Hakuoki: Edo Blossoms – PC Review

Elly
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Elly

Reviewer at The Drastik Measure
Elly has done a variety of work within the industry, from PR/marketing and support, to content creation and counseling. Having loved video games ever since she was a kid, she's enjoyed watching them evolve to what they are today. Mostly known for her love of otome games, but she'll give any game that piques her interest a try!
Elly
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Genre: Adventure
Developer: Idea Factory, Design Factory
Publisher: Idea Factory International
Release Date: Mar 14, 2018
Edited by KnightAvenger

Ever since the journey of otome games in the West started with Hakuoki: Demon of the Fleeting Blossom, fans have embraced such games with open arms and yearned for more. It’s 2018 and we’ve been blessed with a variety of games for the crowd to enjoy, and there are even more coming our way soon! Hakuoki was most likely the first otome game most people have heard of and played, so when news of an updated version of the original came, most people were already onboard and ready for the wild ride that these hot samurai vampire husbands will present to the world!

The story of Edo Blossoms continues Chizuru Yukimura’s journey with the Shinsengumi as they look for her father who had mysteriously vanished. In the midst of their search, the Shinsengumi, with Chizuru at their side, took part in the Battle of Toba-Fushimi to decide the future of the Tokugawa Shogunate against the rising tide of Imperial Nationalism. Having been defeated and needing to retreat to a crumbling Edo, they are faced with a choice: discard their principles or give up their lives. Some of them had no such choice, and they cloaked themselves in darkness to protect the Shinsengumi’s darkest secret: the Furies. The story about a girl who allies herself with the brave warriors of the Shinsengumi, struggling to uphold their faith in an era of rapid social change in Japan, comes to its conclusion in this chapter.

Keep in mind that Hakuoko: Edo Blossoms is the second part of the update to Hakuoki, Kyoto Winds being the first part. If you haven’t dived into the marvelous world of samurai vampires, it’s advised that you start at Kyoto Winds first to get the full and best experience possible!

When the game starts, you can go straight to the character of your choosing without wading through choices to land on their respective route. This may please some people but will be a huge turnoff to others; after all, the thrill of selecting choices to unlock a route is what makes visual novels so exciting. Maybe if there was a way to use the save data from the previous game, it could take care of this concern, but who knows how difficult that is to do. Worry not, the game isn’t a kinetic novel since the choices you do make will still affect which ending you end up with.

The story continues where you left off from Kyoto Winds, revealing more content for you to unveil. As Chizuru travels with her chosen companion, the player will discover what will become of the Shinsengumi as they plunge deeper and deeper into the clutches of war. But what of the furies? What is their purpose? Will Kodo Yukimura ever be found? There’s also the mysterious Demons to worry about as well. Edo Blossoms delivers the answers to those questions and then some in this conclusive volume, and it does it with such finesse!

The charm of the Hakuoki series is that it delivers a bit of a history lesson along with a bit of a supernatural twist and a chance to romance very attractive guys! Kyoto Winds does focus a bit more of the historical aspect of it, while, in Edo Blossoms, you’ll see more romance from the guys. Combine the two games together, and it’s the perfect package! Some people might argue that there was simply no need to split up the game into two parts, but the amount of new content in the updated account of Hakuoki might have made it a tad too long to just have it in one single game. What kind of new content are we talking about here?

Why, it’s the new characters, of course! Hachiro Iba, Ryouma Sakamoto and Kazue Souma are the new guys that you can romance in Kyoto Winds and Edo Blossoms. They each have their own charm that players will fancy. However, let’s not forget that most important of all, there’s the inclusion of brand-new routes featuring characters fans know and love and have been waiting for the longest time for them to get their own routes. Shinpachi Nagakura, Keisuke Sanan and Susumu Yamazaki finally have their own routes! This is definitely the big draw to give both of these games a shot, which will give fans a chance to see a new perspective of the story.

That’s just some of the many changes that players will see. Not only do both of the games boast more content for the player to discover, but it also has a brand-new UI that is more pleasing to look at. Along with that comes the replacement of the music, which really does fit the game a lot more than its previous one, and it does a great job of matching the mood of the scenes, let it be heartwarming scenes or really tense ones.

I did find a few minuses to the game; there were minor misspellings and the volume of some of the characters’ voices was a tad too low, while others were BOOMING. Even with those, the games are definitely worth picking up.

Hakuoki remains a classic otome game that fans hold very dear to their hearts. If you haven’t experienced otome games and want to dip your toes into that world, Hakuoki Kyoto Winds and Edo Blossoms are great games to start out with. The update gives the series a fresh new coat of paint while still retaining the story fans know and love.

Pros:

  • Compelling story with more content due to the new characters and new routes
  • Updated music
  • Updated UI
  • Updated animations
  • Amazing voice acting
  • History and love; learn as you romance guys!

Cons:

  • Route is selectable right away instead of unlocking it in the usual way
  • Minor misspellings
  • Volume of some of the characters’ voices are too low

Elly gives Hakuoki: Edo Blossoms a Drastik Measure 9.5 out of 10.0 (95)

Idea Factory International did a splendid job with its localization, even with all the barks of laughter. Also, that collector’s edition of the game? My goodness, I have never seen such a GORGEOUS set! If you’re into otome games, you owe it to yourself to pick one of those beauties up as soon as you can. You can pick up the collector’s edition from Iffy’s Online Store for $72.99 (USD). If you just want the game, you can buy the game on Steam for $29.99 and on the Playstation Store for $39.99. There’s an additional Treasure Box add-on that you can buy that has even more stories to read; it’s $3.99 on the Playstation Store and $2.99 on Steam. Additionally, there are several bundle options available on Steam in which you can get the game + Treasure Box + Deluxe Pack that has a variety of art you can use for either a wallpaper on your PC or on your mobile devices! My personal recommendation? Pick up the bundle featuring both Kyoto Winds and Edo Blossoms to fully immerse yourself in all the games have to offer!

Bonus:

Keep an eye out for the trophies! They all have very amusing names which I’m sure you’re to enjoy!