CGR Undertow – SHINING SOUL review for Game Boy Advance
CGR Undertow – SHINING SOUL review for Game Boy Advance

There are plenty of games with ìShiningî
in the title that just arenít, nor will they ever be, Shining Force. They are attempts,
struggles, desperate tries at recapturing the magic of the iconic RPG series by Camelot
AKA Sega CD4 AKA Sonic! Software Planning. They are one of Segaís ways of hanging on
to the past, not unlike their miscues with the Sonic series itself. And the further down
the rabbit hole you go, the stranger and stranger they get. Take Shining Soul, for instance.
Itís not even a tactical RPG at all; itís not even a first-person dungeon crawler like
Shining in the Darkness! Itís an action-RPG, designed for multiplayer, like some strange
Secret of Mana-flavored object that purports to be the prequel to the Shining Force we
all know and love. Itís justÖ not really all that good. Letís get one thing clear: By having ìShiningî
in the title, the bar is set pretty darn high. And the developers of this gameÖ wait. Really?
GRASSHOPPER MANUFACTURE? Thatís right, The infamous Suda51 has a producer credit on this
thing. This thing that seems like a misguided attempt at Shining Force fanfic, telling the
story of the civilization that sealed away Dark Dragon the first time. And by ìTelling
the story,î I mean ìThrowing you into dungeons and hostile areas without much explanation
at all past ìSurvive through here and beat the boss.î Sure, the boss is gonna throw
some exposition at you, but more often than not itís going to be fast-forwarded so as
to get to the real action. In that respect, the game isnít all that badly designed, not
Secret of Mana good, mind, but decently playable. The real issues come in the recycled graphics,
frustrating imbalances between jobs, and often shoddy collision detection. Iíll make this recommendation: If you do
decide to play Shining Soul, DONíT START OUT PLAYING A MAGE. Youíre just going to
turn what was a pretty slow game into an absolute grind. Sure, I tried to play it true to the
source material by making Tao and hoping to blaze up some enemies, until I learned that
Blaze kinda sucks and Freeze is much more conducive to the kind of massive kiting shenanigans
youíll need to use to survive the waves and waves of goblins, slimes, gizmos, and other
beasts youíll come across. So I ended up playing Anri. Canít change the hair color
either, unfortunately. Suffice to say, playing as a melee fighter was much faster, partially
because they do lots more damage and can swing faster. The issue there, though, is accuracy;
Iíd find myself whiffing time and again while a mummy pounded my face in. The music in Shining Soul is repetitive, the
sound effects would make an Atari feel smug and superior, and the background graphics
look grainy and smashed-together, though the sprite work is fairly decent. And while the
story leaves much to be desiredÖ thereís Chaos and Adam, standing side-by-side, and
that means something to individuals of a certain disposition. I canít really recommend Shining
Souls, despite a couple good ideas and a pretty intuitive item-and-weapon selection system
that allows you to quick-change through three of each on the fly. If youíre a loyal friend
and true of Domingo and the crew, I suggest sampling it out of sheer morbid curiosity.
Just so you know how bad it can get out there past the Saturn era.

35 thoughts on “CGR Undertow – SHINING SOUL review for Game Boy Advance”

  1. kbutta01 says:

    SOOOOO glad to have you guys back on youtube!

  2. NEYBUR says:

    I missed you guys!

  3. Caleer says:

    Welcome BACK!

  4. Weeb_Rat94 says:

    Welcome back guys!!

  5. svfin says:

    Thank you cgr for coming back to youtube i really like your stuff but going to your website was a little too big of a hassle for me

  6. Outlaw Otaku says:

    Glad you're back.

  7. Schlussel says:

    YEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEESS! I missed you guys!!!

  8. FerrettGamer says:

    YAAAAAAYYY!!!!!! your back!!! please dont leave us again, youtube isnt the same without CGR & CGRundertow… 

  9. Dark Mountain Productions says:

    Well, apparently, Atlus now has free access to many of Sega's IP's, including Shining Force.  Here's hoping they can breathe new life into it, if they so choose.

  10. Inazuma65 says:

    Someone who knows the correct way to say Suda 51? I'm impressed.

  11. Neoand12 says:

    This have got to be a TROLL video against Sega lol I know the copyright bull is going to come to you guys. 

  12. ShakeAlmighty says:

    I'm not sure about the original but I thought Shining Soul II was pretty good. Not world changing, but a fun dungeon crawler with eight classes and allows you to choose between a ninja or vampire (the ultimate decision). It did much better than the original in terms of reviews as well, so is probably a better choice to try.

  13. Avalanche Reviews says:

    Good to have you guys back!

  14. [ytg] says:

    I'll be honest here, I was thinking about unsubscribing ever since you guys stopped reviewing games here (through no fault of your own, of course.) But I'm glad I didn't!

  15. Box of Cox says:

    I will kill the last boss and Gordon Freeman will be Shining Soul!

  16. Neil Purcell says:

    1:39 Is that the Titan/Colossus from Shining Force III?!  What the heck is it even doing here?  Does this game tell the origin of the Vandals, too?!

  17. PirateDrive says:

    This really reminded me of Contact on DS and, having looked it up, it's no wonder since they're from the same developers.

  18. Christian Lopez says:

    so many hours spent playing this on long train rides 

  19. VonSeux says:

    back to youtube ?
    bad with it
    worst without it

  20. Adrastia says:

    The sequel is a lot better. Although I liked the first game as well, even if it's flawed.

  21. ProductHuman says:

    u dont help. what about the story ? any depth to it?? u say nothing

  22. Luluffey says:

    'Don't play a mage' dropped this review so hard after that. Especially when it became clear this guy didn't even know how to charge up his spells. 

  23. RYURYUNEKO says:

    Shining Soul 2 is waaaay better than this.

    8 Classes and can even go to Shining Soul 1 stages but they are Side Quest Stages.

    And it more fun than the 1st game.

  24. Everyday Gaming says:

    I already mastered the game level 49 204 hp, 800,000 coins

  25. Everyday Gaming says:

    Play as archer

  26. Night Wing says:

    trippen ! this game is legit !

  27. fled one says:

    this game is great, this dude dont no what hes talking about dont listen to him, this is a really good game you will enjoy it,not everybody likes turn based rpg's, action rpg's are my favorite, never liked takeing turns attacking each other….

  28. TheGameLecturer says:

    My 3rd and last GBA game…

  29. Rogel Matiga says:

    It really depends on how you play it tho

  30. 武装少女マキアベリ主義柑橘類 says:

  31. 01MrBLA says:

    I played shining soul 1 and I’ll admit what’s said in the video is true, but I’d still play SS over shining force neo anytime.

    I bought Shining force neo and I did give it a chance. But after seeing how Neo bastardized the series (especially using names from the real shining force 1, plus having Adam’s promotion form being called “master robot” with no new form, and having dark dragon as a final boss cut scene), anything after neo can rot in the $1 bin.

  32. Batang Kulafu says:

    this is the best gba game

  33. Evil Koala says:

    Geezuz man, i love cgr but this is painful to watch.
    You're complaining about the repetitiveness of the combat and the underwhelming power of mage, do you even charge bro?
    Charge! is the mechanic of this game. And no, it's not suppose to be turn based, it's Diablo style.
    2:55 you're poking three enemies behind a wall using a sword?
    Charge and spin at them.

  34. Exodus N says:

    Looking back on these videos, good lord this “CGRundertow” knows nothing about anything.. he doesn’t seem to even understand what a dungeon crawler is, and just complains that the game isn’t shining force.

  35. Retro Wolf 13 says:

    I really enjoyed it 😊

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