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Nights of Azure 2: Bride of the New Moon
Score: 90%
ESRB: Teen
Publisher: KOEI TECMO America Corp.
Developer: GUST
Media: Download/1
Players: 1
Genre: RPG

Graphics & Sound:
About a year and a half ago, Nights of Azure hit the market. It was pretty well-received and was a fun game with an interesting storyline. Now we have the sequel to that, Nights of Azure 2: Bride of the New Moon.

The world is quite dark in Nights of Azure 2. Just like in Nights of Azure, the sun no longer rises in this region. As such, most areas are dark and drab. However, to balance that out, your heroes will be wearing colorful and interesting clothing. Iím fairly certain Nights of Azure 2 was designed by someone infatuated with very large breasts. They also must have some different kind of gravity in this world, because those clothes have no support at all. Theyíd have to be made of tape to stay in place, or maybe glued on, because if you were to actually move around in combat like they do, their clothes would definitely not stay put. I think some of them forgot to put on all of their clothes as well. As in the previous game, when you offer up blood this time, youíll basically be wearing almost nothing. Anyway, itís a nice dichotomy between the monochrome scenery and the colorful characters.

Nights of Azure 2 is entirely in Japanese with English subtitles. I would love an English dub, but as it is, the voicework is well done and the voices seem to match the characters well. The music is quite relaxing and peaceful while you are at the hotel. In the streets, itís a totally different matter. The music is a bit faster and darker. Youíll feel more like you should be on edge and watching your back.


Gameplay:
The story in Nights of Azure 2: Bride of the New Moon starts off almost exactly the same as the last one. This time, Aluche is a knight and she is to escort her once best friend, whom she hasnít seen in years, Liliana, to Curia to become the Bride of Time. The Moon Queen has appeared and she canít be stopped without a sacrifice. Unfortunately, as you might expect, Aluche is ordered to escort Liliana to be sacrificed as the Bride of Time to save the world. As you can imagine, sheís not too happy about this mission, just like Arnice. Sheís going to do her best to find a way to save the world and her friend!

In Nights of Azure 2, you will have human characters as well as servans to fight alongside you. The more you fight together, the closer you will become. If you played the first game, youíll remember that Arnice was already a half-demon when the game started. In Nights of Azure 2, youíll get to see how Aluche becomes a half-demon. Youíll also have other players that will fight alongside you. Youíll be able to take four characters into battle, Aluche with one other human, and two servans. You might wonder what other humans are going to be brave enough to fight. Ruenheid was best friend to Liliana and Aluche when they were kids. She left the Curia to join their enemies, the Lourdes Order, but Ruenheid will come running to help save Liliana. Camilla is a Curia researcher and sheís the one that saves Aluche from death by turning her into a half-demon. Sheíll also join your party and fight. I like having more human characters with the servans. It makes the game more fun from the very beginning. Nero is a fiend that still has a soul and heís your first servan. As you go along, youíll find more and more of them. Using servans properly is the key to winning most battles! Some of them are also great for removing obstacles in your path. You can also weaponize them by pressing (R2). I love that you will get a Puni as a servan since I like seeing characters from other games pop up.

The same hotel from the last game will once again be your base of operations. Itís got pretty much the same features as before: a bar, shop, training area, the basics. I donít remember the hotel having a pool before, but now it has a heated pool as well. I am fairly certain the pool is just an excuse for the characters to wear even less clothing. Kaede is the receptionist at the hotel. Youíll be able to chat with your characters and servans here as well.


Difficulty:
Nights of Azure 2: Bride of the New Moon asks you at the beginning if you want to start on Easy. You can also choose to start on Normal. You can switch it at any time during the game from the settings, so go with whichever you want and adjust as you need. Once you have completed the game, you will unlock Extreme difficulty level.

You can get bonuses for Double Attack, which is when you attack the same enemy as your partner, and Revenge Attack, which is when you attack the enemy that is attacking your partner. You can issue commands to change her style somewhat and to change the servans' focus. This will definitely help you get Double Attacks and more. Learning how to work with your partners effectively is a must in Nights of Azure 2. Also, watch for items to drop in battle. These can boost your stats or heal you.

You have a time limit in the game. You have a finite amount of time before the entire world falls into eternal darkness. You also can only stay outside for a limited time each day (starting with only ten minutes, but that will increase as you level up), so use your time wisely! If you do run out of time while youíre outside, you will automatically be taken back to the hotel. Once you get back, you can strengthen yourself and your servans in the blood offering room. Basically, Camilla purifies the blue-blood out of you so that you donít become a full demon and uses it to make you stronger. You can gain all kinds of abilities.


Game Mechanics:
I spent a lot of time fighting with the controls in Nights of Azure 2: Bride of the New Moon, because by default, you need to use (O) to interact with people/things. In the majority of games I play, the default for interaction is (X). Luckily, you can change up the controls, if you want, in the settings. By default, (Square) is a normal attack; (Triangle) is your strong attack. A strong attack is slower though, so you will need to alternate up to not take damage. Youíll also be able to get various combos, so youíll need to play around a bit and figure out what you like to use best. (X) jumps and I donít find I use jump much while fighting, but itís very helpful while exploring! (O) will unleash your Double Chase once the link gauge is filled. You will want to press (O) as fast as you can to strengthen your attack. The Double Chase gauge will be full after four Double Attacks. While Double Chase is nice, if you use (L1+O), you can unleash an Ultimate Attack and itíll really wipe out enemies. You also have Active Skills that you can use. To do so, use (O+Triangle). These skills support Aluche. (L1) guards and (R1) dodges. (LS) moves you around, and use (R3) to lock onto a target. Itís nice to use when you have several enemies and want to take out a specific one first. (R3) will also unlock from that target. (RS) will rotate your camera. Send commands to your allies with the D-pad.

You can save and load from the hotelís front desk. Use (Square) to warp around the hotel quickly. Everyone knows that I love a map! Your map can be quite helpful in Nights of Azure 2. Itíll show you where your characters and servans are, plus where normal and boss enemies are. Youíll also be able to see your quests and more.

Overall, I am enjoying Nights of Azure 2 even more than I did the first one. I love that you have human characters with you from the beginning. It makes it less lonely. I do wish there were more people to talk to in the hotel from the start, but youíll get a few more before too long. If youíre looking for an RPG with voluptuous women who like to flaunt it, check out Nights of Azure 2: Bride of the New Moon today!


-Cyn, GameVortex Communications
AKA Sara Earl

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