Nights of Azure 2: Bride of the New Moon (PlayStation 4) Review

By Drew Hurley 19.12.2017 1

Review for Nights of Azure 2: Bride of the New Moon on PlayStation 4

Koei Tecmo's GUST team has long had a considerable fan base for its niche titles both inside and outside of Japan. The first Nights of Azure adventure delivered a rather mediocre JRPG to little acclaim, a tale of a half-demon girl slaughtering blue blooded monsters to save the world in a so-so action role-playing game. It seems GUST decided to double down on every element. The story premise is almost identical here, the gameplay looks very familiar, and there's no real progression in the story of the world. After reviewing the PC version at launch, Cubed3 goes back to check out the game on PS4.

Nights of Azure is set in a world where going out at night is suicide. The vanquishing of the great demonic Nightlord long ago released the Blue Blood into the world, a substance that turned people into ravenous creatures known as fiends. These creatures stalk the night and are only pushed back by specialist groups dedicated to slaughtering them. One such group, the Curia, is sending its agent, Aluche, on an assignment of upmost importance; she is to escort a priestess, named Liliana. Liliana is a special priestess, dubbed the "Bride of Time" and the Curia believes that sacrificing her to a great demonic being, known as The Moon Queen, is the key to saving the world, sealing the Moon Queen's power.

Screenshot for Nights of Azure 2: Bride of the New Moon on PlayStation 4

The story gets a little out of hand when The Moon Queen swoops in during the escort and sticks a sword through Aluche's heart, before vanishing with Liliana. Aluche is reborn as a half demon, and as the protagonist of this story, and sets out on a quest to get her friend back. It turns out Aluche and Liliana were childhood friends, along with a girl, Ruenheid, who is now part of a group led by a seer who opposes the Curia and believes that sacrificing Liliana will actually bring on an eternal night that would put all humans to sleep and see them slaughtered by the Fiends. Three friends, all fighting to save the world, but also torn apart by their differing beliefs and those in control of each of them.

Playing as Aluche, the game follows a pattern where the moon is slowly overtaken by a creeping darkness and only by completing story quests and progressing through the story can help the moon be restored. Should it be completely overtaken, the world will end.

Screenshot for Nights of Azure 2: Bride of the New Moon on PlayStation 4

In each chapter, a bunch of side-quests are opened up alongside the main quest, and it comes down to player ability to juggle the time available and complete as many as possible before taking on the story quest and complete the chapter. There's a time element in the stages, too. Thanks to Aluche's body, she can only head out into the world for so long before having to retire and recover her strength. This is a real-time counter that ticks down as a level plays out.

The gameplay itself is a generic hack and slash. Aluche heads off to a handful of locations, along with a partner character from the supporting cast and a pair of "servant" demons, mashes the heck out of a bunch of attacks, and leaves before the time runs out. Being a JRPG, there are plenty of required facets that have to be ticked off. The supporting characters each have an affinity bar to increase to improve the relationships with each other. There is a simplistic levelling up system where all the blue blood collected from demons during the missions is also linked to a talent tree system for bonus time in missions, bonus drops, and improved stats. There are also demons to recruit, each with unique abilities, some of which - such as a fairy that gives a super high jump or a cat that breathes fire - open new areas when revisiting previously completed zones.

Screenshot for Nights of Azure 2: Bride of the New Moon on PlayStation 4

Fan service is a huge part of Nights of Azure 2: Bride of the New Moon, and there is a ton more than in the first game. The yuri (lesbian) undertones are constant, and now it seems when the Demonic Nightlord tore the world apart, one of the first things destroyed were the bras... This results in a perpetually heavy amount of jiggling. Aluche and the supporting cast can also be equipped in form-hugging or ridiculously minuscule outfits. The antagonist demon girls wear equally risqué outfits, and, in the case of one of them, she has feathers growing from her one bare breast to obscure the nipple. This one is a little NSFW. While this review covers the PlayStation 4 version of the game, it's a big deal that this is actually getting a Switch release, too. Nintendo has often shied away from fan service laden games, but with this and Fate/EXTELLA both released, the future looks jiggly.

Screenshot for Nights of Azure 2: Bride of the New Moon on PlayStation 4

Cubed3 Rating

6/10
Rated 6 out of 10

Good

Initially stepping into Nights of Azure 2: Bride of the New Moon, it feels even worse than the first outing. It's retreading the same ground with the story, but doing it with an inferior overall plot and some cringe-worthy writing for the dialogue. The gameplay is highly repetitive, both on exploring the world and on the generic mash-y gameplay, but, despite all the negatives, there's actually some fun to be had here. The large amount of side-quests and the varied mixture of support characters make revisiting areas to find all the little secrets enjoyable.

Developer

Gust

Publisher

Koei Tecmo

Genre

Real Time RPG

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  6/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

Comments

I am not critical of fan service at all, but in this case it was just far too over the top for trying to have a serious story.

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