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Shining Force EXA review

A basic, by-the-numbers Action RPG that looks okay, plays okay, and makes you feel more or less okay


  • Colorful
  • smooth graphics
  • Easy to get into
  • Talking
  • tattooed dog


  • Overly simplistic combat
  • Toma
  • It's all slightly too generic

Shining Force EXA arrives as a near-identical clone of its predecessor, Shining Force Neo. Which is to say, it's nothing like the beloved strategy RPGs that started the series back on Sega consoles. Instead, it's a smooth-moving, inoffensive Action RPG that ticks most of the boxes it needs to, but lacks the overall inspiration to make itself truly memorable. See those monsters? Can you press X? Okay, have fun!

There are several colorful side characters who accompany you in battle at times, including Maebelle, a female elf with a huge appetite and a compound bow the size of a picnic table, or Gadfort, a lance-wielding centaurian knight (a series trademark). We mention them first because they're notably more likeable than the two playable characters. One is Cyrille, a white-haired, humorless sorceress with a dragon-squirrel sidekick named Zhirra. The other is Toma, a stereotypically smart-ass teen swordsman who constantly barfs up idiotic, self-absorbed dialogue such as mentioning he's so awesome even he doesn't realize how awesome he is sometimes. Even if the spotty voice acting were actually top-notch and the average script was instead captivating, it would be tough to like Toma.

More Info

GenreRole Playing
DescriptionA basic, by-the-numbers Action RPG that looks okay, plays okay, and makes you feel more or less okay.
US censor ratingEveryone 10+
Release date20 March 2007 (US), (UK)


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