GameSpite Issue 11.4: Level-grinding for love

I’m still obsessing over the book project, at least when the girlfriend isn’t forcing me to be all social and junk. It’s basically just down to formatting two last articles and creating images for the whole affair. The limited program I’m using makes simple image galleries impossible — that sample I posted was a total kludge — but I’m going to fudge it and do my best to come up with something interesting and attractive. In the meantime, here’s the wrap-up for the affectionate Issue 11. Which is to say, more grist for the inevitable GameSpite Year Two, Vol. 2 book:

Shining Force II
MIghtyblue continues the theme of love with a fond reminiscence on his first childhood love, a winsome strategy RPG called “Shining Force II.” Please play soft piano music as you read this through a gauzy haze of nostalgia. I’ve already saved you some trouble by sepia-tinting the website to more effectively mimic a montage of remembrance.
Persona 3
If the previous article was a chaste memory of a boyhood crush, Calorie Mate’s write-up of Persona 3 is downright saucy. Knickers are strewn across furniture; heavy petting may be involved. You might want to change out that hazy filter for one more akin to a mosiac, is what I’m saying. Please do not let children read this article without talking to them about the facts of life first.

Edit: Holy crap, this was GameSpite’s 1000th blog post. PARTY TIME

10 thoughts on “GameSpite Issue 11.4: Level-grinding for love

  1. I will tell you, Mightyblue, that I too loved Shining Force II a helluva lot back when I had a Genesis. I also had Shining Force II while my friends had Playstations and N64s, at least for a while anyway. And honestly? I was okay with it – the game hits all the right marks. To this day, it is my favorite SRPG of all time, and I miss the simplicity it brought to the genre, like you do.

    Dammit, it’s like I’m summarizing your article. I can’t help it though, I feel the same way on almost every point you made.

    I just wish Sega (or Camelot, or whoever the hell these people are now) would make another PROPER Shining game.

  2. Ahhh…Shining Force II. I remember playing that for the first time shortly after getting my JVC X’Eye for Christmas 1994 or maybe 95 (the US release of WonderMega II a licensed 3rd party Genesis/SEGA CD combo).

    Anyways a couple friends and I rented Shining Force II and proceeded to play it for more hours than I can remember. One of my buddies didn’t even go to sleep that night to keep playing. Good times, and I eventually was able to snag new copies of Shining Force I+II for about $30 total. I think I ultimately prefer Shining Force’s take on the strategy genre to some of the stricter games. No permadeath + in-battle saves + consequence free retreat always meant that you never were completely screwed in the game. Plus Shining Force II basically had a mini-Gamera as a character. It doesn’t get more awesome than that!

    I think the world would be a better place with a DS compilation of the first 2 Genesis games and the GameGear/SEGA CD ones. Or a rerelease of Shining Force III for the DS which includes all 3 chapters in English (the games which caused me to mod my Saturn in the first place, and I still remember how awesome it was that Camelot allowed people in the USA to mail away for the bonus battle/resource disc).

  3. I liked the first Shining Force, but when I played the second one, I found myself exclaiming, hey!–this isn’t change I can believe in! It’s more of the same! Which I suppose isn’t a terrible thing in this case, but I was kind of done with the formula after SFI. Although I did play and enjoy Sword of Hayja.

  4. For me, the most interesting thing about Shining Force is what they tried with the AI. Every other TRPG out there will, generally speaking, feature an enemy AI that is either apathetic (Disgaea), or generally do sound risk assessment math, trying to play as a human player would (let’s say FFT). The Shining Force though actively keep units together in little clumps until one of your units comes close enough for the whole clump to hit them in one round.

    It totally doesn’t work mind you. I remember one particular battle in one of the first two games where a group of zombies in a mountain range were so slow that they wouldn’t attack a mage 3 spaces away that was just slaughtering them with area spells until there was only one left, but it’s still a different approach, which requires you to adapt strategies accordingly, and we don’t see that enough. Really, the only other example I can name is Vanguard Bandits, where facing is astoundingly important.

  5. Well, if you speak Japanese or have a Gamegear flashcart (if such a thing exists), anyway.

    Other good reasons:
    Crystal Warriors
    Defenders of Oasis

    …and that’s about all I can think of. But Crystal Warriors especially is actually really, really great.

  6. Speaking of Game Gear, I thought it would be fun to hear a Retronauts centered around all of the pre-GBA handhelds.

  7. Quick correction, but Climax didn’t develop Shining Force II… they only worked on Shining in the Darkness and the original Shining Force (well, and it’s GBA remake).

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