Role-playing games are often some of the most important creations in the gaming industry with juggernauts such as Square Enix’s Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest series or Bioware’s Mass Effect and Dragon Age. These are games that go above and beyond, creating new worlds with large enthralling stories that have the possibility to stand the test of the time. Every now and again a new game will pop up that makes me tilt my head and think “You know, that could be really awesome.” Being that I have played just about every essential RPG from the glory days of the PSOne to the modern western masterpieces and everything in between, these sort of projects interest me. Shiness: The Lightning Kingdom could be more than interesting.
Coming off the high of a successful Kickstarter campaign, Shiness: The Lightning Kingdom is an action RPG being developed by Enigami and published by Focus Home Interactive. Judging by the trailers, Shiness’ art style clearly pulls inspiration from manga and high action anime. Graphically, the game is comparable to the recent Naruto games, as combat happens in a space that resembles a typical battle in those games. No, this is not another JRPG. This is being developed in France, so an FRPG?
Shiness is clearly a labor of love, as Samir Rebib, the creative director, has been developing this world since he was a seven year old lad. Slowly, the manga he was learning to draw in became a world worth sharing. Then, the idea came to create this colorful world into a video game, and the project was born. More insight on the backstory of the project can be seen in a new Behind the Scenes video below.
This ambitious RPG also features its own made up language, adding an extra layer to the fantasy and possibly a new language. All of the music that’s been shared about Shiness seems delightful, adding a vibrancy to each scene and flowing with the action. It will be interesting to see just how in-depth the combat system is compared to other RPGs with similar mechanics, such as the well-loved Tales of franchise or the obscure Odin Sphere. Puzzle solving and exploration will be also be a major feature of being in the world of Mahera and how those are incorporated into the level design will be a major factor in keeping this game alive as a classic. What will truly make or break this game, however, is its story and characters. If everything shown results in an expertly crafted journey through a rich world, we could have a historical moment in gaming on our hands.
Shiness: The Lightning Kingdom comes to PS4, Xbox One, and PC this December. Pre-Orders are currently 15% off on Steam and include a digital PDF of the official manga and a digital soundtrack.
Personally, I see a lot of promise in Shiness: The Lightning Kingdom. I love the overall design of the characters, reminding me a bit of Akira Toriyama’s character designs. Combining that classic fighting game feel inside of a full-scale RPG sounds like an awesome idea from a pure mechanics standpoint, but I hope it does not fall to the constraints of the Naruto games’ dodge-and-use-a-super-attack-until-someone-wins style. There is a ton I am intrigued by in these trailers.
Either way, I’ll be keeping a close watch on Shiness as we near its December release date.