“Nights of Azure (Yoru No Nai Kuni)” Video Game Review: An Alluring Beauty That Shines But Dims Slowly

☾Writer: Richard K. Moe

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  • Platforms: Playstation 4, Playstation 3, Playstation Vita 
  • Publishers: Koei Tecmo
  • Developers: Gust
  • Video Game Review Platform: Playstation 4

Story

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Once upon a time humanity was in a chaotic war against the Night Lord who covered the world in Eternal Night. The humans eventually defeated him but that came at a cost to humanity and it’s surroundings. The Night Lord spilled out blue blood onto the land and caused many to succumb to it’s evil pollution. Humans, creatures, and even objects exposed to the foul essences turned into fiends who robbed humanity of the night. No longer can humans walk at night without the fear of being hunted by these fiends. In a uncharted land by the name of Rusewall Island, two girls met once again. Arnice, a holy knight who is part human and monster due to being exposed to the blue blood and Lilysse, a saint who is destined to seal what remains of the Night Lord by the Curia. These two girls are humanities last hope to defeat the Night Lord and the Eternal Night that is to come. But saving humanity means sacrificing both their lives and promises.

Review

+Pros

Gameplay

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  • Combat is very easy to get the hang of.
  • The combat is fast, fun, and devastating.
  • Chaining combos with special skills, normal attacks, and Servans feel exhilarating. 
  • Combat has a nice variety of weapons you can use. 
  • Being able to summon Servans to fight by your side is thrilling. 
  • Servans make fighting fun and hectic, especially when activating them all at once. 
  • Getting new Servans and using them in battle is always exciting. 
  • Gaining more Servans through actualization is always thrilling. 
  • There is a great variation of Servans that you can control. NightsOfAzureMenu.jpg
  • Searching and hunting for a Servan’s spawn item (fetishes) is rewarding and worth the time.
  • Boss battles are intense, exciting, and hectic.
  • It’s delightful to be able to re-battle most bosses again and again. 
  • Special moves and transformations make you feel powerful.
  • Leveling up by giving blue blood to the Altar of Jorith is an awesome way to level up. 
  • Unlocking new skills and buffs is always awesome. 
  • The arena has some creative challenges.  
  • Side events are fun missions that give you a break from the main story. 
  • The game is very generous when it comes to blood, libra, and items. 
  • The Ende Hotel is riddled with events and conversations. 

Story

  • The introduction is grabbing. NightsOfAzureArniceLilysse.jpg
  • The world that the characters reside in is an interesting and creative one
  • Arnice and Lilysse are characters truly worth caring about. 
  • The protagonist Arnice is charming and likable from the start. 
  • Lilysse is actually understanding to what her sacrifice can do for the world when offered by the Curias.
  • All the characters will eventually grow on you. 
  • There is some creative writing. (E.G. Whatever the blue blood touches turns into a fiend such as dolls, toys, lizards, and people.) 
  • After the first chapter, the story begins to pick up and becomes engaging. NightsOfAzureButterflies.jpg
  • Once you get passed the forced relationship between the two main heroines in the
    beginning, the relationship begins to form nicely. 
  • There are convincing moments of sadness and grief. 
  • The dialogue can be humorous at times. 
  • The reminiscences are well written and provide some entertaining insight on Arnice’s past.   
  • The reasoning for the Night Lord, the Saints, and the blue blood is surprising and thought provoking
  • The tension builds perfectly for the final act. 
  • The final act is intense, surprising, and moving. 
  • The true ending is heart warming and nice. 

Presentation and Music

  • From the NightsOfAzurreBlossum.jpgcolors to the character models, the art design is excellent looking. 
  • Arnice’s and Lilysse’s character designs are attractive looking. 
  • Special moves and transformations are flashy and terrific looking. 
  • There are well-animated cutscenes from time to time. 
  • Arnice’s dream segments are always something special to experience. 
  • The story takes you to some intriguing locations. (E.G. A large nightmarish amusement park. An impressive opera house. A large and old castle ruins.) 
  • The music score is soothing, enchanting, powerful, lively, and emotional.

-Cons

Gameplay and Presentation

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  • The outside maps where you battle and travel around feel bounded by the timing system.
  • The day time still exists but you are never given a chance to explore it at all, instead you’re given “day activities” in which you don’t participate in but a text summary of what Arnice did is provided. 
  • Besides equipment and fetishes, there isn’t much things to buy with your libra and blood. 
  • Quest are mundane and lack imagination. 
  • The Arena is massive yet empty as well. 
  • The frame rate drops at times when too many things happen or it drops completely when Arnice runs and slashes through grass and crates.
  • The stiff character movements during most of the cutscenes is unappealing.
  • The camera’s zoom in and out feature works awkwardly. 

Story and Presentation

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  • The game’s surroundings and theme give off a serious tone but how characters interact and react to one another make it feel a bit too playful. (E.G. In the beginning Arnice and another character act too calmly about Lilysse being kidnapped. Arnice is tasked to save two people from a monster in which she does at first but then comedically leaves them with it. Arnice showed no desire to obtain the Blackbook which can help a lot at first because it was that or chocolate.)
  • At times, Arnice can develop an unlikeable attitude towards people and situations. (E.G. Arnice will get super angry and ignore everything. Arnice will become selfishNightsofAzureMoonRabbit.jpg and forget other’s opinions.)
  • Arnice’s blood thirst seems like a huge problem she faces but the way it is talked
    about and brought up in the story makes it seem more as a small and unimportant problem. 
  • Arnice and Lilysse’s relationship is forced in the beginning.  (E.G. Arnice and Lilysse in the beginning had history together but the way they acted towards another was like acquaintances then suddenly Arnice claims Lilysse is her best friend. Out of the blue Lilysse and Arnice get really close without any building. Arnice begins to declare randomly “I will protect you!”)
  • Some unlikeable cliche elements that don’t play out well. (E.G. Arnice is the yorunonaikuni34554chosen one. Arnice obtains a powerful demon blade that can destroy all evil.)
  • There are some uninteresting characters in the story. (E.G. Llyod, a merchant who always talks about his knowledge of women and business. Professor Alucard, a researcher/scientists who is interested in demons and anything related to it.) 
  • Llyod and Professor Alucard’s comedic arguments and statements most of the time are not funny or entertaining. 
  • The night is the most dangerous time in the world yet there are many times where Lloyd and Professor Alucard are out and about. 
  • The reminiscences are very important to Arnice’s background yet it is just an optional thing to read. 
  • Transformations are very cool yet unexplained and used in the story.
  • Although heart warming and nice, the conclusion is too brief and unsatisfying. 

Score:

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☾ 7/10

I Loved Playing This Game At Night!

Not a perfect game.

But it is a very beautiful game!

The world, the story, the characters, and the music is so engrossing.

I’ll truly miss this title. Arnice, Lilysee! I’ll miss you!

The trailer is down below.

Now! Time to wait for the the sequel!

 

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