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Meda Drive
Review : Shining Force
The Story: 1000 years ago, Dark Dragon fought against The Ancients for control over the world and he lost. The Ancients banished him, but Dark Dragon vowed to return in 1000 years. Centuries of peace and happiness passed until one day, precisely 1000 years after the great battle, monsters invaded the land of Rune. However, some strongholds of Good managed to survive and are waiting for a hero...
Your goal is short and simple: Destroy Dark Dragon.


Pegasus Knight is getting a pounding here


This older brother of my all-time favorite, though not so good, still surprised me in various aspects. When I had played SHF2, I already met some weird creatures (you won't get a phoenix party member in an ordinary crpg), but SHF1 takes this to the next step. The Force must not only face goblins, bats and worms, but also flying machines, robots with laser-abilities and guys armed with bazooka's. However, the Shining Force is also quite more extreme. A robot with wheels, a helicopter guy, a hamster (or dog, your choice) and even a centaur that launces bolts and freezes to your head.


Gong - tough as nails and a good healer too


The combat system shows only a few differences with the one used in SHF2. The graphics are okay and the gameplay is pretty good, though the system is a little slow compared to its SHF2 counterpart. There are also some minor differences in the spells of both games (e.g. Blaze 1 can inflict 15 damage when you're really lucky). When your characters have reached the 100 exp border, they gain a level and their exp. total is 0 again. All excess exp. is lost, so I don't suggest killing a monster with Guntz if he already has 90+ exp. When you gain a level, your stats may or may not increase. This is also quite different to its sequel. Things as +6 Hit Points or +7 defense are not that rare and I've even seen a +16 Hit Points with my own eyes!

Although the graphics are okay (even good when taking into account that it's a Genesis game), they are pretty buggy. In the game I've noticed several tile errors and one scene is totally screwed (when you get polymorphed into a chicken, you're...oh, well...find out yourself...). I think the sound is just as good as in SHF2, but some might disagree with me. The music of the walkabout theme doesn't intend to leave once it's in your head and the music in the battle vs. Kain is rather nervous, but I see that as a positive thing, because you're supposed to be nervous then and it adds to the "feel of the game".


The team assume a tactical formation on the field


All in all, even though SHF1 has got several bad sides, I think it's a very good game certainly worth playing and buying. Although it didn't got me hooked like SHF2, I still have experienced many hours of gaming fun. The cause of that is probably the slightly inferior gameplay. I found the story very original and even slightly unpredictable here and there. It seems a little as though the game was made in a hurry, but that doesn't prevent me from enjoying it!


Hooking Factor
Reviewed by:Devlyn
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