NIGHTS OF AZURE 2: BRIDE OF THE NEW MOON FOR SWITCH REVIEWS

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As you might guess, however, that isn’t the kết thúc of Aluche’s story. She wakes in a lab, brought back from the dead by a researcher who’s fused her toàn thân with that of a demon. Half-mortal & half-not, she’s filled with new power, new resolve, & an unfortunate taste for human blood, & sets off on a quest to find Liliana và sort out right from wrong. Bride of the New Moon’s narrative is twisting and compelling, and while certain beats are more predictable than they seem to lớn want lớn be, we still greatly enjoyed going along for the ride. It helps that the cast is excellent — Aluche in particular is a strong, immediately likable heroine, but all of her (all-female) friends are memorable in their own ways — và watching their relationships evolve over the course of the trò chơi is a real highlight.

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To bởi so, you’ll need lớn dive into the main gameplay loop, which means guiding Aluche and her friends through discrete levels of frenetic hack-and-slash combat, heading out from your khách sạn base of operations to challenge missions one at a time. The basic thiết đặt feels similar to Musou or Warriors games; you’ll have access khổng lồ both a quicker, weaker attack (‘Y’) & a stronger, slower technique (‘X’), & chaining together the two in various configurations will result in special combos, along with a dodge, block và several types of special attacks.


In terms of its specific style, we’d describe Nights of Azure 2’s combat as both “combo-heavy” and “very busy”. Combos are powerful, potentially very lengthy — it’s not uncommon khổng lồ see triple-digit hit counters — & welcomely varied; longer strings don’t just result in longer attacks, but instead certain combinations are situationally useful. We had one four-button go-to for when we we surrounded on all sides, for instance, and another two-button standby when we needed to lớn hit an airborne enemy. More so than with many kích hoạt games, we found ourselves able to lớn dial in the right tool for the job after a few levels, and that’s a fantastic feeling.

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That’s the “combo-heavy” part of the combat, then — so what about the “very busy”? As it turns out, Aluche isn’t alone in her fight, và you’ll have three other bodies following you around the battlefield — one Lily and two Servans — all of which you can control khổng lồ a certain degree. The ‘Lily’ is your chosen partner, a fellow human (or at least, human-like) friend you’ll bring into battle và see around the khách sạn afterwards as well. Each one has different active và passive skills, và while you can issue commands khổng lồ your Lilly via the D-Pad, even if left alone, they’ll wail on enemies và fight quite competently. 


Lilies are also linked to Aluche via a teamwork gauge. You can fill this meter in a few ways: by attacking the same enemy at the same time (for a Double Attack), or by laying into a foe that recently attacked your Lily (Revenge Attack). Once the meter is charged, you can press ‘A’ khổng lồ activate a ‘Double Chase’, a cinematic, Lily-specific special move that powers up the more you mash the button. A separate ‘Tension Gauge’ also allows you lớn activate a ‘Lily Burst’, & these are more powerful still; combined, these two moves trang điểm a huge part of your arsenal, và we loved how much each Lily’s personality shines through in the attack cutscenes.

In addition lớn your Lily, you’ll also command two Servans, monster helpers who follow you into battle. Each Servan is mapped khổng lồ ‘ZL’ or ‘ZR’, & you can gọi them into kích hoạt when needed. Servans can either cast a certain spell — usually a powerful areal attack — or fuse with Aluche’s sword to transform it into a new weapon type with new combos & combat styles. This second type in particular is a great addition, and we loved playing around with Servan combinations to see what we liked best. They feel like support skills with personalities, and can be upgraded between missions as you progress, so we found ourselves quite invested in them.


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There’s quite a bit you can vị between missions, in fact, but once you jump in khổng lồ one, you won’t be able lớn dawdle. Nights of Azure 2’s structure is a departure from many action games of its ilk, in that it’s twice timed: Aluche’s half-demon body toàn thân will only let her stay outside of the khách sạn for so long at once, which means each mission comes with a time limit (starting at around 10 minutes), and there’s also only so many nights before the New Moon heralds the kết thúc of the world (and your game), meaning you’ll have a limited number of days to head out & tackle missions in each chapter. 

It’s possible in principle, then, to idle and/or sleep your way to a trò chơi Over, but in practice neither of these time limits ever felt restrictive. We appreciated how the mission timer gave a real sense of urgency lớn each excursion, and having to make decisions about where khổng lồ head next based on available time kept us constantly on our toes. And while the time limit starts at 10 minutes, it only goes up from there; extending Aluche’s resistance to the outside world is one of many options on her character growth tree, and you’ll be able to showroom several minutes lớn that timer fairly quickly.


The moon phase time limit, meanwhile, is calibrated lớn let you tackle the numerous sidequests offered in each chapter while still allowing for a few ‘timed-out’ missions, so it’s almost never an issue for the main story. Often we’d finish most of the chapter with several days to lớn spare, và then spend the next-to-last days scoring friendship points with our Lilies by completing sidequests before challenging the chapter monster on the last night.

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We enjoyed making our way through Nights of Azure 2 quite a bit, but as with many hack-and-slash titles, repetition does start to set in before too long. That’s not the fault of the combat — the full bộ variety và number of moving parts between Servans và Lilies meant we always had something new to lớn try out — but more of the mission structure, which relies heavily on a ‘defeat X amount of Y trùm cuối in Z place’ template. It doesn’t help that the environments aren’t terribly interesting — either visually or mechanically — & you’ll fight the same enemies over and over again; the demon designs are great, but we definitely longed for fresh faces more often than we saw them. Still, the intricate bosses offer some excellent standouts, & the timed thiết kế helps quite a bit with the rest; individual missions don’t ever feel like they drag on, & playing in short mission-or-two bursts rather than long sessions alleviates much of the feeling of repetition.


Nights of Azure 2 has solid action game bones, but it’s elevated into a particularly enjoyable experience by its unique, absorbing atmosphere. It has a gothic fairy tale aesthetic that makes it seem almost Bayonetta-like at first, but the anime sensibilities layered on top of that base give it a feel all its own. It’s chock full of fan-service, for one — each new arrival in the all-female cast barely has time to lớn be introduced before they feature in a swimsuit scene at the pool — but the pervasive prurience is rounded out by well-drawn characters, fun ‘friendship event’ interactions, and clever writing. It’s an all-in-on-lewd attitude, & it makes the tidal waves of yuri innuendo coursing through the experience a welcome stylistic cornerstone rather than an occasional distraction. While it won’t be for everyone, if you’re onboard, it’s an excellent mix — if Bride of the New Moon were on Netflix, its descriptors might fall somewhere in-between ‘Girls Supporting Girls’ and ‘Light Erotic kích hoạt with Strong Vampire Lead’.


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Unfortunately, while Azure delivers on overall style, it’s more of a mixed bag in terms of its graphical presentation. The character models are beautifully done, with loving detail & impressive textures, but it’s clear that that’s where most of the artistic effort went; the environments (especially the battlefields) generally feel bland và sparse, & feature some jarringly low-res textures. There’s also quite a bit of pop-in, & the overarching issue that most of the locales you’ll find yourself in are so dark. That’s obviously by design, and while it makes the bright character designs & neon trails from your attacks stand out, it also just makes it difficult to lớn see a lot of the time. We ended up using the mini-map as our preferred point of reference in several stages — functional, but decidedly less fun.


Technical hiccups also come into play, particularly in portable mode. The framerate feels smooth enough when the Switch is docked, but takes a noticeable hit in the move khổng lồ handheld. It’s far from a deal-breaker, và in fact, even with the performance knock, handheld was our favourite way lớn go; the focused, timed missions really lend themselves lớn portable play, and we stopped noticing the performance drop after a few minutes away from the TV each time. No matter which mode you’re playing in, the camera can also occasionally frustrate — it’s fine in outdoor arenas, but on the (mercifully fewer) indoor sections, it can be a bit of a mess.

Our biggest frustration with the presentation, however, is one tiny interface quirk that never stops being annoying: ‘Confirm’ is mapped to lớn the ‘B’ button và ‘Cancel’ khổng lồ the ‘A’ button, the opposite of Nintendo norms. Sure, it sounds like a small issue, but decades worth of muscle memory is a powerful force lớn overcome, và it’s compounded by the fact that the ‘Interact’ button (which you’d use to open a door, or talk khổng lồ an NPC) is mapped khổng lồ ‘A’, not ‘B’ as you’d expect from the rest of the setup. That means lớn save, you need to walk up to lớn the counter và hit ‘A’, then hit ‘B’ khổng lồ ‘Confirm’ that you’d lượt thích to save — hitting ‘A’ again instead means you’ll walk away from the counter without a save file & none the wiser, as we learned after losing the first two hours of our initial attempt at a playthrough. 


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In happier presentation news, Nights of Azure 2 absolutely nails the audio side of the spectrum. The soundtrack is fantastic, effortlessly blending piano jazz and downtempo electronica with breakbeat, Celtic folk, và goth rock. It’s lovely stuff, và — as we’ve come lớn expect from Gust — adds a layer of polish & charm that seems to lớn transcend the otherwise cost-conscious production. Excellent Japanese voice acting rounds out the package, with strong performances & lots of personality for Aluche, her Lily companions, & the Servans.

Conclusion


A fast-paced hack-and-slash with fun, combo-heavy combat & an anime-after-dark aesthetic, Nights of Azure 2 is a great time. Strong characters, endearing interactions, & an interesting plot kept us excited khổng lồ play more throughout, even if the repetitive missions & environments make for an experience best enjoyed in smaller chunks. There are some noticeable performance issues in handheld mode, & a few interface woes reflect a lack of overall polish, but if you’re looking for an enjoyable action romp with plenty of blood-sucking style, this is an excellent choice.

Good 7/10

Scoring PolicyReview copy provided by Koei Tecmo


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Tue 14th Nov 2017

I literally just started the game last night, it certainly has some performance issues but so far so good. I bởi find the whole moon timer stuff reminiscent of a certain trò chơi xD


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Tue 14th Nov 2017

One of my favorite switch games so far. Maybe the first trò chơi will be brought khổng lồ the system.


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Tue 14th Nov 2017

Typical Gust game really.

They make games with great soundtracks, good combat systems và decent-good plots with capable writing & nice characters in it and most of all... They"re fun lớn play.They don"t make anything I"d gọi amazing, epic or GOTY blablabla, but darn it if they ain"t consistent quality-wise.

Became quite a tín đồ of their relaxing Atelier games after buying Escha và Logy on a whim last year too, which reminds me... I hope they release the other 2 games of the "Mysterious" trilogy too at some point.

Put this one on my wishlist for now. Got too much backlog that needs dealing with first và next year seems to lớn be a lot more relaxed in terms of Nintendo"s own games, so a good year for some 3rd các buổi party action to keep me busy ^_^


Tue 14th Nov 2017

You can check the game"s prologue / tutorial here played on my Switch at 720p. There some minor performance issues from now and then but it doesn"t really affect game play IMO.


Pahvi It was a general response to everyone who felt the images vì not correspond lớn the actual Switch experience, the đoạn clip shows you the real Switch experience in case anyone had any doubts. I will try to lớn get those screenshots down ASAP, since I am not directly able to lớn edit other writer"s posts.


Tue 14th Nov 2017

Sadly I noticed the performance issues (at least in handheld mode) right from the get-go. Fortunately it doesn"t impact the experience, but those who may find it jarring or may wish khổng lồ steer clear.

It"s quite a fun trò chơi that feels a bit like Bayonetta meets Warriors. Just put aside an hour or so for your first session as it takes a little while before you can actually save your game.


Tue 14th Nov 2017

Great trò chơi so far! Anyone else have the issue that the system does not record your time played for this game? Normally a game will ask which user and attribute the time lớn the users profile but I have nothing for this game. When I open up the parental controls tiện ích it states that the time logged on this game is not assigned lớn a user.... I have never had that happen.


Pahvi I was thinking exactly the same thing. Showing Playstation screenshots for a Switch game is false advertising.

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Tue 14th Nov 2017

Unfortunately, the handheld mode issues make this a no-go for me. If I wanted a trò chơi I could only have fun playing on the TV, I would have bought the PS4 version. If a patch ever addresses issues in handheld mode, however, I"ll gladly nab it.


Tue 14th Nov 2017

For what reason is the screenshots from the PS4-version? Don’t you take your own screenshots for your reviews?


Tue 14th Nov 2017

Playing it in handheld mode, the perfomance were kinda hard lớn watch. Even more when it was really crowded, it wouldnt suprise me if it was falling in the 15FPS range. & then, the game crashed on my after a hunt, and before I could save. And I read that it was a common problem, that the game was crashing A LOT. So I decided lớn stop playing, và just sell back the game. One of my first true regret on Switch...


Tue 14th Nov 2017

“Our biggest frustration with the presentation, however, is one tiny interface quirk that never stops being annoying: ‘Confirm’ is mapped khổng lồ the ‘B’ button và ‘Cancel’ khổng lồ the ‘A’ button, the opposite of Nintendo norms.”

Preach, pastor!

NoA2 is definitely a good addition khổng lồ the Switch"s library, performance hiccups and all. My major issue with the game--aside from the "B", "A" thing--is just that it"s so short.


Tue 14th Nov 2017

While the game play itself sounds fun, the overt sexualization of every character makes it a no-go for me. I"m generally okay with a few fan-service characters in good games--Cia in Hyrule Warriors, for example--but this is just too much. Not every female clip game character needs to lớn run around half-naked all the time. I"d have thought we"d have moved on from this objectification of women by now.


Tue 14th Nov 2017

I was waiting for this review. Reading about the performance issues & the B/A problem kinda makes me want to get the Steam version instead of this one. I wonder if the B/A thing is in the PC version if you use a Wii U Pro Controller?


Tue 14th Nov 2017

Framerate issues? Not a problem.Timelimited missions? Not a problem.Halfnaked girls? Hahah, not a problem.Frequent crashing? Uhh... Huge problem.64,99€? Gulp! Another huge problem.


ilikeike: How Is Cia in Hyrule Warriors fanservice?This character did not have anything to bởi vì with Zelda at all. Cia - và Lana và Volga for that matter are probably the only "things" in the entire trò chơi that are NOT fanserivce. Fanservice is more lượt thích hookshot the Majora Moon & let it crash on enemies - multiple times in a row! This is what I hotline fanservice (of the worst kind).


SKTTR I think we"re using two different definitions of "fanservice." I meant that Cia"s kiến thiết was very sexual for no reason other than pleasing a certain demographic of Zelda/Warriors fans. I thought this was jarring as the Zelda series usually doesn"t cater to those types of fans, but I tolerated it because the game was enjoyable overall & Cia was the only notable offender.Though I do agree, the hookshot was totally OP.


Tue 14th Nov 2017

I know absolutely nothing about this game, but I must say it looks cool.... If I can ever find this used for lượt thích $20 or so I would give it a go!


Tue 14th Nov 2017

Im werid but i have both the PS4 ands switch verison XD then yên ổn a Guest fan and play buy all there games.


Tue 14th Nov 2017

I picked this up on day 1I haven"t even started Odyssey yet because I wanna finish this 1st. I haven"t noticed any of the performance issues But that button mapping thing is a real pain in the butt!


Wed 15th Nov 2017

Bombed in japan and UK... Pretty much sent to die in the US with little marketing. đứng top it of with a 67 metacritic. This is a classic 9.99 bargain buy.


ilikeike Not every video game has to be made for you, or be considerate of your sensitivities regarding harmless fanservice. This game"s designers wanted their characters khổng lồ look a certain way, and if you don"t like it, tough; don"t buy it.

And you make it seem lượt thích every trò chơi that ever featured a female character sexually objectified them, which is objectively not true. You must not have played many games to lớn have such a myopic & naive opinion like that...


yuwarite Rereading my comments, I realize I didn"t phrase myself very well. My criticism was more at games whose female characters are treated as little more than sexual objects, rather than as actual persons. I"ll admit that I had a knee jerk reaction; the game"s character designs just put me off, I guess.And no, I don"t expect every trò chơi to be made around my sensibilities. For example, I don"t much care for gore-heavy games or FPS"s, but I"m still happy DOOM is on Switch, and I acknowledge that it has its demographic. I"m happy for them, but it"s just not my thing.


Wed 15th Nov 2017

I am surprised it took this long for a review. I have been playing it for weeks. I chose it over Fire Emblem Warriors, but will over up buying both eventually. A 7/10 seems reasonable. It plays like a prior gen trò chơi but it"s definitely fun and has a good story. I would say definitely check it out.


ilikeike The characters in this trò chơi are actual persons, though; you make it sound lượt thích they"re walking sex-dolls, that never speak.

For sure, the artists wanted them lớn look sexy & titillating, but you have to lớn remember, this game takes place in a fictional fantasy setting that the creators dreamed up, where this sort of dress sense is normal.

Just lượt thích in JRPG"s, you often see male & female characters running around with impractical hairstyles & attire for combat và adventuring. That"s just how their designers wanted them to look; you have to suspend your disbelief for a moment, & just assume in that world, their hairstyles và attires aren"t impractical.


Thu 16th Nov 2017

I"ve been playing this game, and I quite like it. The technical hiccups happen just before you go into a brawl. It"s not a khuyễn mãi giảm giá breaker because it doesn"t happen DURING the brawl và I"m ok with that.

But I AM seriously having issues with the "Confirm"(B), "Cancel"(A), & "Interact"(A) button setup. I wish they would"ve at least made the "Interact" and "Confirm" buttons the same.

I"m no trò chơi reviewer, but I probably would"ve put NOA2 on the same tier as Senran Kagura (a brawler with gratuitous pool and bikini scenes). But NOA2 has a darker and (dare I say) serious story và the chơi game has a bit more substance as you are required to lớn plan out your missions based on the double time restraints.

This was a great and honest reviews
zipmon. My personal tastes fit the game, so I like it. "Good" game, but the dismissible performance problems prevented it from being a "Great" one.


Savlep99

I had that same issue for a couple of days và it now is working. I"m not 100% sure, but there was a patch for the trò chơi that popped up yesterday và it may have fixed that issue.


Thu 16th Nov 2017

I was considering this a few weeks back, when so many games weren"t yet competing for my time. Now... Mario, Stardew, Batman, Doom, Pokemon, Xenoblade all fighting for my time... I just can"t fit another game in right now. Already had to pass on LA Noire for the time being.


Fri 2nd Mar 2018

This nhận xét actually piqued my interest in this game. I know I"m late khổng lồ the party on this one, but if I can pick it up on sale, I"m going to kiểm tra it out.