SHING is the self proclaimed “Beat Em Up 2.0”, developed by Mass Creation and published by Pixel Heart. It’s time to sharpen your sword, eat food off the floor and scroll to the right.
Shing may be the “evolution” of a tried and tested genre but even as far as you can take it, story isn’t exactly going to be a gripping narrative masterpiece in any beat em up. You’re a team of guardians for an item called the Starseed, Demons come and take the seed and you need to smack them into giving it back.
Simple and effective story giving you just enough reason to dish out the slaps to the demons, the cast also talk during gameplay and the banter is brilliant and really helps stave off the repetitive nature of the genre, not the best for multiple playthroughs and some parts are rather cliche but all in all it makes a nice change.
I would like to point out that SHING is riddled with fan service with the female character to an almost embarrassing degree at points. Where are some jokes hit quite well, others not so much and drags the titles tone down.
Graphically SHING is a clean looking game with that current day “Nickelodeon” art style, colours are vibrant, the characters are goofy and endearing, stages varied and the animations look fantastic. Very hard to find any flaw with the presentation of SHING, the art direction and graphics really suit this style of gameplay.
The music is fine in SHING it’s mostly oriental styled music to fit in with the theme, nothing overly memorable but certainly wasn’t ear bleedingly bad. The voice acting while not the worst I have ever heard isn’t going to win any awards, the characters do feel organic in their back and forth though which really works for the game.
So how does the “Evolution” of the Beat Em Up genre play? Well it’s not going to convert nay sayers let’s get that out of the way.
SHING has unlike alot of the genre currently has a bit of a gimmick to set it apart and let it use the 2.0 moniker, directional combat. This is performed by using your right analogue stick, want to send your foe into the air? Flick up! It’s easy enough to keep a rhythm with but I understand any reservations you would have with this system, it seems so did the developers.
While you can play as intended, SHING offers the switch to a more traditional button based combat which is honesty how I chose to play the game after a level or two, how this fares on other consoles I couldn’t say but the Joycon is not ideal for the future of beat em ups.
Levels are a standard affair of left to right scrolling, taking on legions of demons and avoiding traps. Enemies do have a tendency to feel slightly too spongy at times but to help alleviate the repetition once again you can switch between each member of the team at any point, ideal for big combos and keeping your players alive as it’s one of the tougher titles of the genre.
The boss fights in SHING are also a breath of fresh air for the genre, rather than wailing on a foe until they die while avoiding AoE attacks and the like, each boss has a gimmick to defeat them, much like a mini puzzle.
The framerate in SHING wasn’t the smoothest of experiences and I can only put that down to the graphics and optimization on the console.
SHING the Beat em Up 2.0 is a good step in the right direction to improve the genre, but it’s more of a half step than a full leap. A great game for beat em up fans, a lengthy campaign and some fantastic combat to be had.
Fantastic fun beat em up but not quite the evolution it claims
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