> Shining Force CD is actually four games (books) in one.
The first two books, Shining Force Gaiden I&II, have
the same story line as their corresponding Game Gear versions.
The second two books, which are exclusive to Sega CD, carry
on with the story (the fourth book being hidden). Unfortunately, only one
of the the above two books was released in America, "Shining Force:
The Sword of Hajya" (Game Gear, Gaiden II, 1994). "Shining
Force Gaiden: Final Conflict" (Game Gear, 1995) takes place between
Force and Shining Force II, and is a Game Gear
title that's only available in Japan.
> Books 1 and 2 are available from the start. Book 3 is unlocked by completing
Books 1 and 2, and character stats can be carried over by saving on a back-up
RAM cartridge. Book 4 is unlocked by completing Books 1-3 and finding a
"Museum Ticket" in battle #5 (search the wells) of Book 2. Character stats
from Book 3 can be carried over to Book 4 by saving on a back-up RAM cartridge
> Naturally graphics and music are greatly upgraded over the Game
Gear originals. Anyway, Shining Force CD remains
true to the series, with emphasis on hex, turn based battles. Of course,
there's some talking, searching, and shopping to spice things up. (Book
1) The Ambassador of Cypress, Woldol, has enchanted Queen Anri, so the
player (Nick) must lead the Guardiana forces on a rescue mission. (Book
2) The Forces of Cypress and Guardiana must fight the nation of Iom to
retain control of "The Sword of Hajya". (Book 3) Taking the role of Nick
again, the player must lead the Cypress and Guardiana Forces to rescue
Queen Anri from her captor, Dava. (Book 4) Nick and his comrads visit the
museum in Cypress when the exhibits of Nick's boss battles come to life
and must be defeated!
> The basic formula hasn't changed since the first Shining Force
game, except that there are no towns to go searching in now. However, there
are plenty of new characters to find, control, and fight against in Shining
Force CD. The main attraction, graphically, is still the various
magic effects one sees during battles (these improve with experience and
class). As usual, the view is top/down during most of the game, and switches
to a side view for the battle animations. The graphic interface is simple,
familiar, and practical.
> The control scheme is unchanged (thankfully)... I mean, why change a
good thing? Everything one does is menu driven and easy to perform. As
in the previous iterations, the game follows a linear story line, so getting
lost isn't a problem. Basically, the player has to buy weapons/items, listen
to the story in camp, manage equipment/items, select a Force (team), and
engage in strategic battle(s). The player must defeat the opposing Force
in order to advance the storyline. All the while gaining experience, levels,
equipment, magic, and new members. Part of the challenge is trying to keep
one's entire Force at, or about the same level -- that way, nobody falls
behind in usefulness.
> Shining Force CD's soundtrack is hands down the best of
the 16-bit series, and gives Shining Force III a run for
its money. It's filled with inspiring orchestral masterpieces, albeit a
little repetitive. Anyway, I own the official soundtrack (Symphonic
Suite the Another Story of Shining Force), and listen to it often.
> The sound effects are the best in the 16-bit series as well. They are
largely the same as their cartridge cousins, only now they sound even better,
thanks to the advanced Sega CD sound capabilities. Maybe
it's just being coupled with an amazing soundtrack?
> Play through four games in one. Forget all the searching, wandering,
and endless talking. Command up to 12 characters in strategic, turn based
battles with magic galore! Find hidden characters throughout more than
50 battles, which will take the player many hours to complete. Level up
members of the Force, promote them, and learn increasingly powerful and
impressive magic. Simply said, Shining Force CD is the best
16 bit strategy/RPG video game you can find!
> Take the best strategy/RPG series... Shining Force... Make
it more than twice as long as usual... Add new magic effects, locales,
and characters... Compose a wonderful soundtrack for it... And you get
Shining Force CD! It's my favorite 16-bit Shining Force
game because it's straight forward, lengthy, loaded with characters, and
the music is timeless. This video game is very hard to find, and well worth
the price. Good luck!
|Overall: 9.5 | Graphics:
8.5 | Control: 9.6 | Sound: 10 | Fun: 10