- System: PlayStation Vita
- Publisher: Aksys Games
- Developer: Aksys Games
- Release Date: June 29, 2018
- Rating: T for Teens
- Genre: Action, Adventure, Otome, Visual Novel
- Players: Single player
Who it Caters to
What to Expect
Like its predecessor, you can unlock side stories as you play and see different interactions with the different characters that may or may not play a part in the overall story, but it does affect your ability to grasp the story and some of the history of the characters. The game features a Flowchart, much like Psychedelica of the Black Butterfly, that allows you to backtrack to go down other branches of the story, which proves to be quite useful should you wish to explore all of the storylines. Like Psychedelica of the Black Butterfly, there are many different storylines and you’ll just want to keep playing to find out more.
Do you think you have it in you to get all of the storylines?
In this town, people are separated by their loyalties to either the Wolf or the Hawk families. As a childhood friend to the Wolf heirs, Jed tends to side with the Wolf family, but there is a lot more to this town than anyone knows and it involves both the Wolfs and the Hawks, and perhaps the young witch who everyone fears. Then when the church mentions that they are missing a certain special antique, you will find out that nothing in the town was what you once thought.
The first part of the game is somewhat mundane with most of your time spent interacting with different townsfolk to hear their thoughts about different things like the two families: Wolfs and Hawks. You’ll also hear thoughts about the witch, someone that has not existed in the game really aside from Jed. but Jed clearly shows that they have no special powers at all. For the most part, the beginning of the game is rather dull since you are just going through these interactions to find out bits and pieces of what goes on in the town. There will be bits and pieces of story, too, but some of these “story” cutscenes don’t feel all that relevant. The most important pieces are the Main Story ones, and those are not as frequent, and you have to wade through the other stuff first before you get to them, although you can probably skip the other ones and go straight for the main story and shorten your actual playtime (but who does that?).
At one point in Psychedelica of the Ashen Hawk, you get to alternate between your Jed and Eiar alter egos and walk around town interacting with people to see if you get a different reaction based on how you are dressed. This may affect different main characters or bring about special cutscenes with them, although some characters will interact with you romantically even if you are dressed as Jed (great for those fujoshi moments!). All the same, the cute romance scenes are few and far between while you are more focused on fixing things between the Wolfs and the Hawks than your own romance. We should mention that playing all of these tiny side stories helps you gain Town Memory Units.
These Town Memory Units can be used to buy more memories with certain characters, although we will be honest, this did not feel like a fruitful aspect of the game. If we received any extra stories, we didn’t notice them pop up and really, it felt like you acquired the Town Memory Units too easily and didn’t have enough side stories to purchase, so whether you wish to participate in that or not is up to you. We believe the story moves on without them, but who knows if certain CGs are unlocked in this manner since we decided to do our best and acquire everything.
The second half of the game becomes much more interesting as it actually seems like there are mysteries to be unlocked, whereas the beginning of the game plays out like a slice of life except you’re poor, disguised as a boy, and trying to find out more about this item the church mentioned to you. The beginning of the game is extremely misleading, but it sets the stage for the rest of the game where there are struggles of each character begin to bubble to the surface and your own secrets spill over. Relationships between different characters are tested and unrest takes over the town. We’d hate to spoil the premise, so we won’t say any more, but you really have to get through the first couple hours of the game to get to the real meat of Psychedelica of the Ashen Hawk.
As we stated before, there is little romance in the game, but that seems to be similar to its predecessor and even 7’scarlet where the plot takes precedence over cheesy romantic scenes. That does not mean you’re not going to get a few good CGs and sweet moments, but these are few and far between. However, what we did enjoy were the complexities of each character’s history and struggles, which didn’t have to do completely with the plot at hand, unlike Black Butterfly where everyone’s personalities had more to do with one special event. Even characters who were not love interests had some complex emotions, but there are a few reasons for that you will just have to play to understand. However, we were disappointed to see that some characters were not developed at all and were merely used to further the story along and be convenient, much like Orion from Amnesia: Memories if you know what we mean.
Graphically, Psychedelica of the Ashen Hawk outdoes Psychedelica of the Black Butterfly, which appeared stiff and somewhat childlike in our opinion. The character designs are just so much better than before and it really stands out compared to its predecessor. Music-wise, we can’t say that Psychedelica of the Ashen Hawk outdoes itself. The soundtrack does not really stand out, but it is enjoyable at the very least. Oh, but the best part of all is that all characters are fully voiced and they do it so well! Even the main character has a pleasing voice!
Honey's Gameplay Consensus:
- Flowchart makes it easier to explore all of the branching storylines without too much work to backtrack
- Beautiful voice acting
- Amazing graphics and better character designs than before
- Character stories had some depth, instead of serving to only having enough background to serve the story like in the prequel
- Surprisingly lengthy gameplay
- Fully voiced game
- The game was left with a few glaring plot holes that left a rather sour taste, i.e. Hugh.
- Acquiring Town Memory Units can be mundane and feel extremely slow
- Very little romance, which is a turn off for those who play for just the romance