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Shiness: The Lightning Kingdom Reviewed by Cyril Lachel on . Shiness: The Lightning Kingdom is a broken game that needs to be fixed before you even consider spending money on it. This is a shame, since I like the merging of 3D fighting and role-playing elements, and the characters are likable enough to want to be around. But don't let the colorful graphics and unique mechanics fool you, this game is unplayable in its current state. You're better off waiting for a patch ... or just avoiding it all together. Rating: 20%
Shiness: The Lightning Kingdom
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Shiness: The Lightning Kingdom Shiness: The Lightning Kingdom Shiness: The Lightning Kingdom Shiness: The Lightning Kingdom
  • Review Score:

  • D
The term "game-breaking glitch" gets thrown around a lot these days. Perhaps it's because developers are constantly rushing their games to the market or simply don't have the money and manpower to deliver the polished experience gamers are looking for, but we've come to expect brand new releases to be a bit buggy prior to a patch or two. Unfortunately, Shiness: The Lightning Kingdom is more than a "bit buggy." If this was merely an issue of unstable frame-rate and graphics that pop-in from time to time, I wouldn't be that annoyed. But this brand new game from Enigami is so busted, that I literally had to quit playing due to a game-breaking glitch. Yeah, it's that bad.

This is going to be a frustrating review, and not just because I could only experience a portion of the game before being forced to stop playing. It's frustrating because there's a lot about this game I genuinely liked. What this first-time developer has come up with is surprisingly compelling, as it mixes a 3D fighting game with a traditional role-playing game, all while fusing it with some interesting puzzles to solve. It's a genre-hopping adventure with a cast of likable characters and a colorful world to explore. While far from perfect, I was into what this game was offering right up to the point where I couldn't advance the story due to a game-breaking bug.


Shiness tells the story of Chado and Poky, a couple of furry characters who crash land on a mysterious land after their airship gets tossed around by nasty storm. With no way to get home, these two friends basically get caught up in the drama of the local townspeople and set out to run a series of helpful errands. It won't take long for Chado and Poky to meet Kayenne and Rosalya, who seem to be in the middle of their own journey, which involves running away from some bad guys and searching for the Lands of Life.

Although it covers a lot of familiar role-playing game tropes, Shiness does a good job of differentiating itself with a unique take on the combat. Instead of getting sucked into the typical turn-based nonsense we often see from this style of game, the developers have turned each battle into a fun one-on-one fighting game that reminds me of Dragon Ball Z with furries. We're able to punch, kick, cast magic spells and even tag-team with the other members of your party, which turns out to be a clever way to handle these fights.

What I like is that each character has their own special skills and abilities that will not only become invaluable in battle, but will also help the team solve puzzles and advance the story. For example, Chado is able to summon a giant rock that can be used to open new paths, Poky can harness the power of electrical stones, and Kayenne has telekinetic powers that see him moving large objects around without getting his hands dirty. Swapping between all these characters is key to opening up doors and making it through what is supposed to be a lengthy quest.

Shiness: The Lightning Kingdom (PlayStation 4)Click For the Full Picture Archive

Looking back on it now, there were warning signs that the lack of polish was going to be downfall of Shiness. Even before the game-breaking bugs, I could tell that something was off. The frame rate and animation sputtered along, my character would get stuck in the environments and riding the elevator made it look like my characters were in the middle of suffering an epileptic seizure. Nothing about the game ran smoothly, which should have tipped me off to the wall I was about to hit.

As silly as it sounds, my mistake was opening a gate a little too early. Believe it or not, this game has a real problem with solving objectives out of order. While searching the local forests, I decided to pry open a gate and see what was inside. Little did I know that this was going to be a plot point a few minutes later. Much to my horror, I found the computer-controlled character begging me to open the gate, not able to turn around and see that it was already open. This stopped me dead in my tracks. There was nothing I could do to convince her that the gate was already open, and thus the story could not advance. I was stuck. My quest came to an end before it barely got started.

And this isn't the only time something like this happened. Early on, I discovered that fixing an elevator too early will, you guessed it, make it impossible to ride that elevator when you need to. Thankfully, this happened early enough in the adventure where starting over was an option, but that wasn't the case with the gate. And reading through the forums, it's clear that this game is littered with these game-ending bugs that all seem to stem from the player accidentally doing something out of order.

Shiness: The Lightning Kingdom (PlayStation 4)Click For the Full Picture Archive

The reason this is troubling is because the game has almost been out for a month and the issues persist. There may come a point when the developers patch up these errors and the game runs smoothly, but who knows when that will be. It's one thing to put up with a crummy frame-rate or jerky animations, but having the game end because you fixed an elevator or opened a gate too early is absolutely unacceptable. Sure, I could restart the game and spend multiple hours getting back to where I was, but it's impossible to tell when something like this will happen again. It's like walking through a minefield.

Shiness: The Lightning Kingdom is a broken game that needs to be fixed before you even consider spending money on it. This is a shame, since I like the merging of 3D fighting and role-playing elements, and the characters are likable enough to want to be around. But don't let the colorful graphics and unique mechanics fool you, this game is unplayable in its current state. You're better off waiting for a patch ... or just avoiding it all together.
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