Shining Force 2 is the best game in the Shining saga (so far). In my opinion,
it's even better than the Saturn versions. It's tougher than the first part
and it has more liberty of movement. You can walk around the map as you like,
which didn't happen in Shining Force 1.
The graphics are good, for a 16 bits system. Although they're not as good as
those in Phantasy Star 4, they give a good environment to the game. The sound
and musics are ok, maybe a little better than those of Phantasy Star 4. The
playability is good, with easy and intuitive commands and a fast pad response.
The gameplay is also good, to which helps the big map and the good storyline.
Talking about story, it's quite simple (although the game's intro is really
huge). Slade, a thief, has stolen the two sacred jewels. These jewels were
keeping the devil king Zeon sealed, but now he can escape. And guess what, that's
what he did. You will gather a young force to fight this evil (a Shining Force).
The story will take you to many different places, where you'll meet many characters.
It's up to you to recover the jewels and to defeat Zeon himself.
The characters you'll meet aren't as well implemented in the story as those of
Phantasy Star 4. Some of them are just there for the battles, which takes a bit
of environment out of the game. But they're present in a good number to add some
variety to the game.
The battles are quite challenging. In a way, they remind me of UFO Enemy Unknown,
the PC game. They're turn-based-strategic battles, where you'll have to use your
brains to win. Unfortunately, this also has a downside. Sometimes the battles take
up to one hour (or even more). It's a good thing that they're not too numerous.
Concluding, Shining Force 2 is a good RPG. Although slightly inferior to Phantasy
Star 4 (its biggest rival in the sales department), it's fun to play. You can
download it from this page, so check it out for yourself.