Top Critic Average
If you'd have told me before I played Shing! that I would like a control scheme that see's you launch combo attacks with an analogue stick, I would have karate chopped your kidney in anger. Ultimately, you would have been right. It's a control scheme that innovates, is accessible and offers a degree of combo flexibility not seen in more traditional beat 'em ups. In a stellar year for nostalgic side-scrolling beat 'em ups, Shing! is a new IP that absolutely demands your attention.
Shing! misses the mark of great beat 'em up by a long shot; which could have been avoided with more attention to detail. If Mass Creation put in the effort, it could have been one of the best beat 'em ups this generation. But we're stuck with something too dull to take a bigger slice of that audience.
Shing! is a fun and innovative co-op beat 'em up that has had its potential unleashed on PS5. While most elements remain the same, the upgrade in resolution and general technical fixes, make the game a significantly more immersive experience than the PS4 version. Certainly, the PS5 version is the more recommendable for those looking for a good co-op game full of wise-cracking ninja fun.
Shing! has a few decent ideas and a reasonable premise up its sleeve but all of these things collapse under the weight of poor performance issues combined with scrappy combat and shoddy enemy AI and placement. The game's unique right-stick control mechanic could have worked a treat but isn't refined enough or even given the room to breathe and the story that backs the whole thing up is let down by atrociously dated writing. If you're desperate for a four-player co-op side-scroller you may find something to enjoy along the way here, but otherwise, this one is almost impossible to recommend.
Shing! has some bad, though it's balanced out with some good. The look, story, and some of the mechanics won't please everyone, but after about 20 minutes I had no issues having fun. The mechanics might be rough, but they're fairly accessible and this allows Shing! to feel less like an impossibly hard experience and more a silly game you and a buddy can play without a ton of skill needed to feel like you're a badass. Naturally, this won't resonate with everyone, though I think those willing to give Shing! a chance will be pleasantly surprised.
Shing! delivers a unique approach to the stagnant brawler genre, but still has room for improvements. When a lot of yōkai are on-screen, I found myself wagging the right analog stick like a mad man, attempting to handle so many foes at once. The whole point of advancing the genre is to avoid having to "mash buttons" or, in this case, "waggle." The additional challenges provide added value, and through great voice acting and funny dialogue, I cared about the characters by the time I finished the game.
All in all, Shing! is a fast-paced, fun – at times – side-scroller with incredible moments of art and design. Occasionally, it will give you a couple of giggles with its silly humor but is generally dampened due to the immaturity of its narrative and character arcs.
But ultimately, I don’t know if SHING! will find its desired audience. The control scheme and deviations from genre standards leave a sour first impression, and it’s not helped by the vapid quality of the story and writing. The game is filled with schlocky Shadow Warrior style jokes at the expense of the Far East setting (fake-Asian words which sound like English swear words!), and bloody violence despite the immature Saturday-morning-cartoon simplicity. If a game is crass, it needs to have other qualities to redeem it, and SHING! unfortunately fails to justify its shortcomings. I can respect the desire to experiment and to break from tradition, but this game doesn’t do enough to be worth the investment.
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.
Kickass ninja team vs demons with unique mouse controls, dynamic singleplayer and cooperation - it works well!
Review in Slovak | Read full review