If there is one genre of game that has pulled me in now I review games, it has to be the JRPG. While they tend to consume a lot of time, they tend to be full of lore, and drag you into a zany story. While sometimes they may not deliver, when they do they offer lots of fun. So the question is, can Shiness: The Lightning Kingdom provide the fun it seems to promise?
In the beginning of the game you take control of Cado and Poky, who have crashed their airship on a floating island. In contact with “Shiness” a nature spirit, it guides you into an adventure that introduces you to warring factions, playable characters and more importantly plenty of creatures to battle.
There are five characters that you meet in your journey, and you have the choice to build a party featuring only three of these at a time. They all have their own style of abilities and magic, based on earth, wind, water, and fire. It’s a lot to take in at first, but when you get used to the system it all fits together well.
The game world is open world to a point, with the levels being split into zones of play. You have the ability though to fully explore them. In these zones you see plenty of little creatures that you can sneak upon and steal items from (like spikes, fur, and even poop). These can be then sold or bartered to merchants which results in the ability to buy better armour.
The fighting mechanics in Shiness: The Lightning Kingdom are quite easy to understand, with the main mêlée attacks being a kick, punch, dodge, and parry mechanic. Once you have this learnt you’ll be kicking plenty of bad guy ass. Further on in the game, and in boss battles, the fights become multi-tiered and more complicated, which provides plenty of challenge for those looking for it.
Where Shiness: The Lightning Kingdom is weakened somewhat is in the story – which is a little light for my liking, but the art style and music for the game are inviting enough to have kept me invested. More importantly, it is the fights themselves that are engaging enough to keep me playing.
While the first initial fights maybe a case of bashing away at the kick and punch, and parrying in the hope to win the battle, the more you learn the system the more engrossing it becomes. You soon find yourself chasing the enemy around the arena style area you fight within, and also using the magic available to take out the enemies.
While Shiness: The Lightning Kingdom may not be on the level of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, but it is still a good solid role-playing game for those looking for something a little different. Don’t expect any spectacular new mechanics that will revolutionise the JRPG here, just a fun indie title that brings plenty of fun for the player.
Shiness: The Lightning Kingdom is available on PlayStation 4 now, as well as PC and Xbox One.