With a wild story that constantly surprises, Nights of Azure 2: Bride of the New Moon makes for a very good RPG. The emphasis on plot allows players to become invested in the game, even in spite of its poor fighting mechanics. The nature of protagonist Aluche’s interactions with the other characters in the game centers around the theme of friendship, causing players to concurrently sympathize with her plight and want to help her rescue her friend Liliana. In the end, the good outweighs the bad in Koei Tecmo Games’s latest creation.
The game begins by introducing players to Aluche, an agent of Curia. She is tasked with protecting her friend Liliana, whom she must deliver to the Curia stronghold. Liliana and Aluche unite in an unlikely fashion, in which Aluche successfully defends Liliana from a horde of enemies. In this stage of the introduction, players have their first chance to partake of the game’s combat system. The combat is revealed to be typical of the third person hack and slash genre, and it does not differentiate Nights of Azure 2 from other games. Moreover, the enemies portrayed while fighting are not at all individualized. There are only a few main archetypes that players encounter throughout the entirety of Nights of Azure 2, and this fact begins to be shown right in the game’s opening scenes. Even in the early stages of the tutorial, combat is revealed to be the weakest aspect of the game.
After Aluche manages to bring Liliana to the Curia, the three Curia popes inform her that she must sacrifice Liliana to the Moon Queen in order to save the world. They say that Liliana is the only possible sacrifice that can appease the Moon Queen. Aluche begins to journey away with Liliana, but decides that their friendship is too valuable. She determines that she will fight and attempt to kill the Moon Queen to save Liliana. Ruenheid, Lilana and Aluche’s close friend from childhood, is then quickly introduced. She relays how sacrificing Liliana will only expedite the process of the world’s demolition. Before they can talk any further, however, the Moon Queen appears and kills Aluche.
At this point, Nights of Azure 2 begins in earnest. In a daze, Aluche wakes up and finds herself in a laboratory-like room. Camilla introduces herself as the doctor who has saved Aluche’s life, but with one catch: Aluche is now a half-demon. Camilla declares that Liliana is missing and that Aluche needs to find her before the Moon Queen can kill her and take over the world.
Camilla next escorts Aluche to Hotel Eterna, where Ruenheid appears. The hotel is revealed to be Aluche’s headquarters throughout the game. Players can change Aluche’s, Ruenheid’s, and Camilla’s outfits, level up the characters, buy items that will help on quests, access Aluche’s simplistic customization tree, and edit their parties for quests in the hotel.
After exploring the hotel, players have the opportunity to progress in the main quest and search for Liliana. They can leave Hotel Eterna and explore Eurulm immediately and, after working through the level, can encounter an interesting boss fight. After progressing further in the game, players can access additional mini open world areas. Nights of Azure 2 hinders exploration, however, by implementing a time limit for how long players can stay in a given area before Aluche needs to return to Hotel Eterna and rest. The time limit mostly hinders players’ ability to engage in side quests. However, the side quests are mostly bland and not worth the effort of completing in the first place.
Nights of Azure 2’s storyline and mini open worlds make it a game worth playing. While Night of Azure 2’s fighting mechanics prohibit it from being a truly great game, the RPG still deserves a score of 7.5/10 based on its strengths.