Nightshade - Nintendo Switch Review

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Your romance may be life or death

Game Info:

1-Nightshade-Concert-500x160 Nightshade - Nintendo Switch Review

  • System: Nintendo Switch
  • Publisher: D3Publisher
  • Developer: Red Entertainment / LANTERN ROOMS
  • Release Date: December 20, 2018

Who it Caters to

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D3Publisher has really gone all out this year with releasing otome games for the Nintendo Switch, and they are back this month with a new game just in time for Christmas! Today, we’re talking about Nightshade, an otome game in a time set at the very end of the Sengoku era in Japan. If you want a little bit of an exaggerated history lesson of Japan or want to romance ninja, then Nightshade is the game for you.

What to Expect

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From the makers of Pub Encounter, The Men of Yoshiwara and The Amazing Shinsengumi: Heroes in Love comes yet another otome game for the Nintendo Switch called Nightshade. Like the other otome games released by D3Publisher, Nightshade is an otome game where the romantic aspect is high and it’s not incredibly text heavy, which is perfect for those who want a casual otome game. However unlike its predecessors, Nightshade is plot heavier title revolving around the ideas of shinobi and the code of ethics that all ninja live by.

s a collaboration between D3Publisher and Red Entertainment in an effort to create an otome game with more weight and creativity. With designs by Teita, who is a well-known freelance illustrator and has worked on games like Norn9: Norn + Nornette, the character designs and illustrations are absolutely beautiful and surpass the gaudiness of games like The Men of Yoshiwara and the simplicity of Pub Encounter. Prepare yourself for an interesting tale about ninja and their way of life.

Nightshade Trailer


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Nightshade is a tale about ninja who lived during the time of the Sengoku Period. Following Oda Nobunaga’s Tensho Iga War, the two ninja clans, Iga and Koga, were nearly destroyed and have since combined forces in order to ensure their own survival. While the two clans are adapting to their new lives together, each character has their own loyalties even though it’s been 17 years since the Tensho Iga War.

As the main character, you will play as Enju, the daughter of both Koga and Iga, a representation of the peace between both clans. Enju has always been coddled in her life, but she dreams of finishing her training to become a proper shinobi. However, Enju is about to go on her first mission, but there’s more to it than they all know.


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We always want to preface our otome game reviews by telling you that otome games tend to be more text heavy than your typical game, so be prepared for a lot of reading, but this is what brings out a great story in other video games. Nightshade is no exception. While playing Nightshade, we really wanted to compare it to the likes of Hakuoki due to the storytelling and historic Japanese setting. While Hakuoki is set in the Edo Period, Nightshade is set at the very end of the Sengoku Period and towards the start of the Azuchi-Momoyama Period, which comes before the Edo Period. (While you won’t be getting an exact history lesson in Nightshade, it’s still fun to see a little bit of history at play.) Like Hakuoki, the story is well written with some twists and turns that we don’t often see done well in a game (Period:Cube, anyone?). This proves to be a rather enticing story that pulls you in for the long haul as you’ll want to know what is going on and parts of the plot can get rather dark just like Hakuoki did (Think Edo Blossoms).

The characters for Nightshade can be rather cliche (how many otome game characters aren’t, really?), but they are rather well written though some of the stories revolve around a lot of the rather meager backstories for each character in their childhood. Each of the 5 love interests has an interesting loyalty as they have had to experience different critical events in their lives. For example, there’s Chojiro who is a lone survivor (that we know of) of the Iga Clan at the age of 6. Kuroyuki left for a mission and was gone for 8 years by the time the the story begins. Hanzo is the famous ninja that everyone knows, but he is from a different clan. Gekkamaru has devoted his life to be the protector of Enju and takes his role very seriously. Lastly, there’s Goemon who is a legendary thief and outlaw. Each character brings in an interesting tale, greatly changing the story depending on who you choose. Each route comes with 2 endings and even the music changes depending on the ending.

There are even a few side characters like Ennosuke and Kyara who have real contributions to the plot overall, unlike other games where side characters tend to be bystanders. One of the side characters, Kasumi, was really difficult to like and spent most of the story screaming or crying when the plot got too heavy for her. Thank goodness for the ability to turn off her voice. Speaking of, the game comes fully voiced with most characters having CG sprites, though not everyone has one. This makes for great storytelling and adds to the pleasure of playing. It would have been nice if Enju was voiced, too, as she did open her mouth to talk and it was awkward to not hear her actually say anything.

The music and character designs were well done. We really enjoyed just pausing the game to look at all of the illustrations in the game, which could have all been standalone CGs in themselves. The music added to the overall effect and nuances of the game. These little details really added to the gameplay to add the finishing touches.

Honey's Gameplay Consensus:

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It’s quite evident that a lot of thought was put into Nightshade from the character designs to the initial plot premise including the twists and turns. A lot of the routes have some repetition, but the endings were what set each route apart. I keep Hakuoki as a gold standard, but compared to Hakuoki, Nightshade does its best to imitate what makes Hakuoki so wonderful, although it doesn’t quite come close to being a golden game. All the same, compared to many other otome games on the market, Nightshade does a great job. For the most part, we would have to say Nightshade is well worth playing.

Honey's Pros:

  • The game is fully voiced, but you have the ability to turn off voices for different characters
  • Voice acting was done wonderfully
  • Character designs, CGs, and backgrounds are beautiful
  • Great soundtrack
  • Well written story and plot twists
  • Each route is about 11+ chapters long depending on the character making for lengthy gameplay

Honey's Cons:

  • Main character is not fully voiced
  • Some parts of the game’s are repetitive if playing multiple routes
  • The price is a bit steep even among newer otome games

Honey's Final Verdict:

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If you love otome games and were looking for a new one to play this season, you may want to consider Nightshade, which we enjoyed. Some of you may have played the Steam version and may want to weigh in your opinions, too, though. Or maybe you have had your eyes on Nightshade? Share your thoughts below and don’t forget to return to Honey’s Anime for more of what you love.

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Author: Jenangelx3

California based workaholic. Current mottos are “I don’t care” and “I’ll try almost anything once”. Interests include traveling, eating, video games, and weightlifting. Currently living life to the fullest, pursuing my happiness, and conquering my fears. Yoroshiku onegaishimasu!

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