There are not too many titles that are coming lately linked to the classic Action RPG genre of Japanese essence. GUST aims to fill that gap with Nights of Azure 2: Bride of the New Moon, a direct continuation of the remarkable Nights of Azure. Analysis.
Despite being an actionable RPG quite estimable despite its great peculiarities, Nights of Azure went unnoticed in the West … something that is possibly going to happen once again with the continuation that will appear shortly and we have already been able to play in deep. And why do I predict such an unflattering destiny? Well man, because coinciding on the day of release (the 27th of this month) with video games like Super Mario Odyssey, Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus or Assassin’s Creed: Origins (among other games) I do not think it’s the best slot for a title as niche as Nights of Azure 2: Bride of the New Moon .
This adventure places us on the European continent towards the end of the 19th century. A moment in which chaos and despair reign due to the blue blood … which has nothing to do with the monarchy. No way. After what happened in the first part of this title and that I will not reveal, because of the aforementioned blue blood (which turns into monsters who has the misfortune to come in contact with it), the world in which the adventure has been taken by all kinds of infernal creatures. And these monsters are commanded by the fearsome Moon Queen. To counteract all this the Curia, which has been safeguarding the peace of our world for years, weaves a very simple plan: to offer the life of Liliana organization, the so-called Bride of Time (wife of time), as a sacrifice for the said evil queen.
The problem with all this is that Liliana is the childhood friend of the great protagonist of this adventure, the brave Aluche, who will safeguard her friend even sacrificing her own existence … which happens during the first minutes (it’s no spoiler, I promise), becoming a completely different half-human half-demon. A very Japanese plot (with all the peculiarities that all of us who enjoy this type of work are well aware of) who, moreover, is becoming more and more complex and complex as other important new characters parade. It is not the best narrative ever devised, at all, but it is curious.
Far from assuming a secondary role, both Liliana and the other protagonists who are joining the adventure (almost all of them female as the exuberant Ruenheid, Camilla Alucard, etc.) serve as support for Aluche, especially during battles.
Precisely and like a good game of their idiosyncrasy, the confrontations acquire very prominent importance. These combats take place in real-time and without being the most exciting that I have been able to enjoy within their genre, they have their grace and also enjoy several innovations in relation to those experienced in the first part of this saga. The most striking is the importance acquired by the Lilies, that is, the companions of the protagonist who fight with her and who are controlled by the CPU. We are always accompanied by a Lily, although it is also possible to take a couple of Servants, or what is the same, demonic allies very curious and useful in full combat. However, despite the fact that the Lillies act autonomously, it is also possible to give them certain orders (which are framed in the digital cross) to concentrate their attacks on a specific enemy, to act freely, etc. But there is more.
There is a lack of depth and some sparkle, but it is entertaining.
Depending on the characteristics of each one, which is quite different from each other, they give us certain support during the fights in several different ways. On the one hand, it is possible to carry out a kind of combined attack called Double Chase that is very damaging to the adversaries, wiping out most of them at a stroke. Next to this are the Special Skills, special abilities that Lillies possess and that are automatically activated under very specific circumstances, such as when we are about to die. Empower our offensive level, regenerate health or create a protective shield around Aluche are some of the benefits that can be acquired through such passive skills.
And of course, then there are the skills of the protagonist, who is capable of a good range of normal attacks, combos, special attacks, and defensive maneuvers. A fairly competent system that, while it is true that it could have given more than itself, is not bad. One of the most important parts of this adventure that, logically, is supported by several additional game elements.
The relationship that we can establish both with our allies and with other characters (like the members of Curia) is quite important. The dialogues are an important part of the adventure, conversations that take place in Japanese with English subtitles. In this case it is not essential to have a very high level in that language to understand them and, unlike what happens with other similar games, it is not even necessary to know what they tell us to be able to move forward without too many problems, although of course, we will miss many details about the plot.
We can also move through the varied scenarios of Nights of Azure 2, which do not have too large dimensions and are generally quite linear, an aspect that although there will be users who do not convince them, I do not suppose any inconvenience. And finally, there is everything related to the increase of skills and experience of Aluche, a fundamental element in any game of this style. Gameplay that is not surprising at all and perhaps lacks a bit more depth in overall and sparkle but which, in any case, is entertaining once you immerse yourself in the game. Of course, despite all this I still think that the first part was a title something more fun, direct and absorbing, keep this in mind.
As for its graphics plot, we can see that we are facing a “minor” production, so to speak. The highlight by far is its striking aesthetic line, clear manganite essence, which offers us pretty stylized and well-characterized characters. It also deserves to be highlighted the great diversity of different environments that we can visit, as well as how well represented, are the numerous video sequences that can be seen throughout the adventure. Everything else is simply functional (being generous), from the animations of the characters to the appearance of the textures that are seen in the backgrounds.
It should be noted that the great difference that is perceived between the PS4 and Nintendo Switch versions (which are what I have been able to test) has to do with the resolution and the rate of images, where the Sony console comes out better. But come on, given the humble graphic nature of Nights of Azure 2, it seems like a minor detail.
The sound is clearly superior thanks to the magnificent dubbing in Japanese and the remarkable soundtrack, although the sound effects are clearly below and lose prominence.
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This Action RPG offers a peculiar plot, a great representation of support characters and a more than striking setting. However, the combat system, without being bad at all, could have been better exploited by the developers, to which is added a nonexistent capacity for surprise. The result is an entertaining title but only recommended for the most hardcore followers of the genre, who will appreciate the virtues that this work of Gust offers over its defects.
- Great cast of supporting characters
- A large number of special actions that bring dynamism to the battles
- The sound ambiance is really good
- Technically it is quite functional
- The combat system is not bad, but it lacks some depth
- It is not at the same height as its predecessor