Blue Reflection – PS4 Review

Genre: Role Playing Game (RPG)
Developer: GUST
Publisher: Tecmo KOEI America
Release Date: Currently Out Now
Edited by KnightAvenger

Blue Reflection is a new JRPG by Gust and Koei Tecmo. It follows Hinako Shirai who is recovering from an accident that may have very well ended her ballet career. This strong emotion leads her down a path where she becomes a Reflector aka…MAGICAL GIRL HYYYYYPPPPPEEEE!!!!

There are two major sides to the game. The first is the part where you are living the school life of Hinako. You meet new friends and do social-oriented tasks. Doing them builds up your stats and builds reputation of sorts with the many characters you will meet. Doing certain things with specific characters will give you their fragments. The second side of the game is known as the common. This is where the girls go full-on Reflector. It is a world driven by strong emotions. You fight various creatures within the common, and the goal is to put an end to the coming evil Sephirot. Advancing the story or completing objectives will draw our Sephira, which are the game’s bosses.

Most JRPGs have a pretty straight forward progression system that don’t really allow for much customization or character building. However, this is where I feel Blue Reflection shines best. You have three characters for most of the game: Hinako, Yuzu, and Lime. Each time you level up, you get a stat point, and there are four total stat points. Putting a point into a stat increases many other variables of that character. There are four ways to really spec a character: Melee Focus Attacks, Ranged Focus Attacks, Support, or Defense. Characters unlock new unique skills based on the level of a stat. For example, if you have all four characters building the melee attack stat, they will all have different skills and gain them at 5 pts, 7 pts, 10 pts, and so on. Thus, the character building is pretty deep. Adding in the fragments are items you slot into the characters’ abilities that either buff them or add secondary effects to them.

The game also has a crafting feature which you learn about in chapter 4. As you defeat enemies and complete missions, you get materials. While on a mission in the common, you can find a pillar and interact with it either to craft or to upgrade your fragments.

The combat of the game is pretty basic for a JRPG-turn based on a timeline. However, Blue Reflection has a knockback mechanic which can be used to push the enemies’ attacks back on the timeline, making them slower to attack. It also has an overdrive system where you can spend ether or reflection to take multiple attacks with a character. There are other small mechanics that fit into the overdrive system, such as having a character build ether instead of attacking. However, the combat still ends up feeling pretty generic.

The level design is pretty linear. While the look of the levels is often very pretty or just spewing pure evil, the levels are generally on a path where you run to a few spots and grab the shinies for loot. You run into enemies or pre-attack them to get a jump on them. That also adds to the pre-mentioned ether system which starts you off with enough to do one overdrive at the start of fights. The levels in this game remind me very much of what I did not like in Final Fantasy 13, which really ends up being the game’s biggest downfall.

The sound work is again mostly kind of generic. I didn’t really care much for the music, so I usually ended up using my own music when playing the game. The sound effects for the attacks and abilities feel overused, as if they have been used in other games 100 times before Blue Reflection. Mind you, I am not saying they have been-just seems that way. Then, of course, there is the part where the game is released in the West with no English voice-overs. Some of the game is voiced; however, there is also a lot of the game where there is just no voice-over at all. I think a lot of those points are more inner thought than actual dialogue, though.

The story itself was mildly interesting. The school girl/social life aspect just didn’t do it for me. I found myself usually skipping a lot of the side quest dialogue and social aspect dialogue because I just didn’t care enough, whereas I found the common side of the story to be interesting.

In the end, I found the game to be pretty generic but not terrible. It has some small fluff or flavor features some people out there might enjoy. For example, if it is raining in the game, the characters’ shirts get wet and you can see their undergarments. However, it doesn’t do any one thing great or one thing bad. As a person who loves anime-BASED games and JRPGs, I think someone looking for an alternative to Persona may want to grab this game, as they have a lot of parallels.

Pros:

  • Magical Girls
  • Character Building
  • Dark Cave Phone APP

Cons:

  • No English Voice-Overs
  • Not Fully Voiced
  • Generic Sound Effects
  • Generic JRPG

Draul gives Blue Reflection a Drastik Measure 6.8 out of 10 (68)

Of course, this is also one of those games where they go overboard with their “Season Pass.” The game’s season pass is $79.99 (USD) and has no real content, as it is all just costumes. If you are looking for an RPG, you may want to wait until this one goes on sale on Playstation or Steam. $59.99 (USD) is just a tad too much, especially if you are not a huge fan of games like Persona or Magical Girls.

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