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Author Topic: Phantasy Star vs. Shining Force  (Read 2136 times)
LINK398
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« on: April 01, 2013, 12:22:57 AM »

Two Sega RPG's that I have yet to play and was curious to see the communities opinions on both series of games. I have Sega Genesis Collection on PS2 which includes Phantasy Star 2,3,4 but I found out that Sonic's Ultimate Genesis Collection on Xbox 360 has the Shining Force games and was wondering if it's worth it to get that collection just for the shining force games. They look a lot like the Fire Emblem games which is a good thing
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Eusis
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« Reply #1 on: April 01, 2013, 01:05:18 AM »

This is sort of like comparing Fire Emblem and Earthbound, one's a strategy RPG and the other's a traditional RPG, so comparing them is inherently flawed.

With that said, on a whole Shining Force has aged better I think: 80s nostalgia/fondness got me through Phantasy Star II more than anything else and I can only seriously recommend Phantasy Star IV to people these days, but Shining Force 1 is still pretty enjoyable by modern SRPG standards, and Shining Force II grows from that.
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Aeolus
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« Reply #2 on: April 01, 2013, 01:09:37 AM »

There are so many Sega Genesis collections out there that you could probably find one with the least amount of overlap for cheap if you wanted to.

That said, Phantasy Star's gameplay ranges from old skool (PS4) to incredibly old school (PSs 1-3) but make up a fairly solid series on the whole (PS4 does an amazing job of tying everything up together and handles cutscenes in the incredibly neglected Comic Book panel style which has helped the game stay fresh even after all this time; PS1 was probably the most progressive JRPG of its time by having a female lead who actually became/remained the party's frontline fighter; PS2 had some interesting twists to its plot that made it stand out back in the day; and PS3 had a fairly decent generational mechanic if nothing else). Shining Force is best considered to be the other kind of SRPG with an overhead view of the battlefield (Fire Emblem's more of an outlier of this style with permadeath and fairly transparent mechanics whereas SF is considered the median) compared to the FFT/TO style of 3D models/2D sprites set against a isometric battlefield where the direction you face matters and all that. The writing/plots/music though, I can only assume is only mediocre at best (I've only played a part of SF1, but if Beyond the Beyond is anything to go by...).

Basically, I consider the pre-online PS series generally superior to the post-dungeon crawler/pre-crap Shining series in everything but gameplay.
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« Reply #3 on: April 01, 2013, 04:26:11 PM »

 I played shining force late and it hurt my enjoyment of it, along with it just being fire emblem but not as good. I tried one and ended up dropping it pretty quick. I liked II a lot for awhile, but it eventually wore me down and I stopped. If there were no random encounters I'm sure I'd have enjoyed the whole thing. It just annoyed the hell out of me getting into fights that had nothing to do with anything when I didn't need to level and I couldn't get out of them via resetting or using the hero's escape magic.

 I did like that it had towns you could wander around in like a standard rpg. This gave you a breather between fights. And I liked that instead of going into a menu, selecting move and pointing at the panel you wanted a unit to move...you just moved them with the dpad. I don't understand why this isn't standard.

I played PS1 back when it came out. Really amazing game that blew DQ and FF1 out of the water. Not really playable now, but amazing for the 80s.

PS2 I only played briefly when it came out when a friend rented it. Disliked it at the time for the somewhat shallow reasons of it not pushing the genesis graphics like the first game pushed the master system and because no 3d dungeons. Playing it years later disliked it for the more reasonable reasons of it being grindy and bad.

PS4 on the other hand is excellent and holds up as well as any 16 bit rpg and I highly recommend it to anyone who isn't allergic to sprites.

Overall I'd put PS above SF pretty easily.
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Hathen
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« Reply #4 on: April 01, 2013, 08:15:46 PM »

Personally I would only recommend one game from each series these days: Shining Force 3 and Phantasy Star 4. The former is only worth playing if you can read Japanese or if you find a translation. Since I'm guessing you're talking about the 8/16 bit era you'll probably end up going with PS4.
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sandiny0ursh0es
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« Reply #5 on: April 01, 2013, 11:38:47 PM »

Shining Force II and Phantasy Star IV are gems and worth playing if you want to see the best of the best during that generation.

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MeshGearFox
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« Reply #6 on: April 02, 2013, 08:52:46 AM »

I only really like PS1 and 4. PS1 I think is still totally playable. It has some grind at the beginning, but that's it -- it's not constant like in a lot of oldschool RPGs. And while it isn't open-ended by any means, there is a degree of non-linearity/sequence breaking, and the game definitely encourages to figure stuff out on your own.

I don't really consider PS4 to be that old school at all, though, except in the graphics department, obvs. Honestly I think that PS4 and Chrono Trigger ended up being precursors to the direction RPGs went during the 32-bit era.

As for PSIII, I SORT OF like it, but the dungeons suck (they're just boring, which is an improvement over PS2 at least), but there's some major balance issues. On the other hand there's some fan made mod I remember playing that improved balance immensely.

PS2's just a grindfest and the dungeons are atrocious which is a shame because the world aesthetics are great and the story, despite being minimally told, totally works. Heard the remake was actually quite good, which would be awesome except SEGA forgets America exists.

Shining Force, on the other hand... only played the first one. Didn't like it. Battles take a long time to get going, and it's easy to lose later in the battles. Maps are big and you have a lot of dead-time where you're just moving guys around. Also you end up with a handful of over-leveled units and a bunch of useless dudes.
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« Reply #7 on: April 02, 2013, 05:53:23 PM »

I played shining force late and it hurt my enjoyment of it, along with it just being fire emblem but not as good. I tried one and ended up dropping it pretty quick. I liked II a lot for awhile, but it eventually wore me down and I stopped. If there were no random encounters I'm sure I'd have enjoyed the whole thing. It just annoyed the hell out of me getting into fights that had nothing to do with anything when I didn't need to level and I couldn't get out of them via resetting or using the hero's escape magic.


Shining force 2 had random encounters?  And the escape spell didn't work?

I never played SF2 but I'm asking because there weren't any random encounters in SF1 or SF3. 
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Raze
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« Reply #8 on: April 02, 2013, 06:20:03 PM »

 Yeah, there were random battles. The escape spell did work, but once the game decided 'there's going to be a battle here' there wasn't away around it if it was between you and the next story fight. Escape and it's still there when you come back. Unless it was a case of me having bad luck and it proced a fight each time.
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« Reply #9 on: April 02, 2013, 06:39:14 PM »

That sounds awful.


As for the main topic, PS4 is very good as others have said.  The only other one I've played is PS2 but it feels way too old and I wouldn't recommend it.  Shining Force 1 is a good SRPG with moderate difficulty.  You can grind and there's no permadeath so you shouldn't have to worry about getting stuck or frustrated.
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LINK398
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« Reply #10 on: April 04, 2013, 04:08:05 PM »

I was basically wondering if I should pick up that Sonic Ultimate Genesis Collection on Xbox 360. I already have the other Sega Genesis Collection that came out on PS2 not to mention Sega Genesis was my first console. That being said I already have access to Phantasy Star 2,3,4 Sword of Vermillion and Gain Ground. I also have all the Sonic Collections on Gamecube so this collection would basically be for just the Shining Force games and also Streets of Rage because those games are awesome and im not plugging in my original console to play the second game lol. Opinions on that? It's also between $23 and $30 at the stores I've seen also working with not a lot of cash thanks
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MeshGearFox
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« Reply #11 on: April 04, 2013, 07:04:38 PM »

Sega sells old genesis games on steam bundled with an emulator that lets you like Save State, which is kind of useful in really old RPGs. I'd say go that route.

http://store.steampowered.com/search/?snr=1_4_4__12&term=genesis

Packs are 7.50, or you can pick and choose which games you want for like 3.00 a piece. IDK how the emulation is, though. The old version of Smash Pack for the PC used some outdated version of KGen which was prone to framerate issues and audio desyncing, somehow.
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LINK398
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« Reply #12 on: April 04, 2013, 07:26:16 PM »

I like to have a physical copy of the game though
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Aeolus
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« Reply #13 on: April 04, 2013, 07:58:37 PM »

Here's what I did.

Phantasy Stars 1-3: Borrowed my sibling's GBA collection cart for about a summer.

Phantasy Star 4: Tracked down a physical cart from a used game store so that I had something for the Genesis I needed to hook my SegaCD up to.

Shining Force 1: Wii's Virtual Console from the only sale that service ever saw.


So sorry, I can't actually help you in regards to Sega Retro Game Collections beyond the GBA PS one.
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LINK398
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« Reply #14 on: April 04, 2013, 08:15:03 PM »

That Wii virtual console option could work I completely forgot about that.... I have a mixture of games that I already own that didn't get a remake on any console like Super Mario RPG Legend of the Seven Stars and Secret of Mana and also some games that I just wanted to try without purchasing a physical copy if I didn't have the system. I can't see myself hooking up my Sega Genesis again so if anything it will be a digital copy and I just want to try one of the games out....preferably the best one. Also two more questions unrelated firstly, what game is that character in that avatar from and secondly, is Lufia 2 on the virtual console
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