Shining Force 2 has a very special place in my heart. This game is probably in my top 3 list of the best games I’ve ever played. Shining Force 2 is a game part of the popular “Shining series”. Its a tactical Role-Playing game for the 16 bit Sega Megadrive (Genesis in the US) and was launched in october 1993 and developped by Sega’s Sonic Software Planning.
The story is about a kingdom called Granseal what is in parrel. A thief called Slade the Rat stole two jewels in a Shrine in the kingdom.
These two jewels are the jewel of light, and the jewel of evil. But by stealing these jewels he accidently breaks the seal and the king of the Devils called Zeon is released. He was imprisoned for several centuries. A fellow devil then possess the King. You are Bowie a student of the wise Sir Astral and together with your classmates you form the “Shining Force”. You have to fight the invading devil army and you have to find the jewels and the “Holy Sword” to defeat the devils and reseal the devil King.
During your journey you can expand your force, you can walk through villages and small towns and talk to people, and eventually people will join you. Sometimes you have to fullfill certain missions and you will receive new soldiers for your force. Shining Force has a turn based strategy battle system. Battles take place on a square grid, and each unit occupies a single square. Each turn a Character can move and can perform one action like: Atack, cast a spell or use an item. You have won the battle if you have defeated all the devils. You lost the battle when your leader Bowie is dead. If you lose you will be transported to the nearest town to revive your friends at a priest and start the battle again. When you select the enemy you want to atack and you confirm, a cutscene will start and you see your unit attacking the enemy. The outcome can be different everytime because the enemy randomly blocks and counterattacks but you can also miss your attack.
Each character has their storyline and class. You have knights in the form of centaurs, magicians, and strange creatures made out of stone. Just to give you an idea. The class decides wich weapons and items they can carry. During battle you can earn experience points (XP) and level up your characters. Once your unit reach level 20 that character has the ability to advance to more powerful class through promotion. There are also secret promotions by using special items.
So why is this game so great you might ask? First of all the game is really a long and a true adventure. I think that the strength of the game is the attention to detail. Every character has a story and a personality based on that story. The dialogs are really entertaining and there is a lot of humor. The graphics are really good for its time, but the audio is what makes the game a masterpiece for me.
The songs during battle and the soundeffects are really good. You feel like a true warrior. The story is sometimes a bit complex but that has its charme. It is so detailed. They thought of everything. I played the game from beginning to the end for several times now and I still haven’t discovered all the secrets yet. So the replay value is really high.
This game was a best seller in Japan. Years later its still a very popular title on emulators and has been re-released on Wii’s virutal console and on the Sega Megadrive Ultimate Collection on XBox 360 and Playstion 3. (Sonic’s Ultimate Genesis Collection in the US)
IGN called it one of the top 100 video games of all time. So if you are looking for a game with a great storyline and you like retro graphics this is the game to get. Its quite expensive if you want to buy the original for the Megadrive but you won’t regret it. It is one of the jewels in my collection 🙂