Hanako: Honor & Blade – Review
Follow Genre:: Action MOBA
Developer: +MPact Games
Publisher: +MPact Games
Platform: PC, PS4, Xbox One
Tested on: PC

Hanako: Honor & Blade – Review

Site Score
Good: Cool character design and abilities
Bad: Poor targeting and does nothing with its potential
User Score
(1 votes)
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VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 1.0/10 (1 vote cast)

Hanako: Honor & Blade is set in Feudal Japan, which is something that we see happening more and more. This theme is something that we’ve seen in Nioh, Ghost of Tsushima, For Honor, Shadow Tactics: Blades of the Shogun, and more. Honestly, who could blame the creators? The samurai and ninja warriors are impressive in their own way, always leaving a lasting impression that speaks to the imagination. In Hanako, you can play multiple kinds of Japanese fighters.



Outside of the very clear tutorial, the game doesn’t really have a proper fleshed-out story. This is quite logical for a MOBA game, one might say, but there’s also a background story to this game that involves the Hanako and Yamai clans battling for the future of Japan. This could become extensive lore at some point, and that’s part of why Hanako: Honor & Blade’s story could have future potential. The other part is that the game provides options for a multi-game “campaign” mode, a custom (private) P2P server mode, as well as roleplaying possibilities. At the time of writing this review, these online options are very much dead and we did not manage to test out more than simple battle games.


With slick environments and fast-paced animations, the graphics feel welcoming on every map. Throughout the matches, you’ll find long rows of stairs where teams run up and down, beautiful trees, pretty backdrops, and cool characters. The overall graphical design is quite nice, but it does have its rough edges and some animations are absolutely subpar in quality. That being said, while playing, it feels great to run around looking for a fight. The game really sets down a cool fantasy of what feudal Japan might have looked like, almost straight out of storybooks and movies. It’s a fair judgment to say that the visual representation is the best aspect of the game (for now).


The sound design of Hanako is a bit odd, to say the least. The musical backdrop is calm and almost meditative; if it were not the constant battle cries of other players and the screams of those who get slaughtered during the ongoing battles. It would have been nice to keep this type of music for the menus and choose something more action-packed for the actual matches. The sound effects, be it the aforementioned screams, or the clattering of weapons, are nicely designed.


The gameplay is comparable to games such as For Honor, though there’s more action MOBA gameplay in this game than there are strategic 1vs1 battles. Hanako is a game where two teams fight each other for objectives comparable to king of the hill, capture the flag, or deathmatch. While each character you can pick has its own set of skills, gameplay-wise the game feels a lot more like a hack & slash game. It’s a shame because the characters feel diverse and unique, making it somewhat a missed opportunity to dull things down to hack and slash mechanics. There’s Kenshi (Swordsman with a variety of attacks), Nagi (a tank), Ninja (a ninja with mobility hooks), and Ite (archer). Each character has multiple stances to fight from, which defines the attacks they can do. On top of that, you have skills that you can pick at your base, which include extra active skills, passives, and utility skills. Adding onto this, there’s a counter-attack, which, when timed well, leaves a single opponent open for repercussions.

Despite all these types of skills, when you try to hit somebody, you will just try to hack into them as you keep the right distance. Compared to For Honor, the game is definitely not as deep in its mechanics. There is potential to be found here, but it goes to waste by using simple hack and slash mechanics. It feels as if the developers had a lot of good ideas, but couldn’t properly implement them. A targeting system would already be an improvement, as you currently can’t lock on an enemy. We noticed a few bugs when it came to the bots, the menu design is often also very sloppy and this might actually also be due to the fact that the game has been in development for 14 years. While this might also mean that certain parts were forgotten after such a long time, it should have received a proper layer of polish before fully releasing this game after such a long time. While it may be possible that patches will be released in the near future, it might also be best to move onto other things after such a long development time.


Hanako: Honor & Blade feels like a game that has potential but simply does too little to impress. Even though there’s depth to be found in terms of the different classes and skills, the core mechanics make these somewhat useless as the game resorts to hack and slash battles, rather than tactical fights. We also regret that this game comes without more lore or a simple story. We also noticed several bugs present, which is a bit silly after 14 years of development. At the moment, the game’s highlights are the different environments it has on offer.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 1.0/10 (1 vote cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
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Hanako: Honor & Blade - Review, 1.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating

I'm a game designer, developer, and reviewer. I've been reviewing for 3rd-strike.com since 2017.

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