Shining Force is one of those series that Sega really dropped the ball with, the whole “Shining” series probably became too dilluted and convoluted for Sega to keep up with it. So they dropped it like a hot potato. Unfortunate as this was really one of the series, along with Phantasy Star, that Sega could have louded to the fans and made a difference in the long run. Gaming was changing from action, action and more action to a slower pace that Sony capitalized on with many role playing games and, yes, strategy titles on the PSOne.
On the Sega Genesis, we got two Shining Force games, one on Game Gear, one on Sega CD and one on Saturn. In Japan, they got two on Game Gear (which are represented on Shining Force CD) and three on Saturn (thanks to fan translators, we will someday see all of the Shining Force games in English). That is a lot of strategy gaming but it could have been so much more had Sega put their faith into the series. For instance, the Dreamcast never saw a Shining Force game, what a shame.
For fans, Shining Force CD is the version to get, it contains four “books” that tell an arching storyline. The first two “books” are simply adaptations of the two Game Gear games (remember, we got one in North America) and then two “books” that finish the stories from those games. That is a lot of gaming for your buck.
This is classic Shining Force gameplay so if you are not a fan of it or turn based strategy titles, you may want to look elsewhere. This is quite a collector’s item, usually going for more than decent prices on Ebay in various forms from CD only to complete in box.
There has not been any digital re-released of this game so you will have to get the original if you want to enjoy the story. If you can live without upgraded graphics, you can get the Game Gear version of the first game in this series but the rest are only available, legally in English, on this CD.