After Nights of Azure, Gust has taken its talent and produced another new IP in the JRPG genre.
In Blue Reflection, the story is based around 15 girls that attend Hoshinomiya High School, an all-girls high school. Our main protagonist is Hinako who crosses paths with a former middle school companion, Sanae Nishida. As Hinako sees a suspicious aura surrounding Sanae, she suddenly finds herself being transformed into a new mysterious realm.
In this realm, Hinako is transformed by a light into a magical warrior, known as a “Reflector.” She now has the power to physically defeat monsters. In this game, you’ll make new friends, and explore both your school and the other dimensional world.
Depending on what choices you make throughout the game, your interaction level will change. A player can earn special episodes and date events (going outside of the school with friends). The game has a good variety of extra content.
The dungeons in Blue Reflection can be quite short sometimes and too easy. The cutscenes and character interactions are longer than some of the gameplay pieces. I was disappointed in some chapters and areas of the game because how short they were.
The gameplay in Blue Reflection uses a turn-based battle system. Players can use physical/magical attacks, support/defensive moves, ether charges, skills, and overdrive attacks to defeat enemies and pure breed bosses. Support allies can be added to your characters to boost stats and recovery. Your characters can have a maximum of four support allies each.
Ether is used for your active command and overdrive attacks. When using your overdrive attack, you can choose a certain number of skills to activate consecutively. These are fantastic to use against Pure Breed bosses. The game is pretty simple and easy too.
Like Senran Kagura, the high school has a Dressing Room. Here you can customize how your character looks. There aren’t a lot of options at the beginning of the game, but if you preordered the game, you can get blue bathing suits. There is also an option to make their clothes wet. The customization isn’t as in-depth as Senran Kagura, but it’s there.
Blue Reflection’s leveling up system is simple and easy to use. Players can also choose where to apply their growth points.
One thing that stuck out to me is that it isn’t as linear as some of the past games that Gust has made in the past – Atelier series. There are often many ways to get around the environment and hidden items to be found. The enemies are also unique compared to other JRPGs that I have seen. I love the bosses in this game. These along with the entertaining cutscenes make the game worthwhile and exciting.
Blue Reflection’s graphics are not necessarily the best graphics ever on the PS4, but they are certainly not ugly. The girls, pure breeds and cutscenes look fantastic; however, the environments are not the greatest looking. I didn’t notice any major drops in framerate. There are some jaggy edges on the character models.
Overall, Blue Reflection is a fun adventure, but feels like it needed a little bit more time in development to fine-tune the game. Given more time, the game might’ve been even better. It is not the best JRPG that I have ever played, but it isn’t the worst.
7/10 – A short and sweet JRPG that Gust fans might really enjoy.