Reviews: Hakuouki

Demon of the Fleeting Blossom

I'm surprised no one has tried reviewing this, but oh well.

I never heard of Hakuouki prior to purchasing the game. In fact, I was only looking around Gamestop out of boredom when I stumbled across it. I bought it on a whim, but the moment I opened the box and inserted the disc into my PSP, I was blown away and hooked.

I love me some history, and Hakuouki will make any Japanese history fan smile. You can see how careful the story was constructed with each historical event, and how they managed to squeeze the supernatural bits into the history. Not only that, but how the characters behave is, at least somewhat, close to how they actually behaved in history. Very little creative license was used, and for that, I applaud them.

Voice acting was incredible, images were beautiful, and the characters themselves just danced off the screen. The story was very "Japanese," if you will, as it was immersed head-first into the culture of that time. Someone did a lot of care to research this time period. Designs are respectful and appropriate for the era, and most of all, the characters were so life-like and real. Not to mention the entire premise made more sense than a game of Quidditch.

Now for the bad. Most of my complaints come from the lack of variety when it comes to background images and music. There would be the same image for a Kyoto hotel as there would be an Edo hotel. No change, not even the screens. The music was used for the same "danger" scene, no matter how "high" the danger was. Also, there was the lack of "feel" in some sense. Color draining, maybe some heartbeat sound effects, etc, but those are only minor nitpicks. Also, it came be hard to understand the story and interactions if you don't know Japanese culture and history at the time. Thankfully, the game does have an index so you can look it up, although it does break the immersion when you do that.

Final verdict: Buy this game. This is one of the best V Ns I've read. Although I haven't read many, I think some will agree that it is "good," at the very least.