Shining Force™ II
It's a dark and stormy night in the kingdom of Granseal when a thief steals two jewels from the Tower of the Ancients. He sets in motion strange events that lead to the resurrection of Zeon, the Devil King. Granseal's king falls sick, the princess is kidnapped, and a door to Arc Valley, the Devil King's home, is opened. The young swordsman, Bowie, realizing the grave danger Granseal faces, must lead the Shining Force to find the Holy Sword and the stolen jewels, and protect Granseal against the invading armies of Zeon
This brings some good old memories <3Bynn | June 10, 2013 | See all Bynn's reviews »
What is there to say about Shinnig Force 2... This game draws out some good memories, playing it with my brother when we were kids, ragequitting when one of our units died, gasping at the story developing before our eyes, my goodnes, those were good days.
A Darker And More Difficult Journey, But Also More FulfillingCrimsonWizard | Feb. 7, 2013 | See all CrimsonWizard's reviews »
Sega's second Strategy RPG opens up many years after the conflict of the original game, dropping us off into a moody and ominous storm brewing above an ancient seal within an old tower. Due to the greed of those who knew no better, the magical lock is broken, allowing the Devil King Zeon and his minions to be revived. Unlike Shining Force 1 which sent a bunch of kids out to save the world after a few guards were slaughtered, Shining Force 2 is happy to demonstrate why your enemies are a threat. It isn't long before your happy life at the kingdom of Granseal is destroyed with demonic possessions, the princess being kidnapped, and finally the island kingdom itself has to be evacuated from the hellish influence.
Thus, Shining Force 2 gives us a pretty good story. It isn't just a struggle against bad guys, but you're actually fighting to get your home back and to stop this threat. However, the game won't make it easy, with the foes and missions taking a notch up in difficulty. While the original conventions of Shining Force 1 still apply with units taking turns on a square grid, you'll find you'll need better strategies to win and survive the stronger attacks. Thankfully, the game also offers more options in terms of characters and classes. While old standbys such as the centaurs and bird-men return, new types of characters such as an auto-reviving phoenix and high defense tortoise can be recruited now. In addition, most characters can now choose between two classes to promote to once they reach Level 20, letting you craft a team more to your liking. You'll have plenty of time to figure out the best balance too thanks to Shining Force II's longer campaign.
Admittedly, the game is still fairly lighthearted like Shining Force 1, but it's nice to see the creators take a more serious approach with the story, while still keeping the core mechanics which made the original a classic. You'll be left wanting to know what happens next, even with the tougher threats in your way. For the price you're paying, you're getting a very good bargain for one of the greatest Mega Drive RPGs, and is highly recommended, especially for those who are a fan of games such as Fire Emblem or X-COM: Enemy Unknown.
Sally forthemperor20 | March 24, 2012 | See all emperor20's reviews »
What starts as simple robbery, turns into a war to fight an ancient evil. You lead a group of fantasy fare kids at the start, which grows into an army equipped with tanks and summoning gods. There are multiple difficulties to pick from which adds greatly to the replay value.
Enemy AI is much better this time around and some battles trigger events to mix things up. Your troops get a boost of hp and magic isn't so overwhelming that it kills half your force in one hit. That only means melee combat is now more dangerous and enemies take better advantage of smaller and better made maps. Levels guarantee stat gains and special items can take certain classes into an alternate path.
The character designs are not that much to look at until they get promoted from feeble rookies. The battle sprites look great and so is the attack animations. You can visit most places you traveled earlier and find hidden treasures in the oddest places. There is hidden codes you can input which changes the pacing of the game.
Second best RPG of it's system. :)Aladar | June 27, 2011 | See all Aladar's reviews »
First of all, I have to admit, I didn't finish this game.. but what I did play, I really liked!
I'm a big oldschool gaming fan, particularly of the 16bit RPGs, so when I found this game, I knew I just have to try it - and I wasn't disappointed. While the graphics are not the best that Sega's little box of awesome could produce (I particularly disliked the portraits - they were looking a little too 'childish' to me, as weird as that sounds), it didn't matter - at least to me - because of that nice, oldschool feeling the game has.
The story, admittedly, didn't interest me much. Your opinions may, of course, differ, but I've found it a little bit too basic and the dialogues too.. bland. It just kind of lacked the epicness of some of it's brethrens that I am used to - particularly of Final Fantasy, or, if we have to stay on the same system, Phantasy Star. While those have a story where I actually care about both the characters and the world, I played this just for the sake of, well, the gameplay.
Which already says something about the gameplay - It's really fun! Surprisingly, this game doesn't use the usual fight system you can be used to from a lot of other console RPGs, but an interesting turn-by-turn overhead strategy system.. if that doesn't make sense, think Final Fantasy Tactics. There are a lot of great characters to play with, and a lot of nice spells to use. It's worth nothing that you get little to none random battles in this game as well, so you can enjoy the story and progress further without hundreds of random battles in your way.
All in all, I'd say this was Genesis' second best RPG - right after the brilliant Phantasy Star 4 - so, it's definitely worth getting!
A blast from the pastGAMERamble | April 8, 2011 | See all GAMERamble's reviews »
The kingdom of Granseal in the land of Rune existed in peace and harmony. That is until a thief steals the ancient gems of light and dark that seals a great evil inside the tower. With the jewels removed the king of devils awakens and proceed to wreak havoc across the land. Still confined to the valley of the tower his power is growing and the people are forced to flee their island to make a new home on the mainland. You take control of the main character who has come in possession of the jewels. This makes you a prime target for the devil king, known as Zeon to destroy. Teaming up with friends and allies along the way though you start to assemble the legendary Shining Force that must put an end to this evil once and for all.
And that is Shining Force 2's story in a nutshell. To say any more would spoil some very cool plot elements and besides there isn't enough time or space to fully explain the whole intriguing story. Suffice to say this game is very plot driven and shows that even if your story isn't all that original it can still be gripping if you throw in enough plot twists and unexpected events. If you haven't guessed by now Shining Force 2 is a role playing game and it seems that the SNES didn'tt have all the best Rpg's after all. The graphics in the game might not strike you as particularly excellent, but all the characters are nicely animated and there are loads of cool touches everywhere. All the characters are drawn in a very nice manga kind of way and the enemies also show some imagination in their designs. The main part of the game takes place in the towns and caves of the gameworld and everything can be searched for new items or a special metal known as mithril. Each town is also populated by loads of characters that can either help you with information or join you on your quest. This is a fantasy game so don't expect just humans to populate the world. You'll meet everyone from bird people, dwarves, elves, centaurs and all the other types of characters you'd expect in such a world. You'll also spend some time exploring the gameworld on a larger scale map and this is where you search for the towns or caves to further your adventures. The game didn't have the benefit of mode 7 like the SNES has so everything is basically flat, but in some areas there are some nice use of parallax to give the feeling of depth. This is especially evident when fighting on areas like cliffs or bridges over lava below.
The sound and music in the game borders on superb. Mostly it's your usual Rpg fare, but there are times when a really cool melody strikes up, usually at vital plot junctions or important scenes. The sound effects could possible have used a bit more punch, but their not bad either. Shining Force 2's best element though is it's gameplay. This is one game that sucks you in and never lets up until the end many hours later. It's almost impossible to put the game down until you know what's going to happen next or what your next goal is. While you're not led through the gameworld by the hand you'll rarely spend time wandering aimlessly about not knowing to do. It's usually a matter of knowing exactly where to go or do but not knowing how to get there or accomplish it. Another excellent point is the combat. It seems that someone at Sega has also realised that random combat every two steps can get a wee bit tedious and as such there is virtually no random combat in this game. Instead you get scripted battles at certain vital areas that has to be completed before you can continue. Combat itself is also a joy to behold and with it's large amount of characters on both sides can get very long and involving. With the loads of character classes on your team combat is rarely dull and the enemies are also quite devious. Later on it becomes a real headache to decide who to keep on your team and who to retire to the background because there are so much cool characters that join your force. After battle all the characters that survived gets fully healed which eliminates those annoying moments after a serous battle that you have to limp back to the nearest town with one character that only has one hit point left. Characters that were killed in battle still has to see a priest to be revived so don't get to complacent. With loads of stats to improve and a wide variety of characters and weapons this is a Rpg heaven. There are also lots of unique items that can help you and cursed weapons that can hinder you. It would have been nice if your characters could equip different types of armour, but I'm just being picky here. The game gets really tough towards the end and battles can last quite a while, but by then you'll be so engrossed in the game you won't stop playing even after getting killed for the hundredth time. This is one of those classic game that once you start playing you will complete it no matter what. Possible the greatest Rpg on the Megadrive and one of the best on all systems. If you somehow managed to miss out on this gem back in the day then there really is no excuse not to pick it up now. The emulation is good and the gameplay stands up to this day.