By Steve Baltimore / September 26th, 2018
|Release Date||August 30th, 2018|
A while back I took a look at Azure Reflections on the PlayStation 4. This is a side-scrolling shooter based in the Touhou universe. I thought the game was amazing with its tight controls, great graphics, and a killer soundtrack. I was asked if I could take a look at the Switch port of the game as well, and I wasn’t about to pass up a chance to play this bad boy again. Let’s see if this port is up to snuff with its PlayStation 4 counterpart.
I will touch upon the story and some of the basic features of the game in this review. If you want more details, just check out my previous review for the PlayStation release. The story here takes place not long after The Red Mist Incident concluded. Red Mist once again flows from the Scarlet Manor, covering the world for some unknown reason. Reimu, Marissa, and Cirno are the first to notice the resurgence of this event. Each of them sets out to find out what sort of scheme Mistress Remilia is planning.
Graphics and sound are 100% on par with the PlayStation 4 version. If there is any difference here I couldn’t tell it. The framerate is solid in both docked and handheld mode no matter how many bullets are flying around. This is Touhou so you know that means there is a metric shit ton of them at times. The character models still look sharp and stages still look amazing as well.
There have been no changes to the gameplay. You still go through the side-scrolling stages dodging all the bullets you can, blowing up enemies and using your special skills to survive. These skills include the Danmaku Rush, which eats up bullets to become stronger, and of course your handy dandy spell cards. Completing stages will earn cash to buy costume pieces that will give you a variety of buffs to help you slay the hordes of baddies. These upgrades are vital on the harder difficulty levels.
Just like last time around you will start with Reimu, but you can unlock Marisa and the cutest.. err strongest fairy Cirno by just completing the story mode. This can be done on any difficulty, but you cannot use a continue before the last stage. There are a couple of features that have been added to the game since my last review as well. One is Ascetic Mode. If you enable this mode you will die with a single hit instead of being staggered like usual. This is for hardcore players looking for a challenge. Doing this mode on Lunatic would be something to behold! The other addition is local co-op play, and I thought this was a very fun feature to add. Grab a friend and start blasting away at the baddies!
I feel the same about the game the second time around. Azure Reflections is a fantastic package. It’s easy to pick up and play, but offers plenty of challenge thanks to the four difficulty levels. This game is perfect for those just getting into shmups since it offers some training features and will even display your hit box to help you learn to maneuver more effectively. The game being handheld now means you can take it anywhere and that’s a huge plus for this version of the game. The story mode is kinda short, but each girl has their own unique story and you will want to play each multiple times to get all the unlockables. If you love shmups or Touhou you simply cannot go wrong here for the $24.99 asking price. It’s worth every penny and will keep you entertained for hours.
Review copy provided by the publisher.