Yet another action-platformer from Inti Creates.
I have about as much experience with Love Live! as I did learning about open heart surgery in Art school. That is to say none. But when Inti Creates comes out with a new 2D platforming title, it doesn’t matter what it’s based on; I am going to be interested regardless. Enter Yohane the Parhelion -BLAZE in the DEEPBLUE-. But don’t worry: its gameplay is far more comprehensible than its title.
Based on the fantasy spinoff of the Love Live! Franchise, Yohane the Parhelion sees you play as the titular heroine Yohane. You and the other members of the idol group “Aqours” have all found themselves placed inside a labyrinth that has arisen from the depths of the ocean. Your task is to find all your friends scattered about and bring them back home. In true metroidvania style, you need to acquire new powers to further your exploration, and amassing Yohane’s friends does just that. Cycling through your acquired friends with L and R and casting them with Y makes up the crux of combat outside a jump, ground slide, and a craftable weapon slot, which you can summon with ZR. Casting your friends' support abilities or crafted weapons consumes a resource called DP. Run out of DP, and HP will be used in its stead.
The crafting system itself is rather straightforward. Smash pots and kill enemies to gather resources. When you have enough to craft something new, you’ll see an exclamation point in the upper middle of the screen. There’s no additional cost other than the indicated resources in order to craft anything in the list, which is available from the start of the game. Save stations act as HP and DP recharge stations and as warp points should you fall in battle and return to the surface and need to make your way back to the depths. When you spawn back in your house outside the labyrinth, you’ll have the option to buy a wide assortment of consumables such as attack boost potions or health potions. This is a double-edged sword as these potions often trivialize most of the already-low challenge the game provides. Not only that, but if you find a music sheet, it will put Yohane into an Idol mode when she dies, giving her full HP and DP and she begins to sing a catchy song.
Yohane herself moves at a slow pace, there’s no dodge mechanic to speak of, and you’re locked into her attack movements when you cast them. Unfortunately, controlling Yohane was my least favorite aspect of the game. It has full Japanese voice acting for its cast and the visuals and performance are top notch. If you’re just in the market for a metroidvania, there’s dozens you could choose from that are a little more worthy of your time than Yohan the Parhelion -BLAZE in the DEEPBLUE-, but it does have that signature Inti Creates style that fans of theirs will dig. The experience isn’t altogether bad, but it does leave something to be desired. The ideas don’t come together in a way that makes this title stand above the property it’s based on.