Shining Beyond has commenced a Closed Beta test which Android players are able to access. As you might expect, the game can be a little buggy and behave oddly, as well as having missing features. However, you can opt to try it out first. You may be greeted with a Chinese UI, but the game is available in English. The in-game news does not specify if data can be carried over to the full release.
Gameplay is pretty simple. You tap the directional arrows on the screen to move from one screen to the next. Tap on treasure chests if you see any to collect the loot. Holding down on a spot will move your party there, useful to avoid telegraphed powerful attacks from bosses. Units have Hero skills, and other toggle-able skills.
As you level up, you’ll gradually unlock features. Missions have various additional side requirements – called Trials in Shining Beyond – that you can achieve to get the maximum rewards for it. Formations are gradually unlocked, with some conferring bonuses. You can also bring along Battle Items to use during missions. Your heroes/characters and equipment both can be levelled up. Equipment also unlock bonus stats at certain level thresholds. It would appear that there are also sets of equipment too.
The game possesses an Idle function where all your collected characters automatically go to gather loot at a specific location. The more powerful your heroes, the better the loot. You can simply press “Update Heroes” as you strengthen them, so you only need to remember to collect your loot as it will reach a limit after some time.
Let’s discuss the gacha. SSR rates are 3% which is pretty average. However, you don’t unlock heroes right away. A 10-pull guarantees One hero, while the rest are most probably going to be shards. Varying rarities of heroes will require different amounts of shards accordingly, and you can further upgrade them with more duplicate shards.
The Shining Beyond Closed Beta doesn’t allow for any purchases, but there are naturally various packs that you can get to make the myriad of processes easier. Personally, I’m not a fan of the shard system, since it’s usually hard enough to get the unit you want thanks to how probability works. Currency isn’t that easy to come by to start, and the Closed Beta doesn’t provide enough immediately to do a 10-pull to get a feel of the system. R characters need 50 shards, SR 75 shards, and SSR 100 shards.
All in all, it’s a serviceable game and the presentation isn’t bad. The auto function is quite quickly unlocked for the busy person to let it run by itself. However, some of its systems could make or break the game, so we’ll see how that turns out when the game officially launches. There has been no update on a new release time frame since Shining Beyond was announced to be delayed.