- System: PlayStation Vita / PlayStation TV
- Publisher: Idea Factory International
- Developer: Idea Factory / Design Factory
- Release Date: March 13, 2018
- Rating: M for Mature
- Genre: Visual Novel
- Players: Single Player
- Official Website: http://ideafintl.com/hakuoki-edo/
Who it Caters to (intro to readers)
What to Expect
Of course, Hakuoki: Edo Blossoms is full of beautiful CGs and elegantly written plot lines that are not marred by sloppy translations and grammar mistakes. This is a Hakuoki game, you can expect quality in every piece delivered to you from Idea Factory. That includes the smooth Japanese voice acting and musical composition, but we suppose that is up for you to decide for yourselves.
Hakuoki: Edo Blossoms Game Trailer
Hakuoki: Edo Blossoms begins with the Shinsengumi in Edo licking their wounds and moping after their defeat. The warriors of the Shinsengumi are downtrodden; morale is low. Edo is changing with the win of the Imperial Army. The Shinsengumi are scrambling to make up for their loss and hide their secrets.
Since this is a visual novel, all of the gameplay is text based and requires extensive reading, so be prepared for that. That being said, Hakuoki games tend to be done exceptionally well above many other visual novels so it is no surprise to see that Hakuoki: Edo Blossoms is written just as well so that the playing/reading experience is enjoyable and not marred by frequent mistakes. There are about 5 chapters per each character route and you will be allowed to choose your responses frequently through each of these chapters from how you respond and talk to your love interest to how you want to help your love interest cope with their bloodlust. Will you allow them to feed off of you, give them medicine, or force them to endure their hardship? The choice is yours. These choices will cause your story to branch off with each choice and some of these branching storylines will have different CGs, so be prepared if you go into Hakuoki: Edo Blossoms in search of all the CGs. You’ll need to go down as many storylines as possible to get them all!
However, Hakuoki: Edo Blossoms is designed to help with this process as you can choose different chapters to go back to and replay. Unfortunately, should you have gone down the wrong storyline, you will not have unlocked all of the chapters for a particular character’s route, so you will have to play through some of the same scenes again.
We picked up from a route we always wanted in the games, Yamazaki. Yamazaki’s route is an interesting one as you all know he dies in the Battle of Toba-Fushimi, but in his route, he’s alive. You really get to interact with him more and while his loyalties lie in the Shinsengumi, and especially Hijikata, you will find that Chizuru charms Yamazaki allowing him to take on a softer note. This is in great contrast to one of the biggest routes in Hakuoki: Hijikata’s.
If you have played through Hijikata’s routes in other Hakuoki games, you will know how his demeanor changes after the Battle of Toba-Fushimi. This is very much the same in Hakuoki: Edo Blossoms. Unfortunately, since that is where the story starts off, Hijikata is rather rash and temperamental for most of the game and you only get brief glimpses of his soft side, which is hidden for the most part until the end of the game. This route can be tricky as you try to figure out the right balance of supportive and assertiveness as Hijikata goes down this downward spiral of anger and frustration. It’s extremely difficult to watch the interactions should you choose the wrong choices and have Hijikata cuss and yell at you. Even the other characters find his reactions towards you harsh.
The music is well done and reflects a classical style of music that suits this era in Japan’s history very well. The music helped to manipulate your mood and show the mood that the game developers were trying to create for each scene. The same can be said of the character designs, which were beautifully done in every way. You get to see the original uniform of the Shinsengumi, then they change to a Western uniform to reflect the changing time. This with the flawless CGs and there is just so much to love about Hakuoki: Edo Blossoms aesthetically.
Honey's Gameplay Consensus:
- Beautiful writing style and storytelling
- Many well illustrated CGs that can be attained by selecting different choices
- 30 different branching storylines to go down ensuring fairly lengthy game play
- 12 romanceable characters + 1 character route for Chizuru
- Despite the tone of the game, the game does not end negatively
- No grammar or translation mistakes that mar other visual novels
- Well thought out music score
- Plot starts off rather sullen and continually gets more and more depressing
Honey's Final Verdict:
For those of you who are fans of visual novels and otome games, what do you think of this newest addition into the PS library? Are you interested in the game? Do you have a copy on reserve for when it comes out? Please feel free to share your thoughts with us here at Honey’s Anime.