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Azure Reflections has got to be one of the most pleasant surprises I've had all year. After being burned by a number of Touhou Project spinoff games, I was prepared for just as much disappointment with this one. Instead, I was met with a fan-game that remained faithful to the original series, while introducing concepts and systems that elevated that experience to an entirely different level. The sparse amount of content and shoddy visuals hamper the experience slightly, but regardless, Touhou fans and bullet hell buffs are sure to have a great time with this one.
Azure Reflections is a fine addition to a small-yet-gradually-growing style of shmup on Nintendo Switch. With a handful of Touhou-related games already on the platform, this addition should keep fans of the project happy with its witty dialogue and pretty character models. However, with a vast library of shmups and bullet hell shooters already available on the console - and many offering far greater content and more accessible mechanics - Azure Reflections is (much like most Touhou titles) hard to recommend to anyone bar die-hard fans.
Azure Reflections costs way too much for what it can offer to both veterans and newcomers alike: this is a run-of-the -mill horizontal shooter with no distinctive features and too few stages.
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If you're a big fan of crazy shooters, and especially if you appreciate anime art and funky humor to boot, Azure Reflections may not be the best out there but it very much stands out as unique without question. Rather than go the path of merely imitating one of the other popular series it brings a few ideas of its own to the table and that's always refreshing. Just be ready to get visually assaulted along the way, it's one of the most colorful shooters I've ever seen.
Azure Reflections is a good bullet-hell shooter for genre fans. Despite the short levels, the boss fights are exhilarating, and the new mechanics add a good twist to an otherwise proven formula. The title is able to challenge more experienced players, while also accommodating newcomers without necessarily giving them an easy ride to the end. Although the Switch already has a number of bullet-hell shooters, Azure Reflections is a fine addition to the library.
Azure Reflections definitely ticks all boxes in the bullet hell genre, giving us a very colorful game with very colorful death bullets around every corner. If you're new to the genre, I suggest that you start by playing in the lower difficulty settings so that you can get the hang of things. Those of you who are seasoned experts in the genre can certainly dive into the deep end, entering a Zen state of mind as you dodge hundreds of bullets with little to no room for mistakes.
Azure Reflections is a short and colorful bullet hell shoot ‘em up on PlayStation 4. It has a handful of stages and a couple of extra stages that you can unlock by beating the main campaign while playing on higher difficulties, so there's definitely some replay value, and you can also aim at unlocking extra costumes for your characters. I would have liked to see a progression system for this one, perhaps with a skill tree of sorts, but that's just from personal preference.
While fundamentally sound, Azure Reflections struggles to truly captivate players due to its disappointingly short levels. The enjoyable boss fights and a cute aesthetic manage to salvage the experience for those that love a good shoot ‘em up, but it’s far from an essential offering within the genre.
Azure Reflections is a fine entry in the Touhou franchise, one that compares favourably to even the mainline games. The various unique systems blend together quite nicely and help to take the traditional danmaku action in a slightly different direction. There are times, though, where this STG could have been a little more creative and really embraced the fact that it's a spin-off.
Azure Reflections has plenty of challenge to offer the hardcore bullet hell fiends, but with its relative approachability and level of polish, it's also a great introduction to the world of Touhou shooters.