Also On: PS4
Publisher: Koei Tecmo
Developer: Koei Tecmo
Nights of Azure is the newest game from the developers that have brought you titles such as the Atelier series and more recently, Attack on Titan. The publisher and developer has a long track record of games released (27 games on Steam, 214 if you want to include DLC). Now, I will be honest here – I don’t think I’ve ever actually played a game from Koei Tecmo, but I absolutely do know their games and have friends that love their games. Being a fan of anime, I went into this game with no preset expectations to give myself the ability to fairly judge the experience as a whole.
What I got from Nights of Azure was admittedly a bit confusing for me. From the beginning, it felt like there was some kind of backstory for everything that I was just missing out on. Why does the character have magical sprites that she can summon at any time that live between her bosom and talk to her from within them? Who knows? But aside from the rather confusing world constructed within the game, the story itself is actually understandable.
You play as Arnice – A half human, half demon who is capable of summoning helpful companions called Servans. These companions play a very large role in your ability to combat groups of enemies effectively. When going out into battle, you must assemble your team of summonable Servans from a menu Pokemon style. Summon them into battle and they will follow you until they either die or you go back to home base.
In my opinion, these Servans serve as the biggest problem I had with the game – it’s just way too easy! In my time playing, I didn’t feel even slightly challenged by any enemies in the game. Small enemies, large enemies, bosses – plowed right through it all with barely an ounce of effort on my end thanks to having 4 AI teammates that overpower everything in their path. Hell, there was a dramatic scene where a big demonic dragon stares me down, looming over the character 10 times my size and out of the cutscene, it took me 50 seconds (yes, I timed it.) to kill the boss. It felt like such a small feat, that it barely felt different from fighting a wave of the normal baddies that spawned on my way to fight the boss.
All in all, the game feels like it is very polished, and looks nice, with no visual or technical bugs or glitches in the gameplay and very few moments where the framerate dipped below 60. The game supports a gamepad on PC and seems like that is the way it is intended to be played since the overlay has pictures of gamepad buttons emblazoned on it. If you’re someone who is into anime JRPG games, then this is most likely right up your alley. If not, give it a look and maybe you’ll find something new you didn’t know you liked. Do be aware though that the game is entirely voiced in Japanese and has English subtitles
Nights of Azure released on February 7th, 2017 for $29.99 on Steam, and if you buy it bundled with Atelier Sophie: The Alchemist of the Mysterious Book (also $29.99) you will save 20% off of both games, making it $47.98 when you buy both. Included in every purchase of the base game is three DLC packs. GUST-chan the Servan, an additional map, "Tokoyami no Kairou", and an additional episode, "Tsuioku no Kioku".