Yohane the Parhelion -BLAZE in the DEEPBLUE Review | Surprisingly Fire

Yohane the Parhelion -BLAZE in the DEEPBLUE is a 2D Metroidvania based on a spin-off of the massively popular Love Live! franchise. Read our review to see what it did well, what it didn't do well, and if it's worth buying.

Yohane the Parhelion -Blaze in the Deepblue- Review Overview

Yohane the Parhelion -Blaze in the Deepblue- Pros & Cons

Pros Cons
Checkmark Simple But Effective Game Design
Checkmark Combat Is Fair
Checkmark Exciting Exploration Segments
Checkmark Collecting Materials Is A Memory Game
Checkmark The Game Is A One-Hit Wonder

Yohane the Parhelion -Blaze in the Deepblue- Overall - 74/100

There is beauty in simplicity. Yohane the Parhelion -Blaze in the Deepblue- is an excellent example. Its gameplay is entirely free of the vague complexities that others in the same genre strive to achieve to add to the experience. However, in polishing the few features it has implemented, the game has achieved an incredible state where everything is clear to you from the start. That way, you can push through the game with a clear goal in mind and familiar tools on hand, affording you an abundance of attention to spare so you may appreciate everything else it has to offer.

Yohane the Parhelion -Blaze in the Deepblue- Story - 6/10

The story in Yohane the Parhelion -Blaze in the Deepblue- is expectedly simple, regardless of the mystery it tries to weave. Most of the plot points are simple and predictable despite their effectiveness. At least you won't be playing this game for the story. This is especially true if you're unfamiliar with the franchise, as it uses many inside references in its dialogue and quests.

Yohane the Parhelion -Blaze in the Deepblue- Gameplay - 9/10

Waste not, want not. The gameplay's simplicity is an utter joy to experience first-hand. With a clear goal, a very fair difficulty, and a set of familiar tools under your belt, handling Yohane's journey through the dungeon's winding corridors and violent monsters feels wonderfully straightforward and satisfying. This is easily, without a doubt, the game's strongest aspect.

Yohane the Parhelion -Blaze in the Deepblue- Visuals - 8/10

The game features multiple massive, beautifully designed maps to explore and a wide variety of enemies and bosses to fight. Its character artworks, too, are exemplary and do justice to the franchise it is based on. Plus, it runs exceptionally smoothly on even mid-tier systems (such as mine). However, it reuses many models and has an inoffensive lack of character animations despite the wide variety of weapons and collaborative attacks.

Yohane the Parhelion -Blaze in the Deepblue- Audio - 8/10

As expected from an official Love Live game, Yohane the Parhelion -Blaze in the Deepblue-'s voice acting is immaculate. Fans of the series will undoubtedly enjoy the interactions between every character at every opportunity. On top of that, Yohane herself maintains her personality through the dungeon-crawling gameplay loop with her tastefully wince-inducing quips. Unfortunately, for a Love Live game, there's a severe lack of songs integrated into the gameplay itself besides the theme song that plays in select circumstances.

Yohane the Parhelion -Blaze in the Deepblue- Value for Money - 6/10

Despite the game's enormous map and various equipment options, Yohane the Parhelion -Blaze in the Deepblue- has a severe lack of post-game content to busy yourself with after finishing the main scenario. There's also only one difficulty setting, as far as I've discovered, which drastically affects the game's replayability. For a game that costs $29.99, the two factors mentioned might just sway Metroidvania fans from buying it or encourage them to wait for a sale.

Yohane the Parhelion -Blaze in the Deepblue- Review: Surprisingly Fire


Ah, Love Live! I have a Love-Hate (get it?) relationship with this franchise. Unfortunately, that relationship leans more towards hate, despite having willed myself to watch every episode of its anime. After all, you can't dislike what you don't know.

I really like the songs, though.

Carrying my misgivings with me in trying this game out, imagine my utter surprise when I found myself enjoying the game. Like, really getting into it.

Despite the game not making significant, innovative strides for the genre, its simplicity charmed me. It afforded just the perfect amount of attention to spare for me to appreciate just how well-made its entirety is. The vibrant colors that match the series' animated theme are vividly expressed even amid combat, and its prided audio and voice acting are plain for all to hear through even the thickest of fights. And, at the end of every lengthy grind through the dungeon's treacherous halls, you have the girls to interact with at your pavilion, which delivers the appropriate amount of vivacity that the franchise is known for.

Yohane the Parhelion -Blaze in the Deepblue- carries itself well. Its straightforward gameplay takes a lot of burden off your shoulders and allows you to widen your perspective. There are no intricacies here; it's just an honest and polished game delivered for your enjoyment.

Pros of Yohane the Parhelion -Blaze in the Deepblue-

Things Yohane the Parhelion -Blaze in the Deepblue- Got Right
Checkmark Simple But Effective Game Design
Checkmark Combat Is Fair
Checkmark Exciting Exploration Segments

Simple But Effective Game Design


Wherever we look at a new game, one of the first questions most of us ask is "what are the features?" Leaving people like me, who would first ask if the gacha rates are fair (even if the game doesn't have gacha) aside, this notable tendency for everyone to look forward to new or innovative flavors has caused an abundance of excessively complex or mechanically-obscure games to grace our recommendations.

While those kinds of games are certainly welcome for challenge-seeking enthusiasts, the occasional relaxing romp through an aesthetic and straightforward game is also a great way to spend time.

Yohane the Parhelion -Blaze in the Deepblue- fits that description well. Its characters and world have the kind of colorful aesthetic that does justice to the spin-off it's based on, and its gameplay is almost childlike in its simplicity and honesty. During combat, all you have to pay attention to is when to attack, what to attack with, how to dodge your enemies, and what items to use. Out of combat, you just need to note where you are, what direction you need to go, and how you will get there.


Oh, and the occasional mental strain of memorizing drop locations. We'll get to that later.

At first glance, it may seem like a dull affair. After all, the only things on the menu for your combat meal are attacking, jumping, and the occasional healing (or frequent if you keep getting hit like me). Meanwhile, other games have several more features, such as dashes, combos, etc. So, what makes this game's simplicity a positive thing? Elementary, my dear Watson.

Because it frees up your limited attention from its gameplay and allows you more time to appreciate everything else the game offers.

Combat Is Fair


One aspect of games, particularly those within the action genre, that can literally and figuratively break it, is balance. It's such an essential aspect that even minor changes to a character's figures could entirely change how they are played. This is particularly obvious in competitive games such as MOBAs, fighters, and shooters, where developers constantly perform balance changes to keep the meta fresh and dynamic.

Balance is affected by many factors. For a game like Yohane the Parhelion -Blaze in the Deepblue-, it would be things like a weapon's damage and range, an enemy's strength and abilities, every entity's hitbox shape and size, etc. Each of them is delicately interconnected, ultimately resulting in what we, the players, could conclude as being "balanced" or "broken."


Fortunately, this game passes the check. It's a well-balanced experience that effectively gives its players all responsibility for their performance. For example, with its significant consideration for every weapon and accessories' stats and its strictly intuitive hitboxes for every enemy and your own, each instance of getting hit or even dying never feels like it's the game's fault, but rather your own.

That knowledge is a boon because it directs the challenge squarely on you. Your responsibility as the player is to adapt to the enemy's predictable and telegraphed attacks and movements. Only you can make the experience better.

Exciting Exploration Segments


Like many other Metroidvanias on the market, Yohane the Parhelion -Blaze in the Deepblue- has extensive areas interconnected by multiple pathways. At the same time, many locations are inaccessible without the right tools, abilities, or approach. Most of the time, these areas with peculiar terrain hide valuable treasures that can significantly improve your performance in combat, expand your choices in traversing the dungeon, or even help your companions with their quests.

This makes exploration of the dungeon an enjoyable and even exciting activity. Especially during the first part of the game, where your tools to navigate the dungeon's treacherous chambers are limited, it creates intense anticipation for an abundant reward by dangling shiny treasure chests and items in conspicuous but out-of-reach places.


Additionally, the game adds even more satisfaction to expanding your tools by attaching most of them to your cast of colorful companions. It robs the dullness of a familiar Metroidvania mechanic and imparts a personality to the tools we're so familiar with.

Cons of Yohane the Parhelion -Blaze in the Deepblue-

Things That Yohane the Parhelion -Blaze in the Deepblue- Can Improve
Checkmark Collecting Materials Is A Memory Game
Checkmark The Game Is A One-Hit Wonder

Collecting Materials Is A Memory Game


To craft equipment, you'll need materials. These materials are obtained from either monster drops or destructible objects scattered around the map. Before you let your destructive habits honed through several dozen hours playing Zelda take over, it's vital to inform you beforehand that most of them can only be obtained from certain monsters or specific locations.

Shocker, right?

But that's fine. Almost every RPG in existence shares that detail. After all, grass-related items shouldn't be found in volcanic areas. That's just nuts.


Since you would need more than just a handful of materials to craft every piece of equipment in this game, you would obviously look into ways to farm them. And that's where the problem starts. That's because Yohane the Parhelion -Blaze in the Deepblue- doesn't have anything resembling an in-game drop table or bestiary. In other words, unless you make mental notes on the materials you obtain, you'll find yourself groping in the dark about where you can find them.

Early on, this isn't a big problem when the materials you could obtain are limited. However, as you push through the game's numerous biomes and enemies, the number of materials you need to keep track of increases proportionally. And without a drop table or a bestiary, you can only look up where to get materials online or, in the worst-case scenario, farm entire swathes of areas to get the item to drop.

But if you're used to environmental destruction as a Zelda player, then I guess that's fun, too.

The Game Is A One-Hit Wonder


Here's the thing: not all games need post-game content. But, for a Metroidvania priced at $29.99 with about eight or so hours of playtime (especially if you like getting lost like me), this game does. After all, its replayability is already tanked by the fact that only certain areas "randomly change."

Why the quotation marks? That's because those few areas aren't the kind of "randomly-generated" maps you might expect from roguelike games. Instead, it seems that it draws from a set of pre-made rooms. During my run, I think I've encountered more than a couple or so of the same area multiple times.

Lacking the ability to change its difficulty is also an issue the developers have unfortunately glossed over. In other words, repeated game playthroughs will more or less get you the same experience as the previous ones.


Again, this game is $29.99. That's already quite expensive for such a short Metroidvania. In addition, you're bound to gradually reduce that already short playtime as you keep playing through the game. While you could challenge yourself by limiting the weapons you can use or by not allowing you to use particular companions in combat, that's just a superficial way to address the issue.

It's almost like the devs want you to play the game and then banish it to the shadow realm of your memory.

Is Yohane the Parhelion -Blaze in the Deepblue- Worth It?

It's Definitely Worth The Try


Despite my misgivings about the game's franchise, price, and replayability, I thoroughly enjoyed playing the game. However, I do need to commit to my statements: at $29.99, the game is too expensive, especially for those unfamiliar with the Love Live! franchise or for casual Metroidvania fans. On the other hand, it's worth the extra spending if you like the series or if you're specifically looking for a straightforward action platformer to enjoy.

Yohane the Parhelion -Blaze in the Deepblue- Overview & Premise


A dungeon suddenly surfaces in the oceans near Namazu. Out of curiosity, many of Yohane's friends venture inside, only to never return. Yohane must brave its depths and fight the monsters within to rescue her friends. There, she will uncover the secrets of the dungeon while helping out with her friends' problems, whether she wants to or not.

Yohane the Parhelion -Blaze in the Deepblue- FAQ

Does Yohane the Parhelion -Blaze in the Deepblue- Have Multiplayer?

Unfortunately, no, it doesn't. But that does sound like fun.

Does Yohane the Parhelion -Blaze in the Deepblue- Have An Anime?

Yes, it does. In fact, this game is based on the anime.

Yohane the Parhelion -Blaze in the Deepblue- Product Information

Release Date November 16, 2023
Supported Platforms PC, Nintendo Switch, PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One
Genre Action Platformer
Number of Players 1
ESRB Rating Everyone
Official Website Yohane the Parhelion -BLAZE in the DEEPBLUE- Website
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