Reviews - Updated on March 27, 2022

The Blue Reflection dilogy is somewhat similar to Persona – here, too, a lot is built around emotions and inner experiences, the characters enter worlds created by memories, fight demons there, and after that they return to school and communicate a lot with each other. But in Blue Reflection, all this is played out and performed by the forces of exclusively girls. Although you can already see from the screenshots that this is a game for boys.

From game to anime and back

The first Blue Reflection was released in 2017, and it was created by the Gust studio, which is part of Koei Tecmo, which has already eaten a dog at games with cute fighting tanks (we are talking, of course, about the Atelier series). From April to September of this year, the 24-episode anime Blue Reflection Ray was broadcast, and now a full-fledged sequel has been released with new characters, but also with the inevitable references to the original. Not to mention the commonality of themes and the setting itself.

BLUE REFLECTION: Second Light: Обзор

This is what the girls looked like in the first Blue Reflection.

In Blue Reflection, many genres are connected (how else is it in anime?). This is both a story about hits (more precisely, about hits), and a bright representative of maho-shojo – a genre of games, anime and manga, where magical girls with superpowers act as heroines. And often ordinary schoolgirls turn into them. In the world of Blue Reflection, they get from their schools to other dimensions created by their own feelings and memories, and there they become the titular sad (or sad, melancholic) Reflectors.

With the help of special rings, they connect their emotions with the thoughts and feelings of those people who experience strong experiences in order to control the power of human emotions, prevent negativity from growing, and so on. The same rings and the power of emotions flowing through them help to fight the demons. In general, it really looks like Persona, but in a girly performance and with its own chips.

BLUE REFLECTION: Second Light: Обзор

A frame from the anime.

They won’t be chased

Ao Hoshizaki, the protagonist of Blue Reflection: Second Light, didn’t know any of this, of course. She was going to the summer academy, where she was sent after an unsuccessful annual exam, saw a strange message on her phone and ended up in another dimension, with other girls and in another school, which stands in the middle of either the sea or the ocean. Naturally, this is a metaphor for the sea of ​​feelings – periodically Ao, Kokoro (Kokoro), Yuki (Yuki) and Rena (Rena) – that’s the name of the first three schoolgirls we meet here – will go through these waters into strange and dangerous worlds created by memories the girls themselves.

BLUE REFLECTION: Second Light: Обзор

The heroines call this dimension The Faraway, that is, far away.

At first, they really do not remember anything about how they got here, and about their lives. Therefore, on the tab of their biographies in the diary there are many dashes. Fighting demons (of course, created by their subconscious), exploring and clearing the map, we find fragments of memories and gradually fill in the gaps, learning another, usually sad, story. After that, according to the plot, a new girl (or several at once) appears at the school and new bizarre worlds become available for outings.

The stories may be truly sad, but they are unlikely to surprise child psychologists. One girl, for example, was bullied at school and built a shelter where she hid with her friend. The other, as it turns out, studied ballet (like the heroine of the first Blue Reflection, by the way) and often sat in her mother’s cafe (so that’s why she loves coffee!) With a friend who once suggested that she run away on a train wherever her eyes look.

BLUE REFLECTION: Second Light: Обзор

One of the flashbacks.

It is clear that in Blue Reflection you can find what you associate the songs of the Tatu group with. The hints are obvious, especially considering that one of the key mechanics in the game is dating, which allows the main girl, that is, Ao, to strengthen relationships with other girls and receive bonuses for this. But these are just hints. The heroines can languidly lie nearby and sunbathe, make compliments or, in the absence of boys, play performances about princes rescuing their princesses.

BLUE REFLECTION: Second Light: Обзор

Compliments are hard to come by.

But it still looks innocent enough and walks the fine line of vague expectations, allusions and languor without crossing the line. And the characters still remain primarily friends who talk to each other about life, about books, about their interests, remember something from life and share experiences.

So in vain in the Russian Steam stubbornly block the game. Blue Reflection: Second Light is primarily about how vulnerable, thin-souled people can be, and even more so teenagers, and how difficult it is for them in the ordinary world. It is in this and in those sad stories from the life of girls that one can discern social relevance, and not in the notorious agenda, which does not smell here.

Maximum smells of yuri, but even then in a mild form. And it is clear that all the fan service, outfits and angles chosen are all focused on the male audience.

And the angles here are exceptionally correct.

It’s always nice to watch how the most lightly dressed heroines fight, communicate, lie side by side on the beach, hold each other’s hands, do crafting and, in principle, everything that you can do here.

BLUE REFLECTION: Second Light: Обзор

Naturally, the school has a separate room for trying on costumes.

schoolgirls vs demons

The gameplay in Blue Reflection: Second Light is familiar to recent Gust games and in general to large modern JRPGs. There is a base – in this case, a school, from which we periodically get out to fight, swing, collect resources for crafting, complete story and side quests. Tasks (mostly, of course, about finding something you need) can be accepted here on a smartphone, unless the girl asks you to come personally – very convenient!

BLUE REFLECTION: Second Light: Обзор

Communication on the phone plays a big role, including the plot.

While exploring the map, it is better to hit the monster first to get initiative bonuses. At the same time, you can turn on stealth mode and sneak up to attack from behind – in this case, the enemy will be more vulnerable to knockdown in a fight. And this, as often happens in JRPGs, is one of the most important success factors.

BLUE REFLECTION: Second Light: Обзор

In stealth mode, we see vision cones on enemies.

True, many elite opponents, even in this state, manage to put up a shield, overcoming which one of the girls runs forward and begins to furiously clobber the monster in melee – this is a separate mini-game where in the allotted time you need to manage to hit, dodge, counterattack or impose self gain.

BLUE REFLECTION: Second Light: Обзор

It’s hard to focus on one thing.

Otherwise, the combat mechanics are familiar, but effective and well implemented. Girls in their turn use unique skills for each, spending a certain amount of energy on this, and those who are in the reserve, with a certain frequency, again impose unique defensive bonuses. The turn order is visible on the timeline, and you can keep an eye on it to turn on the protection against the ultimate attacks of elite enemies in time when they have accumulated enough energy. And if the management of the rest of the girls can be entrusted to AI, then such defensive skills always have to be applied by yourself – and rightly so.

BLUE REFLECTION: Second Light: Обзор

Coordination in battles is especially appreciated.

As the opponents are beaten, the heroines can enter a rage, and then they spectacularly turn into fantasy sorceresses, updating the list of available skills.

Naturally, opponents are more resistant to something, and less to something – in this case, the game itself suggests which ones and why. Well, in general, by the standards of many large JRPGs, the degree of complexity here is not so high. But compared to the first part, he, perhaps, has grown – there are more enemies and opportunities in fights.

As well as in the role-playing system. In addition to gaining experience and levels with automatic increase in parameters, talents play an important role, which open up new combat techniques and increase attack/defense/health characteristics.

BLUE REFLECTION: Second Light: Обзор

School improvement

If you want to fight, you can not join at all. Here they are allowed to go around enemies and impassable areas on top (for example, on roofs) or, conversely, under some building – this is rare in such games and makes the research process more non-trivial.

BLUE REFLECTION: Second Light: Обзор

Well, this is how you can overcome water obstacles.

Yes, and in principle, studying maps is interesting. Moreover, the worlds themselves, woven from the memories of sad schoolgirls, are very different – half an hour ago you wandered through some forests and fields, and now you are already exploring a half-flooded railway station or fighting demons on city streets.

BLUE REFLECTION: Second Light: Обзор

And you can’t argue…

Around, of course, resources and fragments of memory are scattered, and key plot points and exits are guarded by bosses. Upon your return, you can do crafting – make not only consumables (there are a lot of all kinds of sushi rolls and drinks with useful bonuses), but also materials for rebuilding and beautifying the school itself.

And again about good angles.

School is one of the key features of the game. Outbuildings and even small upgrades like outdoor tables or tropical drink stands provide strength and defense boosts for the entire party – especially if placed wisely and nearby.

BLUE REFLECTION: Second Light: Обзор

We ourselves choose where to place new buildings.

In addition, many girls themselves ask to build something for them – so that later at the same tables they can draw together or lie down under umbrellas on sunbeds. And doing personal errands like painting/sunbathing/chatting together and going out on dates is very important for Ao – it’s the only way she accumulates talent points, while the rest of the girls do it just as we play.

BLUE REFLECTION: Second Light: Обзор

There were schoolgirls, and now they are sorceresses!

By the way, the dating process itself is very convenient. As a rule, he assumes that with the chosen girlfriend we are going somewhere together – to the library, to the gym, to draw in nature, and so on. So, it’s not necessary to personally go all the way – if you wish, the game will teleport you to the right place.

BLUE REFLECTION: Second Light: Обзор

Girls often share memories.

In principle, for me, as a person who still does not dare to remove Atelier Ryza 2: Lost Legends and the Secret Fairy from the laptop (someday I will finish everything that I didn’t have time to finish off?), A new game from the Gust studio, of course , liked it. There is a certain depth in the subject matter, in the plot, and the gameplay is interesting and varied. But the main thing is that, with more intense mechanics than the original, Blue Reflection: Second Light has remained primarily a relaxing and meditative game. Here you can just watch how cute and lightly dressed girls fight together, communicate, hold hands, play sports, cook sushi, discuss their favorite anime and take sunbaths. Some holiday!

Pros: an interesting plot that raises deep and relevant topics; a tart mixture of romance, sadness and girlish laughter; many pretty girls with different characters; rich and varied gameplay in the tradition of modern JRPGs; you can go on dates with girls and dress them in different costumes; an interesting feature with the improvement of the school; spectacular battles that have become more interesting and complex compared to the original; all the girls chirp expressively in Japanese.

Cons: some will find the game too easy; outdated graphics (although the special effects brighten it up).

Đánh giá Star
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