Saturday, 12 November 2011
Shining Force (Genesis/Mega Drive)
Like most ancient evils, the Lord of Darkness brags that he's going to return in exactly 1000 years to resume conquering the world. But how likely is it that's gonna happen?
Yeah I'm sure it'll be 'an adventure' trying to defeat the ancient Lord of Darkness and his legions of evil. Okay fine, you might as well sign me up for the forces of light.
Damn, there's never enough spaces in these name entry screens to put in anything good. Not that I ever think of anything good.
Next thing I know I'm dumped here next to some kind of church. Oh, this is going to be one of those rpgs where the characters never stop moving isn't it? Very old school.
Well I'm not sticking around here to get dragged into conversations and cutscenes, I'm making a break for it.
Actually you know what, you just keep standing there mate, and I'll go find another way out.
Wait... that guy's not actually riding a horse is he? Hey, he's a centaur! I haven't seen many of them around in rpgs.
But this may actually work out for the best. I can get this out of the way now, and then I'll be free to go off and find some gameplay.
I went with no, but the king seemed so disappointed that I only made it halfway out of the castle before I felt guilty and came back to accept the job.
You know, this is the second time someone in game has asked me if I agree to play the game. Surely I answered this question when got it and turned it on.
I guess first I have to go find them all though.
I only made it a few steps down the road from the castle before my troops ran up to join me... from the direction of the castle. And then they told me to return to the king. So in other words, I didn't have to go to town at all, the king just wanted to waste my damn time.
Just like that bastard in the church who wouldn't get out of my way.
I bet when I eventually find this shop they'll tell me that they've already delivered my supplies to the castle.
It seems my squad has climbed on board a wagon and we're being dragged off to the first dungeon. With no supplies.
I was given control of a character to move within a limited range, so I decided to move him up, but not too far from the main group. Now I've got a choice of 'Magic', 'Attack', 'Item' or 'Stay'. It won't let me switch to another character yet, so I'll choose 'Stay' to end my turn.
There doesn't seem to be any obvious clue to which character gets to take a turn next. It could be one of my guys, it could be an enemy, so it's hard to predict what will happen next.
I like these little pop up battle screens. I'll probably hate them the 50th time they show up, but right now I'm liking them.
5 points of damage doesn't seem like much, but check out how much HP I've got right now. Some characters can die in two attacks. If a unit gets surrounded they could be taken out without even getting to take a turn.
Right now I'm stuck controlling the guy who blocked my path in the church all those many minutes ago. And he's about as good in combat as he is at getting the fuck out of my way.
He's got a suspiciously high amount of MP though...
My hero gets a full tank of health and I am back in the game. Lowe, you're awesome. I'm sorry about all those bad things I said about you and will keep saying about you.
Well that makes things a lot trickier. I can't just keep the guy out of the fighting because then he'll never level up, but if he's ever surrounded then I've pretty much lost the fight.
At least it seems that I've kept the levels I gained in that last battle, and I can resurrect my team. So next time I'll be stronger.
I'm not a fan of this shopping menu. I have to buy each object individually, and then select what character gets to hold on to it. Each of my team has 4 inventory slots, with 1 taken up by their weapon, so buying healing items for everyone would take more time than I can be bothered to waste here.
I'm bringing two healing items and that's it. My team will just have to get better at not being hit.
ONE BATTLE LATER.
Right... okay then. Let's try this a third time.
ONE BATTLE LATER... AND VICTORY!
Or at least I'm trying to. Most of my team don't have the range to get anywhere on these mountains until the people at the front get their turn and can move out of the way. So I'm mostly skipping turns, then waiting for all the enemy units to have their turn.
Now I just need to figure out where I am and which way the battle is.
This guy just repeats the same line over and over again, so I gave him a shove and watched him fall down the... actually no I just walked away and left him. There is no 'shove' button, I checked.
ONE EPIC BATTLE LATER.
And they don't have any ranged attackers, so I can just sit here in safety, using my mage and archer to attack their troops from across the river.
I should probably get back out there and put a stop to the Lord of Darkness. And maybe this time we'll find a way to do it that doesn't wear off after a thousand years.
Oh by the way there are two new characters I picked up from the ruined town. I've got 9 soldiers on the field now, which is definitely handy. Maybe one of them will actually be fast enough to hit these bats.
AN EPIC STRUGGLE LATER.
I respawn back at the church again with a chunk of my cash missing and half my team awaiting resurrection, but I think I'm done with this for now. Maybe I'll give it another shot later, a couple of my troops got a level up so it might go differently next time. Who knows.
I have to admit, I like this one. The gameplay seems a bit basic compared to modern games in the genre, but it's likeable enough. It's got charm to it.
In fact I'll give it a shiny star.