English Title: Hakuouki: Warriors of the Shinsengumi
JP Title: Hakuouki: Bakumatsu Musouroku
Platform: Sony PSP
Release Date: February 26th, 2013
In October, Aksys announced the newest addition to the English otome game market, Hakuouki: Warriors of the Shinsengumi. Only one thing could make this better: it could actually be an otome game.
Hakuoki: Warriors of the Shinsengumi Key Features:-From the Aksys Announcement
Two Major Storylines – Play through events of Hakuoki: Demon of the Fleeting Blossom with each of the six playable characters, or change history in “Shinsengumi Chronicle”!
Shinsengumi Chronicle – Change history as any one of the six main characters in “Shinsengumi Chronicle” mode. Play in an alternate universe where you control the fate of the Shinsengumi!
Shinsengumi Memorial – Step into the shoes of your favorite samurai and play through battles from Hakuoki: Demon of the Fleeting Blossom. Join in on the action as you battle your way through Kyoto in “Shinsengumi Memorial” mode.
Fury Mode – When a character’s life is spent, he will enter Fury Mode, unleashing an inner ferocious killing machine, able to tear down anyone that gets in his way. However, becoming a Fury too many times can unlock a particularly bad ending.
Slash & Slaughter with Furious Attacks – Each character is equipped with several different attacks, allowing players to plow through numerous enemies at once. Keep tabs on how many foes you’ve taken down, pick up dropped items, and level up to achieve even greater strength.
According to what I've read, the new game is going to be a hack-and-slash style fighting game, rather than a true otome game. At first I thought: I'll buy the game because a hack-and-slash Hakuouki sounds pretty interesting! Then, I looked up gameplay and realized I probably won't like this as much as I thought.
I've always thought the anime by Studio DEEN looked strange. Sadly, this is the game's main art style. I know they don't have much choice, but it's not Kazuki Yone's art. The graphics aren't stellar, either. All art related problems aside, I'm not sure if I'm buying it. It looks kind of boring, and just plain repetitive. I have mixed feelings. I just don't want to spend money on it.
While it is a new release in an otome game area, it feels like we've taken one step forward and two steps backwards. This is very bad in terms of otome game releases. Aksys is trying to broaden their market and make profit in an unknown field. If the game doesn't sell well, then it's a sign they can't make as large a profit as they wanted. Whether or not they would continue localizing games is questionable.
I want to support English releases as much as I can, in hopes other companies will catch on. If I do buy the game, I'll let you guys know and do a review.