Shining Force CD: A New Challenge

Updated rereleases of games, particularly RPGs, have been around longer than most gamers think, as demonstrated by the Sonic Software Planning-developed and Sega-published Shining Force CD for the former console giant’s Sega CD addon, the two main games being remakes of the first two Shining Force Gaiden games on their portable Game Gear system. Completing both remakes unlocks a third chapter, Shining Force CD: A New Challenge, which is a short yet sweet conclusion to the saga of Prince Nick of Cypress, protagonist of the first Book and subcharacter in the second.

Book #3 opens with the impending coronation of Prince Nick as King of Cypress, interrupted when Queen Anri of Gardiana, attending the crowning, is kidnapped again, and a new group of villains seeks to test Nick to see if he’s worthy of the throne. Like its preceding Books, the third doesn’t feature much in the area of character development, particularly for the new antagonists, although it decently glues the game together.

The tactical battle system is pretty much the same, not a bad thing, except for the lack of a turn order meter and the tendency of boss units to get multiple turns within the same frame of one another. At least on the easiest difficulty setting, the gameplay never feels terribly cheap, and is largely beatable depending upon the player’s twelve-character party. Overall, a good combat engine.

As with the prior Books, it’s pretty much impossible to get lost, although maintaining characters and shopping warrants plenty of confirmations and dialogues, something that future generations of RPGs would largely phase out, with a few exceptions (such as the Dragon Quest pantheon).

The soundtrack contains old tracks from previous Books and new ones, such as an oriental-style version of the overworld battle theme, which sound good, although the primitive sounds retained from Genesis Shining Force titles abound. There’s also a snippet of voicework after the player completes the Book, which is actually pretty good for the time.

The graphics also still look nice, in spite of palette-swapped units in the battle scenes, and pretty much the same visual style as prior Books.

Finally, the book lasts for six battles.

Overall, A New Challenge is a good conclusion to the saga of Prince Nick, with players that picked up a particular item in Book #2 able to access a fourth book that’s pretty much playable for giggles (hint, the item’s in a well, again). The Sega tactical series would receive one more Gaiden game for the Game Gear, Final Conflict, before the end of the system’s timeframe.

The Good:
+Solid tactical gameplay with large playable cast.
+Impossible to get lost.
+Nice music.
+Great visuals.
+Multiple difficulties adds replayability.

The Bad:
-Endless confirmations when shopping and maintaining characters.
-Pretty much only Nick is further developed.
-Weak localization.
-Some primitive sounds.
-No visual changes.

The Bottom Line:
An enjoyable additional Book.

Score Breakdown:
Platform: Sega CD
Game Mechanics: 8/10
Controls: 7/10
Story: 6/10
Localization: 5/10
Music/Sound: 8/10
Graphics: 8/10
Lasting Appeal: 9/10
Difficulty: Adjustable
Playing Time: 6 battles

Overall: 7.5/10

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License