Hakuoki: Kyoto Winds – Review
Follow Genre: Otome
Developer: Otomate
Publisher: Idea Factoty
Platforms: PS Vita, PS TV
Tested on: PS Vita

Hakuoki: Kyoto Winds – Review

Site Score
8.0
Good: A lot of story lines, beautiful graphics and sound
Bad: Not really something
User Score
8.0
(1 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 8.0/10 (1 vote cast)

There are a lot of different genres out there and you might have already looked at or even played dating sim games. A specific part of this type of games is also referred to as ‘otome’ games, mostly meant for women who want to get some fun in love stories. Mostly, these titles are on the PC or mobile devices but that’s going to change with Hakuoki: Kyoto Winds. Now, a newer version is making its entry on the PS Vita. Are you ready to get swept away by twelve different routes?

Hakuoki: Kyoto Winds

Story

Hakuoki: Kyoto Winds takes you to the Bakumatsu era from the Japanese history, more precisely at the start of the Shinsengumi. This might actually ring a bell if you’re into this legacy and you’ll be pleased to hear that the commanders of the several squadrons are added. Of course, there are also some counterparts, like Sakamoto, so you have more than enough different possibilities.

You stumble on a rather tragic way in this story. You travelled to the vast city of Kyoto to find any clues about the whereabouts of your father. On your first day, things already go bad rather quickly and you witness some strange things. At least you have the help from the Shinsengumi, but don’t think you’re safe just yet…

Hakuoki: Kyoto Winds

Don’t expect to bluntly start a romance with one of the gentlemen but there is a complete story behind the scenes. Depending on the choices you make, you follow a different path towards your happiness. Once you start the game, it might be hard to stop playing because the narrative sucks you in and you want to know what happens next.

Graphics

One of the biggest assets of the game are the graphics as this is a visual novel. You’ll be presented with a handdrawn style and each of the bachelors have distinctive features. Although you won’t be able to walk around on your own, you’ll be drawn into this historical Kyoto. There are several different surroundings that will be thrown at you. Not only the streets, but also gardens or temples. On the foreground, your sweethearts are presented and depending on the conversations, the sprites change. Also, their mouths move with their voices and although it’s not really synchronous, it’s still a cool addition. In the end, everything is just one harmonious entity and will take you on a journey.

Hakuoki: Kyoto Winds

Sound

As we’re back in time, you will only hear tunes that fit this setting. Soft, classical music will reach your ears when you’re just talking with your friends while some more dramatic tracks are fired at you when you’re in a pinch. The ambience is also on point, especially thanks to the voice acting that was added. Each conversation will be guided by some rather animated voices that fit each character perfectly and will help you fall for a certain bachelor. When you’re talking or just reminiscing, it will be mute but that is actually a nice change of pace.

Gameplay

Hakuoki: Kyoto Winds is a dating sim where you need to find your way in a rather intriguing story. With some otome games, you have to choose beforehand for which bachelor you’re aiming for but this is not the case in this game. Here, you follow a story, presenting you with several actions you need to choose from. Depending on what you pick, you will follow a different path and get closer to one or more of the bachelors.

Hakuoki: Kyoto Winds

If you wonder what effect your other possibilities would’ve given you? Well, you can quick save and load whenever you want. This means you can go back a bit and shape the story how you want it. Of course, don’t forget to really save the game as well, otherwise you’ll get a cold shower when you return and find your progression gone.

If you’ve beaten the game once, it is possible to start from different points in the game, so you can start your romance from there on again. If you’ve already read certain parts, you can skip this by pressing the square button so you can get to the juicy parts faster. If you want to see your progression, you can go to the ‘Record of Warriors’ and at the top left is an indicator how your efforts are paying off. When you get closer to a certain character, you will also get special scenes and images which can be found in the gallery. In this version, a bunch of new guys are added for you to get romantic with, which is always a fun aspect.

Hakuoki: Kyoto Winds

Conclusion

If you’re into the Japanese history and like dating sims, then Hakuoki: Kyoto Winds is certainly a game to consider. You’ll be thrown into a world full of intrigues and cliff-hangers but where you have to find some romance. Get ready to sucked into a beautifully illustrated world, guided with great music and voices. Although you can only pick actions and read the conversations, you’ll be hooked in no time.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 8.0/10 (1 vote cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
Hakuoki: Kyoto Winds - Review, 8.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating

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