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Spotlight: Shining Force: Resurrection of the Dark Dragon

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    Spotlight: Shining Force: Resurrection of the Dark Dragon

    Today's spotlight is on a game that I just completed last night. I've been playing it off and on for the past couple of weeks. I may go and do another playthrough as well since I now have the option of starting a New Game+ and keeping my collected cards. Anyway, the game I'm talking about is Shining Force: Resurrection of the Dark Dragon. The game was released on the Nintendo Gameboy Advance in 2004 by Atlus in North America. It was developed by Amusement Vision and Sega.

    The game is actually a remake of the original Shining Force for the Mega Drive/Genesis that came out in 1992. Like the original, Resurrection is a strategy RPG. It has you building up a party of warriors and fighting through a series of battles that coincide with key moments in the game's story. Each character has their own unique stats, even if some characters may share the same class, like Knights, Mages, or Priests, their abilities and progression will be different. This gives the characters a little more individuality, so you can find a group that best suits the way you like to play.

    Speaking of the story, that is probably the biggest improvement to the original. Both games are set in the world of Rune. Both tell the story of the Kingdom of Guardiana being invaded by the Kingdom of Runefaust, who are after the secret to "The Legacy of the Gods". Where Resurrection sets itself apart is that this premise has been greatly expanded. There is now an entirely new side story involving Princess Narsha of Runefaust who isn't too thrilled with what her father is up to. The reasons for this will become obvious quickly.

    Since the story was expanded, the game's translation was also completely redone, fixing a lot of the quirks and bad translations that were present in the original. They also made some nice changes to the character class names, now fully spelling them out instead of referring to them as four letter abbreviations. So instead of PLDN for instance, you have the name fully spelled out as Paladin. It's a small thing, sure, but it does add a little extra polish to the game.

    Along with the story and new characters coming as part of the side-story, an entirely new mechanic was added o the game n the form of Cards. Mawlock, the Cad Master eventually becomes playable. Instead of weapons or ings as equipment, he equips cards. He can have up to four cards equipped at once. He can then make use of the card's abilities in various ways. He can cast the ability by using the Effect command. He can Copy the card's ability, giving him the abilities of the character on the face of the card. He can also Imitate the character on the card's face. This amounts to him summoning a clone of that character. Handy to get yourself some extra attacks.

    Shining Force: Resurrection of the Dark Dragon also re-does all of the game's graphics. The game has a very unique look, with large super-deformed type characters on the battle map and detailed, very stylish looking animated characters during attack sequences. The music was also all redone to use the Gameboy Advances's sample-based audio. For the most part, it sounds quite good, and some digitized speech samples were also added in here and there. As far as the game's presentation goes, it's really not bad, though it does have quite a bright colour palette to work on the original Gameboy Advance's non-backlit screen.

    So why am I talking about this game here? Well, because it's got science-fiction and furry elements in it. The story might sound like a fantasy setting initially, but it doesn't take too long before the sci-fi comes into the mix. Then you have many of the races in the game, like Birdmen, Foxlings, Dragons, Centaurs, and others that very much fit the theme of our forums.

    This is a game that is worth playing. It takes the original Shining Force and improves and expands on it in good ways. If you still have a Gameboy Advance, you can find a copy of the game on eBay for under $20. If you don't, then emulating is probably the best way to go. I am hoping the Shining series will make a return to its turn-based roots one day, but for now, I've got the old titles to play through.
    Daryn's Signature

    “Just when you think humanity has found the limits of stupid, they go and ratchet up the standard by another notch.” - Bob