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QuillPenMonster's Hakuouki Shinsengumi Kitan Game Review

Hakuouki Shinsengumi Kitan

Hakuouki Shinsengumi Kitan game Review

Chizuru Yukimura has come to Kyoto looking for her father, a doctor who has gone missing. While there, she witnesses a fight between an oni and the Shinsengumi. Taking her into custody, the Shinsengumi debate on what to do with Chizuru when they discover that she is the daughter of the doctor they are also looking for.

Story & Playability

When I picked up Hakuoki, I had no clue what I would be getting into. However, I can safely say the first five minutes of gameplay had me hooked and continued to draw me in as I progressed further on into the story and, eventually, the arcs.
From the beginning of the story, you, as the main character, are immediately drawn in to the bloody world of samurai, confused and lost and all alone. As you move on in the story, the world around you becomes more realized and dangerous, yet the VN also gives you a break a few times with some light-heartedness. However, when the bell tolls, and tragedy strikes, you truly feel like you're losing a friend, as by then, you've gotten to know this character and feel horrible that they are no longer with you.
As for the characters, each bearing their own unique personality without following the cliche tropes. Each character, main or side, has their own view of the world, and as you play further on, you begin to understand that. Hakuoki also, by my own personal research, keeps mostly faithful to the historical Shinsengumi, even done the fights and who gets injured.
Each character behaves in a realistic fashion dictated for that era. Some might say the main heroine is plain or too weak, but unfortunately, that was the general idea of the female population. But each of our guys didn't just fall in love with her, and the main heroine along with her chosen man face difficult challenges that are addressed in character and logically, according to each guy's version of logic.
Each of the routes has a different story line, although I need to stop parading Hakuoki around to admit that this isn't necessarily a good thing. While each route brings something new to the table, I feel that certain routes lost some parts in order to keep each route "fresh." Some characters disappear entirely from the story after being introduced, while others take a turn for the worse to serve the main villain.
Finally, the culture this game follows. Sure, if you're not Japanese or versed in the history, you might be confused by a lot of things. Thankfully, the translators were kind enough to give us some bits of history that are placed in the menu to ride as side bits, shown by red highlighted text. While it doesn't cover everything, it does help in keeping pace.

Rating: 8

Graphics

As for the art, it is simply gorgeous. I can't stop staring at these images.
Okay, enough fangirling. The characters are given anime style designs with watercolor to give it more of a historical feel. The backgrounds are also watercolored and are historical accurate in appearance and design.
Facial expressions for each character is distinct to their personalities. Trust me when I say that Souji's smirk and Kazama's smirk give you different vibes.
However, the negatives to this is that the images are somewhat limited. Sure, we are given day and night versions of scenes, some backgrounds are used as repeated, even though they're in a different city. Also, sprites lack battle damage or mood changing features, such as the screen becoming black and white or such. However, that is simple nitpicking and isn't necessarily needed.

Rating: 9

Sound

The voice acting was superb. Veteran actors bring the characters to life and jump right out of the screen. I love Showtaro Morikubo and KenjirĊ Tsuda the most, but everyone brings out the characters to make them appear at their best, whether it be angry or playing around.
The music on the other hand was less than superb. While it is a nice track to listen to, by the time you've gone through your third playthrough, you'll probably muting the tracks. They use the same music for the same type of scenes, not caring over how climatic the scene is. The same danger music is used for every danger scene.
That's not to say the music is terrible. In fact, it is very befitting of the scenes and time frame. It simply needed more variety.

Rating: 7

Fun

Over all, I loved it. Sure, there were routes I slugged through and some I felt were too short, but I generally enjoyed my experience with the same.
For enjoyment, I would say to any history lover and samurai lover, this is for you. You will enjoy it, even if the romance doesn't interest you. For humor, there isn't much, but when it comes, it is nice to see in an overall depressing story.
As for the concept, it did a great job in being realistic with each character and the romance was one of the best I read, as each character approached the main heroine in their own unique fashions.
I give it a 8.75/10, but because I am a fangirl, I mentally give it a 10/10 and tell everyone to play this game to join the growing cult.

Rating: 8

Final Verdict

8.00 (good)

Reviewed by QuillPenMonster, Nov 26, 2013

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