Hello friends! I’m sure you didn’t actually think the Hakuoki release would come and go without me having something to say about it, right? Of course not! I was lucky enough to snag a review copy of the game for the ever-awesome Game Critics, but unfortunately it hasn’t gone up on the site yet. But never fear – I have plenty of things to say about the game in the meantime.
First off, I had the fabulous oppertunity to ramble about Hakuoki and all things otome with the lovely Lijakaca of Lijakaca’s Otome Gaming Blog. She is a mecca of otome gaming knowledge (her blog is a must follow for fans of otome games), so if you thought I knew what I was talking about, just you wait! (hint: I don’t, usually) We had a great discussion about the game itself and also delved into otome game topics in general, so if any of that catches your fancy, I heartily suggest you check it out! Click on the handsome Hakuoki men below to give it a listen! Please be sure to tell me what you think in the comments… I’m still very new to podcasting, so any tips you may have that I can keep in mind for future endeavors would be greatly appreciated.
- As if you couldn’t tell from the screenshots floating around the internet and the art above, the game looks gorgeous. Though I didn’t find the music particularly memorable, it wasn’t grating, either.
- The story is engaging, and surprisingly in-depth, particularly for a game where many assume the main goal would be to hook up with the guy of your dreams. That incentive is there, but the romance aspect of the game is actually not quite as prevalent as I would have thought – a bit to my dismay, but will probably make the game more palatable to those who are not as interested in drooling over 2D hunks as I am. All in all, I think Aksys found a nice middle ground by choosing this as their first otome game. And yes, there is swearing!
- Speaking of swearing, I was a bit iffy on the localization at times. Though it is undoubtedly written well, I couldn’t help but feel that Hijikata swore a bit too much and some of the written dialogue just didn’t match up with the spoken Japanese in a way that sat well with me. That said, it’s throughly enjoyable and immersive for an English-speaking audience, and I get that that is what Aksys is going for. Kudos to their awesome editor and translators for not botching it up.
- So far, I’ve only “gotten” two of the six obtainable guys. I’ve done Heisuke’s good and bad endings, and Hijikata’s good ending. Though I liked Heisuke notably more than I liked Hijikata (he’s a real jerk), I didn’t find either of them to be particularly great. I hear Souji’s where it’s at, so I plan on making him my next conquest. For those of you wondering how much gameplay there is – one playthrough probably takes anywhere from 5-8 hours depending on who you choose, with Hijitaka’s story being the longest. Once you’ve played through the 1st four chapters for one character, you’ll probably want to skip through most of the dialogue during subsequent playthroughs, which cuts down on your play time significantly.