Did they translate all (or most) of the RPGs? I'm seeing lots of similarities between the games.. Shining Force has menus similar to Shining the Holy Ark, and both are similar to Dragon Force.. so I ask.. was this an agreement to create regulation by Sega or was it an insider thing..?
The Shining games were developed by Climax/Camelot, so it's not surprising that they have similar menus (you might notice similarities with Golden Sun as well). Dragon Force I'm not sure about, but it's the only one you listed that I know of that has anything to do with WD. WD also translated Shining Wisdom, so that may have something to do with the similarity. WD, like some other localization companies, seems to have the mentality that once they get localization rights to a game, they "own" the game and can do pretty much anything they want with it - put in condom jokes, alter the gameplay, change the title, whatever. They may have decided to use elements of the Shining design for purposes of consistency in "their" games, but it's hard to say where the similarity comes from without knowing more about the original.
I asusme you are talking about the games' fonts. Because I never saw a localization work that actually messes with the whole game interface/menu/windows.
The menus are in the way they are in the Japanese games. Noone messed with them. It is just that RPGs tend to have similar menu layouts, and everyone loves blue.
Also, Shining Force and Shining HA were not translated by WD, but Shining Wisdom was... anyway, all 3 Saturn Shining games that made it into US uses fonts that resembles the one from the Genesis/Mega Drive english Shining games, even if translated by different teams/companies. I appreciate such thing.
Yes.. I suppose so, but to see the same exact Now Loading sign, and not even being sure which game you're playing until you load the game up discerns me quite a bit. Usually all games have unique interfaces, but it's not so for these games, the interface is so similar that it's hard to find differences. Not only that, but most spell names and such were preserved similarly as well.
Of course. The Shining series carries its menus and spells with it. They work well both with RPGs like Shining in the Darkness and Shining the Holy Ark, as well as with the Shining Force games. Shining wisdom I can't even remember much about, other than it was pretty poor. Got really sick of it after the whole deal with the 5 year old guards falling asleep at the castle cause some retarded villain cast a spell.