You want Hack and Slash!?!? Than that's basically all you'll get with Shining Soul 2.

User Rating: 7 | Shining Soul II GBA
After the very disappointing SS1, I never wanted to experience anything "shining" again, but sadly after reading the review here on GameSpot I thought "hey, maybe I thought too soon..." well, did I? Nope. It's still just as monotonic as it was previously. But at least the graphics were upgraded an you were given a lot more to do!

HACK AND SLASH! Say it with me! HACK AND SLASH! That is the whole game in a nutshell! You can choose between 8 or so characters (none intersect with each other) an start the journey. You get to choose from a Ninja, Vampire halve Dragon guy, some humans, and a wolf man guy. each with their own perimeter. I choose the Half Vamp first, realized he used a staff, turned it off. Tried the Ninja, not strong, but very fast, started again. Tried the Dragon guy, very powerful! Good enough for a H&S! So I choose him.
The game progresses strangely. First off, you use A to strike, B to charge-up to throw items, an L and R to choose between weapons (L) and items (R). The game has no pause button, so if you don't learn how to correctly utilize the top trigger rings, you are dead in the water. The town you are stationed in has all the needed shops, plus an free INN. When you died(which will be often) all your gold will be halved (an left behind) an maybe even some of your items you acquired will be left there for you to re-acquire.
Another problem was the difficulty. Most of the time I just hid behind a chair, or behind a wall an struck monsters from afar. This really made the game far too easy. The bosses were hard, but the actual adventure was way too easy. With all this stated, it's a decent hack and slash title.

You go to the castle for a royal tournament. You get the finals an suddenly... The princess is missing! It's up to you, a complete stranger in a town filled with knights and centaurs. The King entrusts you with the rescuing of the princess... something isn't right there... than some other stuff happens once that is completed...

Pretty highly done for a H&S game. A far more advanced creation than SS1... The backgrounds are nicely drawn, the sprites have the chibi look to them. The one thing I really noticed, besides the constant repainting of enemies, was the Shining force enemies I encountered! A few of those repaints were exact clones of "Skeletons" and "Dark Mages". Very cool Atlus, keeping that nostalgic feel of the Genesis crowd. The bosses were huge (especially the ass of the first boss! HUGE!) and the dungeons were nice and long. There was hardly any slow downs and the "anime designed" look of the stills was cool as well. Everything else is basic GBA fanfare.

Good music, very adventures and nicely arranged. The SFX were decent with magic missiles an striking sounds. can't really put too much here... I normally plat at work so I can't be sitting around listening to GBA bleeps all day! But what I heard was good…

Lets start by listing the quick save option. Again, smart choice for a GBA game! It's portable, it's on the move! Save wherever! The only problem I faced with it was, "quick save" seemed to be the ONLY save option. So if you saved, your game resent back to the main menu... very annoying! There is a bit to do, like go back and collect cards, level up, basic collections and such. There is a few "name" codes as well as a secret other character upon completion.

One of the best Hack and Slash titles on the market, and that it's saying much. Thought good in it's own respect, the game seems a bit drawn out an the beginning of the story really makes no sense what-so-ever! But if it's H&S you're looking for with a good leveling system and an easy level of playability. Check out SS2... but stay far away from SS1! I warn you now! It really stinks!