Game Side Chats: Shining Soul (GBA)
Boy oh girl, do I love that SHINING series! I JUST spent a sizable load of my hard earned cash on a STUPID disc that convinces my GameCube to load an emulator that will play my Game Boy games on the console! I have been REALLY wanting that disc for a couple of years now but the price was climbing HIGHER and HIGHER! No one wants to pay $70, $80… or dare I say NINETY STUPID BUCKS for a single little disc that isn’t EVEN a game. But I’m weak so I bought it anyway and needed something to test it on…
YOU CHOSE A GAME FROM THE SHINING SERIES?
I guess I did spoil that part already.
Yes. I loaded in Shining Soul. So far this year I played through Shining Force and LOVED IT. I then played through Shining Force II and LOVE-LOVED IT. I even bought furniture polish and shined my entire game room because…
So, now I’m thinking if the word “SHINING” is on a game, then that probably means I’M DOWN to play it. However…
Shining Soul Sucks Seashells by the Seashore. Say that 5 times…
BUT SERIOUSLY, WHAT’S THE ISSUE WITH IT?
It’s BOOOORRRING! Virtually no story! Not that I typically care, but really nothing here. You are in a town, you leave the town, you go to a dungeon, you fight in a dungeon, floor after floor, beat the boss, go back to town. Rinse. Repeat.
THAT SOUNDS LIKE THE RECIPE FOR MANY GREAT GAMES. WARCRAFT, DIABLO, TORCHLIGHT, AND EVEN YOUR FAVORITE… DARK CLOUD.
True! You’re right! It’s weird. But those games… are fun.
So, like, in Shining Soul you can pick between four characters. I picked an archer. I get to carry a bow and some other ranged weapons. To compete in battle, I just hold down A to build up my attack and then let it go. Then outrun the enemies while I build up my attack again and do it again. I do this over and over and over. Sometimes enemies don’t stop coming for minutes at a time. And I’m doing the same thing, never taking damage, always able to out-maneuver the slow and stupid enemies.
SO IT’S TOO EASY?
Yes, most of the time. The simplicity of it all is brain numbing. It takes a while to get through the dungeons which are very simply laid out. There’s no thinking about where to go or what to do, you just… do it.
AND YOU DID IT. IS THERE ANYTHING GOOD ABOUT THIS GAME?
It has RPG elements. You gain money to buy upgrades. If you’re familiar with the Shining series, you might recognize Mithril, the precious element that you can use to make special armor and weapons if you get enough of it. HOWEVER, I found enough to forge a new piece of armor and the armor I forged wasn’t even for my character class! SO, I COULDN’T USE IT!
But after a dungeon or two the game is largely the same all the way through and it’s about an 8 or 9 hour game.
SO YOU DON’T RECOMMEND IT?
No. I’ve had more fun picking staples out of my hand.
WHY’D YOU STAPLE YOUR… YOU KNOW WHAT? NEVERMIND.
Oh, also, there’s one boss that is SO hard. The bosses after her are super easy but this one is a particular meanie. Level 4, I believe. The boss’s name is Mishaela. It’s like Michael if you were trying to sound French to impress your date. She has a lightning attack that is random and can hit you anywhere on the screen and knocks off a lot of your life! And she’s cloned like 5 times so you must determine which one is actually her and kill her. It took me, seriously, 30 tries. I looked at the only two walk throughs that exist for this hunk-of-junk and both of them basically just said “Good luck.”
The rest of the game is a cinch. A PAINFUL cinch.
I SEE. WHY DIDN’T YOU JUST…STOP?
That’s the thing. I couldn’t! I was listening to a podcast…
..about hostage negotiations. Pretty crazy stuff. I learned what the negotiators try to do, how they buy time, and how the process might be dynamic depending on certain variables. That’s when I realized that I WAS A HOSTAGE to this game and there was no getting out of its clutches. Because it’s so mindless and easy (except for that one part with that piece of work, Mishaela), I was never so frustrated that I would quit. I just kept going and going and going. Mindlessly plundering its depths. Unfortunately, no one was there to negotiate and rescue me. Plus, my comfy couch had a firm hold on my supple buttocks.
THAT CONNECTION WAS A STRETCH BUT I’LL ALLOW IT. SOUNDS LIKE YOU DON’T RECOMMEND THE GAME. WILL YOU PLAY THE SEQUEL?
Definitely. There’s a podcast coming out soon on the West Memphis Three I need to get through and that is going to be one wild ride. It’s about these three teenage goth kids who get falsely accused of…