Gorgeous 2D backdrops and fluid, expressive anime characters. Up to 50 enemies can appear onscreen at the same time Offers both single-player and 2 player-simultaneous gameplay Deep character customization Players have access to a wide range of skills, items, and weapons. Characters can level up from 1 to 99 Partner Bond System The bond between the hero and his partner affects the scenario he faces and part of the story 20 to 50 hours of game time and 8 possible endingsReview Shining Tears is a throwback to a bygone era in gaming. A spin-off of Sega's classic Shining titles, its real-time action is reminiscent of the SNES game Secret of Mana, which is definitely a compliment. In many ways, Shining Tears is a retro-RPG gamer's dream, and will make you feel like you've gone back in time to the early ‘90s – which, as we all know, is both a good and a bad thing.The plot of Shining Tears is, as Mr. T would say, simply a bunch of jibba jabba, filled with more clichés and stilted dialogue than an episode of Full House. But the plot is not really the draw – the two-character combat is the heart of this game. In single-player you control the primary character while AI handles your partner. But you can also steer the second player with the right analog stick and execute linked attacks between the two with a few clicks of the R1 button. It's a nifty little system that works well, but I found it inferior to playing with a real person (even if it was Joe). Coordinating linked attacks with a second player requires more cooperation and allows you more strategic thinking in battle. This is a definite plus because later fights throw so many hordes of enemies at you you'll feel like you're trying to fight your way out of a crowd at a Color Me Badd concert. After a while, the combat can get as stale as MC Hammer's career, thanks to stages that are repeated over and over, and the necessity of replaying missions with different characters in order to level up your entire crew. The hand-drawn environments are gorgeous, as are the visuals as a whole, but that doesn't mean I want to see the same areas again and again. With repetitive combat and a plot thinner than Tracey Gold, Shining Tears shouldn't be quite as good as it is. But the retro vibe, beautiful graphics and unique control dynamic add a lot of value. It's not the best action/RPG out there, but offers some fun co-op and recalls days past in a far better way than any of the lame jokes I've made in this review.Concept:Sega's Shining series returns with an action-oriented spin-off featuring lush visuals, a unique control scheme, and a buttload of RPG clichés Graphics: The hand-drawn art style is simply amazing, and the characters are surprisingly well animated Sound:It would be nice to have more voice work than just a tiny handful of battle cries Playability:Controlling two characters with the dual analog sticks is a bit tricky, but co-op is a blast Entertainment:At first it's as fun and fresh as Gallagher, but it quickly gets as dull as Bob Sagat Replay:Moderate Rated: 7.75 out of 10Editor: Jeremy ZossIssue: March 20052nd Opinion: As its name suggests, Shining Tears is full of both radiance and grief. It pulls off its unique two-character combat with brilliant artistic style, and provides surprising depth despite its simple appearance. Sadly, the game's lack of variation on the combat front and a tendency to make me revisit the same maps wore thin on my patience. The story isn't much help, either; it's bubbling over with every fantasy stereotype imaginable (emphasis on the "fantasy" – there isn't a single bustline smaller than 36D). Without a truly tactical edge, Shining Tears gets repetitive quickly, though the actions you find yourself repeating are immensely entertaining.Rated: 7.25 out of 10Editor: Joe JubaSubscribe to Game Informer -- Amazon.com Shining Tears tells the story of a young man caught up in a war he does not quite understand. Xion has lost his memory and discovers that he holds two magical rings. Their source are unknown to him, but so is so much else -- he and his friends will travel to find answers. Soon they'll realize how terrifying the world can truly be; Their choices after learning this hard lesson will shake the land, for better or worse.
UPC Number: 01008663073
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