Well I have truly mixed feelings about this game. Cause there's a lot of good a lot of bad and a lot of meh whatevers. Shining Force Neo honestly took me years to get back to and finish mainly due to the fact that there were a ton of games that just caught a lot more interest at my time. Anyway now that its late 2012 and its finnally done. Cross that off my backlog list.
Gameplay is a either you like it or hate it type deal per player. I don't mind it. Its real time action with 4 different types of weapons. So its not so bad for me. I think the main problems I have with it, is the various areas where you have Serious Lag issues due to too many enemies hanging about all trying to kill you at the same time. Sega promotes that the game can handle so many on-screen enemies at once but it honestly can't.
Story wise at times it feels rushed to get certain points across. You generally get the idea of what's going on after about 5 minutes of dialogue. However at times you may get the sense that they're trying to force character development during various scenes. Needless to say Dialogue drags on like its a Metal Gear Solid game at important points. It would probably be better if the voice acting wasn't lackluster. Its not horrible voice acting (I've seen horrible voice acting and this is no where close to that) but its not that great either. There's a few lines that don't feel delivered properly but hopefully you're reading it and get the sense of what's going.
Difficulty is very unforgiving. If you're not prepared it will show and you'll most likely die. The enemy's stats jump quickly between areas without warning. In fact you can easily walk into an area you have no business being in at points in the game. Toward's the endgame you can become slightly broken however you can still be killed off rather easily if you're not watching the screen. Definitely want to make sure you're properly prepared for the worst to come at all times.
If I was to give my favorite characters I would have to say Baron, Adam, and Dryu. Baron being a slight womanizer but still shows proper respect to everyone. Like Zelos Wilder but toned down a bit. Not to mention Baron's voice is rather cool. Adam is rather funny considering his random quirks also becoming rather powerful endgame. Dryu despite not talking with anything except Peep makes a very good ally later on. Those 3 are definitely memorable for me in the game.
The ending to the game felt sorta lackluster for a Shining series game. The game didn't bother to explain what happened to everyone else except the main characters. The final boss was pretty much a disappointment considering everything that was built up to that moment.
Overall I like the game being a Shining Series fan starting with Shining Tears. I probably won't play it again considering the amount of time I have to plug in for this game. Even if its short overall. Grinding and cutscenes eat up the gameplay time.