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E3 Impression

Shining Force Neo

05.18.2005

STEVE PRZESTRZELSKI
STAFF REPORTER
ANDREW LONG
E3 CORRESPONDENT

Your typical castle-like structure
Your typical castle-like structure

Sega has been producing titles in the Shining series for a fairly long time, so the company has the development of titles in the series down to a fine science. Shining Force Neo looks to be a fairly standard action RPG, and in the demo playable on the floor, I got a taste of why the hack-and-slash gameplay might conceivably be very addictive.

The demo itself was relatively short; I played five to ten minutes, during which time I battered my way through an outdoor area, a bridge, and a cave. The outdoor area had a nice rustic feel to it, and the controls were quite manageable (although oddly, the option to use healing items seemed to have been disabled). I was immediately attacked by all kinds of baddies, from a nasty batch of spiders to what looked like ogres of some description.

Ice friends
Ice friends

The battles played out much like any other slasher, and it was difficult to gauge how hard the fights were because of the disabled healing. It was, however, quite satisfying to swing my sword and bust up four or five baddies at once, and the environment was surprisingly interactive. I was able to wreck a fence with a few swordstrokes, and all sorts of objects fell to my abusive swordsmanship.

Gamers can gather spells that drop from monsters after defeating them, and it is possible to keep several at once and cycle through the list to choose which magic seems appropriate to the situation. It is unclear whether or not there are elemental weaknesses, but it seems likely given the wide variety of elements I encountered in my brief stint.

All in all, Shining Force Neo looks like a decent title, and while I was unable to really get into the game to any real extent, it looks like it might hold my interest were I to play it.

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Console:
· Playstation 2

Release:
· Fall 2005

Publisher:
· Sega

Developer:
· Amusement Vision


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