There are plenty of things which seem like a good idea but turn out not to be: That 1st pint after a long day? Good idea. That 7th pint when you cannot see? Probably not a good idea.
Night of Azure 2: Bride Of The New Moon is an idea with little refined execution, and as such not a good idea. A overbearing blend of multiple various systems to constantly watch, and not all of them improve play. Somewhere under there is a good game but it has been drowned by long-winded tutorials and poor refinement.
The game takes place in the same universe as the original, and apparently does harken back to the first, but I have not played it to know how. You play as Aluche, a knight for a holy order who is turned into a half demon. What for? I’m not sure other than providing context for various other systems in the game. Your goal is to stop the Moon Queen, a demon who wishes to plunge the world into an eternal sleep so she can kill everyone and then presumably steal all the real estate or something; her reasoning has not yet been made clear to me.
Now I could delve deeper in the plot but it would be a waste of words to do so. Knightly duties do enough to convince you to move the story forward and nothing more. But digging out plot is difficult as the translation is haphazard at best. In an early scene Aluche proclaims twice she is a knight before the other character notes that she is a knight now. It’s like trashy anime, or my first fan fiction. The script fumbles through typical Japanese tropes of duty, honour and friendship with some class and then throws that away by setting back LGBT rights 10 years with a pathetic depiction of same-sex relationships with bumbling dialogue and passive titillation.
The game seems to focus heavily on titillation and in fact I believe it is the only objects with physics in the actual game. Every character you meet is female and if they are not a stylised demon Lolita then they have surprisingly springy busts which jiggle and wiggle whenever the character model moves. Now I have no problem with busty characters at all, far from it. But what little class this story had is swept away when the most refined aspect of this game seems to be the jiggle physics and the low point of the game is pretty much most of the actual gameplay.
The combat only manages a passing grade. You jump into a combat area, defeating enemies on the way through limited combos and the plentiful teammate group attacks. It is as basic as it comes, and you will not have a tough time battering through foes. What stunt the combat is the time limit forced upon you. You are given the excuse that Aluche’s new half-demon form is still weak, and as such you start with a 10 minute time limit which increases as you level up. This itself is to push the whole game time limit, as when the moon cycle finishes the game is over. You’ll end up pushing through levels quickly to keep ahead of your time limit and the game doesn’t feel fun because of it. Props go to the soundtrack though, which is one of the few things I liked but was destroyed by the fact that the game breaks up songs too quickly by whacking in cutscenes at any given opportunity.
You’ll be juggling plenty of things along the side too. Side quest are given to you about an hour in which you will have to complete before the end of the chapter. You also will be juggling relationships between team members which I have yet to find out what happens when completed. Other systems may turn up. But most of the systems can either be ignored or work in passing.
The game does run fine though. Starting it straight up on my PC I had no real issues with long loading, frame drops, or hitching. Graphically the game is not challenging and I had most issue with the dissonance in graphical style between the decidedly anime characters and the more realistic looking animals and world around them, though it disappears quickly. Be warned there are several comments floating around about issues with frame drops and hitching on consoles though so if you do decide to pick this up I would recommend doing so on PC.
Al in all, if I had not been given Night of Azure 2 I would not have sought it out. It is not a positive example of a Japanese game in any sense. I would say give it a try if you have nothing else and disposable coin but because I have both this is not something I would recommend. All the good stuff is fleeting and the bad stuff lasts far too long. If you play this it will be mostly for the titillation.
And there is a lot of it.