A closer look at Blue Reflection: Second Light

We’ve known that Blue Reflection: Second Light (or Blue Reflection Tie as it’s known in Japan) is on the way for a while, but specific details have been relatively scant up until this point. Well, it seems that Koei Tecmo and Gust are finally willing to lift the lid and reveal a few more details about what’s going on with the new game — so here’s what’s what!

First up, the game is set for release in the west on Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4 (PlayStation 5 compatible) and Windows PC via Steam on November 9, 2021, so mark those calendars.

Blue Reflection: Second Light

In Blue Reflection: Second Light, you take on the role of Ao Hoshizaki, a student who, alongside two other girls named Kokoro Utsubo and Yuki Kinjou, find themselves transported to a floating academy in another world. The three girls have lost all their memories save for their names, and thus are keen both to find their way home and to uncover their true identities.

Surrounding the academy is a mysterious space that the three girls come to refer to as the Heartscape. Within this otherworldly landscape lie plenty of mysteries to solve, as well as materials that the heroines will need to survive in their new home. And, unsurprisingly, fragments of the girls’ memories are scattered throughout the Heartscape, too, so you’ll need to explore in order to uncover the mysteries of their identities.

The three girls are armed with Reflectors’ rings, just like the leads in the original Blue Reflection and the Blue Reflection Ray spinoff anime. These rings allow them to summon weapons, power themselves up and fend off the monsters that wander through the Heartscape.

Blue Reflection: Second Light

The original Blue Reflection made use of an active time battle system similar to that seen in Gust’s earlier title Atelier Iris 2: The Azoth of Destiny and Game Arts’ classic Grandia, but Koei Tecmo describes Blue Reflection: Second Light’s combat system as a “hectic real-time battle system”.

There’s a strong emphasis on making use of skills to damage monsters, since the more you hit monsters with skills, the faster the Ether Points that power them regenerate. Moreover, dealing damage with combo attacks will speed the battle up and increase the amount of damage the girls deal.

There’s also a “gear” system, whereby landing more skills allows the girls to “shift gear” up to the maximum possible “3rd Gear”, at which point they unleash their full potential as Reflectors, changing their appearance into magical girls and bringing the full force of their supernatural abilities to bear on their foes.

Blue Reflection: Second Light

Battles against powerful enemies in Blue Reflection: Second Light also feature the opportunity for One-on-One battles, where causing an enemy to stumble will allow one of the three heroines to engage the opponent in a duel. At this point, there will be an emphasis on quick dodges and attacks, and a super-powerful finishing move can be triggered if you can bash out a big enough combo while the duel is unfolding.

Outside of combat in Blue Reflection: Second Light, our three main heroines will encounter two other girls who have found themselves trapped in this strange other dimension: Hiori (of Blue Reflection Ray fame, though it’s unclear if this is before or after the anime) and Shiho. Like the main playable cast, both of these girls have also lost their memories, but there are a few lingering fragments here and there: Hiori believes that she’s searching for her little sister, while Kokoro believes that she might have once known Shiho.

Judging from character art and screenshots, it seems that Hiori and Shiho also have the potential to transform into Reflectors, and will be playable characters alongside Ao, Kokoro and Yuki. The original Blue Reflection kept the core playable cast to just three, with additional characters becoming available for “assist attacks” during boss fights; in Blue Reflection: Second Light, it looks as if you’ll be able to swap out party members and use others for support abilities.

Blue Reflection: Second Light

Hiori and Shiho have an important role to play: they help remodel the academy and construct a secret base for the Reflectors. By collecting materials from around the Heartscape, our heroines will be able to build new facilities to provide them with various benefits and trigger special events; if past experience is anything to go by, these facilities will likely be a key means of developing the relationships between the core cast members, including Hiori and Shiho.

Then there’s the mystery of the ghost-like spirit whom the girls come to refer to as Yuko… and the question as to whether or not there’s anyone else lurking in this strange other world, too!

If all this sounds good, Koei Tecmo has confirmed that there will be two special edition versions of Blue Reflection: Second Light available through their online store, and that these will match the previously announced Japanese special editions.

Blue Reflection: Second Light

The Premium Box version of the game includes an Academy Notebook-style photo album, a cloth poster, a drama CD, a DLC costume and the game. The Collector’s Edition (above), meanwhile, features everything from the Premium Box edition as well as a canvas bag, a bath towel featuring artwork of Ao, two acrylic charms and another album featuring original illustrations.

Preorders for these special editions of Blue Reflection: Second Light aren’t live at the time of writing, but keep an eye on Koei Tecmo’s social media (Facebook or Twitter) for the announcement of them becoming available. In the meantime, they’ve got some nice Samurai Warriors 5 bundles on offer which you might want to nab — that game is great!

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Pete Davison
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