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Shining Force Feather - Tokyo Game Show Impression

Shining Force Feather
Developer: Flight-Plan
Publisher: Sega
JP Release: 2009
NA Release: Not Yet Confirmed for NA

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The Shining Force series has been a mainstay for tactical RPGs since its debut on the Sega Megadrive in Japan in 1991. If you count all iterations in the series (including all console and mobile phone titles), Shining Force Feather for the Nintendo DS is 24th on that list and the first for that console. It is a solid title and one of the better, if not the best, tactical RPGs on the floor this year, although it is a bit lacking in graphical department compared to some other DS titles.

"...one of the better, if not the best, tactical RPGs on the floor..."

Most developers realize that a playable demo is worth little without actual gameplay, and this game had just that. The featured battle was presented in a top-down view, but there are several options available during combat. One of the more noteworthy of these is the Union function, in which characters are able to join together to combine attacks to great effect. Movement around the battle field is not restricted to grids either, it is more or less free on the battlefield. There is also a "Connect" feature that enables characters to link attacks based on their position on the battle field and their turn order.

Following suit with a lot of other DS games is the inclusion of voice-acting. It is plentiful and helps supplement the story well. It's nice to see this become a standard feature rather than a gimmick. Not much else could be determined from the demo, as the game is slated for a 2009 release in Japan and as such is in a early stage of development.

Still, what was present was pretty impressive. TRPGs run from innovative to uninspired, and Shining Force Feather is closer to the former category. Despite having to compete with countless other titles on the DS, this game would be a good addition to a TRPG library provided it meets expectations...which at this point are pretty high.

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