Hakuoki: Edo Blossoms (PS Vita) Review

By Drew Hurley 02.04.2018

Review for Hakuoki: Edo Blossoms on PS Vita

While the female otaku of Japan seem to be focusing more on the browser/phone game Touken Ranbu than the classic otome games, there are still plenty of hot new otome titles hitting on both sides of the pond. Leading the way here in English is this second part of the remaster of the beloved original Hakuoki story. Last year Hakuoki: Kyoto Winds told the first half of that original story, adding new stories, fleshing out characters and adding all new routes to this overhauled version. Now Edo Blossoms is telling the second part of that story, and again bumping up both the presentation and the content.

First off, do not play this without playing the original or last year's Kyoto Winds. This is not the type of game that someone new to the series can just jump straight into. This story picks up after the Shinsengumi, along with Chizuru, have fled from their trek to Kyoto and returned to Edo. They spent four years in Kyoto, attempting to find Chizuru's father and facing off against the forces of the Imperial Army. It's a sad situation for this new story to pick up on. The party returns home to Edo to find the world has moved on without them.

Upon starting the game, there are thirteen different routes to choose from - these being the iconic members of the Shinsengumi from the original; the proud hero Hijikata, the happy-go-lucky Toudou, the constantly happy Harada, and the rest of the wolves of Mibu. The routes play out mostly as they did in the original, but with some extra scenes and fleshed out moments, along with the options of changing the outfits of the characters. These only equate to ten of the thirteen routes, however, the others consisting of three brand new bachelors.

Screenshot for Hakuoki: Edo Blossoms on PS Vita

These new characters will give audiences plenty of new fodder to fight over who is #bestBoy, with the same signature bishi designs series fans have come to adore. First up is Hachiro Iba, a kind and gentle man who just happens to be Hijikata's childhood best friend and one of the Shogunate's guards. Next is Kondo's page, Kazue Souma, the man who became the final commander of the Shinsengumi; a constantly straight-laced warrior that focuses on training and becoming stronger above all else. At this stage in his career, where he's still a page, he's soft and eager to prove himself, starting with reporting to Chizuru. Finally, there is the best of the bunch, Ryouma Sakamoto, a revolutionary with the heart of a Westerner. His views clash with most of Japan, including the Shinsengumi, as he thinks Japan should become a democracy. His story is the most unique from all of the other bachelors' stories; new and original.

Vita has always been the best home for these visual novel games and this latest instalment of the fan favourite otome game shows why. The visuals look fantastic on the OLED screen, whether in regard to the sprites or the CGs. For those who have played through the game before and possibly don't enjoy each and every route, or for those who want to speed along playthroughs to rack up the endings, the skip feature is available from the start. This allows the story to be skipped up to each dialogue choice section.

Screenshot for Hakuoki: Edo Blossoms on PS Vita

Cubed3 Rating

7/10
Rated 7 out of 10

Very Good - Bronze Award

Rated 7 out of 10

Hakuoki: Edo Blossoms is potentially the best otomate game made thus far and is in its finest possible form here. The extra bachelors give fans a new perspective on a now old story. With the Vita on the way out and a new Sony handheld seemingly unlikely, visual novel fans should rejoice in these stories while they have a chance. That being said, the format of the game makes little sense, splitting the story in half like this and punishing fans. Forcing loyal fans to purchase two games when they could have delivered a complete edition is not ideal… The new bachelors make up for it somewhat, at least.

Developer

Design Factory

Publisher

Idea Factory

Genre

Adventure

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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