[Otome Game Review] Hakuouki Shinkai Kaze no Shou

August 5, 2017 at 9:12 pm | Posted in Games, Otome Games | 5 Comments
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Localized in the west as “Hakuouki Kyoto Winds”, Hakuouki Kaze no Shou is the first half of Hakuouki Shinkai, the remake of Otomate’s most popular game. This is my review of Kaze no Shou, the game that got me into a drama because some people thought that I was discouraging others from buying and supporting the game when I tweeted “Don’t play Hakuouki Kyoto Winds unless you want to be left hanging until they release the second part (god knows when)” sigh sigh sigh ( ´_ゝ`)

Possible spoilers and a bit of complaining ahead!

How is Hakuouki Shinkai different from the original Hakuouki game?

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  1. New characters were added. Three of the new characters have routes: Iba, Souma, and Ryouma (the oniichan childhood friend, the kouhai, and the flirty daddy. Otomate sure knows the popular character tropes).
  2. New routes were added. Aside from the three new characters with routes, Yamazaki, Sannan, and Shinpachi also get full routes in Shinkai. Kazama also gets a full-length route now.
  3. The art was changed a bit. They altered (ie the colors) of the outfits of the characters. The new artist improved but there are still weird CGs, like that CG in the Omiya incident (Sakamoto Ryouma route, like where tf is the hand). There are also CGs which were obviously copied from Kazuki Yone’s original art smh.
  4. Some BGMs were changed, some new ones were added. I’m not sure about this, but I think the BGM of Shinkai is a bit different? So even with similar scenes, it really feels that you aren’t playing an exact game as the original.
  5. Background animations, eye blinking, and mouth blinking. There’s also a sword effect now and I love it IT’S SO BEAUTIFUL ;;w;;
  6. Some scenes and CGs from Zuisouroku were included. This made the routes of each the original guy even longer. It’s also really cool because we now know when those Zuisouroku scenes happened exactly in the story.
  7. The affection meter. The affection meter now features the different stages of sakura blooming which I think is really cool (`・ω・´). But it took me three routes before I figured this out though ww

 

What do I think of Hakuouki Kaze no Shou?

It’s a real drag to play because the game is literally just playing common route twelve. fckng. times!! もう飽きたよ!What’s more is that all the routes end with the Shinsengumi’s departure from Kyoto to Edo, so you are left hanging until you get to play Hana no Shou. Like wtf is this bs??? You don’t do this to otome games. This isn’t a freaking YA book that you can end in a cliffhanger so people will buy the next installment. You need to at least show us one complete route, no??

I mean, yeah sure, you can split Hakuouki Shinkai into two, or even three or four games because other companies (cough*Honeybee*cough) do that too. But don’t split it in a way that all routes are only half routes! Even Hana Awase has full routes in each game so the game didn’t feel incomplete. Otomate could’ve just… put six FULL routes in one game and the other six in the other. Lots of otome games are like this (eg: Starry Sky, Taisho Alice) and I wouldn’t complain (okay, maybe only a bit) even if it has twelve games but has at least one complete route in each game.

What are new the routes about?

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Nagakura Shinpachi (CV: Tsuboi Tomohiro)

Nagakura acts as Chizuru’s older brother figure. He doesn’t want to rely on the ochimizu; however, after the Yodo castle betrays the Shogunate, his team, together with Gen-san and Chizuru, got cornered and they were shot by the Yodo soldiers. A dying Gen-san then makes the unconsious Nagakura drink the ochimizu, turning Nagakura into a rasetsu even without his concent.

Sannan Keisuke (CV: Tobita Nobuo)

After the fall of Toba Fushimi, Chizuru tries to escape to Yodo castle, only to meet Kaoru along the way. Kaoru brings her to Fushimi Inari, where her father Koudou is waiting for her. Sannan then arrives, and Koudou tells them that he left the Shinsengumi five years ago in order to start on a bigger rasetsu project. Koudou invites Sannan to join him in his rasetsu research, and says that he will wait for Sannan’s answer.

Yamazaki Susumu (CV: Suzuki Takayuki)

In Shinkai, we get to know that Yamazaki actually wants to fight along with the others but as the Shinsengumi’s spy, his orders to him are always about collecting information. Near the end of his Kaze no Shou route, as the Shinsengumi are escaping to Osaka castle, Kazama attacks them and Hijikata decicdes to drink the ochimizu. However, Yamazaki stops Hijikata from doing so, saying that it’s not the vice commander’s duty to fight in the shadows. He then drinks the ochimizu in Hijikata’s place, and he becomes a rasetsu. Yamazaki’s moves are so damn awesome because holy sht ninja rasetsu !!

Iba Hachirou (CV: Mamoru Miyano)

Iba is that new guy who conveniently sees and finds Chizuru even during the tightest situations. As the next master of a dojo that has close connections with the Shieikan doujo, Iba is pretty close to the Shieikan people, especially to Hijikata. He also happens to be a hatamoto, meaning he’s actually a VIP. Basically, Iba route is the ☑ route where they connect the Hakuouki remake with Toki no Kizuna and ☑ he childhood friend route. He was Chizuru’s friend when she was still a five-year old kid in Edo, and he knows her secret about her wounds healing fast. After a clash with Takeda (the main villain in Iba route because he’s jealous of Iba’s VIP status of being born with a silver spoon) who has turned into a rasetsu and got the arm of the oni, Iba’s arm was severely damaged. With the help of Sen-hime and the Yase oni clan, Iba then drinks the ochimizu and gets the other arm of the oni so he can protect Chizuru. At the end of Iba’s Kaza route, he and Chizuru promise to meet each other again in Edo.

Souma Kazue (CV: Kaji Yuuki)

In history, Kazue Souma acted as the commander of the Shinsengumi after Hijikata was killed at Ippongi. In Souma route though, Souma route is the kouhai route (Kaji Yuuki calling me “senpai” I lyk 10/10 huehuehuehue). Souma first got the Shinsengumi’s attention when they found him carrying a drawing of a Shinsengumi rasetsu. After he was brought to the Shinsengumi HQ and questioned, he reveals that the drawing was actually made by his friend in Edo named Ibuki Ryuunosuke. Later, he’s invited by Kondou to join the Shinsengumi, where he and fellow newcomer Nomura were assigned as Kondou’s page, thus Souma becomes Chizuru’s kouhai. Near the end of Souma route in Kaze no Shou, Miki (who hates the Shinsengumi to the core after they killed his oniisan Itou), forces Souma to drink the ochimizu after he thought that it’s poison. Souma then becomes a rasetsu.

Sakamoto Ryouma (CV: Ono Daisuke)

Ryouma route has lots of history so it’s fun to read the details if you know more about the historical Sakamoto Ryouma. They did really well in writing this route because even the smallest historical details were put very smoothly in the story, like the Teradaya incident scene and Omiya incident scenes.

After being assassinated in the Omiya incident, Ryouma and his friend Nakaoka were “revived” by Kaoru, turning them into rasetsu. During the betrayal of Yodo castle, Ryouma appears as one of Koudou’s soldiers and takes Chizuru, but later also frees her and escapes with her from being held captive by Nakaoka and Koudou. At the end of his route, Ryouma says that as a man who is already considered dead and this can no longer be part of history, the only thing he can do now is to stop Nakaoka and Koudou’s rasetsu army. Chizuru decides to stay with him.

Kazama Chikage (CV: Tsuda Kenjirou)

Compared to the original, Kazama route is now longer and has a more solid plot. Here, Koudou explains that he created the ochimizu to revive the almost wiped out Yukimura oni clan. As the head of the Yukimura clan, Chizuru vows to stop Koudou’s rasetsu project. (Also let me mention that I like the bad end in this route because siscon Kaoru huehuehue)

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Conclusion

If you read my Hana no Shou review/tweets, you’ll know that I really enjoyed playing Hana. But my stand still does not change:

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5 Comments »

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  1. THAT IS THE METER?! WELL THAT IS GOOD TO KNOW, THANKS. (^^;;

    *also I love this franchise so much, omgosh*

  2. Ah yes that dumb twitter drama >_<;; But great reviews by the way. I'm kinda over Hakuouki (liked the first game, but that was enough for me haha). But I may or may not give it a second chance now! When you say "Some scenes and CGs from Zuisouroku were included", does that mean both games don't contain ALL the Zuisouroku stuff? :O

    • It doesn’t contain all the Zuisouroku stuff, I believe. I watched the anime that was based from Zuisouroku and some scenes/stories, particularly the story when Chizuru dressed up as a geiko, aren’t in Shinkai. I wish it was in Shinkai too though!
      Hakuouki Shinkai is still good (if not for that stupid game split) with lots of new additions so I’m sure you’ll still enjoy it even if you’re already over the series XD I’ve also already said that I’m so done with Hakuouki but I still can’t help but love it again when I played Hana no Shou ;;w;;

  3. Yeah, this review pretty much matches my thoughts. Plus it kind of stinks they held off releasing this in the West until just when the combined PS4 version was announced in Japan.

    • I thought of it as a way to get more money: people bought the vita version which is two games before they knew there will be a PS4 version with combined games in one 😂 I really hope IFI will release Edo Blossoms soon though, because it’s not fun to wait after that cliffhanger in Kyoto Winds ;;;


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