Shing! (PC) Review

By Athanasios 31.03.2021 1

Review for Shing! on PC

One of the many (yes, many) good things about the video game industry right now, is that, due to nostalgia being one of the main ingredients of the market, genres that were once considered popular have seen a resurgence. In the world of beat 'em ups, for example, older series have returned, either via a direct sequels like Streets of Rage 4, or as remakes the likes of The Ninja Saviors: Return of the Warriors (both excellent, by the way). This has also led to indie developers trying their luck on side-scrawling brawlers, with one the many titles created being Shing! - the co-op-friendly beat 'em up where a team of four warriors is pitted against a demonic invasion of the Japanese monsters known as Yokai.

The story goes as follows: something-something-crystals, yada-yada-evil-invading-monsters, only four heroes can save the day, or something along these lines. Yes, the plot is so generic that it's hard to pay attention, and the only reason most won't press the 'Skip' button whenever one of the many cut-scenes play, will be how scantily clothed the scantily clothed ninjas are, with their breasts popping out more than the horns of the Orc-like Yokai, and their behinds being barely covered, as if their daily routine is comprised of ninpō at 08:00 AM, yoga after lunch, and cocktails and dirty dancing at midnight. This critic is not complaining, as he is one of those remaining few gamers (or is it 'boomers?') who still have the capacity to enjoy the cartoony and unapologetically "ridiculous" aspect of the medium. If there's something to complain about that's how this is one more title that tries to be very funny, and ends up being forgettable and lifeless.

Screenshot for Shing! on PC

The characters? Sassy girl #3434, serious older sister #2621, Irish strongman #104523, and naughty/moronic" swordsman #9827908989. The jokes? Comments on big buttocks are long and thick genitalia the epitome of humor. The heroes don't take their mission seriously, and neither will you. Ok, sure, a beat 'em up doesn't need some sort of deep lore, but it still needs to provide an incentive, and this simply doesn't. Want an example of a simple, yet excellently provided incentive? Ok! 1988. NES. Double Dragon. Girl gets punched in the stomach… and that's it, that's all you need, no snarky comments about how sultry the whip ladies are.

Of course, SHING! is all about the action, so it's easy to cut some slack to its narrative flaws, not to mention that the game is a looker, with the scenery being diverse and very well detailed, even if there's no areas that will give something to write home about. Sadly, the problems continue here as well, with the most glaring issue being the controls scheme. This happens to utilize a twin stick setup, with the left analogue stick moving the character, and the right one acting as the attack button. Do you have to press it? Thankfully, no, but constantly having to make "slicing" moves can become tiring in less than a minute. This is a beat 'em up, after all, meaning that fighting hordes of enemies is the main gist of the gameplay.

Screenshot for Shing! on PC

Luckily, there is an alternative mode that enables attacking the old-school way: by pushing the face buttons. Problems solved? Unfortunately, no. Shing! lacks decent crowd control mechanics, which is something that it dearly needs, as battles revolve around dealing with enemies that require a very specific handling, thus the player is required to keep many balls in the air and dodge A, while also blocking B, and avoiding C's AoE attack. Impossible? No, and the game isn't really very hard… but it can get quite annoying, to be honest, as there are plenty of moments where you simply don't have time to handle all that's thrown at you. This leads to the main piece of advice at potential buyers: unless willing to play this along with a friend (or two, or three) in local co-op, stay away.

Screenshot for Shing! on PC

Lone wolfs (or plain lonely people) can swap between the four heroes with the push of a button, and upon losing a life it's a simple matter of resurrecting your buddy. Good luck with that, though, as the ensuing mayhem will rarely give you a chance to do so. Again, nothing that will give skilled players trouble, but aggravating as hell. Maybe this is a case where CPU-controlled fighters would probably be a much better alternative here. Now, despite all the negativity so far, it should be mentioned once more that this isn't an awful experience. There are some good things to say here, like how there are plenty of different battle scenarios rather than this adventure being just an endless line of baddies that come towards you, and, while the controls leave a lot to be desired, it's fun slashing your way through a variety of foes.

Fun as this can occasionally get, though, the bad things outweigh the good. For starters, while there are plenty of different battle scenarios, many of those tend to overstay their welcome, having you repeat a set of steps a few times more that's needed (mainly in boss fights). Secondly, this doesn't avoid the bane of the genre, which is how mind-numbingly repetitive it can get. Some have managed to hide that fact under a thick layer of fun (The Ninja Warriors, for instance, is loved even by beat 'em up haters), but this doesn't. As said before, this isn't terrible, so if a fan of all things beat 'em up, try it out - preferably in the form of a demo to see if you can stomach its issues.

Screenshot for Shing! on PC

Cubed3 Rating

5/10
Rated 5 out of 10

Average

Sexy, sultry ninjas and pretty vistas can't save this from being a mediocre brawler; one with a couple of good things to talk about, but mostly with plenty of flaws. The gameplay can get repetitive, and the action, while somewhat enjoyable, can soon turn into an irritating chore that has you multitask, in a game that doesn't really let you do so. Small tip for those who still want to try Shing! out (this does have sexy, sultry ninjas, after all): do avoid the default control scheme, and don't play it on your own under any circumstance.

Developer

Mass Creation

Publisher

Mass Creation

Genre

Brawler

Players

4

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  5/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

Comments

Ok boomer

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