Shiness: The Lightning Kingdom Review
This is one of those moments where I got what I wished for…some what. All these years I was hoping for a gaming with imagination and intrigue. When I was younger we had crazy looking characters and exploration. Shiness gives gamers that old-school RPG feeling with some new graphics, but is it everything I dreamed of?
You start the game off as Chado and Poky two waki’s that are on a journey until their airship has some trouble and they crash land on the Celestial Islands. Sadly you are in the middle of a power struggle in which Chado is the only one that can see this mystical entity called a Shiness. Since he is the only one that can see it, he must muster up the courage to try and fix whatever is going on while this dark being that will end them up. Taking partnership with three other characters harnessing the power of different elements. This teamwork will help you succeed or form a stronger bond that you never expected.
Shiness is an Action RPG that will test your skills as you switch between characters and give each party member a specific task to help you in battles. I am currently playing on the Xbox One so I use the Left Button to switch between characters, L-Trigger to use my special abilities, R-Trigger to recharge my ability and R-Button to initiate a special ability with a combo. You use X and A for Punch and Kicks. The B button is your guard and while you hold B you can dodge roll. Your Y button initiates your parry if you time it right when being attacked. This will stun your enemy so you can unleash all hell on them.
Outside of combat, you explore and once you are done with the first hour of tutorials of what you need to do. You begin to get deep into the different task at hand, learning more about each character’s traits and what other quests you have to get into. There is bounty quest on a message board and then there is hunting quest that happens at all times. There is an interesting currency system which involves both money and bartering. The more creatures you catch can lead to bartering for goods or selling for more money. This is a way to have endless currency in your pocket, but you have to master the art of sneaking or picking the right time to dash at a critter. There are some slower than others, but it seems the faster are the rarer.
The game is all around stunning and features unique venues and fascinating characters. Since this is based on the manga you will get clips in full color in cut-scenes. It kind of feels like you are playing in two different worlds with waki, shelks, askel’s and what I am assuming are humans. A diverse band of fighters helping each other in different aspects. Apparently, the waki’s are the kids of the group. let’s not forget the enemy designs which come in all shapes and sizes. Some even come in more annoying challenges, my least favorite is the poison enemies. You have the Skelfon, Gromiz, Kocli and one that I will keep hidden. There are many other side enemies that will be minor obstacles that will help you level up! It gives the nice idea of an open world, but in reality, it is a Metroidvania.
(Cracks Knuckles) Some of this is more on the personal note and I shall get that out the way from the start. I don’t favor RPG’s that have amazing still cut-scenes with great voice acting, but once it goes into the gameplay story scenes. The character becomes mute and leaves only text, but yet their mouths move one moment and stop moving the other while the dialogue still going. It feels a bit lazy and half done, I say why have the mouths move at all? Except when it comes to laughter or expressing a feeling. There are some hiccups in the controls in case of the combat where there is a bit of a delay with reaction times.
Shiness can get a bit overwhelming with the menu system and the interface is a bit confusing at times to navigate at first. Usually, you can separate the two of a pause option and shoot into the maps or inventory. It seems that there was too much going on different screens that tell you what is already said in another screen. There are two screens telling me the same damn thing…why? Look at the picture below to see an example.
Puzzles are pretty easy to master with each character offering their fair share of abilities that are needed to progress further. The side missions are not too tasking, but I was expecting a bit more. Other than that it is not too bad.
Shiness: The Lightning Kingdom is not bad for an idie Action RPG, it is fluid in certain cases and is a great game for combat. It has a simple story with challenging puzzles to keep your brain on track. Other than some audio lag and input lag situations I am enjoying my time with this title and so far not even half way through and still intrigued with other abilities I am able to unlock and character features to gain access to help my combat scenarios go smooth. That is right you can set specific actions while fighting so your partners can heal, boost and jump in when needed. It is a nice touch and you can set the right moment for when they act upon you or the enemies.
I give it 3.5 paws out of 5. I an enjoying a unique and fun looking Action RPG again and I hope we see many more of this genre. Shiness: The Lightning Kingdom is available now for the Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and Windows PC. Sad to say this would have made an awesome title for the Nintendo Switch, but maybe it will. – Beast Out –