I remember playing Shining in the Darkness for the Sega Genesis when I was younger. I never got very far, but I did get to know a lot of the twists and turns in that labyrinth. I remember playing Shining Force too, but we never had the actual Genesis game cartridge—it was a PC port on a CD-Rom bundled with a couple other Sega games. I don't think I ever got farther than the abbey, but I loved it. The tactical combat offered a different style of battle than the turn-based Menu Wars of games like Pokémon and Shining in the Darkness.
Later, I bought the Gameboy Advance remake, and this time I played it all the way through. In fact, I played it through multiple times—the difficulty increases after each win, and I racked up quite a few.
The point I'm trying to make is that Shining Force is one of my favorite games, and I look back on it very fondly. I also think it still holds up well today as a fine RPG. But it was recently brought to my attention that there is a sequel that I hadn't ever played. And not only does Shining Force II exist, it's available on Steam as part of their Sega Genesis Classics Collection.
Naturally, I picked it up in a trade and turned it on.
I regret not doing so sooner. It's just like the first game, and I can happily give it my seal of approval.
Of course, after all those runs through the extra games in Shining Force: Resurrection of the Dark Dragon, I found out pretty quickly that the difficulty level I was playing on ("Hard") was far too easy, so I had to bounce back into a new saved game and crank it up to the maximum difficulty ("Ouch!").