||Shining Force III ~Scenario 1~|
Dec. 11, 1997 (Japan)
Jul. 31, 1998 (USA)
Multi 3rd Person
> The Shining series has certainly become a benchmark for strategy RPGs, so my expectations for Shining Force III were very high. When I learned the Saturn iteration would span 3 scenarios, I almost blew a gasket with joy! I'm glad to report that Shining Force III (SFIII) excels in every way! The basic game remains the same as the prequels of this elite series (Shining Force, Shining Force CD, etc.). You must search the land for treasure, comrades, and clues, while defending yourself against wave after wave of hideous enemies! The strategic battles remain turn based, but the graphics have been upgraded entirely to 3D. In fact, everything about the game cries out, "Sega quality". Top that off with parallel story lines in Scenarios 2 and 3, and you get one heck of a long, intertwining game!GRAPHICS:
> The magic features many of the original elemental spells and a host of new ones. Only now, they're presented in full 3D, animated splendor. Light source shading, transparency, floating 3D -- you name it... SFIII has it, and it looks sweet! Another amazing feat is the fact that SFIII flows seamlessly between tactical 3D battlefields and cinematic 3D battle scenes (all with hardly noticeable loading)!
> Even though the game's polygon generated realms are not a technical benchmark, they get the job done with flying colors and animate ultra smooth at all times. Finally, the characters are split into various familiar classes: like soldier, knight, mage, monk, etc. Their on screen representations are sort of super-deformed, while their icons take on much more of a "Marvel" look.
> The battles are turn based, and full of strategic decisions. Items must be equipped, priests must be protected, rangers should fire first, topography must be considered, and pulling back is better than death. You have complete control of your forces. Once you input a command, it is carried out and the results are viewed. If you know winning is beyond reality, the means to transport back to the nearest church may be your only viable option. Your ultimate goal is to win each battle, thereby gaining experience, finding treasure, and earning money.
> Between battles, you spend most of your time exploring cities, talking to people, and making the necessary (and affordable) purchases. It's also a good time to seek characters who would join your force. Healing, raising the dead, curing the sick, saving, and advancing class are also on the list of non battle activities.
> The sound effects are excellent too, with some old ones and many new ones. There is some speech in the game, which is used during certain spells and techniques. Of course, the import version's speech is in high quality Japanese, while the US version utilizes mainly sub par voice acting. Oh well, at least SFIII was released here.