PS2 2K7

Shining Force EXA

What's it all about?

So we've got two superpowers vying for dominance against one another, stuck in an eternal stalemate that only brings pain and suffering to the populace. Enter two young heroes, a swordsman and a sorceress, who have the courage, talent and power to reunite this war-torn world. Of course, they won't be going at it alone - you'll amass a diverse army of super-soldiers from all across the land, with which you'll fight for peace, justice and all that wonderful stuff.

What's the big deal?

While Sega's previous attempt at an action/RPG Shining Force game, Shining Force Neo, wasn't all that well received, EXA looks to be a significant improvement. For starters, you can select between two different leads: a young warrior named Toma and Cyrille, a smart sorceress. The game also makes an effort to make its combat a bit more cerebral, as your CPU companions can now be guided through various strategy options. Meanwhile, your home fortress will face attacks from the enemy and you'll periodically need to pop back over and figure out how to best defend it. With a huge army of fighters, hordes upon hordes of enemies and mega-destructive special attacks with which to blow away your foes, Shining Force EXA is an action/RPG on an epic scale.

How does it stack up?

The "super-soldier taking on an overwhelming army" subgenre's been done to death by the Dynasty Warriors games - to which Shining Force Neo was often compared. Shining Force EXA, however, adds a lot of cool frills. Let's hope it succeeds.