The Shiness: Lightning Kingdom gives you everything you would want if manga, RPG’s, and fighting games had a baby. It’s manga-like animation used for cutscenes makes them worth looking forward to watch instead of skip. The battle arena that keeps all battles one on one require the skill of a fighting game. It brings to the table much more than your typical indie RPG.
What Is It?
The Shiness: Lightning Kingdom is a little known gem I have been following on social media for over a year now. I was surprised to see an RPG from Focus Home Interactive, who in my opinion, is mainly known for Farming Simulator. The thing that got me most interested in this game was the fact that it allowed you to play a video game through a manga inspired universe. The cutscenes and beautiful art take place as if you’re reading a manga and may be even more interesting than playing the game itself. Developed by French Studio Enigami, The Shiness: Lightning Kingdom is a story over 20 years in the making. The characters in the game’s universe even have their own unique language.
It takes place on Mahera, a world being torn apart by evil outside forces. Chado and Poky are best friends who look like some sort of mice, but are actually Wakis. Though we are never told what exactly a Waki is, the locals who aren’t fans of them refer to them as “Squirrel Pigs.” In my opinion they look like a blend of anime mice and Naruto characters. Their airship goes down and they become separated. Their unification journey ends up running alongside Meteora of Gendy’s journey to find the rumored Lands of Life.
Chado has an interesting spirit friend, known as the Shiness named Terra that only he can see. The world of Mahera is vibrant and unique. It’s full of various inhabitants in addition to the Waki, including but not limited to, dignified Shelks and humans. The only flaw would be the lack of explanation behind why particular kingdoms and races are butting heads with each other and the lack of background story for each one.
Why Should I Care?
This game has RPG-style gameplay mixed with fighting game style battles. If you do not parry, move around, and block, you will be beaten. The battle system also keeps all fights one on one. If you’re into fighting games and RPGs alike, this may be something you’ll find interesting.
The animation is also exquisite. The cel-shading is well done and it really brings the world to life. The colors are vibrant and each environment really shines. I’ve never seen an indie game as visually appealing as something with a larger budget. The soundtrack is also on the level of a mainstream RPG utilizing a full orchestra. Each environment in the game is filled with charisma and does well at drawing in the player. Another thing that is really wonderful about this game is instead of making a typical 100-hour long RPG with poor music and images that’s drawn out, it’s a gorgeous unique tale which can be completed within 20-50 hours. Again, it isn’t technically perfect and that’s okay. It remains one of the strongest imperfectly perfect indie RPG’s I’ve seen in while.
What Makes It Worth My Time And Money?
Even with a few technical issues and slight battle input lag (yes, my main complaint is the text font being thin and rather small), they still managed to produce something of quality that’s even better than role playing games put out by AAA publishers.The game’s flaws are easily overlooked for the art, music, unique battle system and play style alone. I am a big fan of how you start with separate characters and use their abilities to navigate the same map in different ways. It reminds me of SaGa Frontier or Wild Arms. This particular play-style creates a bond with each character on an individual scale.
The Shiness: Lightning Kingdom brings forth an effort that far exceeds its minimal $30 price tag. I highly recommend it.