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Shining in the Darkness

Sega Genesis

Game Description:

How has this fantastic game not had a review done for it? That is a pure travesty!

Being on a retro binge lately, I meandered back towards Genesis games of my youth. I fondly remember Shining in the Darkness as both a brutally difficulty and an unforgiving game.

The early-game difficulty tends to be reminiscent of Dragon Quest 1 for the NES in how you have to struggle just to survive your first few battles without getting killed.

Sell your starter Bronze Knife and grab a Short Sword? Or wait until you painstakingly earn 25 gold pieces to be able to sell that Knife and buy a Bronze Saber upgrade instead?

This game does NOT mess around even in the early game. The very first corridor will have you facing off against multiple tough enemies that will make short work of any unprepared adventurers!

The graphics and aesthetic hold a unique and lovely charm that holds up even today. The Pseudo-3D first-person dungeons are reminiscent of Phantasy Star 1 for the Sega Master System and work in much the same manner (and are just as frustrating).

Sound is a mixed bag. The nature of the game requires that you hear the same short loop of the labyrinth interior and battle music over and over ad nauseum. The Tavern and Shop music selections are well done and match the humor of the game quite well, but the overall soundtrack is dull and forgettable.

One highlight of this game is how well the Enemy AI adapts and reacts to the situation. They react to your spells and actions just as much as you react to them. Conditional battle actions litter the Bosses and newbies will be completely obliterated by early bosses at least once.

Unlike most other RPGs, status effects are not only useful but usually work on most enemies in the game (including many bosses!) so don’t skimp out on them.

You should love dungeon crawling and first-person map-making or you will grow bored very quickly. Resist the temptation to check out user-made maps and make your own as you go along.

In the pre-GameFAQs days of my youth, I did just that (and have the spiral notebook of maps and notes to prove it). You can beat the game fairly easily around Level 50 or lower but awesome awards await those who hit Level 60 and beyond!

Give this game a go or watch it on YouTube. It is an interesting historical relic of the first game in the ‘Shining’ series!

Content:


1 Translation
TitleCategoryDate
Shining in the Darkness (KO)Fully Playable13 Oct 2013

3 Hacks
TitleCategoryDate
AntigrindingImprovement08 Jan 2020
Thornwood Terrors CollectionImprovement08 Oct 2015
Shining in the Darkness - Battle Edition v2 CompleteComplete04 Dec 2012