Nights of Azure

Set in an alternate 19th century on a small, uncharted island in the North sea. Nights of Azure, by Gust and Koei Tecmo, is a tragic tale of two friends forced to use their skills as holy knights to take back the land that is plagued by azure-blooded demons.

800 years prior to the start of the game, the "Lord of Night" was defeated. Upon his death. his blood rained down over the earth, corrupting everything it touched. Most humans touched by his blue blood turned into vengeful 'jayou' spirits that roam the night, attacking anyone they find, making it safe to only travel by day.
You are Arnice, once touched by the blue blood but not succumbing to its effects, a Holy Knight charged with gathering the blue blood so that your priestess partner, Lilysse, can purify it.

Nights of Azure is an action JRPG. Along your journey you will be assisted by 'Servans'. Subordinate demons that you call upon in battle to assist in various defensive, offensive and support roles.

Gameplay mechanics are pretty straight forward and a good in depth tutorial with have you hacking away with confidence in no time. The use of the servans breaks up the fight scenes and you can get some very good combos going.

Visually it is everything you would expect from a JRPG. Bright, colourful, over the top characters.
Beautiful landscapes that really assist in the mood of the game and the fighting, well you just have to see it to understand the scope.

Something I was really amazed by was the music score. Music to me is a pure emotion. It can make or break what you are seeing in front of you. Nights of Azure's score is brilliant. From the moment you step foot on the island and the feeling of dread it delivers, chilling out in the hotel, or pumping you up getting ready for the impending battle. The score delivers on all fronts.  

I am only relatively new to the JRPG genre. While I am enjoying my playthrough, there have been a few bumps in the road with Nights of Azure. The story can come across as a little basic. The subtitles do get annoying after a little while, especially when everything is translated, even the giggles between the two girls. Some of the characters are very much "off the shelf" anime, there is some issues with the animations clipping in certain scenes and the difficulty is a little lacking. None of these issues are game breaking and you can get past them.

While the story may come across basic, it is done very well. We see the romance between Arnice and Lilysse unfold step by step. The two laugh and cry together and share a genuine love that you can take seriously. Without the awkward situations you find in other anime.

Nights of Azure didn't blow me away, but it didn't disappoint me either. For any fan of Japanese RPG or anime as a whole I think you will get a kick out of this one.

Pat (Snoogan512)

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