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Meda Drive
Review : Shining Force 2
It was february 1995. I went out to hire another Sega videogame because I was getting tired of Ultimate Soccer, Sonic and Wimbledon. When I got there, I started looking for games... "Hmmm...Clayfighter? Done that......Flicky...yuk......Kings Bounty...ugly..." ...and then, my eye noticed a cartridge with a knight, swinging with his sword high above his head. "..hmmm, what's this? Nice colors! I'll go for this." I took Shining Force 2, payed five guilders and went home. Once home, I turned on my brand-new Megadrive 2 (the one with the red buttons), inserted the cartridge and started to play on my oversized 15 years old television. I played day after day, hour after hour. All my spare time was spent on playing Shining Force. I played on and on and I rented the game longer and more often. After I had rent it for three weeks in a row I had to buy it. I just had to. So I went back to "Videoland" to ask if I could buy the game. The man behind the counter looked at me and said: "60 guilders. Then it's all yours.". I raced home, begged my father to borrow me the money and hurried back. The moment had come. I was an official owner of Shining Force 2!


The hero in action


Later, my friends also got hooked and everyone had his favorite character. There were nights we sat there with the eight of us sitting around the tv just watching how our heroes were victorious over Zeon's evil forces. We renamed the characters with the cheat to our own names and started to yell for our own character. Later on, my addiction died out a little and I gave my friends the possibility to play.

And did they! One guy came and played so often that my father couldn't watch tv even if he wanted to. He was plundering the fridge, torturing my holy sanctum, the Megadrive! There seemed no choice left but to sell my Megadrive to him. For the meager sum of 225 guilders and two cd roms I abandoned that which I enjoyed most, to turn my interest towards the Personal Computer and later on the Internet. Ok, enough about me. Let's talk about the game, Shining Force 2. The story: One night ago, a strange mouse-like figure has stolen the two sacred jewels, the Jewel of Light and the Jewel of Darkness, not realizing that these two jewels sealed a gate between this world and an evil dimension. That night a huge storm awakens all the citiziens on Grans Island. An ill omen? Of course! You are Bowie, a young boy who lives in the town of Granseal near the Ancient Tower. At this time Bowie is nothing more than a child with a wooden sword and a spell to flee from the battlefield. As you get lessons at school from Mr. Astral, a messenger from the King arrives. Astral is called upon for advice, leaving the pupils alone. Sarah wants to find out what's wrong and proposes to go to the castle. Chester doesn't really feel like it, but eventually he too is (hopefully!)convinced. At this time both of them join your party and we have got a party that will eventually grow out to be the Shining Force!


Huge bat has got himself surrounded here


The goal: The primary goal in the game is to defeat Zeon, the evil overlord of all demons. Unless you play at difficulty level "Ouch!" you won't have too much trouble achieving that goal, since you can't die. The only conceivable way to get "game over" is when all of your party members have died and you are out of gold, but even then not all may be lost. There are several other goals you may want to achieve. One of them is to collect all existing characters. Currently there are 30 known characters, ranging from ordinary swordsmen to Pegasi, a Golem, even a Robot! This may be quite a challenge, especially because some characters are very hard to find.


One of the games comedy moments!


Graphics and Sound

The graphics:
Though Shining Force 2 is made in the old-school tower perspective
the graphics are quite extraordinary, especially if compared to
Shining Force 1. The battle animations have been made with great
care and effort, and the result is quite exceptional. There isn't
really a bad thing to say about the graphics...

The sound: Well, either you love it or you hate it. That's all I can say about it. Again they've put a lot of effort in it, and you will notice that.

Fighting in the dark! Scary stuff.


The gameplay is addictive. Very addictive. I've heard several people who played the game every day for weeks, suddenly realizing:"Why am I playing this crap?". That should make my point clear. Whether you like it or not, it is addictive. So what makes it addictive then? The answer is quite simple actually. The battle engine. Some compare it with Final Fantasy tactics but I feel it's truly unique. The battles are turn based and they take place on the normal map. Think of Heroes of the Might and Magic, but then on the overland map instead of that seperate screen. Every time you attack someone, the screen changes into a small video displaying your attack and providing you the outcome. A talk like this as if it is just a plain thing, but it isn't. It's one of the things that make Shining Force special. After this video the next character or enemy can begin his turn. The map is different with every battle, simply because they continually use the place you are exactly as the battlefield. The terrain type affects your damage("land effect") and your movement(Notice how slow centaurs are be in forests!). Add to this an Artificial Intelligence that is so well crafted that it's downright annoying and you've got just the right formula for an addictive battle system. What if I don't have a Megadrive or the game? Well, first I recommend that you download the emulator and the ROM to try it out. You can find those things at www.emulnews.com. If you like it I suggest buying the Megadrive or the game. The best way to do this is either to search a game magazine for it or to visit www.Ebay.com and search for it there. Don't expect to pay much as the game is already five years old and the Megadrive is over ten years old.



Hooking Factor
Reviewed by:Devlyn
Date: 22/12/1999
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