Gust continues its march and constant contribution in the field of the JRPGs and brings us a proposal that draws attention to its global approach, narrative, and protagonists. We analyze what this curious adventure entitled Blue Reflection offers us.
After a few murky years due to the decline of the Japanese market, for some time now the JRPGs have returned with force and has become one of the most prolific genres, just as it used to be. There are many titles in this guide that come to my hands every year but I can assure you that for a long time I did not find a title as unique and particular as Blue Reflection, the new creation of Gust, at least in its concept and background.
Developed for both PS4 and PC (it will only arrive in digital version through Steam), this JRPG presents a cast of protagonists made up only of females and a script that results in the problems and inconveniences that young people face today … but from the Japanese point of view and also seasoned by a fantastic classic component of the JRPG adventures.
The main protagonist is Hinako Shirai, a high school student who arrives at a new institute called Hoshinomiya Girls. This place turns overnight into salvation to all its problems, physical and also psychological, since this girl went from being a child star for her ability as a dancer to the utmost ostracism as a result of an accident that damaged a of your knees Dejected and discouraged, the plot follows the evolution of this young woman during her stay in that institute, a place that will change her life completely since she will become a Reflector .
Almost upon arrival, Hinako is dressed in a ring that gives her a special power: change in dimension and appearance. Its mission as a Reflector is to maintain the balance between the real world and the one known as The Common, an alternate dimension that is made up of the subconscious of humanity.
This dimension is composed of four zones (Fear, Pain, Happiness, and Hate) in which it is possible to go to stop, places that are full of enemies of singular shapes and aspects. These entities come to be the “crystallization” of the common problems of people as well as the characters that we meet during our day to day inside the institute, rivals that receive the name of Sephiroth’s. And as you will be suspecting, our goal is to alternate between the real world and The Common to move forward in history, for which it is necessary to establish a relationship with a multitude of characters and, of course, fight against such adversaries.
At the playable level it is a fairly traditional JRPG. The strong point is his personality
Hinako is not alone in his mission and has the help of two high school students and classmates, the Yuzu and Lime twins, also Reflectors and holders of their corresponding ring. Throughout the adventure, it is possible to get to know a multitude of secondary characters and talk with them (or they, rather, since they are all girls), conversations that take place in Japanese with English subtitles as it was predictable in a game as niche as it is Blue Reflection. The conversations and relationships that we have throughout the game are very important, being one of its main components, to the point that several of its sub-episodes have to do only with strengthening those relationships.
But the heart of the adventure also focuses a lot on what happens in The Common dimension, where it is necessary to fight a multitude of battles that take place in turns. The classic Timeline appears at the top, which is usually present in many of these role-playing productions and clearly shows the turn of each of the characters that meet in each contest. Without being the best system I have ever enjoyed in a game of this guise, the truth is that it is quite solid and allows us to perform the classic actions that these productions always offer us, from making special attacks to request reinforcements or perform the potentiated actions called Overdrive.
As we fight and we recover the precious Fragments, which become memories of people, we gain experience and power, being able to improve the skills from the corresponding menu interface, screens that are certainly quite clear and “stylish”.
From the point of view related only to the gameplay, Blue Reflection is a fairly traditional JRPG and hardly brings anything new that we have not played and enjoyed before. And also at certain times, the course of the adventure is too slow. But in my opinion, his “wrapper”, his orientation towards the female adolescent public and his way of presenting the story are clearly unmarked from the usual, giving this adventure a strong personality that becomes one of its main characteristics.
This personality is highlighted by a very unique artistic finish, which although technically not a big deal (in fact, it seems like a normal PS3 title), the appearance of the protagonists and their graceful animations (especially when they are transformed) have his grace.
The sound is clearly superior, thanks to a really good dubbing (I reiterate, in Japanese with English subtitles) and a soundtrack that without leaving us any spectacular theme beyond that which serves as an introduction, Reflection, which is composed of well-composed melodies and quite cheerful mostly.
This JRPG stands out for its unique personality since all the main characters are teenage girls who tell us their problems and vicissitudes. Otherwise, it is a JRPG that has very traditional gameplay based on turn-based contests and dialogues and relationships between the different protagonists. A pretty niche title aimed at a very particular audience that knows how to entertain if your proposal interests you.
- Its orientation towards the adolescent female audience is very striking
- The turn-based battle system, not surprisingly, is solid
- Good Japanese dubbing and remarkable soundtrack
- Sometimes its development is quite slow
- Technically leaves much to be desired
- It brings nothing new in its playable facet to what other JRPGs offer