Rightfully called one of the best RPGs of all time, Panzer Dragoon Saga finds itself in the highly praised company of ‘Suikoden II’ and ‘Chrono Trigger’, but unlike these staples of the genre it gets a lot less attention and has never seen release outside of its original appearance on the short lived Sega Saturn.
Phantasy Star III is often viewed as the black sheep of the series, and it’s a fair standpoint. In terms of world setting, gameplay and characterisation there’s a definite disconnect from the other titles in the series and many of the further-reaching or impactful elements are tied in retrospectively by the games successor instead of directly in the game at hand. Still, does that necessarily make it a bad game? Continue reading →
Phantasy Star II is the second entry into the acclaimed Phantasy Star series from Sega, but it chooses to do a lot of things quite differently from its predecessor. Today it’s largly remembered for being the series’ first entry onto the Mega Drive and for its convoluted dungeon designs, but how does it hold up in this modern era?
The first instalment into the Oasis series of RPGs, The Story of Thor (known in America as ‘Beyond Oasis’) was a late release for the Mega Drive that some consider to be Sega’s answer to the ‘Legend of Zelda’ series.
The end of the original single-player Phantasy Star series was a landmark title for Sega, shipping on a specially made cart and selling for $100, an amazingly high price for a Mega Drive title at the time. Phantasy Star 4 was very much the epitome of what Sega stood for at the time. Sleek, fast and in many ways ground breaking, despite garnering mixed reviews.
Of all the lost opportunities on Sega’s part, the one that strikes a blow to the heart is that the western world only received the first instalment of the epic three-game experience that was Shining Force III. That it hasn’t seen remastering and release onto a modern mobile platform speaks volumes of the split between Camelot and Sega over this decision.
Essentially a remastering of the unreleased ‘Shining Force: Gaiden’ and the Game Gear exclusive ‘Shining Force: The Sword of Hajya’, Shining Force CD manages to bring two relatively light experiences together into a more meaty package.
Sadly after the release of ‘Sword of Hajya’, Sega decided not to translate any more mobile offerings from the Shining Force series onto the Game Gear, leaving it with just 1 out of 3 titles available. In over 20 years since its release it’s become painfully obvious that they have no intention of modifying this. Luckily Shining Force Central has a dedicated group of fans who have.
The Game Gear didn’t have a lot of RPGs in its catalogue, but those that it did produce were some of the best hand held experiences at the time, especially in the field of Tactical RPGs. The best of these are, of course, extensions of Sega’s classic Shining Force series.
The last game in the Wonder Boy series sees it dropping the ‘Boy’ and focussing instead on a female protagonist named Asha. Luckily the ‘Monster World’ title still very much applies and the game manages to pay fitting tribute to the legacy of the series whilst doing a few of its own things.