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Sonic and Camelot
Sega Saturn
Review : Shining the Holy Ark
Having played the masterful shining force 3 (and not being able to snap up the final two parts), I made the short trip to the local game shops to search for the prequel. I did eventually give up although my Dad did manage to find it on one of his trips to London, so into my Saturn's disc drive it went. I was pleased to see a good intro and a good build up story line, which was well presented. Set in the land of Enrich, Shining the Holy Ark involves you (or Arthur), Melody, and Rodi. You wake up in a cavern wondering where you are and what you are doing, you know only this; you're in a cave and you need to get out. The battles were quite exciting, and walking around the cavern was a spooky experience. Would the game continue like this throughout?


No in-game shots at the moment i'm afraid...



The battle system is your bog-standard choose an attack and watch the computer do its bit, but somehow the battles don't get tedious easily. They WILL get tedious but at first it is always interesting to fight new enemies, as new enemies are always being introduced. The storyline also adds the urgency into the game once again but isn't done as well as it was in Shining force 3 (but that's what you'd expect from a prequel anyway) and there seems to be a stronger emphasis on puzzles than battles. Some of them are real pains, the stones puzzle is a hugely recognised and despised among Saturn gamers because it actually needed maths to work it out! But it was so good to get it out of the way afterwards (I did it on my first go somehow) for some people. The towns are as good as in Shining force 3 with plenty of interaction and lots of people to talk to. The main difference it has from its sequel is that it is played from a first person perspective. Personally I preferred the SF3 view but not that it matters anyway.


...so screenshots of the nice rendered movies...


Graphics and Sound

Still pretty tidy even today, the rendered 2D sprites look very detailed and work perfectly. The menu system is the same as SF3 so if you've played SF3 you'll be at home here. On the whole though, it's got good graphics some of the magic attacks used to look impressive but now they don't really break any ground. It's all you'd expect from a 32 bit game.

The music is a great addition to the atmosphere in the game, especially during battle. But on the whole its no better than SF3.


...will do for now!




  • The game is HUGE!
  • Loads of pixies and secrets to find
  • Challenging puzzles
  • Tedious at times
  • The shrines get easier as you go along rather than harder!



Reviewed by:Edgemaster
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