Shining Soul II (シャイニング・ソウルⅡ, Shainingu Sōru Tsu) is an action role-playing video game for the Game Boy Advance console. It was directed by Akira Ueda and developed by Nextech and Grasshopper Manufacture. Shining Soul was published in Japan by Sega on July 24, 2003, in Europe by THQ on March 26, 2004 and in North America by Atlus on April 20, 2004 – in 2006 the game was also reissued in Japan under the "Value Selection" marketing label. The Entertainment Software Rating Board rated the game E for cartoon violence and alcohol reference.
Shining Soul II is a dungeon crawling hack and slash game featuring eight character classes. Each character can be upgraded to a maximum of 200 levels, and can be customized with a variety of weapons, spells, support abilities and attributes. Certain weapons can also be used differently depending on the class of their wielder. For example, the Warrior's spear attack is a thrust, while the Archer throws his spear over a distance. Each usable spell in the game has its own spellbook, and only classes with that spell on their skills list can use the spellbook to cast the spell.
Each character is able to equip up to three weapons and three items, and can switch between them at any time. Characters can also have an additional three slots by equipping a Backpack or Knapsack. Attacks are performed by tapping the attack button, which can also be held to charge a more powerful attack. Beyond regular equipment, a "Soul" item can also be equipped; it is charged by defeating enemies, and unleashed to inflict massive damage on nearby enemies. Soul items come in various elemental types and levels of effectiveness, and are graded from I through V, with the fifth being the strongest and taking the longest to charge.
Characters also have resistances to a number of elements: Fire, Ice, Thunder, Light, Dark and Poison. These tolerances can be raised by equipment, but also through endurance: by taking damage of a particular elemental kind, they can increase their resistance to it, but being killed by an attack of that type will decrease the resistance level by one point.
- Eric: A warrior, capable of well-balanced melee fighting.
- Rwinn: An archer who attacks from afar using bows and spears, and summons forest creatures.
- Premiera: A sorceress who uses a variety of offensive elemental spells from a distance.
- Tyroth: A Dragonute, the slowest but toughest melee class.
- Prim: A priestess, specializing in healing and support spells.
- Armand: A dark wizard who uses dark elemental spells.
- Zachs: A brawler, the most powerful and quick offensive melee class, despite suffering from low defense.
- Raizen: A ninja with a swift medium-ranged class using a mix of spells and physical attacks.
- ???: An "improved" dark wizard, who becomes available after finishing Shining Soul II once. He appears to be one of the antagonists, Gelespie.
Shining Soul II supports a multiplayer mode via the Game Link Cable peripheral. In this mode players explore a dungeon while attacking every monster they encounter. A player can only proceed once all their teammates have passed the exit point on their floor, and if one player dies, their comrades can choose to wait or continue delving into the dungeon. Each player can also swap items with their teammates. Some characters are more efficient than others in multiplayer mode, such as the Rwinn and Prim.
- There are several Easter eggs hidden in Shining Soul II. Traditional Shining mascot Yogurt is hidden in one of the stages, while there are a number of Shining Soul dungeons hidden in the game. It is possible to find various classic Sega artifacts as well, including past consoles, which can be used as items for communication. The North American version also has a number of special character names that can be used to start characters with various bonuses, including increased statistics and resistances. Finally, the Master Sword is an unlockable item in the game, and can be used in battle.
- ↑ Round-Up: GBA Value, In The Groove Loss, Xbox 360 AV. Nich Maragos. Gamasutra.com. January 5, 2006.