Blue Reflection: Second Light, the tried

Blue Reflection: Second Light, the tried

Blue Reflection

If the name Blue Reflection doesn't sound very familiar to you, it's understandable. Despite having been developed by Gust, the studio famous for the Atelier saga which in 2022 celebrates its 25th anniversary, the game has not received the same reception: together with the different projects that have been designed to complement its flagship product, it was also just to vary slightly on the theme, the contents and overall quality were never really in step with Atelier. In 2017, Blue Reflection made its debut, whose flashes were not enough to enhance an overall content just sufficient - starting from the story to get to technical limitations of sorts, most likely attributable to the fact of having to shoot. also on PS Vita.

Years have passed and Gust has decided to try again, recently announcing Blue Reflection: Second Light, which joins Blue Reflection: Sun (mobile game not available in the West) and the anime Blue Reflection: Ray.

Four years, in short, in which the series has not been forgotten but has nevertheless waited before returning to expand beyond its native borders. A time that may have helped Gust shed some light on the different pain points of the original, where the combat system was the only aspect that really stood out. We spent a few hours in the company of the game and although it is still early to get a precise idea, there is the possibility that at least the narrative system can offer more satisfactions than the first chapter.

Let's discover Blue Reflection: Second Light in our tried on PC.

In Search of Lost Memories

Blue Reflection: Second Light, Hoshizaki Ao and other girls are locked up in a world other than their own Time that Blue Reflection: Second Light begins to unfold and quickly become clear the differences with the original title. Blue Reflection was also set inside a school, however most of the events took place in the human world and at times we were allowed to explore other realities: in this case it is the exact opposite, that is, we are locked up in an unknown world. , which is clearly not ours, from which we have no idea how to get out. There are other girls with us and they all share the same characteristic: they don't remember anything about themselves, except their own name. Not only do they not know where they come from but they are also unable to answer the most trivial questions, such as what their favorite kind of reading might be. We would not really define them as white canvases, but as faded paintings, which have lost their colors but whose texture is still there, barely visible, waiting to come back to life.

In this particular context we we find in the role of Hoshizaki Ao, an ordinary girl who dreams of being able to live a special moment: forced to attend summer courses, having failed the end-of-year exams, she suddenly finds herself dragged into an unknown world. Here, in a mysterious school building that seems to float into nothingness, he meets three other girls in the same situation as him: Kokoro Utsubo, a kind and carefree girl who tends to do everything at her own pace, sometimes letting her mind wander without half; Yuki Kinjou, who seems a bit the exact opposite of Kokoro, so full of energy to be enough for anyone and with a tendency to look for new things, involving others with her unshakable positivity; finally Rena Miyauchi, the classic tough person but with a soft heart, who tries to stay as much as possible with his feet on the ground and look at the current situation from a broader perspective.

Left to themselves, the girls must roll up their sleeves to survive, going every day to explore the outside to gather food and resources, while forcing their way against the fearsome creatures that inhabit it.

Blue Reflection: Second Light, the girls decide what to do outside the safe school nest series. To the characters just mentioned, in fact, the game adds others including Shirai Hinako, Kasuga Shiho and Hirahara Hiori: these are the protagonists of Blue Reflection, Blue Reflection: Sun and Blue Reflection Ray. We do not know if this upcoming chapter wants to be the closing of the circle or just the opportunity to experiment with cross-media but, narratively speaking, there are the conditions for the story to acquire all the depth that was missing from the original. For our part, we cannot really say too much about it but, this must be said, the introduction to the narrative context does not get lost too far and rather makes us start immediately in medias res and then entrust the construction of the events to various flashbacks: a choice that to Sometimes it breaks the story but being delegated to support the start of the game it is likely that they will drop dramatically once they serve their purpose. As far as we are allowed to discuss it, the events are rather piloted in what needs to be done: at times we have been able to explore the school that acts as the main hub, but since there is little or nothing to do, except to collect a few secondary missions, the game is over. away smoothly. The hope is therefore that, despite its evident cross-media nature, Blue Reflection: Second Light will be able to tell itself in a less uselessly verbose way than in the past.

An evolved gameplay

Blue Reflection: Second Light , the game menu There is no doubt that while taking up different aspects of the first chapter, Blue Reflection: Second Light breaks away from others. The crafting system and the bonds to forge with the companions are back but, being the setting different and focused on the parallel universe in which the girls find themselves trapped, there are new aspects. For example, the possibility of building additional structures to make the academy a place to call home, at least for the moment: the projects, if we want to define them, to embellish the complex are obtained in different ways, including through secondary missions, and obviously they require specific materials to be concretized. Materials that in turn are found outside the school building, in that exterior that is teeming with enemies and objects to collect.

We cannot go into detail on this, but the idea as a whole teases us and it could give further meaning to exploration, outside the need to build more commonly used objects. Completing the secondary missions, or the bond events, also allows us to obtain Talent Points through which to develop our fighters: the curious note is that of the girls mentioned only three are able to fight, as they are equipped with a ring that gives them way of summoning their respective weapons. The fourth cannot therefore follow them on the field but she manages to support them in any case and, indeed, her talents often turn out to be very full-bodied. Through her it is in fact possible to improve the statistics of the others, something that not surprisingly has an even higher initial cost than the companions. Where the common level up increases the statistics automatically and sometimes earns a skill, the talents menu serves to better refine the characters and can be managed at will based on the points available, choosing between four different types - note that the only one to have them all unlocked immediately and Ao.

Blue Reflection: Second Light, Talents are a fundamental component of the gameplay Moving on to the combat system, the foundations are the same as the original but also here there are a few turns of the screw: as usual, the protagonists take on the role of Reflector but, contrary to what happened in Blue Reflection, their transformation is not mandatory. In fact, they can also fight in civilian clothes, using the ring they lead to the index finger to evoke their respective weapons. Becoming a Reflector in all respects is in fact a step to be activated during the fight, as long as certain conditions are respected. The clashes are once again linked to the Timeline, which establishes our possibility of attack based on the Ether Points accumulated: starting from a minimum base of one thousand, it is up to us to decide whether to launch an attack immediately or wait to use a more expensive one and powerful - or two less, it always depends on how we want to spend it.

Each use of Ether Point brings us back to the beginning of the Timeline and at the same time speeds up its filling, thus leading us to evaluate what is best to do: whether to launch immediately attack to speed up the succession of turns, or opt for a more reasoned strategy. Regardless of the choice, it is necessary to know that each of the characters can rise in rank during the clashes, thus being able to use a greater number of techniques and going to enhance those already present; above all, once reached level three, it will be able to transform into Reflector with all the ensuing benefits. It must be said that the difficulty, for now calibrated downwards, has not given us too much way to try the transformation, except for a boss: we hope it is not the prelude to a general challenge that is too mild, another point against the first chapter . However, a handful of hours is not enough to establish it.

Blue Reflection: Second Light, each Reflector presents a different outfit Overall, this first taste of Blue Reflection: Second Light intrigued us enough to want to see how goes on. The sequel seems to evolve compared to the original, from the point of view of the gameplay and in particular of the narrative: it is too early to be unbalanced in one direction or another, knowing then how many characters are missing, but the plot may have taken the right way to avoid becoming unnecessarily long and boring. The combat system may have become more strategic but a good part of this impression will come from the challenge level, which in Blue Reflection was all too low.

To close, on a technical and graphic level we did not notice particular differences between this and the first chapter. Despite their angularity, the character models were already convincing in 2017 but after four years we would have expected a minimal change - just like it was for the Atelier saga. On the settings we cannot, once again, get too unbalanced even if the first impression reveals a certain underlying repetitiveness. We'll see if the full game can offer any better.

Four years later, Blue Reflection: Second Light could improve on what was not successful in the original chapter. The reversal of situations, with a plot entirely set in the parallel reality of the game, together with some tweaks to the gameplay both in the mundane and in the combat phases, have intrigued us but the important steps forward will have to be made above all in terms of narration. Graphically and technically sorry to see that no progress has been made compared to the past, resulting in characters and settings that are a bit stale, whose overall quality, however, we can only judge in full play. The conditions for a better game are there, it remains to be seen if they will be respected.


The parallel reality is the main background of the events Interesting the possibility of building improvements for the school System of familiar combat but refined in some respects DOUBT The overall goodness of the story remains to be evaluated The level of difficulty does not seem particularly challenging Graphically the game has not evolved compared to the original of 2017 Have you noticed any errors?

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