Koihime Enbu (PC) Review

By Ian Soltes 05.02.2017

Review for Koihime Enbu on PC

Based off the Koihime Musou visual novel, Koihime Enbu takes the various generals of the classic Romance of the Three Kingdoms characters and recasts them all as girls. Boasting a decently robust system and fairly solid action combined with the obvious fan service and an interesting 'tactics' mechanic, this puts its best foot forwards, for better or worse.

Fighting games hold a fairly inherent problem. While to the trained eye that can flawlessly pull off Ivy's Summoned Suffering on a whim the vast variety may be different, to the untrained eye many fall into the same category. Sure, there is the big difference between a title like Soul Calibur and Street Fighter II and most casual players can easily tell how Tekken is different from Mortal Kombat - for many the variety of games are a vast mire.

Screenshot for Koihime Enbu on PC

Maybe that's why there seems to be plenty trying to draw in an audience with an all-female cast. However Koihime Enbu already had an audience; sort of. Based off a visual novel, the game takes the various characters of the classic Chinese saga of the warring kingdoms, and makes them all school-girls. This results in some interesting set-ups but does not alter one simple underlying fact. To the untrained eye the biggest difference between Koihime Enbu and the many other fighters is that all the fighters are girls.

That doesn't mean that there is a lack of depth (far from it), but rather, that the basic set-up for the fighting is one seen plenty of times before. Attacks come in three varieties, there are some throws, hold back to guard, etc. However to hold it to such a simplistic degree is doing it a dis-service. Each girl has her own unique weapon, which, by merely existing, sets this fighter far apart from many others in the genre. With the varying reaches and strengths of each weapon this ends up probably being the closest thing to a new Soul Calibur for the immediate future.

Screenshot for Koihime Enbu on PC

This mechanic and each girl's assortment of complimentary powers (especially in the form of tactics), turns it all into a bit more of a tactical fighter as opposed to a combo machine. With each attack the girls will fill up a bit of a bar called Tactics, which, when filled up to certain amounts, can be expended for various effects, such as quickly chaining up an enemy, or super-powerful moves. The exact method depends on the girl, but the simple fact of its existence nudges each girl in a direction to make them far more distinct in their fighting style than many characters in many similar titles.

However, this does not change the underlying problem. Despite the attempts to set itself apart, this is still a fairly classic 2D fighter, through and through. While there is some technicality and distinction, it's not enough to truly make it stand out in a crowd. This brings up the second aspect, the characters and plot, as the only way to make this game truly unique.

Screenshot for Koihime Enbu on PC

The Warring Kingdoms era is an interesting one that, while it's not as known in gaming as the Japanese Sengoku period, it's still fairly popular and distinct thanks to series like Dynasty Warriors. As a result playing the main story feels… interesting. The best way to present it to a western audience is, well, imagine if the American Revolution/French Revolution/Crusades all got a fighting game, yet instead of George Washington, King Richard, or the like, it was Georgia Washington.

Now imagine playing that story and trying to line up the various school-girls to various events like when Beatrice Arnold defected from the American Revolution, or Robin Hood snuck into Princess Jane's archery contest. Even for those not well-versed in history, it provides a set-up which can be described as neither good or bad, but, rather… "interesting."

Screenshot for Koihime Enbu on PC

Cubed3 Rating

7/10
Rated 7 out of 10

Very Good - Bronze Award

Rated 7 out of 10

Ultimately, Koihime Enbu is meant for a specific audience; fans of Koihime Musou who desired a fighting game. Genre fans may enjoy the title, too, as it does boast a solid combat system and some good distinction to set itself apart from "Generic Fist Punching Guy Fighter #82" due to using weapons, special moves, and the tactics bar - but it's not going to suddenly be drawing in crowds en masse.

Developer

Unknown Games

Publisher

Degica

Genre

Fighting

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  7/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

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