If you have an interest in JRPGs then you are already familiar with developer Gust, known for the Atelier and Ar tonelico series. However, if you are not familiar with these games and still interested in Nights of Azure, you might be fond of another series that this game lends heavily from, mainly the Dynasty Warriors series. As a gamer who has no specific genre they enjoy the most it is sometimes my duty to review JRPGs, simply because I have the time and a weird interest for insane and wacky storylines, and who does all of the above better than JRPGs? It is time I try my sanity on Nights of Azure the latest release from Gust and Koei Tecmo, the Playstation 4 version
I will gladly admit to not being a huge Anime or JRPG fan, it is simply not what I play the most of, but then again there really is no one genre that I do spend the most time playing. I'll try anything, and if I am tasked with reviewing a game I put my heart, soul and sanity into it and take it as serious as you can with a video game. So before you start heating up those hate mails know that I am being honest right from the start that I do not try to pretend I know what I am talking about, I just play it and tell you what I experience.
Now that we got that out of the way, lets talk about Nights of Azure.
Nights of Azure is a JRPG that lends heavily from different genres. Previously mentioned developer Gust is known for the Atelier series and for those familiar with that series it is easy to see where the inspiration is gathered from. As I am not too familiar with this series, I had a friend of mine share some of her knowledge on the subject and that is what she told me as she watched me play some of it. However, to me it quickly felt more and more like a series of games that I have reviewed before, the Warriors series, Dynasty, Samurai Warriors or Warriors Orochi even. If you check out any of these reviews on this site they are most likely done by me.
The story is just as bonkers as most JRPGs, there are two characters, Arnice is half-human, half-demon and then there is Lilysse, a priestess who is set to become the next saint, which basically means she is supposed to be sacrificed. So Arnice isn't too happy with Lilysse's fate basically. Look, the hardest thing with reviewing JRPGs is that most of the story is so insane and wacky at times that it is hard to try and keep up with it.
Another thing that makes it hard is all the dialogue before anything happens. They usually start with an incredibly long intro, then cue a long tutorial and then finally you get a long dialogue session before you even get to play the game. I usually fall off after a few minutes and have to keep myself from button-mashing my way through it all, but since I review the game I stick with it. But that is basically what I gathered from the story.
The combat however quickly feels resemblance, and as soon as they let me fight I am all in again. This isn't your usual turn-based strategy combat, this is real-time combat and this is where the resemblance to Dynasty Warriors truly kicked in for me. And if you played a Dynasty Warriors game before you know the combat can get repetitive at times, luckily for Nights of Azure they have implemented a servans ability to the combat, which are basically familiars. Whenever you summon one of these servans they are there to serve you and they can be controlled but are capable of holding their own in battle, and if that wasn't enough you can also level them up.
Arnice can collect blue blood from enemies as she defeats them. Levelling up is done by using Blood or Libra, the libra which are coins can be used to purchase items, while the blood can be used to level up Arnice but also in special stores to breed more servans. Think of the servans as Pokemon characters, the similarities are huge, you can collect them, you can fight them and level them up as you can with Pokemon and up to four of these servans can be summoned during a fight.
Nights of Azure was personally a mixed bag for me, not because I didn't enjoy the game but more the fact that it felt somewhat forgettable. Don't get me wrong, there are a lot for you to do and experience here but I just had this lingering feeling while playing through the game that I really didn't feel too much of a difference between other games in the genre enough to keep me interested. The servants are a nice touch and the collectible in the game is a nice feature, and I am sure that a fan of similar games is going to absolutely love it, but if you are not sure I suggest you check out some gameplay videos of the game before you make up your mind.