‘Nights of Azure 2: Bride of the New Moon’ Review – Everyone Loves Aluche
I will be completely honest with you, as I always am. When I first saw this game, I thought it was going to be one of those odd, really deep cut anime games. I was wrong, to an extent. My knowledge and like of anime doesn’t really go as deep as some of the people I know, it’s pretty baseline. With that being said, I still enjoyed this game for what it was. If you are a Dynasty Warriors fan then it is possible that you will like this game as well. Also keep in mind that there is no option for an English dub to the game that I could find.
Nights of Azure 2: Bride of the New Moon, takes place in the fictional 19th century riddled with demons and anime chicks. Aluche, the main character, is charged with guarding her long time friend Liliana because she is chosen as the next Bride to stop the new blue moon from forming. Aluche is joined by her other friend Ruhenheid, a holy knight of the Lourdes Order. Aluche finds other members to her party along the way. Aluche gets ambushed while protecting Liliana and suffers a terrible fate. She is killed by demons and then revived using the Blue Blood of a demon by a scientist. She awakens as a half-demon, donning some new red hair and two different color eyes, as well as a Blood Sword. On top of all of this, it seems like there is sexual tension between every character and Aluche. It seems like everyone really wants to get a piece of that half-demon ass.
Now that the half demon love circle has been established, lets get into the meat here. There are a lot of things that makes this game a fun title to play. I am a huge fan of the Dynasty Warriors games so this game already felt at home for me. You have a hub, in the form a hotel. The hotel has a couple of different rooms that you can use for different reasons. Going to your room will let you sleep and advance the day forward, which you can do whenever you want. The point of the game is to find Liliana before the new moon forms and that can happen if you don’t use your time wisely. So, if you were to constantly go to sleep without going out into the world, the game will indeed end. You can go out each night and attempt to complete the quests you are given. You are timed each time you go out, you can increase this time that you are able to be out by leveling up. The maps don’t really point out exactly where you are supposed to go, which is a double edged sword. This makes you explore each area thoroughly to find where you need to go.
Controlling Aluche feels very stiff in most situations. When I compared this game to Dynasty Warriors, I also meant it inherits some of its less than fortunate features. Running around and turning feels, well, stiff. Aluche makes turns very instantaneously and the camera doesn’t always follow. Sometimes the camera has a mind of its own and can throw off the fight. Throughout the game, when new features are introduced, you get some menus that explain them. I notice that some of these menus had some broken English in them. Maybe a slight oversight? Who knows, but just a small thing I noticed whilst playing. Your load out will consist of the main character, a side character and two little creatures called Servans. The mechanic with the Servans was pretty interesting. Servans are like little pets that you take with you that can do different abilities. One Servan was a bee princess that changed into a trident like weapon that Aluche could use. Each Servan could be leveled up as well, becoming stronger and providing higher stats. Aluche herself was able to level up and gain ability points depending on how much Blue Blood you spent for them. They could be used to level up a pretty basic, repetitive skill tree. Your comrades can level up as well, gaining some higher stats.
Your load out will change how you play each time. Depending on the character you choose to go with you, your joint moves will change. You can achieve these once you’ve filled up one of two different meters. Your double chase move fills up as you connect the same moves as your NPC partner and you have another move that fills up over time. When you activate the double chase, Aluche and whatever character you have, pair up and do an area attack as you mash the circle button. The other move has you target an area and your partner unleashes a mighty attack. For example, Liliana makes a beam of light come out of the ground and blasts all enemies in the area. I didn’t really run into any challenging enemies during my time with the game. Every demon was pretty much fodder for my chase attacks. Nights of Azure 2 did offer up some pretty interesting boss fights, like a giant fish demon that would run into oil barrels and, if you had the correct Servan equipped, you could light him on fire and unleash a flurry of attacks. Your relationships with the other characters strengthens the moves you can do and will also grant them new abilities. So make sure that you choose wisely who you want to pair up with, because your relationship will strengthen each time you go out and fight with them.
There are other small things about the game that make it fun to play. You can collect new outfits for different characters, one of which they gave me was a very skimpy bathing suit for Aluche, fitting for the game’s setting. Aside from some small technical flaws and a less than spectacular story, albeit original, Nights of Azure 2 is a fun game to romp through. It doesn’t break any genre conventions by any stretch but it also isn’t the worst game of this type that I’ve played. I’d say that if you are into the hardcore anime tropes and Dynasty Warriors gameplay, then this is the game for you!
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Review statement: The copy of this game, for the Playstation 4, was supplied by the developer for the sake of this review.