Sega-16 has a exceptional article about the history of Sega’s Shining Force series. It goes into depth about various aspects of these tactical RPG games.
From the article’s intro:
“Very few RPG series stand the test of time. Sure, a few sequels might spring up here and there over the course of a few years, but how many of them last for over a decade? I can think of a couple, like Final Fantasy, Dragon Warrior, Zelda, and perhaps a few others. These all have their charm and place in gaming history, to be sure. There is one franchise, however, that while not exactly a series per se, it has endured in one incarnation or another for almost fifteen years.
The games in the Shining series are multiple (fourteen unique releases, to be exact, with two on the way) and have spanned numerous consoles, not all of them Sega’s. From the first title, the Genesis classic Shining in the Darkness to the most recent releases of Shining Soul on the Game Boy Advance, it has morphed itself and found a way to stay alive. This is especially admirable when you consider just how half-ass Sega has treated their RPG series over the year (Phantasy Star V, where are you?). Some were straight-up RPGs, others were action/RPGs, and still others were strategy/RPGs. Yes, the Shining franchise has done it all.
The story of Shining Force is one of a name brand that has changed developers, survived developer/publisher disputes and has even seen its release platform cancelled while still in development. Personally, I’ve been disappointed to see the series stray from its roots, but maybe Sega will bring it back to the way the fans want it.
Related: My Review of Shining Force