The long-in-development action-RPG is out this year
Do you know about Shiness: The Lightning Kingdom?
I didn’t know a thing about it — not until a couple of weeks ago, at E3 2016, where I was given a rapid-fire rundown. Schedule changes and general last-day-of-the-expo busyness meant I had little time allotted for what turned out to be a very ambitious, very intricate game. Rather than fumble my way through the demo build, I got a high-level tour from the game’s producer/composer.
At a glance, Shiness is an action-adventure RPG, and a cheerful one at that. Which, don’t get me wrong, is great in and of itself. We don’t see a whole lot of games like this — not anymore, and definitely not all that often on PC. But then there’s the hook: the combat. It made me do a double-take and feel bad for not being aware of this Kickstarted (and now Focus Home-backed) passion project years ago.
The way fighting works in Shiness caught me off guard because it is, in fact, fighting. Rather than typical turn-based or real-time battles, encounters are these 3D-arena brawls with combos, parries, spells, elemental effects, and approximately 50 other mechanics I’m forgetting that layer on top of that core.
It’s seamless, too. While strolling across the map or solving light puzzles to open the path forward, you might bump into an enemy, and it’s on — you’re now in a head-to-head battle complete with a fighting-game-style HUD and everything. Seeing someone who worked on the game absolutely dominate gave me an appreciation for the system. This isn’t just some tacked-on novelty; there’s depth.
While Shiness is going to come across as unpolished in spots, overall, it has that special something. The game has been in the works for a long time now, and some of you have been following it since day one. But the rest of us? Let’s try to keep an eye out. It’s releasing later this year for PC and consoles.