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Shining Plume is a role-playing adventure game with a strong Japanese influence. The story takes place in the fantasy land of Taruan, where you play Jun. He is considered one of the last true samurai who follows the Bushido code by heart and after the death of his master starts a journey to find the Shining Plume. The Plume is a fantastic thing with immense power and beauty, forged by the gods and thought to give godlike powers to its user.
The story starts off when Jun is on a walk in the woods with his lord and a ninja tries to attack them. After Jun defeats the ninja they rush to their fortress nearby fearing an attack might have begun there also and that Uekigi Akira, the lords daughter might be in danger. You arrive there and find out that Akira is being held captive by a masked evil samurai named Naga, who was only interested in the lord. Naga is much too powerful for Jun to fight off on his own and the lord sacrifices himself in order to save his daughter. The lord has one last wish, he wants Jun to follow Akira from now on and protect her from evil. After these events, they travel to a neighboring village and find out that Naga is actually of the Crimson Tides and the Leader of the Shino No Mori from the Northern Kingdom. You then find out that the reason he attacked your lord was that he thought the lord had information on the Plume. Fearing that he may attack other lords, you begin a journey to stop him along side princess Akira.
The story is definitely the strongest part of the game, with the game itself relying more on storytelling than on combat and gameplay. Storytelling is done with the help of character interactions, and sometimes you also get small cut-scenes. The game is linear and while you have some side-quests, they are not really entertaining, most of them are just people asking you if you can find something for them. The combat system is turn-based and you can have a party of more people following your lead and fighting at your side. You can use skills and you can also choose to defend while in the combat mode. There are different items you can use, like armor, weapons, shields and more. They will not change the appearance of your character, only the stats.
The graphics are reminiscent of the 80's with 2D, 16 bit textures but with a little more detail. The sound effects are good and the music really gives an overall classic feel to the game.
- Nice music
- Great story
- Side Quests are not interesting
- Not many treasures hidden along the paths