Mixed or average reviews - based on 20 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 20
  2. Negative: 0 out of 20
Buy On
  1. Jul 9, 2018
    Shining Resonance Refrain plays like a pretty standard yet extremely solid JRPG. Despite the slow beginning, the story is interesting and extremely well thought out. The characters are likable and the graphics are beautiful.
  2. Aug 2, 2018
    Shining Resonance Refrain returns after a very long hiatus on the Western shores, in an amazing, shining package. A game with an enthralling story and captivating characters, beautiful visuals and a battle system that tries to function as intended, but suffers from technical issues related to its age. With all-new content and the promise of an improvement to the series, Shining Resonance Refrain is definitely an authentic JRPG adventure that should not be missed by gamers who craved the return of the series.
  3. Jul 20, 2018
    A triumphant return overseas for an iconic JRPG series. It has solid foundations in the usual JRPG business of fantasy kingdoms and amnesiac warrior boys, but it builds off of that foundation with charming characters and gorgeous art to create a pretty unique identity for itself. While some aspects of the game are a little unpolished, it’s still a standout JRPG worth standing alongside any of the other big players in that genre, and worth checking out by anyone who calls themselves a JRPG fan.
  4. Jul 11, 2018
    A sweet and relaxing experience based on the Super Mario universe with Toad as our main character. Each level is a puzzle by itself and it requires tons of patience and the ability to play with prospective.
  5. Jul 9, 2018
    Its smaller scale and relatively simpler structure makes it easier to sink some time into than an even more massive JRPG like the Xenoblade titles, which may be more intimidating as a result of their scope. As for its minor setbacks, they are easily offset by its other intrinsic qualities, chiefly the loveable cast of main characters. Fans of the JRPG genre in its more classical form, but also of manga/anime style adventure stories, should find plenty to enjoy here.
  6. Jul 9, 2018
    Its systems are top-notch, its action is uniquely its own, and lord knows we need more solid JRPGs back in the West.
  7. Aug 1, 2018
    Shining Resonance is a good RPG game. It is entertaining, but we can find several drawbacks. We are looking at a good remake which adds extra content to the original game, but we can find different mistakes on it, as the irregular difficulty.
  8. Jul 11, 2018
    It’s not gonna trouble the most complex and tactical JRPG’s fans, but Shining Resonance Refrain deserves to be played and enjoyed.
  9. NF Magazine
    Oct 29, 2018
    This is an OK RPG – it's just not a great one. [Issue #36 – November/December 2018, p. 85]
  10. Jul 17, 2018
    Shining Resonance Refrain can enthrall the player with its rollercoaster story, despite some very clichéd characters. It has great combat and many good ideas, even if the whole game is a bit classic.
  11. Jul 16, 2018
    Shining Resonance Refrain is a decent action RPG. While the story doesn’t really tread any new ground, the characters are likeable enough to want to see it through. The combat gameplay is fun if you enjoy a fast-paced battle, and the musical elements add a neat feature on top of the usual mechanics. And it’s all playable on a portable device. While it’s harder to recommend this over more recent games of this genre, If you can’t get enough of action RPG’s then Shining Resonance has something to offer.
  12. 70
    Apart from the dated combat, Shining Resonance seemed to have the right elements to be a success but just missed a certain chemistry to really hook me in. Fans of previous titles in the series and seasoned RPG players may find the enjoyment that alluded me. I wouldn’t tell you to avoid this game, but there’s a whole lot I would recommend before it.
  13. Jul 9, 2018
    Shining Resonance Refrain is the kind of game that can put on a solid performance, but it’s also abundantly clear that it doesn’t quite have the pipes to hit the high notes; it’s a good game, but not a great one.
  14. Games Master UK
    Aug 9, 2018
    A lesser JRPG revival for Sega, though hardcore players will find depths worth exploring here. [Issue#333, p.75]
  15. Jul 10, 2018
    Shining Resonance Refrain isn’t a terrible game, it’s just riddled with incredibly poor decisions which almost overshadow a great combat system.
  16. 65
    A good story hampered by clunky controls at times, a lack of variety in monsters to battle, and borderline useless sidequests. If you enjoy grinding and maxing everything out in your JRPGs, then this title will get you by. While the story is good, it’s nothing mind-blowing, and the repetitive gameplay, lack of variety, and frustrating lack of travel options might turn some gamers off.
  17. Jul 26, 2018
    Shining Resonance Refrain brings an RPG from the previous generation into the Nintendo Switch catalogue and while the game is full of content and features well-crafted characters and a simple battle system, it also fails to fulfil all expectations due to its cliché-ridden plot and less motivating exploration. RPG fans will still draw a valuable experience from this but Shining Resonance Refrain doesn't really stand out from other similar games already available.
  18. Jul 11, 2018
    Well, why did Sega decides to port Shining Resonance to our European consoles instead of Valkyria Chronicles or Phantasy Star Online 2, no one will ever know. However, what we do know is that Shining Resonance is your average J-RPG with your average team of anime-looking main protagonists fighting with the power of songs and friendship. An enjoyable but quite forgettable experience.
  19. Jul 17, 2018
    If I can summarize the entirety of Shining Resonance Refrain into one word, it would be generic. It looks and sounds great and features a charming cast of characters but the gameplay is ultimately much too "been there, done that".
  20. Jul 27, 2018
    Shining Resonance Refrain pivots between enjoyable and very dull moments. For every good aspect, there is another that undoes it, while everything else is strictly mediocre. If players are in desperate need of an action JRPG and have somehow managed to exhaust all other options, then Shining Resonance Refrain may fill part of the void. However, it certainly isn’t the glorious return that series fans have been hoping for.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 81 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 55 out of 81
  2. Negative: 13 out of 81
  1. Jul 10, 2018
    Shining Resonance Refrain is pretty incredible on Switch: beautiful visuals in 720P / 30FPS, good characters, fun battles and nice soundtrack.Shining Resonance Refrain is pretty incredible on Switch: beautiful visuals in 720P / 30FPS, good characters, fun battles and nice soundtrack. It's a Tales Of game but without the name :)
    An excellent RPG to buy alongside Octopath Traveler.
    Full Review »
  2. Jul 11, 2018
    Absolutely amazed by this game. Very deep and intuitive battle system and character relationships. Solid story with English voiceAbsolutely amazed by this game. Very deep and intuitive battle system and character relationships. Solid story with English voice localization. Visually it’s top shelf with a smooth frame rate. I also preordered Octopath Traveler but it will have to wait until I play this into the ground first. Highly recommend if your a fan of the genre. Instant classic. Full Review »
  3. Jul 12, 2018
    Nice JRPG, beautiful graphics and really good music. Stereotypical and goofy characters. If you like the Tales of Series i think wou will haveNice JRPG, beautiful graphics and really good music. Stereotypical and goofy characters. If you like the Tales of Series i think wou will have fun with this game. Runs smooth in Handheld and docked mode. Full Review »