Blue Reflection entered the JRPG scene in 2017. The consensus? It was okay, however clearly flawed. It confirmed a variety of the everyday indicators of a price range JRPG, particularly resulting from its lack of polish. However the potential was there and if the suggestions was acted upon, a well-made sequel may elevate the collection to a different degree. Judgment day has now arrived with Koei Tecmo and Gust releasing Blue Reflection: Second Gentle.
Honestly, it’s shocking we even have a sequel to play. The unique achieved cheap gross sales however hardly took the JRPG scene by storm. Many had assumed that Blue Reflection was set to turn out to be one more bold, however forgettable, JRPG. And but, it seems that Koei Tecmo has not given up on this collection. If my time taking part in Second Gentle is something to go by, then that may be a implausible factor.
Delving into the Heartscape
The protagonist Ao Hoshizaki and the opposite women are tasked with exploring the Heartscape. The Heartscape is a mysterious world that’s created primarily based on an individual’s reminiscences and feelings. Its idea is much like that of the palaces from Persona 5. Though, on this case, the aim of finishing a Heartscape is completely different.
In contrast to Persona, Blue Reflection: Second Gentle is about rediscovery moderately than going through your different self and rising as an individual. The entire women which were despatched to Hoshinomiya Excessive have had their reminiscences wiped. The one strategy to get them again and work out who they’re is by exploring their Heartscape and discovering reminiscence fragments.
The story and characters of Second Gentle are by far its greatest promoting factors. Every character has an fascinating backstory that matches their character. Don’t count on any tragedies or life-changing narratives, because the story is surprisingly grounded for a sport about magical women. As a substitute, it principally focuses on reasonable issues that even you or I could have to beat sometime. It’s a pleasing change of tempo from the dramatic finish of the world storylines that JRPGs typically go for.
Credit score must be given to Gust for the strides made on this division. The unique Blue Reflection had a nasty behavior of giving a personality a narrative arc after which having them slip into irrelevance quickly after. In distinction, Second Gentle makes certain that all the principal forged stays the principle forged from their first look proper as much as the ending. It makes it simpler to care about every character when they’re introduced as individuals moderately than simply one other plot level.
Freedom to discover
Hoshinomiya Excessive has been significantly expanded with a number of new areas launched. Along with this, now you can freely transfer across the digicam moderately than keep caught with regardless of the sport decides is finest. This further degree of freedom is appreciated.
At first, there isn’t an excessive amount of content material within the faculty to justify trying round, however this modifications over time. As soon as a number of further social gathering members are recruited and you start constructing new amenities, it turns into energetic. Plus the relationship mechanic the place you possibly can full duties with the opposite women supplies a motive to go searching.
Talking of dates, the yuri overtones current within the authentic have been turned down a notch. That change gained’t be to everybody’s style, nevertheless it does match higher with the sport’s setting and aesthetic for my part. There are nonetheless some choices to develop relationships with characters nevertheless it’s strictly platonic this time round.
Outdoors of dates, the opposite motive you might be more likely to discover is to finish facet quests. Aspect quests come within the type of requests made by different characters. These are primary fetch quests that I count on to see in nearly each JRPG. Being requested to gather three Rainbow Corn isn’t too fascinating, however no less than the rewards are often price it.
The dungeons don’t provide an excessive amount of of curiosity from a gameplay perspective. They’re useful and the brand new stealth mechanic makes transferring round them slightly extra fascinating than the primary sport, however you will discover a number of JRPGs on the market that supply extra on this regard.
Fortunately, the artwork path of every Heartscape holds up higher. Heartscapes are designed to symbolize a twisted rendition of a location that’s essential to every of the ladies’ pasts. The entire Heartscapes are attractive and work nicely as the principle space for every story arc. It’s only a disgrace that the gameplay half of the dungeons doesn’t attain the identical heights.
Time to combat
Blue Reflection: Second Gentle has a reasonably sophisticated fight system. That is confirmed by the sheer amount of tutorials that it’s a must to work by way of within the first seven hours or so of gameplay. Many of those mechanics have been straight lifted from the unique however provided that this was an space the place Blue Reflection excelled, that isn’t a nasty factor.
The premise is that there’s a timeline that exhibits when every character will have the ability to assault. This timeline has each your social gathering members and the enemies on it. There are highlighted sections for 1,000 EP, 2000 EP, and so forth. EP stands for Ether Factors, the useful resource required for utilizing assaults. The extra highly effective the assault, the extra EP required.
Within the early sport, you simply spam low EP strikes, as that’s all that’s out there. However this mechanic will get extra fascinating as you progress. As soon as increased EP assaults are unlocked, every battle turns into a balancing act. Ideally, you need to cost up EP to make use of extra highly effective strikes however this comes at a price. While you idle and look ahead to EP to cost, enemies can freely assault.
Naturally, there are many methods to grind out higher stats. Probably the most constant technique is simply leveling up social gathering members, however that’s not the one approach. Expertise factors earned from dates and facet quests can be utilized to unlock extra expertise, stat boosts, and new passives. A few of these can shortly flip a personality into your social gathering’s strongest member, so they’re definitely worth the time funding. JRPG grinds often exist to artificially inflate the size of a sport and aren’t all the time rewarding so that is good to see.
After all, Blue Reflection: Second Gentle is a sport about magical women, so epic transformation sequences are a should. And on this entrance, I can say with confidence that it doesn’t disappoint. They’re colourful, vibrant, and all distinctive. People who grew up with the likes of Sailor Moon and Cardcaptor Sakura will really feel proper at dwelling.
If I did have one criticism relating to the transformations, it’s the mechanic connected to them. The set off for figuring out when you possibly can remodel is obscure. It’s linked to the gear mechanic the place the ladies can enter the next gear by increase their Ether restoration pace. However I don’t suppose it really works overly nicely, because it’s unnecessarily sophisticated. Moreover, this transformation is automated as soon as third gear is reached, typically inflicting it to interrupt the battle’s circulate. The transformations could look cool, however their execution is much from excellent.
Precisely what a sequel needs to be
My expectations coming into this sequel weren’t too excessive. I loved the unique for what it was, however its limitations prevented it from changing into something particular. So I’m very pleasantly stunned at simply how well-made Blue Reflection Second Gentle is.
If the definition of an excellent sequel is a sport that expands and improves on its predecessor’s concepts, Second Gentle is the epitome of sequels. Virtually all the pieces from the primary sport has been improved, with the character writing taking the biggest stride. The result’s a sport that’s second to solely Tales of Come up for JRPGs I’ve performed this yr. Contemplating that Tales of Come up is a severe contender for the best JRPG ever made, it’s honest to say that Gust has completed a superb job with Blue Reflection: Second Gentle.
https://www.pcinvasion.com/blue-reflection-second-light-review/ | Second Gentle overview — The reminiscences that lie inside