Shining in the Darkness™
Dark Sol has vowed to reign over the enchanted Kingdom of Thornwood, and only you can stop him. Find the powerful Arms of Light and battle the deadly beasts that keep your people desperate and starving in this epic journey for peace. Roaming the dark Labyrinth, you'll seek out enemies and collect weapons, all of which will help you pass the test of the Ancients and become a shining knight. Get into the adventure with a stunning 3-D perspective, amazing cinematic views and fast-paced scrolling. You'll move from battle to battle, solving puzzles and discovering secret items in this engrossing struggle between good and evil.
Why Does This Slime Hate Me So Much?CrimsonWizard | Feb. 1, 2013 | See all CrimsonWizard's reviews »
Shining in the Darkness is the semi-predecessor to the Shining Force series, linked by the antagonist Dark Sol causing trouble in both for no apparent reason other than he's the bad guy. Unlike Shining Force however which does have a story that is told here and there, Shining in the Darkness is a dungeon crawling game. You have an introduction and a small town with people to talk to, and that's about it for dialogue.
For the game itself, you must delve deep into stone crafted dungeon in a first person perspective, fighting monsters and leveling up to reach Dark Sol. However, this is a very old fashioned game, with brutal enemies that will force you to retreat often to heal, making grinding a real chore. It also forces you to make or print out your own map, making it nearly impossible to progress without some paper thanks to the dungeon's unending passages of similar bricks.
I just can't recommend this one, even to fans of the genre. For fans of Shining Force, they'll be annoyed by the different style of game and the stiff difficulty. For fans of dungeon crawlers, this one is very basic and has little story to offer. And for fans of RPGs, there are games that don't force you to grind nearly as much. There are fun first person dungeon crawlers out there, the recent Legend of Grimrock, the classic Dungeon Master, or even some of the Shin Megami Tensei games would all be better choices of your time and money. That said, if you are genuinely curious or have more patience for so little, then it is at least cheap.
Predecessor to greatness.psymantis | April 5, 2011 | See all psymantis's reviews »
This game appears in the listings when bought after Shining Force 1 and 2 but is their prequel. As a result it is inferior to both but is useful to see where the series started. The gameplay is all first person and turn paced unlike it's third person hex-based offspring. The gameplay is fun but suffers from a lack of exploration.
The gameplay consists of entering a dungeon, progressing so far then leaving to heal. There isn't much variety and the story is brief. It feels very claustrophobic compared to the later games but I'd recommend playing if you want to know the history of the games series or to experience events described in Shining Force. The game itself takes place 1000 years before Shining Force so they don't directly follow on but they are linked.
The graphics in the game are good but dated, unsurprisingly since it's a Megadrive game, but they can be 'improved'. I use the quotation marks because there is an option to automatically alter the graphics which makes them look as if they are hand drawn. I find it easier on the eyes but someone else may not. Without this they are very pixellated due to the limitations of the original system. It's a very cheap game so it's worth a purchase and is still enjoyable. It's inferior to it's sequels so should be played before but I believe there's enough enjoyment to be had to justify a purchase.