Mixed or average reviews - based on 26 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 26
  2. Negative: 0 out of 26
Buy On
  1. Jul 9, 2018
    Shining Resonance Refrain is an entertaining adventure through a somewhat cliche story, but it contains its own unique aspects that keep you engaged. Combat is easy to learn, but there's a decent amount of depth to it. Dragonshift and B.A.N.D. sessions are wonderful combat mechanics that add more charm to the game. The relationship building and dating also adds a cute slice of life portion to the adventure.
  2. 90
    Shining Resonance Refrain might not be a classic example of the genre, but it gets the most important components of the genre right – the characters and the storytelling – and backs it up with some gorgeous art and a perfectly competent combat system.
  3. Jul 11, 2018
    Shining Resonance Refrain is a title that stands out both for its combat system, charismatic characters and an interesting story as well as for including new additions in terms of content and playable characters.
  4. 75
    A great addition to the Shining franchise. Refrain is a fun title with good combat, interesting characters, and some great voice acting that accompany a great translation.
  5. Jul 9, 2018
    A more than acceptable remastered edition of one of those JRPGs that never left its homeland. Fun and enjoyable despite its (sometimes) frustrating difficulty final bosses battles.
  6. Jul 12, 2018
    Nevertheless, the curious gameplay mechanics offered by the package make it an essential purchase for any anime enthusiast and RPG of Japanese invoice.
  7. Aug 9, 2018
    In the end, Shining Resonance Refrain is a solid addition to any JRPG fan's lineup, but honestly, I'd recommend it to hardcore JRPG fans looking for something new. For as many things as Shining Resonance gets right, it stumbles with as well which leads to a very generic RPG in the end (retreading areas and reusing enemies over and over really make this title seem like it was made on a budget). If you can live with all of that and can't wait another minute to dig into another adventure, you're definitely in luck with this localization!
  8. Jul 19, 2018
    Shining Resonance Refrain is definitely not the best JRPG in the world, but has a multifaceted gameplay. However every component is a bit too "light" to leave an indelible mark.
  9. Jul 11, 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.
  10. Jul 9, 2018
    Outside of the sometimes stupid allied AI, Shining Resonance Refrain doesn’t do anything “wrong,” it just doesn’t excel at much either.
  11. Jul 9, 2018
    If you've been waiting to play this game, it's finally available in the West. It has some shortcomings, but it's a good game overall and, of course, this is the best way to play it.
  12. Jul 9, 2018
    On the surface, Shining Resonance Refrain is a largely unremarkable Japanese RPG, but dig a little deeper and fans of the genre will find an accessible adventure that comes together surprisingly well. Cliche characters and predictable plot elements prevent the story from really taking off, but there's an endearing quality to how the game presents itself. Combat's fun, progression is straightforward and rewarding, and dating sim elements add a certain charm. Refrain's like a quick and easy summer anime -- it's certainly not a classic, but it's good fun while it lasts.
  13. Jul 9, 2018
    While Shining Resonance Refrain may not be mind-blowing, it still has its own charm that I could appreciate.
  14. 70
    Shining Resonance Refrain might be outclassed by modern JRPGs, but if you judge it on it's own merits, you'll quickly find that there is a lot to enjoy.
  15. Jul 10, 2018
    An interesting RPG experience full of dragons, action and a little repetitive playability that makes the game look a little aged... but it still has tons of hours of fun.
  16. Jul 19, 2018
    The very definition of mediocre, Shining Resonance Refrain fails to stand out from the crowd in another packed year of RPGs.
  17. Jul 9, 2018
    Shining Resonance Refrain is a missed opportunity for Sega to bring its beloved JRPG series to the west in its better form. The remaster has several problems (both technical and structural), but can still deliver some fun to the hardcore aficionados.
  18. Oct 24, 2018
    The European aspects with gallant warriors fighting off the impending doom of dragons is incredibly fun in this game. It's the perfect amount of challenge, and it almost presents the player with a JRPG-Musou hybrid that's rewarding to play. However, music and story are largely lacking in the game, either being convoluted or unimaginative, if not both. Given the overly complex customization and sexist tones, the whole project drops from above average to lackluster. Shining Resonance: Refrain is a learning opportunity in recognizing when parts of a game are overextended or outdated.
  19. Aug 26, 2018
    Shining Resonance Refrain displays all the qualities one would expect in a JRPG game, albeit in a dated and unimaginative fashion. Fans of the genre will find plenty to sing about, but for those not sold on Japan’s ideals of an RPG, there’s little more here than a solid story and some good dungeon grinding.
  20. Playstation Official Magazine UK
    Jul 31, 2018
    This JRPG needs a few more lessons before it'll be concert ready. Lacking the tightness it needs, it's not quite the rising star it hopes to be, but it's still endearing. [Issue#152, p.91]
  21. Jul 19, 2018
    Shining Resonance Refrain is a decidedly adequate game. It has dozens of hours of content, but those hours include passable battles, an average story, tired MMO elements, and a mediocre dating sim to boot. It's not going to twist the arm of someone who’s sworn off JRPGs like Persona 5 would, but it could do just enough to satisfy die-hard fans of the genre.
  22. Jul 12, 2018
    Shining Resonance Refrain feels like a filler game. If you’ve been aching for a 3D action-RPG to sink some time into now that we’re entering the summer months that are often a lull in the game industry then this totally fits the bill, but it’ll do very little to surprise you.
  23. 60
    Shining Resonance Refrain feels very much like a budget RPG. While it does some things really well such as well-written characters with excellent voice acting and awesome music, there are plenty of things that just don’t really work. Combat is clunky and dull, the sidequests are mostly repetitive, and the game world feels surprisingly small.
  24. Jul 9, 2018
    Shining Resonance Refrain plays it safe to an extreme. Little about it pushes the genre forward and nearly every part of the game is a bit too familiar, or done far better elsewhere. This is one for when you’re desperate for a new JRPG fix and that’s it.
  25. 60
    Although Shining Resonance Refrain is enjoyable and the battle system provides some fun, its story and presentation don't break any new ground. At the end of the day, it's just another JRPG in a sea of similar games.
  26. Jul 16, 2018
    A horribly generic Japanese role-player that has no glaring flaws but fails to offer a single interesting new idea or character of its own.
User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 34 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 20 out of 34
  2. Negative: 10 out of 34
  1. Jul 10, 2018
    i enjoyed what i played i wait for a new installment. The graphics look good and it plays well
  2. Jul 19, 2018
    An "Okay at best" rpg with a generic world, slow story, bland characters, good music, and a great battle system tragically marred byAn "Okay at best" rpg with a generic world, slow story, bland characters, good music, and a great battle system tragically marred by performance issues. There's not much else to say here besides this, Shining resonance refrain, refrains from resonating shiningly. Full Review »
  3. Jan 29, 2019
    Shining Resonance Refrain is one of those relaxing JRPGs to play.

    I wouldn't say it's combat is in the same league as the Tales games in
    Shining Resonance Refrain is one of those relaxing JRPGs to play.

    I wouldn't say it's combat is in the same league as the Tales games in terms of depth, but it is still enjoyable. Though much like Tales, you do have the ability to play as additional party members. Each character has unique moves of their own, which breaks up any monotony you might find just playing as Yuma.

    Grinding was never a huge factor while playing it, as it is really easy. But grinding does become a factor towards the end game.

    Story wise, I wouldn't say it's anything special. There are some twists, some predictable, but I was never super invested into it to care. The characters do come off as cliche, especially the main protagonist, but they are overall an enjoyable cast if you can look past it.

    I don't get why some people have ripped Shining Resonance Refrain for it's English dub. I found the voice actors/actresses competent and fitting in their roles. No line felt awkward or out of place.

    Much like I initially stated, Shining Resonance Refrain is overall a really relaxing JRPG to play. I recommend it on that basis.
    Full Review »