Shin Force | Sega Saturn Review
Shin Force
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Shin Force ~ Saturn ~
 Burning Rangers
Sonic Team
1x CD
Feb. 26, 1998 (Japan)
Jun. 3, 1998 
3rd Person / Dynamic
3D Pad
Backup 33
     > What can I say... SONIC TEAM does it again!  First, they brought us NiGHTS for Saturn.  Now they bring us yet another excellent, original action title.  Burning Rangers is everything the DFPs say the Saturn is not capable of, period.  Sonic Team took the NiGHTS engine and revamped it to produce what will surely remain a benchmark achievement on the Saturn for some time (if not indefinitely).  The basic idea is to find your way through each level while rescuing survivors and extinguishing fires along the way. Simple, yet intriguing...  Don't forget to check out the CG intro, which plays like an anime flick!

     > There is nothing about the import game that will keep you from playing successfully.  The reason for the lower importability rating is that understanding the voice navigation is impossible, unless you speak Japanese.  As a bonus though, the import version includes a 3 inch CD which contains three sweet tunes from the soundtrack.

     > Like I said, a benchmark achievement for the Saturn.  Specifically, the 3D polygon engine rocks through the high color, light source shading, detailed bitmaps, transparencies, and ultra smooth action like no other game (in its era).  You'll explore huge buildings and even go for a swim or two.  The fires you'll encounter range from a camp fire to being completely engulfed in animated flames!!!  Throw in an occasional boss, and you get nonstop action throughout (complete with suspense to boot).  Wrap that up in a space age, futuristic setting, and you get one heck of a game for Saturn.  With the addition of this and other sweet 3D games to the Saturn library, I have to wonder how the Saturn got the reputation for not doing 3D...  But then it comes to me.
     > The control is excellent and easy to learn.  This should be a model for 3D action games.  Putting out fires is a matter of firing your laser, which supposedly engulfs the flames.  This action yields energy crystals, which are needed for your shield, and to generate a warp to rescue survivors.  You can also charge the weapon for a super blast, which doesn't release any crystals when extinguishing a fire.  You might get a continue every time you successfully rescue a survivor (nice touch), depending on how many crystals you have.  There are many doors on different levels which you must find, and maybe unlock.  You can also control your view by using the L and R buttons to rotate, or holding the Y button while using the D-pad to freely look around.  Finally, you can even make a call for help if you get lost via the voice navigation system.
     > Burning Ranger's music is excellent.  From the Sonic R type main theme to the well placed level tunes. The music creates the excitement and ambition you need to continue playing. The sound effects are excellent too. Everything in the game makes a sound. You'll hear fire cues, lasers, explosions, warnings, voices, and more.  Sonic Team even included a voice navigation system, which is quite helpful and impressive.
     > The Story Mode is the beef of this game.  You can choose between Shou Amabane (guy) and Tillis (babe) while playing.  Both are rookie fire fighters.  There's even a short tutorial when you begin a game, which helps greatly.  You'll traverse huge levels in search of survivors, and make Smokey the Bear proud while you're at it.  FUN is an understatement.
Bottom Line
     > It's too bad that so many people (that don't have a Saturn) will miss out on this one.  Burning Rangers is a clinic on how to make a 3D, 3rd person action title while utilizing as much power a console can muster.  It is easily the best, most original action title to hit consoles in 1998.  Pick it up IMMEDIATELY...
Overall: 9.8 | Graphics: 9.8 | Control: 9.5 | Sound: 9.8 | Fun: 10
~ Shinobi ~