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Gust, the builders of Blue Reflection: Second Gentle are peculiar builders. They solely make video games which can be just about the definition of ‘gradual burn’, even their newest additions to the long-running Atelier collection, Ryza and Ryza 2, have 40+ hour investments of time in them on the very least.
Blue Reflection: Second Gentle isn’t that a lot totally different both. In depth scenes of characters speaking, trying confused or comfortable, with some mild fight in between every speaking section, it continues Gust’s custom of utilizing each morsel they’ll to deepen their solid of characters.
A lot story
Once I began Second Gentle (which is a sequel to the unique Blue Reflection, simply with no connection exterior of themes), I used to be instantly hit with the faint whiff of Ryza. See, these video games aren’t precisely breaking new floor with every entry, it’d be fairly exhausting contemplating how rapidly they appear to pump every title out.
Characters transfer in the identical means, motion is similar to anybody who has even remotely checked out a Japanese RPG within the final decade and there’s simply numerous it.
I’m a couple of hours into the sport at this level and have been launched to a couple fundamental characters, every with their very own quirks and roles. Nobody appears to be left to the wayside, with agonising element going into even generic fetch quest dialogues about eggs.
Often, I’d be button-mashing by means of and getting the gist both from the logs that accumulate or scanning for something essential within the textual content line. Nonetheless, right here? It’s that Gust impact that drew me into Ryza and its sequel, because the writing could be trite, however it’s so very chill that I can’t assist however get suckered in.
The sport takes place in an alternate world, with recognisable places like a college, forest and varied bits from on a regular basis life, however the women which have discovered themselves there don’t know the way they acquired there or, for some, who they even are. By coming into the ‘Heartscape’, they uncover that the world across the college really morphs primarily based on the feelings or desires and desires of the individual they’re making an attempt to assist.
If it sounds Persona-ry, it’s as a result of it’s. You speak and do duties for people to construct up their relationship with you (like a social hyperlink) which in flip unlocks skills so that you can use in battle. The distinction right here is that it has the laid again Gust motif round it, the place there’s no actual solution to fail to construct your relationships between the solid of characters and there’s no time restrict on issues.
Whereas the sport actually has points in locations – the Swap model is not what I’d suggest – it’s the wealthy thriller the story crafts that retains me trudging by means of it. The locales and amnesiac tropes could be a large eye-roll for some, however the way in which they’re used to construct up this bizarre story on the again of it’s fascinating.
Although if it had been written by extra free builders, I may positively see this sport additionally leaning deeper into the connection stuff being strewn all through, because it appears like – because it was with Ryza – by no means able to leap into the deep gayness that the sport exudes and appears content material with dipping toes as an alternative.
There’s a surprisingly deep concentrate on crafting, however with out the faff from the Atelier collection, as unlocks and new issues appear to be unlocked from merely exploring the sport’s world, or by means of the story, with out the necessity to make investments expertise factors into it.
Nonetheless, I really feel as if that is one other Gust sport with a battle system that takes a backseat to every thing else. Right here, the sport takes on an lively battle system, with the one ready you must do is whereas the ladies recharge their skills. The longer you wait, the extra highly effective blasts of magic or swipes of weapons you are able to do, with every assault ultimately ‘levelling’ you up throughout three ranges. When you hit a sure level you’ll rework right into a Magical Woman.
These moments aren’t too frequent, which is okay as a result of they take a couple of seconds every time, however the way in which to get to them by no means feels notably constant. The tutorial is evident and concise, although recreating it after the very fact by no means goes my means.
Blue Reflection: Second Gentle is both going to entice you in with its thick story and the massive solid of characters or it’ll flip you off with its ever-increasing quantity of dialogue you must sit by means of. Nevertheless it’s so enjoyable to play, even within the warmth of battle, that I believe that’s greater than sufficient for me to proceed by means of it.