Blue Reflection Part One

By Gemma | 18 Nov 2017
Blue Reflection is a JRPG, but in standard JRPG fashion the game is very long, so I’m going to review it in multiple parts. Blue Reflection is the final game in the “Beautiful Girls Festival Project” which includes Nights of Azure 2 and Atelier Firis, but there is also talk of a sequel dependant on fan reviews and feedback. But how good is the game to start with?

Starting The Game

The game starts by leading you through the usual tutorial. There are 12 chapters in total, and the first 4 chapters are all part of this tutorial. It takes you through different moves and things that can be done. It is all laid out in a simple and easily understood way. The first thing you notice is how beautifully stunning the game is, each area you enter is extremely detailed. That extends into the different music which fits perfectly with the theme of the game.

Plot, People, and Progress

The game is all about lead protagonist Hinako Shirai, a ballet dancer who suffered an accident causing her to not be able to dance ever again. She is given a gift and becomes a magical girl, known in the game as a “Reflector”, where she can then dance and move freely without pain. She is offered this permanently if she helps two young girls to defeat their enemy.

The game is very sweet and has a lot of teaching potential with portraying daily life in school, the hardships, and the ways friends help to deal with it; simply how important friendship is. Blue Reflection builds on friendships by allowing you to hang out with friends, solve issues for them and others, thus deepening your bond with people. The game follows a day cycle, wherein during the day Hinako is in school going to classes, learning, going to lunch with friends, discussing things and completing missions in free-time. In the evenings you have the option of bathing or studying/stretching before sleep.
There are a lot of cutscenes in the game to develop the story and show each character's backstory. Along with free-time, which allows you to complete side missions for friends, and other students, granting experience, fragments (which I’ll get onto later), and sometimes items. Once all missions are completed, and you have handed in your activity, you can then arrange to spend time after school with a friend of your choice -- before heading home to sleep and moving on to the next day.

The levelling system is unique, as you can choose to level up specific stats which can grant specific stat related moves. You can earn levels by collecting fragments, that you acquire throughout the game easily enough. You can equip these fragments to each move you acquire -- this works in a similar way as materia does in Final Fantasy. During boss fights, you are able to equip your strongest fragments to your characters, allowing you to do multiple moves in one go by pressing different combinations of buttons -- a combo type system.
Blue Reflection uses a timed battle system, which can be quickly turned in your favour -- just by doing moves that give a large knockback to the enemy, means your moves come around a lot faster.

My initial opinion...

...on Blue Reflection, up to where I am, is that it is a stunningly well thought out game. It consists of enjoyable cutscenes, and character development, with the ability to teach the player valuable life lessons. The unique and intuitive battle system and the world events draw you in, and keep you wanting to play more to see how it pans out. I have loved the story up to this point and found the tutorial extremely helpful when later in the game.

Blue Reflection is well worth a play to simply admire the scenery and to see how the friendships develop. But also for its unique fight scenes that, even though they are battle scenes, are still extremely pretty in the ways the moves are performed. The only downside is the lack of English audio, but while it isn't a huge turn off it does have English subtitles. However, they don't always translate over perfectly with a few small localisation issues, but the Japanese audio is also well done and keeps with the theme of the game. It just doesn't make me want to play it any less. I can't wait to get back to Blue Reflection.

Blue Reflection was developed by GUST, who is more commonly known for their work with the Atelier games. It's published by Koei Tecmo and was released in March 2017 in Japan, and in September in North America and Europe. Blue Reflection is currently available on PS4, Vita (Japan only) and PC

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The Good

Beautiful Art Work

The Bad

Lack of English Audio


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