If I didn’t know any better, I’d say that Shiness‘ pastel vistas and vast, Avatar-esque skyscapes were coming from a major Japanese publisher. The JRPG’s tribute’s production values are at least baseline triple-A-level, if not even more impressive in some places. Shiness, however, isn’t even Japanese, let alone the spawn of some publishing Godzilla. Instead, it’s the work of small French indie studio Enigami. Naturally they’ve taken to Kickstarter, but what they’ve already managed to build quite a lot. Video below.
Shiness’ world-building is undeniably impressive. It takes place on a series of celestial islands (the world exploded, kind of, but not entirely) and focuses on many different races, of which humanity is only one. The game’s developers even invented their own entire language, one of many holdovers from the fact that this world has apparently been in the works (in various ways) for 20 years.
Combat, meanwhile, is more action-oriented than traditional turn-based JRPG fare. It looks really smooth and well-animated, too. The influence of action anime (think Naruto or Dragonball Z) is pretty overt here.
All that said, the characters and plot seem cliched as all get-out, which is unfortunate. But then, it’s tough to find a JRPG – tribute or not – that doesn’t subscribe to the notion of the entire genre as comfort food. There are exceptions (Persona on consoles, for example), but JRPGs frequently straddle the line between reverence for the past and outright rut.
Shiness is seeking $100,000, and it’s already well on its way there. Think you’ll back it?