20° Blue Reflection: Second Light demo impressions

Blue Reflection: Second Light demo impressions

Honestly, I have seen this series a lot over the past few years, and it has gained a bit of a cult following. I wanted to understand why and after trying out Tokyo Mirage Sessions Encore on the Switch and enjoying it, even though I wasn’t too sure about it, I thought I would take a look at this game. This isn’t my first time with the Blue Reflection series, but it is my first time playing one of the games. Through my experience with the Blue Reflection: Second Light demo, I can say I am happy I was interested. This game is almost like if you combined the Persona series and the Sailor Moon series.

If you aren’t very familiar with this series, then I’ll give a basic run down. There are a number of girls stuck in a summer school where they can’t return to their world. Those who stay in this school have lost memories of their past. The character you are in charge of is Ao, and she learns that she is a Reflector, able to reflect their desires upon themselves. The rings they have can summon weapons they feel comfortable using as they traverse something called the Heartscape, a world created from their forgotten memories.

The more the girls go through the Heartscape, the more memories of their past they start to remember. In the demo a new girl named Hiori Hirahara shows up to the academy having lost her memories. The girls instantly know the feeling as they went through it prior in the game’s story. She remembers talking to her sister Mio and wanting to find out what happened to her. Soon after she appears in the academy, a new Heartscape opens up based on her forgotten memories. The demo has you going around this Heartscape and discovering more about Hiori and her past. It also includes a prologue chapter that explains the trio of Ao, Kokoro and Rena and their first moments at the academy.

First look at the Heartscape. Blue Reflection Second Light

There are two segments to this game. The academy life and the Heartscape. The academy life didn’t have a lot in this demo. From the video after you beat the demo it shows you adding new stuff like swing sets and buildings for a variety of stuff. Most of this demo takes place showing off the Heartscape and the combat. In the Heartscape, you travel around areas and you can fight demons. You can find objects on the ground and hide around obstacles to maneuver around enemies if they’re too difficult to fight.

This is a real-time turn-based combat RPG. You have Ether energy that the girls accumulate. Once they have accumulated enough Ether, they can take a turn; either an attack skill, or a recovery skill, or even buffs or debuffs. You can also use items using a person’s turn though it is better to utilize your support character. Your party consists of four characters. Three of your characters will handle the battle portion, while one is the designated support character.

The battle characters fight or activate skills, while the supporting character can use items or switch battle characters around when they get Ether. They don’t participate in combat otherwise. The amount of Ether a battle character can gather is dependent on their gear level. When you start the battle, all characters are at gear level 1. When they hit 1000 Ether, they are capped, but if you attack, they have a high chance to move up to gear 2. Gear 2 caps at 2000 Ether, and you can use a skill that utilizes more than 1000 Ether, or you can activate two skills that use 1000 Ether each. If you do a skill at gear 2, you have a chance to hit gear 3. Once you hit gear 3, the character can transform into a different form that fully utilizes their Reflector powers. This form is unique to each character and increases their stats and the amount of Ether they accumulate.

The game looks really good with the anime-Esque visuals. The movement of the eyes is particularly unique. While the action of the battles feels a little slow compared to the rest of the game, it is still enjoyable. You can build bonds with the other girls to increase your TP, which can add battle perks or cooking perks, or even crafting perks. I enjoyed the little time I had with the demo. I feel it is a game that can be more than you expect, especially when a lot of the expectations going into this game is a high school academy life. Which is kind of is in a way, but there is so much more to it.

I played Blue Reflection: Second Light on a PS5, so loading times were almost nonexistent. Even though it is being played on backward compatibility mode, it feels much faster if I played the demo on the PS4. It was a very fluid game experience, with the only thing I noticed that was negative was lip flapping not being exactly in sync with the audio, but in terms of Anime games, that isn’t a big surprise. I don’t know if there is an English Dub experience as I played through it all in Japanese with English subtitles. Knowing Gust, there will not likely be an English voice cast in the games, so if that doesn’t appeal to you, then don’t get this game. The game performed well with no frame stutters. Just remember I played it on a PS5, though, so if it does have framerate issues, it most likely won’t appear for me, but it might be for those who are using older PlayStation 4 models.

If this all seems interesting to you, check out the demo available on the PlayStation Store. Should you play the demo and clear it, you’ll gain bonuses that will carry over to the full game.

Blue Reflection: Second Light will be available November 9th, 2021, on Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, and PC.

Blue Reflection: Second Light demo was played on a PS5, using PS4 backward compatibility.