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Critic Reviews

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1UP (Oct 15, 2005)
But with loads of little secrets and strategies and events to uncover and discover, Neo may not innovate in ways that, say, every Legend of Zelda game might, but this isn't about puzzle solving. Shining Force Neo provides an exceptionally solid, visually pleasing, and surprisingly welcoming update on the Gauntlet template, founded so many years ago. Don't look at this as Shining Force gone awry, think of it as a "gaiden," or "side-story" with the classic Shining milieu of a diverse cast of characters, bound by a common cause. It's great fun, a fantastic example of substance and style, and provides depth at nearly every turn. What better way to combat the armies of darkness?
80 (Oct 28, 2005)
So what you basically have here is a rock-solid action/RPG that offers great gameplay and visuals, as well as a quest that spans between 35 and 40 hours. It may not be the tried and true Shining Force we all know and love, but it’s still an excellent purchase. I personally would have preferred Sega have changed the name to something else (Shining Knights, perhaps?), and the lack of classic elements was disappointing. Taken for what it is though, Shining Force NEO is a wonderful game that is sure to please gamers, whether they’re Shining fans or not.
It bears very little in common with its predecessors (the original Shining Force for the Genesis), so those people who are expecting a strategic adventure will be disappointed. I suppose this new perspective on the series is what the "Neo" in the title represents. However, this is nevertheless a strong effort by Sega to keep their Shining franchise fresh, and it sucked me in for over sixty hours of play. This battle system was also used in the more recent release in the series, Shining Force EXA. Good job, Sega!
Game Critics (Dec 06, 2005)
Despite those few minor flaws, Shining Force Neo is a rock-solid game. While it's not the Shining game I would have asked for, it's definitely one of the better hack-and-slash titles out there for the console market. It's longer than it needs to be and it's definitely a bit repetitive (as are all games in this subgenre), but it's also a game worthy of bearing the Shining Force moniker. Sega may not have given us the strategy RPG we all long for, but this is a decent stand-in until they get around to making a genuine Shining Force game.
Game Shark (Nov 08, 2005)
So, is Shining Force Neo for you? Depends. If you were a fan of the Shining Force games on the Genesis and Saturn, probably not. This isn’t the turn-based strategy RPG you remember from those consoles. If you like the idea of an RPG that is really mostly an action game, you’ll probably like it. The fact is the franchise has reinvented itself fairly successfully. And while it does have some weaknesses, it is at its core a really fun and addictive play experience that will entertain for many, many hours.
GameSpot (Oct 28, 2005)
In the end, Shining Force Neo is tricky to recommend. This is a good game for role-playing game fans willing to overlook some noticeable shortcomings for the sake of having a big, action-packed quest to play through. However, those fans are liable to be familiar with and fond of previous Shining Force games, and therefore might take offense at this game's disregard for its predecessors' format. But if you've got a little forgiveness in your heart or maybe just an open mind, and you're looking for a long-lasting action RPG with a lot of challenge, you might as well give Shining Force Neo a shot.
Legendra (Dec 09, 2007)
Shining Force Neo marque un tournant dans la série. Exit Camelot, exit les Tacticals, place aux Hack'n Slash bourrins et répétitifs. Mais si l'on fait abstraction de sa déception et qu'on ne le prend pas pour ce que le nom essaie de nous faire croire, on est objectivement devant un bon représentant du genre, à même de nous occuper durant des dizaines d'heures. Encore faut-il aimer le genre...
Diehard GameFan (Oct 31, 2005)
Seriously though, the game sucks. At least in my opinion. And that’s all it is. One guy’s opinion. Take this review as gospel truth, flame it in some community, or enjoy the sarcasm and comedy intermingling with me dissecting the game. Or just go read one of the more positive reviews out there and go with that reviewer’s opinion. It’s all good. Just remember that if you don’t listen to me and then you end up regretting spending 50$ on this game, that it just means you should treat everything I say from then on as the word of God himself. And God would like money. Money and hookers. NOW!
40 (UK) (Jul 12, 2005)
The tragedy of all this is that, unlike, say, Metal Gear Acid (which is a genre diversion from the main flow of stealth adventure games), we haven’t seen a true new Shining Force game for many years. To be presented with this utterly misguided and ill-conceived attempt to reinvent one of the best strategy-RPG series of the last two decades seems criminal and unfair. It’s a mammoth level grind, bringing together some of the action-RPG genre’s very worst conventions while leaving out some of the best: a disastrously misguided call for out with Old in with the Neo.