Shining Force 3

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a game by Camelot Software Planning
Platform: PC
Editor Rating: 8.5/10, based on 1 review
User Rating: 9.0/10 - 2 votes
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See also: RPGs, Shining Force Games

Shining Force 3 as the name suggests is part of the Shining series of games. This one was released in 1998 and was the final game in the series to appear on the Sega Saturn. Fans of more tactics-based RPGs hold this game and this series in very high esteem. It is certainly a game you need to consider adding to your collection if you have a Sega Saturn.

Two Empires At War

Ok, so I know I am going to get yelled at for this, but the story in Shining Force 3 is probably the weakest aspect of the game in my opinion. You have two warring empires, the Aspinian Empire and the Destonia Empire are not exactly on good terms. The basics are there was a peace treaty, it was ended by “strange” circumstances and you are part of a group trying to fix it.

I am sure some people liked the story, but for me, it dragged on far too long and there was far too much politics and text about politics that it made me lose interest. It was a bit of a shame as some of the characters are really cool.

Shining Force 3D

The presentation of the game is fantastic. The game made the jump to the world of 3D very, very well and I think it is a real standout title on the Sega Saturn for its visuals alone. The game has some amazing FMV here and that is probably the best aspect of the story. The characters, enemies, and locations all have had a lot of work put into them. Shining Force 3 has a great soundtrack that sounds like a live orchestra and it fits the action perfectly. It has some very memorable tunes and during the battles, it ramps up which makes things feel even more epic. Sadly, the voices that are in the game are pretty horrible. I would have preferred silence over the voice acting we got!

Same Old Shining Force

The Shining Force series has some of the tactics-based gameplay around and here it was the best it had ever been up to this point. You basically have two main areas of gameplay. You can explore towns/buildings and so on and you can also battle. You can talk to townsfolk, get weapons, move the plot along, and so on. Battles are where the real fun is!

You have a ton of different classes ranging from swordsmen, wizards, and centaurs. They each have their own strength and weaknesses and there is a kind of rock, paper, scissors things going on with the combat. Many tactics based RPGs are bogged down by complicated controls, but that is not the case here. You move your characters across the battlefield and need to think about what you want to do. It is great stuff that is in-depth, but not at the expense of being fun.

Some RPGs are hard to recommend even when they are good as they can be very hard to get into, especially ones that are over 20 years old. Shining Force 3 is not one of those games. While I am not a fan of the story at all, the gameplay is so engaging and the battle system is so much fun that this is the kind of game that is very easy to get lost in. It is one of the best games for the Sega Saturn and I highly recommend you play this. You do not even need to have played the other games to get the best out of this.


Final Score


  • The game looks great
  • The soundtrack makes things feel even more epic
  • I loved the battle system
  • You have plenty of classes to make use of
  • It is a very in-depth RPG, but there is no brutal learning curve


  • It is a personal choice, but the story is boring as hell to me
  • The voice acting is really bad

Download Shining Force 3


System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP

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