Only a classic because of the Shining name, this game is too simple and tedious to be called a true classic.

User Rating: 6.7 | Shining and the Darkness GEN
The Sega Genesis had few good, actually, just few RPG's in general. This was one of the first RPG's for Sega's only success in the console market, and the only thing it is really known for is the fact that it spurred on a whole bunch of other "Shining" games, which were, to say the least, much better than it's predecessor. Well then, what was good about Shining in the Darkness then? It had to be somewhat good for it to have "sequels," right? Well, there really isn't too many things wrong about the game. The gameplay follows a relatively "tried-and-true" formula for a battle system that's about the same as Final Fantasy, among other cliche RPG's. The only problem with that though, is that if you combine that battle system with a less-than-stellar "save the princess" story, and tedious dungeon crawler action (in a place originally called "The Labyrinth,"), which takes up about 90% of the game, it makes the battle system seem like it really is. Tediously boring. On the good side of things, there is a fair amount of player-npc interaction for a dungeon crawler, and everything else in RPG's, such as item shopping and weapons dealers, along with the been there, done that temples, with yet another new god they praise, that you save at, is all intact, and is easily accessible at any time. Too bad most of the game you'll end up finding yourself just killing enemies to level up and get items instead of progressing the story. Anyways, I think I forgot to mention that this is a First-person Dungeon crawler! Not like it really does much with the gameplay, since the gameplay would be the same whether it would he a sky view or not. But at least the game LOOKS better for it. It's not close to the greatest graphics on Genesis, it'd be a crime to rank it that high, but it still adds some graphical charm to it. If only the enemies didn't look like cardboard cut-outs that shake when they "Attack!" Old RPG enemies. Got to love em, right? Shining in the Darkness has some carchy tunes that you will find yourself humming to and actually remember way after you're done playing. Especially that labyrinth music, that music sticks with you all the time along with the battle music, only because if you play the game for hours on end, you'll end up wanting to puke because of the repetitiveness of the music... Don't get me wrong, it's catchy. Just don't listen to it for hours on end in a car. The sound effects are more of a been there, done that slicing at enemies, and the awesome sound of "GRAR!" the enemies make in different tones depending on how big or small the enemy you're battling is. (If bigger, it's a deeper "GRAR!", if smaller, it's a higher pitched "GRAR!", etc.) If you can get yourself to see past the problems I've noted above and endure the almost endless labyrinth, there really isn't much else to go back for. The game is pretty linear, most of the treasure chests are in plain sites, and there is barely any secrets to be found. But then again, that is IF you can stomach through "The Labyrinth." Shining in the Darkness is not a great game in any way. It is a very common Genesis RPG though, so if you're absolutely hard-pressed to find any Genesis RPG, pick up Shining in the Darkness. You'll be picking up a piece of gaming history, but that's only because it brought forward ideas of Shining Force, a true classic.