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Monday, May 23, 2016

On Shining Force, the lost strategy series


Retro reflections by Nick H.

While strategy games have been around for about as long as games have, one title stands out to me as the first I played on that was a strategy/role-playing hybrid. When Shining Force released on the SEGA Genesis back in 1993 in North America, the game was unlike anything I had ever played before, and it introduced me to a genre that ranks among my favourites to this day.

When you ask someone about the SRPG genre, they usually think of Nintendo's storied Fire Emblem franchise. The most recent release was a huge hit for Nintendo. However, early on those games released only in Japan and only later in the series found their way to North America. Other titles like Warsong captured my imagination and brought something new to the table in the form mercenary troops that helped to create a better approximation of warfare due to a greater number of units.

It amazes me that while Fire Emblem is more popular than ever, and even the languishing Warsong/Langrisser series was able to churn out a mediocre title recently, there has been no sign of Shining Force returning to grace our screens. Sure, there was an iOS re-release, and you can find Shining Force and Shining Force II on Steam and in retro collections here and there. However, we have not had a proper new entry into the series in a very long time, and because of that, now seems like the perfect time to resurrect Shining Force.

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On Shining Force, the lost strategy series
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