Reviews: Shining Force

Shining Force vs Fire Emblem

I've been a longtime Shining Force fan, though recently my hunger for more games like Shining Force led me to track down the remake of Fire Emblem for the Game Boy Advance. Now granted, I have limited experience with the Fire Emblem series and I'm only halfway through the first game while I've played all of the Sega Genesis Shining Force games plus Shining Force CD, but I can't help but compare the two. They both have very similar gameplay styles, and I think both games have strengths and weaknesses. Let's compare, just based on the first Fire Emblem game alone:

  • Fire Emblem is much more story-oriented than Shining Force, with very fleshed-out characters. Shining Force has some of this too, but not to the same extent. So I think Fire Emblem has the advantage in this regard.

  • With Fire Emblem, most of the time when a character is defeated in battle, they cannot be revived. I made this mistake when first starting out playing Fire Emblem, because after playing Shining Force for so long I figured "hey, I'll just find a priest and resurrect them after the battle, no big deal". Boy was I wrong. So I like Shining Force better in this regard.

  • With Fire Emblem, you have to visit shops and talk to people while you're in the middle of a battle. This was disorienting for me after being used to Shining Force where these aspects are segregated, I don't think I like that aspect much.

Granted I'm still getting into Fire Emblem, and while I think I like Shining Force a bit better, it's still a good game with enough similarities to Shining force to keep me happy. Plus, an awesome story. On a side note I do really like Fire Emblem's graphics too, but that might be an unfair comparison, I don't know what the original game looked like I've just played the remake from 2003.