If you've been waiting for a game wrapped in Sega's mediocre emulator that's finally worth buying, that day has come. Shining Force [$2.99] hit the App Store mere moments ago, and as mentioned in our preview yesterday, it's amazing how much the overall experience of playing these emulated games is improved when playing a slow-paced game that doesn't depend on emulator performance or precise controls. In said preview, I explained the basics of Shining Force:
Shining Force is a tactical RPG with turn-based battles that take place on square grids. Originally released in the USA in 1993, Shining Force is about as classic as you get when it comes to a Sega RPG. Not only has it been included in various classic game collections that Sega has released on numerous platforms over the years, but it also saw a remake in 2004 for the Gameboy Advance. This is the original Genesis version of the game, set in the land of Rune where you play a silent protagonist who recruits allies to the Shining Force to ultimately prevent the evil Darksol from resurrecting a Dark Dragon, destroying the world, and doing all those other things which have since become entirely cliche for RPG villains to do.
While Shining Force may seem a little basic if you haven't played it before and your first exposure to turn based strategy games was Final Fantasy Tactics or later games, Shining Force has everything it needs for a great old school RPG. Each character has their own class (and personality which is often revealed throughout the story) along with special abilities. As you battle your units level up, and my favorite feature of Shining Force always was that there never really is a game over. If your party falls in battle you retain all your experience earned and just try again. Of course there are all kinds of items to buy, treasure to find, gear to equip, and everything else you'd expect as well.
Surprisingly enough, this is the first emulated Genesis game on the App Store I can recommend without issue. Shining Force is an excellent classic RPG, and the turn based gameplay makes the touch controls extremely forgiving. It would have been nice to see Sega put a little more effort in to this game and either port the Gameboy Advance or Sega CD release, but I'm just glad they've moved on to RPG's instead of sticking with the classic lineup of action and arcade games. Now, how about Phantasy Star next, eh Sega?
International Link: Shining Force
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