If you’re anything like me, anything described as a magical girl JRPG mixed with Persona is almost guaranteed to be something I’ll be interested in. This was how I heard people describing Blue Reflection before I bought it and pretty much sealed the deal for me getting it, but I didn’t realise just how many similarities there would be. When I began to really see these similarities in Blue Reflection, I became a little skeptic at first. While the idea of magical girl Persona was why I bought it, I’m usually not interested in something that blatantly rips off story ideas. Luckily Blue Reflection for the most part makes the ideas it seems to have borrowed original, but I found the similarities interesting nonetheless, so I wanted to talk about the parallels between Blue Reflection and Persona 5 and how the two good games are similar, yet different.
Dungeon Premisea train station multi-floored randomised dungeon separate from its individual ones that is described as a collective consciousness of the people. Blue Reflection’s other world The Common is quite similar to this as essentially another collective consciousness, but this time with the high school in Blue Reflection as the core.
Both dungeons essentially represent the heart of their respective world, although the way dungeons are divided to suit each game’s theme shows the main way Persona 5 and Blue Reflection differ. Blue Reflection’s core theme of emotion ties in with the way The Common is split into zones such as Sorrow, Anger and Fear, while Persona 5’s theme of justice means that outside of Mementos, dungeons take inspiration from the Seven Deadly Sins, which also goes well with Persona 5’s theme of corruption with themes such as Lust and Greed heavily represented in their respective dungeons and Mementos taking inspiration from this concept as well. The idea of the ‘people’s dungeon’ from Persona 5 definitely came to mind when I was playing Blue Reflection and while they both differ dramatically visually, the concept is certainly similar when comparing the two.
For both games though, the core purpose of stealing hearts can be summed up as almost the same: to settle what is wrong with the person of interest, whether it be emotionally or with their morals. The process of this in both games differs a bit, with Persona 5 focusing on the journey to finding the heart and adding to the story on the way, while Blue Reflection's version feels like more of a quick fetch quest. I prefer the way Persona 5 added a lot of story while doing this task as it made it feel fulfilling, but Blue Reflection’s emotive final story moments of stealing hearts do make it feel worth it.
Bonds As Poweryour bonds are the keys to unlocking special abilities and Persona’s, the beings that fight alongside you in battle. In Blue Reflection however, you don’t need Personas or special beings to fight with you because you are basically the magical being since you’re a magical girl, however bonds give the all important fragments that help boost your skills and therefore are still important. They also are the only way to level up in Blue Reflection, so they’re absolutely vital to having a chance at the more difficult boss battles.
While their systems of bonding might be pretty similar since you can choose what to say in conversations a lot of the time, along with the general concept of getting to know the people in the world around you, the way they affect combat is very different and makes it easy to distinguish the two. I like receiving EXP in battle rather than on the field, so I tend to prefer Persona 5’s social aspects, but the characters in Blue Reflection are worth getting to know with their interesting and amusing personalities.
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Did you notice any Persona 5 similarities in Blue Reflection? What are two JRPGs you think are very similar?
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