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Shining Force: SEGA Genesis vs My GBA Nostalgia

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Written by   91
3 months ago

"This is not a review, but could be!" -- AHMD.

"Shining Force." A game I played and finished with my brother many years ago when we emulated the GBA version. I remember using a walkthrough and struggling to understand the story since when we played it, our English wasn't very good.

The art of the game was gorgeous. What stood out to me the most while playing the GBA version was the battle screen. Like many Tactical RPGs, the battles are fought on a grid, but when a character attacks, the screen shows a close-up of the battle.

Shining Force is tropey, but it's also the first time I saw some tropes I like in an RPG, as the trope of two siblings fighting on different sides of the war.

Playing The Sega Genesis Version

Shining Force series is one of the three reasons I decided to get the Sega Genesis Classics on Nintendo Switch. I wanted to play it again, then play the sequel and maybe write an article or two about them.

Currently, I'm at chapter 3 of the story and I didn't use a guide this time, so I missed a few allies we recruited in the GBA version, (ones that I know are also in this version of the game.) I also think the game is harder than I remember but I haven't checked version differences to know if it's because I'm playing the original.

I already promoted the main character which I named "AHMD." (His canon name is Max, but I forgot that until I researched stuff while writing this article, he's AHMD for now!)

I managed to recruit Gong at least. He's one of the characters that could be missed and he's a favorite character of mine. Though, he seems weaker than I remembered, whether that's a difference between the versions or I just remembered wrong...

By the time chapter 2 ended, I was playing the battles to level up and leave before the battle ends. In Shining Force, if you lose the battle, you lose half of your money, but you can use a spell or an item to run away from the battle. In both cases, you retain the experience your characters have gained. As battles have become harder, I started abusing this system, especially for my under-leveled characters.

As of now, my best characters are the main protagonist, (of course,) the knight Mae, the wizards' Tao & Anri. The archer Hans. I'm close to the point of recruiting Zylo who's one of my top favorites when I played the GBA version...

The original Shining Force on SEGA and the GBA version had totally different art styles. I liked both art styles so I can't pick a favorite for now. I think it says something about the art direction of the GBA version, that it can compete with an art style designed for a bigger screen!

I also noticed that the GBA had many additions over this version, including the character that uses cards and all the game systems that came with him. (I didn't like him very much, so I don't really mind.) The GBA had a side story between the main chapters that included that character and two of my top characters. This side story isn't in the original SEGA version I'm currently playing.

The player character is a silent protagonist in the SEGA version, but he talks in the GBA version. The fact that he talks in that version was used for a major plot point, so I don't know, is that also in the original story?

What do you think?

Out of Shining series, I believe Shining Force is the best game, but I only played a few Shining titles, so my opinion doesn't hold value yet. *I hope to play Shining Force II soon. (I already have it in the same Sega Genesis Classics Collection.)

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Written by   91
3 months ago
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