Hakuoki: Warriors of the Shinsengumi
Bless You, Aksys: Another Hakuoki game
Publisher Aksys brings another entry in the popular otome game series, Hakuoki, to the US! For fans of the series, hooked by last year's "Hakuoki: Demon of the Fleeting Blossoms", the announcement of another game is hugely optimistic boost, given that the PSP is a pretty much dead platform.
Released in Japan as "Hakuouki: Bakumatsu Musou Roku", this entry is not an otome game like its series counterparts but allows you to play as several of the Shinsengumi member, whom fans will be familiar with from the previous installment.
A seemingly odd choice, given how a large part of the series' popularity comes from the fact that it is an otome game. But I think it is an extremely positive sign that Akysys is publishing another game, and that possibly they went with Musou Roku because Sentai is still in the process of releasing the english dub of the first two anime seasons (Reimeiroku having only just aired in Japan). Here's to hoping we may see Reimeiroku or other otome installments in the future!
Hack-and-slash, not dating sim
I've always been told that when looking at reviews, you throw out the most glowing and the most condemning, then look at the rest because that's the only way you get real information. Despite the less than stellar review that was posted by someone who said they didn't buy it and thus probably has no firsthand experience with it, I decided to give this one a go because I wanted to support the franchise. If you go in expecting Demon of the Fleeting Blossom, you will be disappointed! It uses anime art and is a button mashing hack-and-slash, not a dating sim. That said, it lacks in some aspects such as there being no real purpose to raising a kill count, the enemies respawn so you can't clear your map, and the big bads created for the game lean more toward throwaways. In terms of graphics, it's a handheld on a platform that is dying out., so it's not the best, but there have definitely been worse. The cutscenes are animated while gameplay is a slightly more 3D environment that does tend to suffer from the usual clipping that most 3D environments do, though I don't recall running into the 'invisible enemy' syndrome. Gameplay can be a little clunky at first and takes some getting used to, with stages that are fairly short. The sound is also a bit odd, with speech during battle getting muffled beneath the much louder sound of the player character, but isn't bad overall. In terms of replayability, you have the two modes and a few different characters, but if you aren't the sort who doesn't mind the same thing from a different direction, it won't hold any lasting appeal.
If you want a Hakuouki dating sim, go for Demon of the Fleeting Blossom, and if you want a really good hack-and-slash, go for the Dynasty/Samurai Warriors series, but if you want to run around as your favourite Hakuouki boy (of the original romanceable ones since Sannan and Shinpachi aren't an option) and kill things, then this is the one you want!
Not what I had in mind.
I can only say one thing, I love all of Kazuki Yone's work and one which includes Hakuouki. Although let me clarify one thing, I'm always rating the ORIGINAL ARTWORK, not the Anime that messes up my entire image of the original story/game itself. Also, as a person who doesn't watch Anime (that doesn't mean I do not respect it) it is another reason why I will not be spending money on this game... another imitation of Dynasty Warrior? My ratings could've been higher if it was the original artwork and not TV Animation Style.