Our Score: 8/10
Blue Reflection: Second Light by Gust Co.Ltd and Koei Tecmo Games is a magical-school girl game that is bound to hook you from the start. A sequel to the original Blue Reflection, this game takes everything they’ve learned from that and builds upon it. The improvements are very evident and it just makes the whole game so much better.
“As the last summer day fades, all is illuminated.” With gorgeous translucent designs by Mel Kishida, as well as a story that depicts the youth of lifelike girls, based on a theme of human identity and bonding, a new title in the BLUE REFLECTION series is here!
What is Blue Reflection: Second Light
“Under a piercing blue sky, surrounded by crystal clear water, the sun scorched Ao Hoshizaki’s skin. Gazing at the summer scenery, it seemed as if the girl was left behind in a world that she had wandered into. At a school adrift in the distance, there lived three girls who had lost their memories. The only thing they could remember was their names.
Ao, shrouded in confusion, begins to lead a strange communal life with the girls as they seek clues about a way to return to their original world.”
Blue Reflection: Second Light is a story about Ao Hoshizaki and her friends. They get sent to an alternate dimension to a school that is surrounded by water. At this school, she also meets other girls who have seemingly lost their memory. And when a dangerous monster threatens them, they awaken to mysterious powers.
As this is a sequel, your first question is, should you play the original? Well, you don’t necessarily have to. The game isn’t a direct sequel and features a new cast of characters and story. However, characters from the original game and the anime do show up. But, they are introduced really well so you don’t have to worry about missing out. I would still recommend playing the original if you can though but even if you don’t it’s alright.
New and Improved
The game is a major improvement over its predecessor in almost every way. The story this time around is way more fleshed out and doesn’t feel rushed. There’s a larger plot that is tied into the various character arcs throughout the game.
You travel into the Heartscape of a character. These Heartscapes are embodiments of the person’s heart and mind. And revisit the memories of those characters to be able to properly help them.
Combat has also completely changed this time around. The game features an Active-time battle system, similar to the newer Ateliar Ryza games. All your moves in battle consume Ether as the MP system has been removed. Ether charges up at different rates depending on your character. And because of this change, combat is also faster as compared to the previous games.
Look and Feel
The world of Blue Reflection: Second Light is absolutely gorgeous. The character models look great although I do wish they had more individuality in their regular uniforms. They end up looking slightly similar so I wish more effort was put into making the cast stand out.
The levels and heartscapes are incredibly well designed and you can tell that, unlike the previous game, they went all out here. A lot of effort and detail has been put into the world this time around and it is quite evident.
The use of color in particular is fantastic and at times makes you feel like you’re watching a highly-rated anime. It’s vibrant, it’s saturated and it’s done just enough to make things pop and feel magical. I also quite enjoyed the use of lighting in this game. The glow of various objects in the heartscapes just adds to their beauty. Not to mention the plethora of particle effects during combat.
Developer Gust and Koei Tecmo have made an incredible sequel with Blue Reflection: Second Light. It improves upon every single aspect and provides a fun and satisfying experience. Pretty much every complaint or slight niggle I had with the original has been ironed out here. So, to be very honest, if they put this much effort into another sequel, I am incredibly excited to see that. With how much I enjoyed this title, I genuinely look forward to where they go next and how they improve on this franchise.