Shining Resonance Refrain E3 Impression
Having a love of both the classic tactical RPGs of Shining Force and many hours played into the action RPGs Shining Soul 1 & 2 on GBA, I have been looking towards Shining Resonance Refrain with some anticipation. Set 1000 years after the death of the last world dragon, numerous mysterious abound right from the start of your adventure. Even though dragons are supposedly extinct, the main character Yuma has a dragon soul living inside him. Also, some evil dragons have been resurrected by the evil empire; because that’s what evil empires do.
Players have the choice of playing Original or Refrain mode; Refrain has two new characters and is intended for those who may have played the game originally on PlayStation 3 via import (or are playing the game a second time). This also opens up two new endings, as which ending you receive is dictated by which character that Yuma chooses to pair up with. All party members, male or female, can be romanced — four girls and three boys. You can max out affection with everyone if you’d like to experience their full stories; in fact, maxing out multiple character’s affections can cause some very funny dialogue!
As the story unfolded with full voice acting, I was happy to see that I could switch as I preferred between English and Japanese tracks. Once the story reveal was complete, I jumped into gameplay — events were marked on screen as well as on the mini-map. I got to try out three different characters in combat. The first was Sonia, a princess/knight who focused on fast and short melee strikes. The second character I played with was Kirika, who was a ranged character wielding both a bow and healing magic who was a little more challenging since she relied a lot more on positioning. The third character was the main character, Yuma, who wielded a massive sword that he swung in huge deadly arcs and cut down enemies with trivial effort.
After I’d beat up a bunch of enemies, a Dracomachina arrived — a dragon soul stuffed inside a machine, which made it twisted and sad. This one was associated with fire and named Trishula, and was being controlled by the evil empire princess Excella. We beat it up, but Excella just resurrected it, and then she summoned two more Dracomachina to add insult to injury. In response, Yuma transformed into a dragon (wait, he can do that?!) and we flew away.
That’s when the demo ended, and it just means I am counting the days until the game launches on Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One on July 10.