New Shining Force screenshots

Thank God the rumors of the new Shining Force for the Playstation 2 being 2D were greatly exaggerated. As you can see, not only is the game 3D, but the graphics are quite sharp, and dare I say, a sight to behold. The flowing waterfall shown here reminds me of one of the battles in Shining Force III Scenario 1. By all accounts, the game is shaping up to be something quite special thanks to Sega’s newfound desire to turn the Shining series into its new flagship series of RPGs.

I’m not sure what to make of this in-game screenshot, but it seems like a number of characters are attacking each other simultaneously. The introduction of a new battle system has met a hell of a lot of criticism among older fans of the series. But of course, you already knew that. :slight_smile:

To be completely honest, I’m still annoyed with Sega’s handling of the Shining series. After hearing the news of Sega’s plans to change the battle system in the new Shining Force game for the Playstation 2, I have been having doubts as to whether or not the game will live up to my expectations. Sega must think that if it clones a popular battle system from another popular Japanese RPG, then the game is destined to succeed where other RPGs that have clung to old-school battle systems have failed; when in truth, all Sega needed to do was reintroduce the old Shining Force battle system to a market where Strategy/RPGs have grown increasingly popular.

I’m trying to keep an open mind here, however, because changing the old battle system could be for the best. I wouldn’t be surprised if the new Shining Force used a modified Riglord Saga battle system; in which case, I would love the game to death. The artwork for the new Shining Force is being drawn/rendered by Yuriko Nishiyama who is renowned for her work on the manga Dragon Voice. On top of that, the music for Shining Tears and the new Shining Force is being composed by Shiro Sagisu, the composer for Neon Genesis Evangelion. Sega is sparing no expense in the creation of these two new RPGs, or so it seems. In my humble opinion, Sega didn’t need to hire outside talent when it has such a large pool of talent it can tap at home already, but I’m not complaining.

Anyone who knows me will know that I will never forgive Sega for not translating the entire Shining Force III trilogy into English. If anyone is looking for a reason to hate Sega, they needn’t look any further than the Saturn. However, if all goes as planned, the new Shining Force has the potential to redeem Sega in the eyes of its fans. I just hope that Sega hasn’t forgotten about us.

Does anyone else have any thoughts on this subject that they’d like to share with the rest of us?

I have to admit that I’ve only played Shining In the Darkness and Shining Force 1.

I’m going to have to buy the others soon and then get a PS2 to play that.

Wasn’t that already established in the other SFIV thread, the screens you posted there with the “Artwork” link were showing 3Dgfx as well… In fact it’s the same screenshots except put in a poster type collage.

Also how is having “a new gameplay mode where more than 20 characters can clash simultaneously.” sounding similar to cloning “a popular battle system from another popular Japanese RPG”?
Don’t you think it’s way too early to be so bitter about it?

The waterfall screenshot does indeed look great. It definitely looks like it belongs in the Shining Force universe.

As for the others… they look alright, even though they’re different, but it’s still too early to tell how the gameplay will work at this point. The art style seems fine as far as I’m concerned (from what we’ve seen of it so far). Different, and not necessarily better, but not bad.

I have no problem with Sega trying something new (some creativity is needed in Japanese RPGs at the moment anyway) so long as it’s still a fun game and doesn’t slip too far away from the series’ roots. Not many people complained when Panzer Dragoon Saga was an RPG instead of a shooter, and I don’t think that the change is going to be that big. If anything, the game’s storyline will be biggest concern… will it alienate fans of the Megadrive/Saturn Shining games?

Controlling twenty characters at once is likely to require some sort of turn-based combat (unless it’s a RTS, which I think is extremely unlikely…). A Final Fantasy type battle system simply wouldn’t work with twenty characters on the screen at once. Even if it’s quite different from previous “Force” installments, I don’t have a problem with them using the word Force in the title if it’s still a great SRPG… if Sega can sell more copies that way, rather than calling it Shining something-else, then more power to them. Throughout the years Sega have been a creative company, and so long as they don’t completely bastardize the Shining Force series, I’m okay with them using the Shining Force name to make a original SRPG that otherwise may not have been noticed.

I guess we shall have to wait and see the footage at TGS before making any proper judgments.


Wasn’t that already established in the other SFIV thread, the screens you posted there with the “Artwork” link were showing 3Dgfx as well… In fact it’s the same screenshots except put in a poster type collage.

Also how is having “a new gameplay mode where more than 20 characters can clash simultaneously.” sounding similar to cloning “a popular battle system from another popular Japanese RPG”?
Don’t you think it’s way too early to be so bitter about it?[/quote]

No, I don’t, and you will find that I shall stick to my guns on the topic. Also, “bitter” is far too strong a word. I simply feel that replacing the old battle system in the new Shining Force isn’t the best idea in the world when the traditional battle system worked so well in the older Shining Force games. However, believe me when I say that I’m trying to keep an open mind about the game…

The game being 3D is old news, but I still felt compelled to share my view on it anyway. Judging from Shining Force III, taking the Shining Force series into the 3D realm was always a step in the right direction. And yes, these are enlarged versions of screenshots we’ve all seen before. So what? These screenshots are infinitely clearer than the smaller ones I provided before if you ask me.

The new battle system is likely to be like Disgaea/FFTA.

Eh, isn’t that how the old battle system was? I haven’t played Disgaea but FFT and FFTA are pretty much in the same style as the older Shining Force games, ie like most every Turn Based Strategy/RPG. Move your units in the battle “arena’s” tiles according to their “move” ability and the terrain, attack ppl depending on the range of your units’ attacks etc…
There are fundamental differences between SF and FFT but the description “a new gameplay mode where more than 20 characters can clash simultaneously” doesn’t hint at anything similar to FFT’s features at all…

And, Geoffrey I didn’t tell you to not be excited about the game being 3D, you just made it sound like you only now realised it’s 3D with all the 2D rumours talk, that’s all.

With all due respect to you, Geoffrey, I do think that you’re being rather unfair in commencing condemning the game’s battle system when we are only aware of the most minute amount of information on the subject - a single ambiguous sentence and a pair of unannotated screenshots don’t constitute much evidence for anything.

From what scant information we have, the battles could be realised in any number of ways - one criticism I would levy at Shining Force’s battle system was that it felt slightly awkward at times to have a dozen men warring over a battlefield that could be as many as fifty miles in breadth - now, for instance, each of your heroes could be the leaders of a cohort of lesser soldiers for more graphically impressive and contextually plausible clashes which in my mind seems to be quite a sensible rationalisation. Of course, it might not be that at all - we don’t know! “20+ characters” might mean nothing’s changed - you’ll notice that more than twenty sprites could feature on one Shining Force battlefield. Alternatively, the heroes could pause in between bouts to teach the player how to line dance to the Batman theme tune. Maybe they toss cold steak-and-kidney pies at each other as special attacks. Maybe battle advice is given by a blue doll hovering on small rotorblades with a retarded voice-over. Maybe playing the game will be recognised by the Pope as a spiritual activity. We don’t know.

I myself am going to wait until the first demonstrations arrive before I pass judgement, and in any circumstance I applaud Sega for appearing to be finding a way to adapt the battles - remember that they didn’t acquire their reputation for innovation for nothing, or I suppose when I’ve been playing NiGHTS Into Dreams… It’s actually been nothing but a Quake session? :stuck_out_tongue:

I wouldn’t panic about Sega ‘ruining’ the Shining Force character - they did oversee the games, after all! And considering the thousandfold improvement Shining Tears II was over Shining Tears I, I’d say any bugs in the system have been ironed out.

In brief, we should wait for more authoritative information before commenting on the game. I thought none of us here appreciated the marketing-driven inanity of a different company which possesses a four-letter name and also begins with S…

Diverting slightly - Geoffrey, I can understand and empathise with your resentment over the lack of translations for Shining Force III. It wounded me grievously, and still does. BUT, you must surely acknowledge that translations cost money, and at that time money was something that Sega didn’t have very much of. It wasn’t ‘abadonment’ of the West - Sega simply couldn’t afford it! The same applies to the sad saga of Grandia. So, “not forgiving Sega” for the unfortunate episode seems unduly harsh.

Those screen shots in my opinion look great, the vivid use of color reminds me of SoA for some some reason. The battle system could change in any number of ways, to me change could be a good thing.

It is a relief that the game is 3D, if it were not I believe it might have been confused too much with Shining Tears. If a history of Sega reveals one thing, it’s that they are are creative and unique, and that in the end we will all enjoy the game which will be delivered.

[size=59]But what do I know?[/size]

I like that they’re working on it, but I’m not going to obsess over it until it’s much closer to release time. As long as it’s in development, things can and more than likely will change based on the needs of the development cycle. The pictures do look sharp, but for all I know they could be complete and utter mock-ups with no game engine behind them whatsoever.

I remember watching the Castlevania: Lament of Innocence E3 trailer on my computer. After I got the game, I rewatched the trailer out of curiosity. The game mechanics featured in the trailer were not the same ones in the actual release of the game!

So things change and I think it’s too early to get worked up over what may or may not be in the final product.

I’ve been debating with myself on whether I should respond to this post or not since people seem to hate me for drawing their attention to what I perceive as an injustice. Even Sega fans defend Sega’s decision to deprive us of the complete Shining Force III trilogy, which is something I can never understand because it’s one of the best RPGs Sega has ever published. However, after reminding myself that I couldn’t care less about how others view me personally, I’ve decided to write a response anyway:

Many of the Saturn’s best games never left the shores of Japan all throughout the Saturn’s lifespan (not just towards the end of its lifespan). They were doomed to rot there forevermore from the moment they were finished (games like the sequel to Riglord Saga). The notion of there not being a market for RPGs in America and Europe is laughable, yet that very notion was used as the primary excuse for not bringing many Saturn RPGs to our shores. How can you even begin to defend that? In an ironic twist of fate, it took Sony – a much despised name among Sega fans – to make many Japanese developers wake up and realise that there was indeed a viable market for RPGs outside of Japan much to the chagrin of Bernie Stolar who never believed there was. Needless to say, he was a fool.

While Sony aimed to create a global market for video games, Sega was fixated on Japan. Sega practically abandoned the western markets as soon as the Saturn rose to the heights of popularity in Japan. Sega of Japan refused to listen to Sega of America’s Tom Kalinskie who had hired Silicon Graphics to design a better-equipped Saturn that not only utilized the latest technology, but was built around a single chip processer. Blinded by pride, Sega of Japan chose to release the Saturn we all know and love/hate instead even though it utilized on-the-shelf parts and dual processors that no one in the games industry except Sega was familiar with. Sega of Japan resented the American business tactics that had helped secure Sega’s success all around the globe, because despite the years of success it enjoyed, Sega never managed to capture the hearts and minds of Japanese gamers before the Saturn. That was all that mattered to Sega management at the time, and that’s why Sega’s chairman Isao Okawa fired most of the fools who had allowed Sony to monopolise the games industry in the rest of the world before launching the Dreamcast.

If Sega could afford to launch a new console, then Sega could afford to translate a few pages of Japanese text. If Sega could afford to convert Virtua Fighter 3 to the Saturn only not to release it to the gaming public out of fear it would overshadow the rushed Dreamcast conversion, then Sega could afford to bring western gamers the entire Shining Force III trilogy. If Sega could afford to pay the makers of 3DFX 10 million+ dollars in a legal dispute which never should’ve happened in the first place, then there was nothing stopping Sega from converting the entire game to the Dreamcast.

If there’s any justice in the world, Sega will do everything in its power to redeem itself. I once hated Camelot for cutting all ties with Sega, but now I can almost understand why. One of the founders of Camelot was quoted as saying that not translating parts 2 and 3 of Shining Force III was “regrettable”, yet Sega has forgotten about the entire ordeal as if it has nothing to apologize for. I won’t be quick to forgive or forget. The new Shining Force is Sega’s chance to finally atone for its mistake, assuming Sega even cares about the Saturn fans it betrayed so long ago.

Also, I’d prefer it if Sega did its best to improve the old Shining Force battle system in the new Shining Force games, as there was always room for improvement. But replace it? Nothing could justify replacing the battle system that has always been synonymous with Shining Force. Therein lies the source of my misgivings.

By the way, Sega has updated the official website dedicated to the Playstation 2 incarnation of Shining Force.

The game is confirmed to use a new battle system in case anyone had any doubts. I hate the idea of Sega replacing the traditional Shining Force battle system, but judging from the screenshots, the game is shaping up to be something quite special.