Shining Force 2 is the much anticipated follow up act to the amazing Shining Force. Though the plots of the 2 games aren't entirely connected, you still get that same look & feel from the previous entry. Much like the first installment, Shining Force 2 is a strategy RPG where you control the Shining Force and battle hoardes of various enemies in intense grid/strategy battles! Said battles in Shining Force 2 were brought about by Slade the thief who unknowingly broke the magic seal by stealing the jewels of light and darkness... uh-oh!
Upon first glance you will see and hear some improved differences. The graphics in Shining Force 2 are highly upgraded from the first Shining Force. Also, the soundtrack of the game has been greatly enhanced both in quality and quantity (Don't get me wrong, there are some kick ass tracks in the first game). You have more difficulty options to choose from in Shining Force 2 (though some are bogus), which helps give seasoned Shining Force veterans like myself extra incentive to play again and again. The difficulty in Shining Force 2 on the whole is fair, just make sure that you grind a little bit early in the game. And please, no whining about grinding... you're playing a freakin' RPG!
The main gameplay differences between Shining Force 2 and the first are quite substantial. There is no longer a chapter based system, which means that you can backtrack to parts of the map previously visited (thus making it a bit "open world"). Also, there are promotion items which can help give certain members of the force a "special promotion"- meaning they have two different options for being promoted! Heck, there's even secret villages in Shining Force 2!
In a nutshell: If you enjoyed the first Shining Force or are a fan of Strategy RPGs you would be a fool to not play this one! Shining Force 2 takes the winning formula that Shining Force first put together and expands on it in nearly every way imaginable. It's an enthralling, tactical expdition from start to finish and you will find it hard pressed to put down the controller.
Related: The Bear's Shining Force review.