Initially, when it was announced, Shiness comes across as a bright and vivid RPG with interesting and original races and characters. Each character can be equipped with different equipment and fighting styles as well as spells, allowing players to custom build different characters with different strengths and weaknesses. In older style RPGs, battles would get frustrating and grinding, well, we called it grinding for a reason. Different characters fight in different ways. They also have different
Company: gamezone, Activity: gamezone, Date: 2017-04-20
Keywords: news, games, gamezone, companies, unanswered, rpg, weaknesses, genre, style, reminds, original, characters, game, world, shiness, rpgs, review, really, different


Review: Shiness Reminds the RPG Genre How to be Original

Shiness is an action-RPG that was funded partially on Kickstarter. Developed by Enigami, it was released on April 18, 2017. Initially, when it was announced, Shiness comes across as a bright and vivid RPG with interesting and original races and characters. With a nice roster of characters to play as the game looks like it calls back to the old days of classic RPGs with varied personalities.

As it turns out, aesthetically speaking, it did just that. But the gameplay was something refreshingly new. Fights take place in an arena, which is basically just where you were on the map with a bubble around the boundaries. The controls aren’t monstrously difficult, and fights can go pretty fast if weaknesses are taken advantage of.

Combat includes combos, dodging, parries, and spellcasting. Teammates can even be swapped out on the fly. Each character can be equipped with different equipment and fighting styles as well as spells, allowing players to custom build different characters with different strengths and weaknesses. Each character can only have four types of magic equipped at a time, but being able to switch out characters so easily allows for great strategies.

Combat is honestly one of the best features of the game.

In older style RPGs, battles would get frustrating and grinding, well, we called it grinding for a reason. But fights in Shiness are fun. With five party members to choose from (with three active at any given time) battles take place one-on-one with characters (and enemies) able to tag out and play against their opponent’s weaknesses. It’s not too terribly difficult, while also providing a new and exciting challenge at the same time. The best feature is the parry, which if timed right, will allow you to disengage from an enemy’s combo-fest and turn the tide against them.

Magic is also interesting, in that you essentially have a “mana bar” for each element. The barrier around the arena shifts through different colors, and attacking with the element of that color while the barrier is that color makes it do extra damage. You also need to charge your magic back up, which leaves you vulnerable. But doing so charges all your magic, with whatever element the barrier at the time charging even faster, leaving yet another strategy to think about. Attack and deal a bunch of damage with the enemy’s weakness, or take that time to charge back up? There are no mana potions, so complete depletion can come back to bite you if the next enemy is relentless and won’t let you charge.

What the game falls through a bit on is the exposition. The opening sequence of the game doesn’t introduce the player to the world as well as one would hope in a world full of anthropomorphic animal kingdoms rich with lore and life.

The game is based on a Manga series. For those who have read it before, maybe the first few hours of the game made more sense, but for someone unaware of it, it was a little bumpy. But again, the entertaining battles whisked me through the unanswered questions I had. Even after getting further in the game, some questions were left unanswered and you’re just expected to go with it. Well, the world is interesting, vivid and fun, so that’s not too much to ask.

The story isn’t bad, it just leaves a lot more questions than answers.

Right away, the game throws you into a crash landing into a forest. You play as Chado and Poky, these two small rodent-like creatures. They keep being told they’re not welcome there, without much else being explained. Slowly, the player gets filled in, but the pace they chose for the answers relies a little too heavily on the fun-factor of the game.

Aside from the action, the style of the game is really attention-grabbing. When requesting this game for review, it was the art style that immediately drew me in. Bright colors and a happy-looking world filled with unfamiliar races of people. The art style really nails the manga aesthetic. Each area the journey takes you to is more different than the last. It starts in a dense jungle and even finds its way to some dungeons and even a snowy mountaintop.

The animation of it all is really nice as well. Different characters fight in different ways. Chado runs on all fours while Pokey, a bit tubbier than his friend, sticks his stomach out as he dashes. They also have different fighting animations for all the characters, really rounding out their character and background in a classic, exaggerated way.

Outside of battle, there are occasional puzzles to solve. These puzzles require different characters to solve. Initially, this was a cool concept, but they could have done more with it. It’s not that what they had was bad, it just could have been more varied. There are some less-than-entertaining fetch quests, but most of them are completely optional side-quests. This may sidestep the problem slightly, but skipping all the side quests makes the game that much shorter. As an RPG, Shiness is a bit on the short side clocking in at about 15 hours if B-lining through the main quest.

Overall, Shiness was an enjoyable game.

At a price point of $30, it’s absolutely worth the price despite its shortcomings. With how dense the world seems to be, many sequels could be spawned from this title, and perhaps even alleviating the previous complaint of unanswered questions.

Shiness is a breath of fresh air, while also reminding us what made the PlayStation 2 era so great with its originality and narrative decisions. Many RPGs today resemble movies, leaving no room for the player to just feel the world out. Shiness encourages it with its dense and color packed environments and keeps you coming back with its fun combat.


Company: gamezone, Activity: gamezone, Date: 2017-04-20
Keywords: news, games, gamezone, companies, unanswered, rpg, weaknesses, genre, style, reminds, original, characters, game, world, shiness, rpgs, review, really, different


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