Shining Force EXA - hands-on impressions

We’d think that with great power comes great responsibility - as a wise man once said to a fledging superhero - but Shining Force EXA’s Toma could care less about the fates of rival countries Noswald and Fyrlandt. At least that’s what it seems like when plucky, young Toma yanks the Shining Force – the most powerful sword in the land – out of a rocky cavern all King Arthur-style and is bestowed not only said great power but a freakin’ castle – the appropriately titled “Geo Fortress.” And he is not the least bit humble, but then again, Toma has some growing up to do…

Understandably, the forces of both nations will want to gain control of the Shining Force for their petty uses at some point in EXA, but in the meantime Toma joins magic-toting and perpetually sneering Cyrille as they traverse maps in a fixed-point of view and battle many a monster. Before a dungeon or event, you can select which of the two you’d like to control and more often than not, you’re joined by a non-controllable ally. We’d suggest alternating between the two to level up at about the same rate.

Combat is much like Gauntlet or Diablo, meaning you’ll fight a ton of monsters of varying size throughout dungeon maps; all in real-time. Both characters are balanced to fit your fighting preferences. Toma is the fighting heavy; he swings big swords and can take more damage while Cyrille the mage clutches a spell book, summons fire or ice attacks and loses health as fast as a drop in a teenager’s self-esteem.

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