NIS America was kind enough to once again toss us a review copy of this one,much like they did the first installment of the Crossbell series, The Legend of Heroes Trails From Zero Review and that is always appreciated.
The first thing you need to know about getting into this, you don’t technically NEED to play Zero to play Azure. You can read through much of the in game text and such to get a general idea but to be honest you are much better off playing these two games in order.
The second thing you need to know,if you want to play them both you are probably looking at 40-50 hours each. And it is worth every hour of it.
The story starts up about a month after zero ends and continues the saga of a corrupt government, admittedly seemingly less so at first. It doesn’t take long for things to go bad however. This isn’t strictly true, there is a lot of lore packed into this one. Long conversations and some of it is quite heavy. I don’t say any of this as a bad thing, the story is quite amazing and easy to get into.
Graphically the game does show its age and the sound does leave much to be desired at times. The voice acting and the music could be hit and miss, nothing that takes away from the enjoyment of the game but it does exist and would be dishonest to pretend it didn’t get up to some weird things at times.
As we all know any RPG is only as good as the combat. The combat reminds me a lot of the original Grandia. You walk around the map,and touching an enemy changes the battle screen and from there you can move around to fight enemies. It isn’t quite a tactics style battle, the battle maps are way too small for that but it is turned based and and positioning does matter for a lot of reasons. It is really well done and a lot of fun, but depending on how you play it can feel a bit slow. Thankfully quality of life improvements have been added that have taken care of that.
To be short and sweet about it,the game is highly recommended especially to anyone that enjoyed the Cold Steel series. 8/10, best wishes and may the gaming gods bring you glory.