One of the things that sets us apart as humans is our ability to connect with others — to empathise with them, to understand what they are feeling and to support them if they need it.
That’s the concept at the core of Blue Reflection’s narrative, and it’s explored in a number of different ways over the story’s entirety — both literally and metaphorically.
While the story primarily concerns protagonist Hinako and her struggles to come to terms with a life-changing injury, everyone involved in the story has something to say that is very much worth listening to. So let’s take a closer look at Hinako’s journey through human emotions, and maybe we can learn something along the way, too…
Continue reading Blue Reflection: Narrative, Themes and Characterisation
We’ve already talked about how distinctive Blue Reflection’s visual aesthetic is thanks to the contributions of Mel Kishida — but its music is worthy of some discussion, too.
It will come as no surprise to longtime Gust fans to hear that Blue Reflection has an excellent soundtrack — though it’s an interesting score overall in that it blends a variety of different styles to create something altogether unique.
It complements the action well and, between it and the visuals, means that Blue Reflection is one of the most distinctive games Gust has put out for a long time. So let’s take a closer look… listen, whatever.
Continue reading Blue Reflection: Sounds of School Days
Gust’s games are known for having a distinctive aesthetic, but Blue Reflection is one of the company’s most beautifully presented titles.
Offering a combination of high-detail realism in its school scenes coupled with a ton of creativity for the action that unfolds in the manifestation of the collective unconscious known as “The Common”, it really is a lovely game to look at — perhaps not the best-performing game there is, no, but a lovely game to look at nonetheless.
A big part of that is down to the work of Mel Kishida, a frequent Gust collaborator, and an artist with a very distinctive style all of his own.
Continue reading Blue Reflection: Kishida’s Pastel Paradise
Blue Reflection is an unusual game in terms of its overall tone and how it “feels” to play, and a big part of this is due to its mechanics and structure.
If you had to pigeon-hole it into a specific mechanical genre, most people would describe it as a “JRPG”. But in many ways this isn’t a particularly accurate description, since although it features a number of common elements of the genre, it draws just as many influences from other types of game such as adventures and visual novels.
Whatever you want to call it, it’s certainly a pretty intriguing game from a mechanical and structural perspective. So that’s what we’ll be focusing on today.
Continue reading Blue Reflection: Everyday Life with Magical Girls
This month’s Cover Game is a Gust title I’ve been intrigued about ever since it was first announced: Blue Reflection.
Featuring a combination of Mel Kishida’s wonderfully soft-edged artwork translated beautifully into 3D polygonal graphics, a highly stylised soundtrack by Hayato Asano and an intriguing story about empathy and emotion, I always knew this was going to be an experience that was right up my alley.
So let’s begin our exploration with an overview of what the game is all about, and a look back at the “magical girl” genre that inspired it.
Continue reading Blue Reflection: Introduction, and a Brief History of Magical Girls