Top Critic Average
This game has been more meaningful to me and had a greater emotional impact on me than any game I've played since Nier itself, and as far as I'm concerned that means it's as close to perfection as games can get.
Nights of Azure overcomes its tropes and the occasional bit of fan service with a heaping helping of content, stylistic panache, and one of the most memorable gaming narratives in recent memory.
Overall, Nights of Azure is challenging, but it is fun and rewarding when those challenges are overcome. The game isn't overly ambitious, with a small world, simple objectives and seven chapters of story content. Even so, it can inspire many hours of gameplay and engage the imagination.
Nights of Azure originally released for PS4 in North America in early 2016, and now it has received a PC port to bless, or torment, the non-console gamers. Featuring a beautiful art style and soundtrack, Nights of Azure, while incredibly niche, is a soulful tale of love and friendship.
I had a lot of fun playing the game for my Nights of Azure review, and hopefully you give the game a go on PlayStation 4. GUST did a great job with this one, and I look forward to playing the studio's next release!
Although the story itself is straightforward and relatively simple, it continues to mirror past Gust games with its focus on the intricate development and interactions among the cast of characters.
Nights of Azure is a bit shorter than your average JRPG, but it jam-packs a ton of variety into its 20-25 hours of story — and if you stick around to collect everything afterward, you'll have even more time to sink your teeth into the game's various systems. On the combat side of things, the hack-and-slash at Nights' core keeps things from getting too button-mashy by mixing it up with collectible Servan that can do the majority of the fighting for you, as well as an appealing transformation system and changeable set of weapons. Plus, you've got a compelling reason to fight thanks to the sweet and adorable romance between heroines Arnice and Lilysse; for once, a same-gender relationship in a video game handled with considerable respect. You can enjoy all this no matter your skill level or availability; with gameplay equally suitable for marathon sessions or bite-size pieces, and with a challenge level that can be easily tailored to your play style, this is one of the most enjoyable and accessible pieces of light RPG entertainment available on PS4.
If you are looking for replayability, its packed into the gathering of goodies and the likely chance that you will want to feel this story again one day whether you are gay or straight, boy or girl. It is delicate and strong, it is close to masterful.
Overall, Nights of Azure is a rather unremarkable ARPG that just happens to have a gorgeous art style and a fantastic soundtrack. Even though it's not likely to become the new flagship franchise for the developers at Gust, it's a solid attempt at a new genre and a good distraction until the next Atelier title releases later this year.
Gust has some pretty good ideas with the Servan system, and the gameplay is pretty smooth once you get yourself properly kitted out, but Nights of Azure has a few boring aspects that really make it a chore to play.
All in all, Nights of Azure is a middling game with some neat design choices that just didn't do enough to stand out. Combat and gameplay had glimpses of a great game, especially in the arena, but the rest of it didn't hold up. Characters were written well enough and side stories were enjoyable, but the main storyline felt flat and stereotypical. It just wasn't enough to make it a great game, but it was far from genuinely bad.
Nights of the Azure is an acceptable but unexceptional action game. It doesn't do much wrong, but it doesn't do much right, either. The mechanics are just interesting enough to keep your attention, the graphics just appealing enough to make you overlook their flaws, and the story hits its beats with enough regularity to not lose you. Yet the entire experience feels hollow. It's a decent first effort, but you'd be better served by renting or buying the title at a discount.
Nights of Azure is both a wonderful attempt at freshness in a genre that lapses into redundancy and a lapse into said redundancy itself. The ideas in Nights of Azure are worthy of a nod of respect, but the execution falls short.
Nights of Azure is a game of wasted potential. The game's dark tone and setting is ultimately ruined by the excessive presence of comic relief, which takes a lot of the tension out of the terrible choice Arnice has to take to save the world. With an experience that gets stale way too quickly, Nights of Azure true saving grace are the game's two main characters and the development of their relationship, which takes some interesting turns. A shame, as the game could have been so much more.
Fast-paced, agile and funny, Nights of Azure is a light J-RPG with an unexpectedly interesting (love) story. On the other hand, is too easy and tecnhnically poor.
Review in Italian | Read full review
What we have here is a simple free flowing hack n' slasher with a number of interesting mechanics that sadly fall a bit flat. Building Servan decks can be fun, but ultimately they don't make much of an impact in fights, and weapon switching adds some variety but none offer anything really unique. Despite this Nights of Azure is still an enjoyable enough experience, the character focused narrative is certainly worthwhile and there are plenty of talking points from both story elements
Nights of Azure feels like a guilty pleasure, but it's the gameplay that's the star here. The boring story is filled with forgettable, two dimensional characters, and while there is passion between the main characters, it feels forced rather than natural. The gameplay isn't ground-breaking either, but it is at least competent at delivering a mindless hack 'n' slash that is fun to play and worth a look.
Nights of Azure 2 is an action-RPG with a good number of content, but despite a great artistic direction, it's technically underdeveloped and with a still too low level of difficulty.
Review in Italian | Read full review
While Nights of Azure is an enjoyable enough ride, it doesn't really possess anything that makes it worth investing a large amount of time in. A lot of the game's extra components, like the inclusion of merchant trading, seem sloppy and poorly thought out, offered as a mere distraction from the rest of the release. Luckily, it's fairly easy to power through combat and see out the story, and doing so is reasonably satisfying, if not a little repetitive at times.
Nights of Azure has an impressive story that is brought down by disappointing gameplay. Those looking for a simple action title will be rewarded with a surprisingly mature story, but the combat is too repetitive to really impress.
Nights of Azure has a story that could have been great, especially with its same-sex relationship between the two main characters coming across as natural and not judged in the game's world.
While the opening hours do nothing to rid your mouth of a slowly growing taste of disappointment, Nights of Azure eventually manages to claw you back once some of its more interesting combat mechanics begin to shine through. It's relatively short length aids the process, but also comes under fire when you consider the bare-bones storytelling. It's a difficult sell, but one I hope GUST can rehabilitate with the upcoming sequel.
Nights of Azure could have been better than it was. The story and basic concepts of the battle mechanics had something special about them, but they fell flat when they weren't expanded upon and were expected to be repeated over and over.
In the end, Nights of Azure tries to prioritize style over substance, which should be enough to gain the attention of its target audience, but a bit more tightening up of the latter would have been preferable. Whether the grinding gameplay is enough to enjoy a saccharine sweet girl/girl romance plot will depend on the player's tolerance, not to mention their own priorities for a game like this.
Nights of Azure is for Gust fans, plain and simple. It's not a bad title by any means, but there are issues that can mar the overall experience. If you're on the fence, wait for a price drop.
Nights of Azure is a fun, if flawed, game. The RPG elements are workable, though leave much more to be desired, the action is passable, and the minion system is arguably the best part. Picking and customizing the minions is about the only joy in a repetitious combat system. Despite being touted as a darker direction for the company, the blatant and misdirected sexual focus, mixed with the very adolescent-leaning view of relationships, makes the already-slow story harder to connect to in any way that will leave players with fond memories after moving on. The potential of a darker, nuanced story is lost in endless ecchi and slapstick humour that is woefully misplaced.
There's always going to be those times where you just want that little bit of extra strength, and lets face it, no action-RPG featuring a half-human, half-demon protagonist would be complete without some form of transformation mechanic
While Nights of Azure shines from a production aspect, its shallow gameplay only holds back what could have been an otherwise compelling RPG. Casual fans of the genre might be able to forgive the almost tedious combat and Servan system, but hardcore action RPG enthusiasts are hard-pressed to find much to enjoy in terms of actual game and level design. Arnice'slimited moveset simply doesn't mesh well with the genre, forcing her to spam the same combos over and over again, with occasional Servan interruption. The cast and world are admirable and well done, but the actual playable portion is lacking the same level of quality and care the rest of the game got.
Nights of Azure looks pretty. It feels pretty. It sounds pretty, but it's heart is ugly. Bland, samey and generic - Sure, perhaps if you haven't played a JRPG Hack'n'Slash before, then give this a shot, otherwise you'd most likely find better for your money elsewhere.
Anything it gets right or does adequately enough is countered by a pitfall or something lackluster. It's perfectly functional and seems to do what it wants to do, it's just a pity none of those things are particularly exceptional in any way.
If you can hold off until it goes on sale or discount, or can find it for rental, this game is worth a few days of quick fun. As a new $60 release, though, I would look elsewhere for your next gaming investment.