Shiness: The Lightning Kingdom is a charmingly, artistic RPG in a world of furry humanoids stocked up with adventure and a cast of characters that remind you of a simpler 90s cartoon era.
To start out you’re thrown into the role of Chado, a daring young Waki whose dream is to travel far from his hometown of Kimpao. Accompanied by two companions, another Waki named Poky and a spirit from nature which is a Shiness. While adventuring they crash land on an island full of mystery and you guessed it! …. more adventure. So the game begins!
Story aside as to not to spoil it for everyone. There is a couple spots I will make note as to how the story is shown. While not every scene is voice acted, there are comic like scenes where voices are used to run the story along. From a low budget indie you would expect less than stellar performance from the actors but in most cases the actors pulled off very believable lines and the emotions came through properly. On the second note I found myself enjoying the comic strip like section showing single images while the voices ran to play the story. As far as I could tell with where I ended in story it has potential to tell a well thought out story but as where I left off it felt the story was struggling to hold my attention. We will give benefit of the doubt that I was only a couple of hours into the game.
Now the meat and succulence of every game we want to know about, the gameplay. To be honest I was only slightly impressed by how the game played. Combat was fun at first offering a “Tales of” kind of combat system. Free run around with a combo like set, skills to enhance combos and abilities but where it falls short comes to the fact all fights are 1v1. Once a fight starts all enemies around shrink to solo combat including any party members with you. It becomes a one on one fight with one of the monsters until you beat it then the next enemy pops out until all in the vicinity are defeated. Given while in combat you are free to change out party members and use someone else to fight. So to sum up combat its “Tales of” Lite. Free open combat but not as much fun as having everyone all on the battlefield at once. To top off that there were moments of platforming in which case upon jumping the animation felt very floaty and wrong much like how Princess peach flew in Super Mario 2. Okay maybe not that floaty but I’m sure you get the point.
The leveling system is pretty straight forward. Level, get new skills, get new abilities, and conquer. There are items you pick up which you equip to enhance and gain new magical abilities but as far as I got that’s all there was to the improvement system. There may have been more depth later but that wasn’t to be seen by the looks of it.
Now something I can speak full and well about is with the graphics. While it is not AAA status, OMG PARTICLES!!, effects kind of game, the artistic style of the comic strip scenes as well the cartoony aspect of the world and characters themselves is very charming and fun to run around in. Overall the art is one of the biggest draws I have to this game and more than likely if I came back to it this would be the reason with the story in the 2nd place.
So final thoughts on my first impressions of Shiness: The Lightning Kingdom comes to it may be worth a play on your backlog but I’d wait for a sale or if you have nothing else you feel like playing but want an okay RPG to fill the void. That or if you really have a thing for Furry humanoids this is the game for you! If you have the time I’d support the developers and give it a shot but if you’re strapped for time I’d probably hold off until you do. One playthrough seems like it would be enough too.
Note: GameOctane Editor Jason Germino received a code for the purpose of reviewing this game. Any code or product intended for reviews is distributed to the team to review and stream for our audience. Check us out at Opencritic!
+ Beautiful Art Style
+ Good Voice Acting
+ Decent Storytelling
- Floaty Platforming
- Combat Gets Boring