- System: Nintendo Switch, PC (Steam)
- Publisher: D3 Publisher
- Developer: D3 Publisher Inc
- Release Date: March 8, 2018
- Pricing: $14.99
- Rating: M for Mature
- Genre: Adventure, Visual Novel
- Players: Single Player
- Official Website: https://www.nintendo.com/games/detail/the-men-of-yoshiwara-ohgiya-switch
Who it Caters to
Of course, the premise is mainly directed towards those attracted to men, so keep that in mind. This is not a plot based story where you can get away with not romancing characters. Flirting and being lovey-dovey with the characters is a major part of the gameplay!
Let’s not forget that this is an M for Mature title. Be aware that there is mature content in here!
What to Expect
Unlike its predecessor, The Men of Yoshiwara: Ohgiya features 5 eligible bachelors with no second season for any of the bachelors, which means it’s lacking in one route compared to the predecessor. You can choose to skip the Prologue right at the start, but why would you if you are playing for the story? Pick the geisha (they call them geisha in this game instead of courtesan) of your choice and find yourself romancing one of the eligible geisha of your dreams.
Luckily, The Men of Yoshiwara: Ohgiya is voiced in Japanese and you can choose to play with Japanese, English, or Traditional Chinese text, if you just so happen to be practicing another language or feel more comfortable with either of those languages.
Set in the brothel of Ohgiya, The Men of Yoshiwara: Ohgiya has a different feel from the more lax brothel of Kikuya. Kikuya referred to the men as courtesans while Ohgiya refers to them as geisha, which may or may not be a translation error, but it does play very well into the feel that Ohgiya goes for. Unlike Kikuya, Ohgiya is a traditional brothel where the geisha are bound by certain rules, which they reference quite frequently in the game. There is a rather stringent order to things, which you can observe within the first few chapters as Kiyoha goes through the ritual of picking a partner. These rules sometimes appears to help you out as it hints at how certain characters feel about you or may deter competition from other women, but it also gives you a different experience than The Men of Yoshiwara: Kikuya did where the geisha actually feel like prisoners and slaves for profit, but more in a minute.
Since chapter 11 and 12 serve as the two different endings, this also means that The Men of Yoshiwara: Ohgiya is significantly shorter than its predecessor. The Men of Yoshiwara: Kikuya had a “surprise” route for Hayabusa, a character that wasn’t even introduced in the prequel but was present on the selection screen, and there was also a second season for Iroha. None of the characters in The Men of Yoshiwara: Ohgiya features a second season and no “surprise” route is present, although many fans will tell you that there should be an extra route for Musashi, Kiyoha’s servant who watches over you and takes care of you throughout the game. There are even hints about other girls liking him but it is clear that he has affections only for you. They even reveal more information about Musashi throughout each of the routes!
However, we digress… The interactions between characters is a bit friendlier in The Men of Yoshiwara: Ohgiya compared to its predecessors with everyone behaving like friends rather than rivals constantly goading each other into competition. Gakuto and Takigawa may be the top geisha of Ohgiya, but they don’t act like rivals and instead, treat the top geisha of Kikuya as rivals. This was in greater contrast to how the geisha would behave around Kiyoha at the beginning or around other people, which gave you some perspective on their backstories later on.
One major improvement was the likeability system. It’s still rather easy to tell when the likeability goes up, but we enjoy that the numbers are more consistent than the last game. Instead of increasing by either 4% or 3% sometimes then 2% or 1%, The Men of Yoshiwara: Ohgiya has a more uniform system with choices increasing the likeability be 5-3-1%, which made it much easier to figure out if you made the right choices.
When it came to the geisha, they appeared to have rather similar personalities to the geisha of Kikuya. Takigawa is a rather bright looking bishounen whose rival is Takao from Kikuya, which made us wonder if they were the same in personality. The same could be said of Kagerou and Ageha, the two geisha in training in Kikuya and Ohgiya respectively. However, they couldn’t be any more different. Even their interactions in other routes were different where Kagerou served as a faithful servant to Kagura but rather spiteful of the protagonist in some routes, Ageha was constantly envying everything that was going on and wishing to do better when he debuted, with many references to his deflowering. Kagerou had appeared to have a few secrets in Kikuya, while we thought Ageha was annoying as heck and lacking in personality. With that being said, your experience with Ohgiya will be completely different Kikuya.
The Men of Yoshiwara: Kikuya was a rather lighthearted title where the idea that these geisha were slaves was merely in the back of your mind. The Men of Yoshiwara: Ohgiya takes on a darker tone. The character stories have greater complexity compared to their Kikuya brethren and you are reminded quite often about how these geisha are sex slaves who don’t have freedom. Unlike Kikuya, you do not even get a chance to see the geisha of Ohgiya outdoors as often unless you ask them to escort you outside the grounds. This can be seen with the writing style as Kikuya was full of really awful double entendres while Ohgiya actually does not talk about sex much unless in a rather dark context of women buying sex and the men being used as commodities. This can be seen in multiple sex scenes which occur quite early in the game as opposed to Kikuya where it is an act performed once the characters are in love. All the same, the sensual scenes that are described change greatly from the beginning and the ending as characters fall in love. It becomes less of a chore on both ends to something both participants choose willingly.
After playing through many of the routes, we have to say that our favorite route was our first one, Takigawa. Takigawa’s route was the one with the fewest grammatical errors (perhaps because of how mindful the developers were with this one) and the greatest amount of depth. Takigawa went through a lot and his interactions with Kiyoha reminded us of a shoujo manga’s romance unfolding in a game. As we played through other routes, we noticed how dark the stories could get and the backstories would explain much of the geisha’s personality. You remember just how hard geisha actually have it and how they end up in their situation. This has to be one of our favorite aspects of Ohgiya. It really pulled us in, especially Takigawa’s route.
Honey's Gameplay Consensus:
- 5 New Eligible Bachelors
- Colorful and artful character and costume designs
- Writing style is more enjoyable this time around with fewer mistakes, especially in Takigawa’s route
- More depth in the character stories
- Enjoyable main character with more personality and realism, though that can change depending on the route
- No cheesey double entendres
- Likeabilitiy Percentages are more consistent and uniform
- Around 20 hours of gameplay
- The game developers should have included a Musashi route the same way they did for Kikuya with Hayabusa
- Would have preferred to have sprites for more imperative characters who show up frequently like the mother and Ohgiya’s manager (who isn’t even named)
- No CGs for sequel or date scenarios
Honey's Final Verdict: