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A Lot or a Little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Blue Reflection is a magical fantasy role-playing game. The game requires a fair amount of reading and menu navigation, though the difficulty level isn't too tough, even on higher settings. The main plot focuses on positive themes of personal growth, friendship, and emotion. Fantasy combat is a regular occurrence, though it's almost whimsical in nature, fighting against odd creatures with lots of flashy magical effects. Parents should be aware that the game does have a lot of sexually suggestive material, including offhand comments from some characters, gratuitous bath scenes, revealing outfits, and transformations that feature partial nudity, though these generally have strategically placed obstacles or effects.
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What’s It About?
BLUE REFLECTION is the magical story of Hinako Shirai, an exceptional student who dreamed of being a dancer. Unfortunately, an injury put that dream on hold. Her life changed once again after she met with two sisters, who informed her that she had been chosen as a Reflector, a magical guardian able to enter the Common, a world created by humanity's collective consciousness. As a Reflector, Hinako seeks out Ether Fragments, powerful artifacts created from strong emotions affecting those in the real world. When sinister forces also begin to seek out Ether Fragments, the evil begins to break through the barrier to the Common and directly affect the lives of those outside. Now it's up to Hinako and her friends to drive back the darkness, to discover the truth behind her role as a Reflector, and to figure out what is truly worth fighting for.
Is It Any Good?
Not all superheroes wear capes or utility belts, and it's not just boys who want to save the day -- but this tale is somewhat ruined by the cheeky visuals for its characters. Blue Reflection shines the spotlight on the "magical girl" genre and lets the ladies take center stage in this fantasy adventure with purpose. The game is absolutely gorgeous in presentation, with beautiful visuals and a wonderful soundtrack. It almost feels alive at times, which does a great job of drawing players into the world and getting them to care about the characters they interact with. Unfortunately, it's for this very reason that certain parts of the game create a huge disconnect.
One of the biggest things holding Blue Reflection back is that it wants to cater to two completely different crowds. Most of the game focuses on the strong story, encouraging building bonds of friendship, learning lessons from the experiences of others, and growing as an individual. While it has clichéd moments, it's a good message to send. But then the game dovetails into cheesecake territory, with gratuitous scenes of these girls bathing or talking to each other in rain-soaked clothes that would put a wet T-shirt competition to shame. None of these scenes are particularly subtle or help to move the story along. Instead, they just feel like they were thrown in as some sort of concession to a separate, specific demographic, which ultimately undermines the rest of the experience.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about sexuality in media. Why do some games feature oversexualized content, and what sort of impact can this have on younger viewers?
Talk about relationships. What are some good ways to build and to strengthen bonds of friendship? How important is it to be there for others and to allow them to be there for you?
- Platforms: PlayStation 4, Windows
- Pricing structure: Paid
- Available online?: Available online
- Publisher: Koei Tecmo
- Release date: September 26, 2017
- Genre: Role-Playing
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Friendship, Great Girl Role Models, High School, Monsters, Ghosts, and Vampires
- ESRB rating: T for Fantasy Violence, Mild Language, Partial Nudity, Suggestive Themes
- Last updated: December 13, 2020
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