently until that ridiculous boss fight with Mishaela. Even after fighting the battle near 10 times and leveling up, it was ridiculous hard with the auto HP regeneration every turn. The game was all downhill from there in the fun department too. Since it was a short game, I continued on. Had it been a longer game, I would have quit at that point.

Presentation:

Graphics were bright, colorful, and had a nice detailed drawing style. This was especially true in battle. Unfortunately, the game was so basic in presentation overall, that there was virtually no animation or effects to be found anywhere in the game, sans the battle animations. It was on the Genesis, but it played more along the lines of early NES RPG that were devoid of life. That really brought it down quite a bit, and left the game feeling more lifeless than it should have been.

The music was decent, with some tunes like the town theme being very catchy. Once again, due to the basic nature of the game, there just weren't many tracks at all. They were all  very basic with not much going on instrumentally. I've heard more musical variety in NES games. You're going to start getting annoyed at the repetitiveness of the tracks too, even if they are fairly good. 

The story in the game was also nearly non-existent. I guess the GBA port expanded upon that a bit.

Gameplay:

I'd call the gameplay broken. I think most of these were all fixed in the GBA remake (and even Shining Force II on Genesis) unknowingly to me! Here are all the problems.

Shining Force II

Shining Force II, much to my surprise, fixed nearly every single problem I had with the original game! It was much more fun and enjoyable, and improved upon all aspects of the original. I can't find too many things wrong with it. My only gripes were that it still gave you too many useless characters and had abnormal difficulty ramps at that chess battle and towards the final few battles on Granseal Island. Even with my character stats maxed out, it was still very hard all of the sudden (on normal difficulty mind you). It also got annoying that there were no in-game item or magic descriptions. I was constantly referring to other sources to know what half the items in the game did. Overall though, Shining Force 2 was a good game.

Presentation:

Graphics were the same in style of Shining Force 1, but upgraded all-around. Animation and effects were added to the graphics bringing cut-scenes and characters to life a bit more.

The story was greatly expanded upon over the first game. Many little things were going on and several characters were focused on for periods of the game. With a cast of characters so large though, most of your playable characters didn't get much screen-time to develop. I guess that's a Strategy vs. RPG difference for you.

The music was expanded upon both in the number of tracks as well as the instrumental variation within the tracks. It was nicely done. They did it again with another very catchy town theme too!

Gameplay:

The gameplay at it's core was exactly the same, however the details were immensely improved upon. The result was a game that played infinitely better!
The gamplay overall was totally rebalanced from characters to enemies, to levels. All for the better I must say. The difficulty curve was gradually progressive and most battles were satisfyingly challenging, and not too frustrating aside from a few select ones.

It was like Shining Force I was a prototype and Shining Force II got all the bugs worked out!
Title: Re: Review - Shining Force I+II
Post by: khalismur on September 10, 2014, 03:58:00 AM
Your points pretty much are in the same line of what I'd say. I never managed to finish SF1. Waaay too little rewarding and superficial for my taste.

SF2, however, was a great improvement and a very enjoable game. This was actually my favorite, after Sonic series, on the Mega Drive as a young man. I sold my console some years back, but I still have my Saturn and the SF3 Scenario 1.

This was again another improvement; SF3 is a great strategy/RPG. Such a pitty we only got the first episode localized...