Shining Force CD: The Museum

This final chapter of the Sega CD remakes of the first two Shining Force Gaiden games, Shining Force CD: The Museum, is only accessible with a key item obtainable in Book #2 (again, it’s in pretty much the only well in that Book), and provides a bonus challenge for masochistic gamers.

Book #4 opens with a trip to a museum by Prince Nick and his allies, with the statues resembling most bosses from the first three Books coming to life, with the player consequentially facing nearly every boss encountered throughout the anthology. The basic battle system is still the same, though using Egress simply restarts the battle. The player must obtain supplemental experience from the final battle of Book #3, but even with levels raised to the point where characters don’t gain any more stat increases, the bonus chapter can be grueling, even on the easiest difficulty, and the bosses as with before tend to cheat and get extra turns.

Control isn’t too big a problem, with the ability to quit the battle and restart at the point where left off, and characters necessitate little to no management.

Book #4 has a pitiful excuse for the plotline, with this reviewer seeing the ending on The Video Game Museum (http://www.vgmuseum.com), and it doesn’t add any significant plotline to the Shining Force mythos, so players won’t miss much by skipping.

The music is still good, if recycled from the first three Books, although the sound effects tend to clash with the orchestrated tracks.

The graphics are probably the high point, in spite of some palette swaps of character sprites in battle, with a decent attention to detail as with before with bosses having believable dodge animations.

Win or lose, successful completion of the bonus chapter could take around an hour, although casual gamers will likely want to give up after the first try, especially if they’ve maxed the stats of the fixed party members they leveled in Book #3.

Overall, The Museum definitely isn’t worth playing, and exists solely for the sake of masochistic gamers to be gratified with the added challenge.

The Good:
+Nonproblematic control.
+Nice music.
+Good graphics.

The Bad:
-Borderline impossible.
-Excuse for plot.
-Recycled music.

The Bottom Line:
Not worth playing.

Score Breakdown:
Platform: Sega CD
Game Mechanics: 4/10
Controls: 5/10
Story: 1/10
Localization: 3/10
Music/Sound: 6/10
Graphics: 7/10
Lasting Appeal: 2/10
Difficulty: Borderline Impossible
Playing Time: ~1 hour

Overall: 4/10

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