Showing posts with label Shining Wisdom for Saturn print ad (1996). Show all posts
Showing posts with label Shining Wisdom for Saturn print ad (1996). Show all posts

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Shining Wisdom for Saturn (1996)

Shining Wisdom for Saturn advertisement

Original ad published in the August 1996 issue of EGM 2 (no. 26).

Press to enlarge or download in higher resolution.

A controversial Zelda clone for Sega Saturn owners

Shining Wisdom (1996) is an interesting game in the long list of Shining games. It was sold for the Sega Saturn and developed by the Sonic team at Sega. More importantly, it was published in North America by Working Designs, a company that had released practically flawless game up to Wisdom’s arrival (Lunar, Vasteel and Dragon Force, to name a few). 

For Sega Saturn owners, Wisdom’s lack of quality was blatantly obvious. History and myth have long established that Wisdom was originally planned for the Sega Mega Drive and/or the Sega CD. But when Sega pushed for an earlier release date for the Saturn, plans were scrapped and the game was ported to Sega’s new system. Graphics stayed the same, which its to say, poor by Saturn standards, even for its early games. (The music, composed by series mainstay Motoaki Takenouchi, remains quite good). Animation seems very fluid and quaint, but that's debatable.

Today, Shining Wisdom is a rare game in a long list of no less than 37 Shining titles! I’ve place a picture of the logo of just the most important releases in the series so you can grasp the longevity and commercial abandon Sega has milked out of this franchise. You can read everything about said games at the excellent Shining Force Central.

Having said that, some of the games in the series are based on the early dungeon-crawling genre established in Wizardry (1981) for the PC and Sega’s own first Phantasy Star (1987) for consoles. In fact, the first game in the Shining series, Shining in the Darkness (1991) for the Genesis/Mega Drive follows that formula. The series mutated with Shining Force (1992), Shining Force II (1993) and Shining Force CD (1994) into a turn-based strategy RPG, all exclusive to the Sega Mega Drive/Genesis and its CD contraption. It then changed again into an action-RPG clone à la The Legend of Zelda in Shining Wisdom.

An apology is in order for inserting a very unflattering version of the print ad of the game that ran in magazines. This blog tries to capture the print art of video games just as they were published. I can’t mutilate the original magazine the ad ran in. This is important because in this particular case, Shining Wisdom’s advertisement was included right smack in the middle of a strategy guide published by EGM 2. The commercial implications of that editorial decision are obvious, but I’ll leave future researchers to delve on the matter. Let’s just wrap up by saying that Retro Gaming Art considers retro video game print material important historical artifacts that should never be mutilated. 

Oh and I won’t even touch on the matter of the girl’s cleavage prominently displayed in this ad. The water-brush and pencil technique is eye-catching, to say the least ;]

Shining Wisdom for Saturn print ad copy

Shining Wisdom

When Evil Ascends,
And Darkness Consumes,
Wisdom Will Light The Way,
And Bravery Will Make It Shine.

  • 10, 000 Frames of SGI Animation!
  • 40+ Hours of Intense Gameplay!
  • Cool Secret Zones and Items!

Win $10,000
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Sega Saturn
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