Review: Shining Resonance Refrain (PS4)

Review: Shining Resonance Refrain (PS4)

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SEGA’s traditional Shining sequence is again, and it is undoubtedly not what old fashioned followers could bear in mind. Shining Resonance Refrain is an enhanced remaster of Shining Resonance — a PlayStation 3 title that launched solely in Japan virtually four years in the past. It arrives on Western shores with a full (and non-compulsory) English dub, in addition to a contemporary approach to expertise the story.

The predominant menu provides two choices once you begin a brand new Game: you may both play via the unique narrative, or you may bounce right into a form of ‘what if’ storyline that follows two of the title’s predominant antagonists. The Game suggests that you just go away the latter till you have accomplished the unique story, and it is sound recommendation, as the extra plot components will not make a lot sense except you are already conversant in the occasions of the general narrative.

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Still, the extra state of affairs is a cool bonus for many who find yourself having fun with the core launch. It’s truthful to say that Shining Resonance Refrain is heavy on cliches — whether or not it is predictable story beats or drained anime character tropes — however it by no means fairly will get to some extent the place proceedings turn out to be obnoxious. There’s simply sufficient significant character growth to maintain issues ticking alongside, and the solid normally bounce off each other fairly properly.

If there’s one criticism we’ve to stage on the story, it is that the pacing is a little bit off. Dialogue tends to come back in giant bursts following stints of gameplay, and at instances yow will discover your self listening to characters ramble on for upwards of 15 minutes. It can begin to really feel like the Game’s dumping an excessive amount of exposition without delay, and as such, you might end up tuning out.

And that is a disgrace, as a result of the title’s construction is simple and customarily effectively labored. The metropolis of Marga acts as your base of operations, and from right here you will journey out into the broader world, which is made up of interconnected zones, not not like the settings of Final Fantasy XII or Tales of Xillia. While this does imply that you’re going to be backtracking every now and then, new enemy varieties are launched to every setting because the story progresses, so that you’re by no means completely positive of what you will discover even in case you’ve visited the identical location quite a few instances earlier than.

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Fortunately, the fight system additionally holds up. If you have performed a Tales Game earlier than you then’ll shortly familiarise your self with Refrain’s action-based battles. You’ve received a primary combo string mapped to the circle button, and a faucet of triangle prompts a character-specific assault. Protagonist Yuma, for instance, lunges ahead along with his outsized sword and knocks smaller opponents to the bottom, leaving them defenceless for a brief interval. Meanwhile, plucky princess Sonia unleashes a barrage of stabs that pin enemies in place.

Along with blocking and dodging, the fundamentals are very straightforward to grasp, however depth is added via ‘drive’ skills. Forces might be swapped out and in at your discretion, with characters studying new expertise as they stage up. There’s enjoyment to be present in defining how your social gathering fights primarily based on the forces that you’ve got outfitted, and the system’s bolstered by ‘features’ — gadgets which you could craft and slot into your weapons to offer passive buffs.

Many JRPGs stumble over related programs, however Refrain by no means turns into a chore. Everything’s thoughtfully introduced via clear menus, and step by step upgrading and refining your social gathering is all the time a spotlight. Much just like the fight, it is all very accessible, however there is a good quantity of depth to discover in case you’re up for it.

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However, for as strong as it’s, the fight does start to tug afterward in your journey. You’ll be relying in your normal combos from the start of the Game till the tip, and so they’re not precisely flashy. It helps that every playable character has a novel preventing model — so periodically swapping between them can definitely alleviate a number of the tedium — however fight’s by no means going to present you any actual thrill.

Speaking of thrills, there is a courting sim factor to Refrain that is fairly enjoyable. As you alongside your allies and chat to them again on the town, you will develop increasingly pleasant. Yuma’s your typical harmless anime hero, stuttering on the considered even taking a look at a member of the alternative intercourse, however you may nonetheless take your favorite characters out on dates and ultimately spark some romance.

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