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How long has it been since you've visited Max and the Shining Force? If you haven't played the game in quite some time, I strongly advise you to download the game and revisit one of the paragons of the strategy RPG genre. If you've never played the game before, I envy you. You're about to experience Shining Force for the first time, and that is something I wish all of us could feel again. This game is the best 800 points you're ever going to spend.
Shining Force is a great, classic Genesis title that fits perfectly into the lineup of available Virtual Console selections, especially since there are, so far, no other strategy RPGs to compete against it. It's well worth its 800 Wii Point asking price, and should most readily appeal to old-school Genesis owners, fans of Camelot's subsequent work on Nintendo systems, and strategy gamers in general.
There’s plenty of entertainment to be had with loads of missions (many of which can last for well over an hour) and some mildly diverting 'town' sections, which fall into the traditional RPG format of locating an item/person in order to further the story. All in all, the game is an excellent addition to the Virtual Console library and represents a meatier, more involving purchase than most other games available on the service. If you want a game that you can really sink your teeth into then make sure you download this.
Turn-based strategy games on consoles are old hat by now, but Shining Force on the Sega Genesis was one of the very first (and very few) games of this genre to inch its way out of the formative primordial ooze of the early 1990s. While rather primitive by today's standards, the original featured a huge cast of playable characters and what was then a new brand of tactical gameplay. Now released for the Wii Virtual Console, Shining Force shows its age in presentation and doesn't have much of the crazy complexity console strategies are so fond of these days. But with a roster of 30 recruitable characters and a lengthy adventure that easily lasts 25 hours or more, this retro role-playing game is well worth the 800 Wii points ($8).
So once things do get underway it's actually a nice surprise to find that, rather than the expected trawl through sprawling overworlds and chest-filled dungeons, what you've actually got is a tactical turn-based strategy RPG, very much in the vein of Final Fantasy Tactics. It's not quite that good, obviously, as the menu system is a little clunky and the free-roaming sections can be a chore, but amid the ocean of shoot-em-ups and platformers sloshing around the VC, anything with that little extra depth and scale is a welcome change of pace.