43. Shining Soul II

First Played: 2004

Times Completed: 10+

I like quite a few of the Shining titles, which span multiple types of RPG and many different consoles, but Shining Soul II is my favourite. Choose from 8 classes to play, either in single or multiplayer, and the game takes the structure of an action RPG dungeon crawler. There is a central castle area to buy equipment, forge new equipment, take on side quests, and so on. From here, you warp to each "dungeon", which are more like levels or locations since they can take the form of a forest, a volcano, a haunted pirate ship etc. There is plenty to do, with a substantial enough story spanning many "dungeons", alongside many secret optional dungeons and sidequests, it even contains a few of Shining Soul 1's dungeons among the hidden extra dungeons. Like Secret of Mana, this is best as a multiplayer title, where different classes can work together. I like the many references to other Sega games and consoles and there is even a Master Sword to find, that looks very Hyrulian. With 8 different characters (and an optional 9th one) I've played through multiple times, solo and multiplayer.