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8.4

Generally favorable reviews- based on 11 Ratings

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  • Summary: The land of Rune, in the kingdom of Guardiana, has been at peace for centuries, until the hordes of Runefaust attack.

    Now, the evil forces of Runefaust are spotted near the Gate of the Ancients. As a young swordsman of Guardiana, find out what Runefaust is after, stop their ambition, and
    The land of Rune, in the kingdom of Guardiana, has been at peace for centuries, until the hordes of Runefaust attack.

    Now, the evil forces of Runefaust are spotted near the Gate of the Ancients. As a young swordsman of Guardiana, find out what Runefaust is after, stop their ambition, and bring back peace to the land of Rune. The fate of the world depends on the Shining Force and you.
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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 5
  2. Negative: 0 out of 5
  1. Jan 10, 2015
    9
    I may be biased (as this is the first tactical RPG I ever played and I have a lot of nostalgic feelings for this game), however, this game isI may be biased (as this is the first tactical RPG I ever played and I have a lot of nostalgic feelings for this game), however, this game is amazing on it's own right. This is the RPG that grew the love in me for future titles such as Final Fantasy Tactics, Fire Emblem, and even JRPGs in general.

    The story is great, the characters are memorable (for the most part), and the music has a very general nostalgic feel about it. Among all that, is the gameplay, which in itself is standing on this huge dazzling mountain called the tactical RPG genre. The turn-based gameplay (somewhat reminiscent of board games in which each player has their turn to make a move except there are several characters to move in a turn) is phenomenal and presumably becomes the inspiration for the great turn-based RPGs mentioned above.

    tl;dr: Good story, memorable and distinct characters, good music, the pinnacle of turn-based RPGs.
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  2. Aug 20, 2020
    9
    Overview:: Control the hero Max, and his allies in a turned based tactical strategy RPG. Shining Force switches between exploration, andOverview:: Control the hero Max, and his allies in a turned based tactical strategy RPG. Shining Force switches between exploration, and battles whilst rewarding the player for doing so. Exploring towns and talking to people may reward your with various treasures and additional soldiers. Battles executed successfully will reward the player with experience points, gold, and an occasional item drop from a downed opponent.

    Gameplay: As stated above Shining Force is a turn based strategy RPG. Before entering battle you will have the option of exploring various towns that span across 8 chapters in the game. During this time you can find or buy items, and maybe even recruit a few additional friends. After your preparations are completed in the town it's now time to engage the enemy out on the battlefield. Battles take place in various settings such as towns, forests, caves, and more. Battlefields have different terrains and different units react to these terrains in various ways. Once battle commences you will command up to 12 non-generic units to combat the enemy. How to go about this is completely up to the player. Conditions for victory usually are by defeating the leader of the enemy team or just wiping out the entire enemy army. The units the player may control range from knights, mages, archers, and much more. A unit's job class may be upgraded once the unit reaches level 10 at least. Doing this can be performed in towns. Defeating enemies will yield the player EXP and Gold. Gold may be used to not only buy items and weapons but to also revive fallen teammates. Unlike Fire Emblem (A similar game) Death is not permanent in Shining Force. The player will lose the battle if the main character, Max, falls in battle. The penalty for losing is losing half of your gold. All items, and EXP obtained during the lost battle will still be with the player. This game is well known for having a "cinematic" look to it once opposing forces clash and commence a battle screen. A simple but impressive (for its time anyway) animation will occur. This really makes Shining Force stand out.

    Plot: Typical save the world story. This game is infamous for being poorly translated. The story remains simple, but back then that was the normal anyway. It's a product of the time and should be seen as such. Don't expect a gripping story to have you at the edge of your seat. This game shines (pun intended) in exploration and combat instead. However the game does have a couple twists and turns that are sure to surprise the player.

    Controls: Moving around town is tile based. You cant move in a diagonal fashion. Same goes with battle. All other movements are controlled via menu. Navigating the menu can be a bit tedious, but you get used to it. This is one of the reasons as to why this game isn't a ten for me. Inventory and jank menu controls are fixed in the sequel, which is far superior in every way.

    Graphics: 16 bit goodness here. Two types of screens to look at. First is the overworld screen that shows your units and enemy units (or villagers if you are in town) Second screen is the battle screen that plays a simplistic animation from given commands from the player or enemy. Very innovative for the time.

    Sound: Probably not the best, but it gets the job done. There are some pretty fun sound effects and a few good songs as well. (My favorite is when you siege the fort before going into the Balbazak fight) but I digress. Don't expect compositions that are Phantasy Star IV worthy or Final Fantasy 6 worthy. Not happening here. Still some good and memorable tracks though. Unfortunately the cutscene music is the same for player characters, enemies, and bosses. This gets fixed in the sequel.

    Difficulty: There is definitely a learning curve, and certain ways to build characters before upgrading their class. This in turn can make battles easier or harder depending on the route you go. The games difficulty is also increased depending on your choice of characters put in battle. Some characters are just really weak and not a good choice. Figuring this out is trial and error...or you can just cheat using the internet. Your choice. Either way, there is definitely some good challenge to be found here, and anyone who is new to these types of games will most certainly taste defeat several times. That's not a bad thing though. As stated before even if the player dies they will still retain any levels or EXP gained. So you will always go in a bit stronger than before after failing a battle.

    Conclusion: This game isn't for everyone, but if this review piqued your interest then you should check it out. A simple story that has lots of characters to experiment with. The game also has two sequels. No need to play previous installments to follow the plot either. The second game is superior in every way. A true classic and perfect 10. Part 3 isn't bad either, but that game is a hot topic, and sort of a mess. Hope this review helped!
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  3. Aug 24, 2018
    8
    It's one of the earlier tactical RPGs and it's great. A little too easy with the "secret" characters, but still lots of fun, even all theseIt's one of the earlier tactical RPGs and it's great. A little too easy with the "secret" characters, but still lots of fun, even all these years later. Expand
  4. Jan 2, 2013
    7
    I bought this game recently as I'm a lover of these types of strategy RPGs such as Fire Emblem and Final Fantasy Tactics. This game worksI bought this game recently as I'm a lover of these types of strategy RPGs such as Fire Emblem and Final Fantasy Tactics. This game works similarly to them but they are significantly different. Personally I think the previous games are much superior and have a lot more features, though it's to be expected as Shining Force is a much older game. Taking into consideration its age I still found it to be an extremely fun game, probably due to my love of the genre. I found the biggest flaw of the game was the bad AI. Mobs will usually just aim for your main character all the time, ignoring 'squishy' units like healers and mages meaning it's a little pointless to use the traditional turtle-like formations. Sometimes they will focus on random characters that barely take any damage from them. Sometimes they will charge and attack you but most of the time they will just stand and wait for you to attack them, even ignoring you if you attack at ranged and they don't have any ranged attacks. The latter point makes many of the earlier bosses somewhat trivial, and along with the fact that you can simply resurrect those who die at no penalty, the game difficulty isn't as hard as I would like (though it's not terrible). Additionally, the story is cliche and poorly executed. You will often have to travel to remote cities or be restricted from leaving a city until you've spoken to a particular person about the plot which generally involves 1-2 lines of generic plot that you already figured out a few hours ago. Regardless, the gameplay is fun. You have to recruit characters yourself (there are some 'secret' ones) and equip them with the latest weapons, or rings that you find while adventuring. Units can be promoted between level 10 and 20 and you overall have a decent level of control over your army. I'd say if you're new to this type of game, try a newer, shinier one first as they have already worked out a lot of the kinks that this game has. If, like me, you're a fan of this genre and don't have a problem with retro games, definately buy it! Expand
  5. Oct 16, 2017
    6
    Shining Force; a game created to fight against the tactics style of games coming to the NES, fails to tell a story that matches the quality ofShining Force; a game created to fight against the tactics style of games coming to the NES, fails to tell a story that matches the quality of the likes of Fire Emblem. The Characters are mostly forgettable basic tropes, and the battles are a dull experience with a lack of much innovation or interesting scenarios. The best part of this game comes with its music, sound, and visual effects, and pixel graphics, but the lack of a permadeath option makes the game more like a cake walk than a game where every move matters. It’s unfortunate that the best things in this game are hidden away as secrets for you to find on subsequent playthroughs of the game, which no one will have due to the lack of fun and desire to complete this game they will surely experience.

    Shining Force Gets a 6 / 10
    -Das_Dood
    Follow My Reviews Live @ Twitch.Tv/Das_Dood
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