Blue Reflection Magical Girl Anime RPG Review
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On a whim today, I preordered the ultra deluxe Blue Reflection Second Light that comes out for Nintendo Switch (and various other consoles) tomorrow. I spent all of 5 minutes checking out the free demo and did not get far at all. My curiosity was piqued though, because as you know, school simulation games are one of my favorite genres. This cute anime RPG promises to let you build your own school with cute anime girls. Cool, cool… But I didn’t know anything else about the game. Total whim purchase.
Well, after preordering Blue Reflection 2, I naturally was curious about Blue Reflection 1. Somehow I TOTALLY MISSED this game when it was released in North America back in 2017. I vaguely think I may have picked it up on sale on my PS4, at some point… but never not even once, opened it up to play…. So I bought it on Steam today – and OH MY GOD!!! It is SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO CUUUUTE!!!
If you love Sailor Moon – you’re going to love this SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO MUCH!!!!!!
I mean I think I’m pretty dang knowledgeable about games for girls, with hundreds of games under my belt, but this one slipped by my radar and I’m willing to bet, it slipped past yours too.
I will say there is a bit too much fan-service for a game in which creators claim they wanted to make a heartwarming game for young girls. Like the wet t-shirt scene near the beginning – or some of the transformation scenes – but Sailor Moon was naked too and had a magic skirt placed over her bottom. Her bottom and bust wasn’t quite as shapely perhaps, but well fan service is part of the whole anime fandom – and even though it’s a game for girls, I’m guessing they want to appeal to guys too since guys still even today play more games than girls.
I do think Blue Reflection 2 is going to differ quite a bit from the first Blue reflection — but DISCLAIMER: I only played the demo of Blue Reflection 2 for like LITERALLY five minutes – past the first fight scene, that’s it, because you can’t save or import anything from the demo and the full game comes out tomorrow – so why waste my time – I downloaded the demo after going ahead and spending like $140 for the super deluxe whatever mega super cool edition lol. It was an impulse buy – and I wouldn’t have splurged that much except I had a $50 eshop gift card – so I really only paid like $60 – price of like a regular game more or less – so cool.
Anyways I think 2 is more of a school simulation game, and the original is much more of a traditional linear JRPG or almost kinetic novel type of game. Also I did NOT see any magical girl transformations in the demo – AGAIN I ONLY PLAYED IT FOR FIVE MINUTES – so I’m no expert here – but maybe it’s going a different theme or direction.
Blue Reflection was sorta a spin-off or anniversary project – but it was popular enough now that we are seeing Blue Reflection 2nd Light arriving on Nintendo Switch and other consoles tomorrow. I can’t wait to play, even though I’ve just barely started with the first game.
I just started playing the first Blue Reflection game today and only about 2 hours in – and by far the best thing is the magical girl anime style – very reminiscent of Sailor Moon. I will be a tiny bit disappointed if there’s no Magical Girl theme in the new sequel, but I do think I will enjoy the new simulation style gameplay.
The first Blue Reflection uses traditional JRPG turn based battles and a very linear (so far at least) story. The story is good – I mean that’s one of the benefits of using a linear story, you can write it through a very concise narrow scope. It has a lot of female friendship, heart, cuteness, love, loneliness, struggle, sadness, and adversity, and enough action to keep things moving.
Fans of Sailor Moon – this is a MUST PLAY – I’m telling you!! Go out and buy the first Blue Reflection right now today. If you love Sailor Moon you’ll love this!
I’ve only spent 2 hours with it, so this may be premature here but here’s how I would rate it so far.
Overall: 61/70 87% B+ “Very Good Game For Girls”
Geeky: 5/5 – It is a little dated in graphics and combat and gameplay – but at least it does have combat and gameplay (a lot of games I review here don’t). I think it would be enjoyed by both males and females – and the Sailor Moon influences is a huge geeky nod to Magical Girl anime fans everywhere.
Sweetie: 5/5 – Super cute – anime magical girl RPG. Love it.
Gameplay: 7/10 – It is a little dry actually – that tends to be the problem with traditional linear JRPGs. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still one of my favorite Genres. And this one combines some interesting features from other JRPGS – almost a materia like system to enhance the battle skills – and you can spend attribute points to customize each magic girl in numerous ways – attack, defense, agility, etc – and depending on how you choose to spend your points – new skills become available – so those are some unique features – and the whole magic girl thing. Again, it bears repeating that I am only two hours into the game – and there may be more “school” type activities that I have yet to unlock. I do know there’s a crafting system too – just like in Atelier – but I haven’t gotten far enough to unlock that yet. So for the first many hours it’s read/listen to a cute story, fight a few battles with a less than stellar combat system, and rinse and repeat.
Story: 8/10 – A team of girls fight to save other girls in an all girls school. To do so they transform into magic anime girls able to hear and use everyone’s emotions to learn new super powers. I deducted some points because well honestly, at least in the first 2 hours, the main character is rude and selfish and well sometimes even mean. I assume and hope we will see a lot of character development and she will become a nicer better person as the story unfolds. I mean it’s like a balancing act when writing these things – you don’t want a super hero that’s flawless – because no one can identify with someone too perfect – but just like sailor moon can be scared and whiny – so too can our main character in Blue Reflection – and not just scared and babyish, but mean and rude too. I don’t like how she treats others initially – but I think the story and moral is going to be teaching her to lower her guard and get along better with others – and I’m all for seeing strong character growth and development. If you start with a flawless character, there’s no room for growth, so I do totally get that. That’s why I didn’t deduct too many points here.
Characters: 10/10 – I want to give them 10/10 just for how cute they are – but also as mentioned, they’re pretty human too. I relate to them all – even the NPCs. Their struggles are things all girls have faced at one time or another. Very emotionally deep characters with problems real girls can identify with – and then cute Sailor Moon like super heroes. Perfection.
Graphics: 8/10 – It reminds me almost of School Days HQ – using anime style 3D graphics. I dunno if it’s just the North American version for translation purposes though, but I’m distracted by the SUPER THICK black borders – meh. I think I noticed the 2nd game has these too – and some of the background environment stuff is REALLY pixelated – at least on my PC.
Music: 9/10 – Sounds like a magical girl anime soundtrack – nice – very distinctive.
Voice Acting: 9/10 – CUUUUUUTE!! but only available in Japanese. I would like the option for English voice acting too. But the Japanese cast does a great job!
Replay Value: Unknown – I’m not far enough yet – but I’m thinking it’s pretty linear. I feel the sequel will do better here as it’s more about customizing your school.