Shining Resonance Refrain PS4 Review
Hello everybody, Shaun Meyers here to share my thoughts on Shining Resonance Refrain by Media Vision and SEGA.
Disclaimer: I received a copy of the game from SEGA for review purposes. Like all of my reviews, this had no effect on my thoughts and experiences with the game.
Shining Resonance Refrain is a remaster and re-release of Shining Resonance which released for the PS3 in 2014. The original release never saw a western release and was Japan only until new release. The game contains the full, original campaign as well as a Refrain mode which adds 2 new characters to your party, the Swordsman Jinas and the Empire’s Crown Princess, Excella. The game and devs recommend playing through the original campaign before playing the refrain mode.
Shining Resonance Refrain follows a young man named Yuma who happens to be the vessel for the Shining Dragon, the most powerful of Dragonkind. The game begins with Yuma being experimented on by the Empire but is rescued by a woman named Sonia, along with Kirika and her knights. Sonia and Kirika manage to rescue Yuma only after Yuma manages to transform into the Shining Dragon and flies them to the safety of Marga, the capital of Astoria.
The Shining Dragon is highly revered by just about everyone, most especially Kirika. Yuma’s character starts off as rather timid because he fears the dragon’s power. With the aid of his friends and party members, he begins to overcome his fear by training himself so he can handle the dragon’s power. He is eventually coerced into aiding Astoria and King Albert in their fight against the Empire.
Yuma and his friends make up the Dragoneer’s, a group that specializes in using weaponized instruments called Armonics. Only a select few people are able to wield Armonics because they choose the person to wield them. There are 7 in total and they’re spread across the game world and reside with unique users. Kirika, Rinna and Agnum all use Armonics and are party member’s in the Dragoneer squad.
I will say that each of the characters in this game are incredibly likable. None of them felt annoying and their Japanese voice actor’s did an amazing job of portraying them. I can’t comment on the English voice acting since I’ve been playing with Japanese audio. The stories for each character were great as well and there were a ton of them to discover. It really added another layer to character interaction and it was nice not having the same thing repeat over and over whenever you spoke to them. Even NPC’s had their own stories to tell which was great as well.
Combat in Shining Resonance Refrain is action based. It’s quite similar in style to the Tales of franchise or even the Star Ocean games. You can freely wander around the battlefield to position yourself near an enemy. There’s a light and heavy attack as well as skills you can unleash on enemies. Skills are learned as you level up and can be equipped in the Force menu. You can only have 4 skills equipped at any one time so you’ll need to choose carefully.
There are two other aspects of the combat system that you can utilize. The first is Yuma’s ability to transform into the Shining Dragon. The Shining Dragon form is an incredibly powerful form but it’s a double edged sword. This form is best utilized during boss battles so you can have an easier time in defeating them. There’s a timer that counts down and if it reaches the red portion Yuma will lose control of the dragon’s power and he’ll go berzerk and you’ll lose control of him
The second combat based ability is called B.A.N.D. and this allows the dragonner’s to play their instruments and sing in order to greatly boost the party’s abilities. There are many different songs that you’ll unlock over the course of the game and each one has different effects such as increasing attack power or defense.
Another feature that the game has is the ability to change aspects and tuning. Aspects are gems that you can equip to a character’s weapon. These come in many different forms and can increase stats or allow for bonus attributes like canceling out knockdowns. Tuning your weapon changes Yuma’s combat style. At first only 2 aspects are unlocked but by completing quests for a bard named Fernando, you’ll unlock new tunings for your weapon.
The game also features a relationship system with your party members. When you’re camping or in town, you can invite your party members to talk with them alone during the night. By doing this you have the chance to improve your relationship status with them. There will be times when you’ll be asked something by the character and if you answer correctly your relationship will improve. Once it reaches a certain point the character may ask Yuma to go on a date with them.
Dates in the game take place within Marga and often revolves around walking around the city and visiting various places with Yuma’s date. If the date goes well their relationship will increase further and something good may happen between the two of them.
Overall, Shining Resonance Refrain is a highly entertaining JRPG that put a smile on my face many times over the course of the game. The characters were great and I enjoyed seeing their stories unfold. Their interactions with each other were also great and it really made the game that much more entertaining.
If you’re a fan of JRPG’s I highly recommend giving this game a shot. The game is great and it has a lot to enjoy, Story, Graphics/Artwork, Music, Characters, all great and I was hard pressed to find anything that I disliked about it. Highly recommended.
Thanks for taking the time to read this review folks! I’ll be back with my next review soon, until then, happy gaming folks!
Shaun Meyers out!