Review: Shining Resonance Refrain

  • Developer: SEGA
  • Publisher: SEGA
  • Release Date: July 10, 2018 (NA / EU)
  • Price: $49.99 / £44.99
  • Genre: Action RPG
  • Platform: PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, , Xbox One, PC
  • Reviewed on a PlayStation 4 Pro

Spoiler Free

While the Shining series is a long running franchise of Sega, the is he first time one of them has reached the West in 10 years. Shining Resonance Refrain is a remastered version of Shining Resonance for the PS3 which was only released in Japan back in 2014. The PS4 release includes all of the DLC from the original, an additional mode and a full English dub option.


Shining isn’t as complex as many Japanese RPGs which makes it accessible to players of all skill levels. The combat is real time and it doesn’t take long at all to get accustomed to the controls. Light attacks are handled with the circle button which allows for some basic  combos while the triangle button activates your character’s signature attack. Along with the basics, your party can equip Force Abilities (similar to magic attacks in other RPGs) which can be mapped to the face buttons and swapped out as new ones are learned. Your party will perform differently depending on which abilities you have equipped which allows for a great amount of experimentation.

While these abilities add more depth to the pretty basic combat, the combat itself remains relatively unchanged for pretty much the entire game. Depending on what you are looking for in a game’s combat, this can seem negative but the combat does remain solid throughout. Yuma, the game’s protagonist has the soul of the Shining Dragon in him which he can unleash in battle which mixes up things a bit for the better.


In the spirit of keeping this review spoiler free, I will not go into the story too much except to say that I found it to be enjoyable if not somewhat predictable. One thing I found really interesting (since this is the first game in the series I have played) is the B.A.N.D. system. Believe it or not, your party’s weapons allow them to play music and depending on which song you play, they can have different effects. The dialogue both before and after exploring the world can drag on a bit too much but it never got to a point where I became bored.


Overall Shining Resonance Refrain is a very enjoyable JRPG. experience. Fans of the other games in the franchise as well as the Tales series will feel right at home with the story and combat. It’s a really cool addition to the PS4 RPG library

Final Score 7.5/10



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