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Hakuoki: Stories of the Shinsengumi

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GF Rating
4.8

146 ratings

Critic & User Reviews

GF Rating
10

Perfect

Uniquely Japanese game brought down by Gameflyers

posted by TheShiv0724 (NAPA, CA) May 20, 2014

Member since May 2014

13 out of 13 gamers (100%) found this review helpful

DISCLAIMER: For the purposes of getting the game its proper overall rating I've given the game a 10 but the TL;DR score would be about a 7.5 out of 10. Now onto the rant.

This is my first review on GameFly and I really wish it was because I could tell you it was because of how amazing the game is. The truth is, I was urged to write a review out of offense of players not giving this game its due. Hakuoki is not a traditional game, there's no combat or multiplayer scoreboards or living the Male Power Fantasy. This is a Visual Novel, an style of interactive story games rarely seen here in the West with maybe the closest analog being the Phoenix Wright games. Even more so, it's an Otome game, a Japanese term for a game directed at girls, specifically a teen to young adult demographic.

So the fact that most of the reviewers excuse for giving this game a one being "All you do is read," or "You just date Anime guys," is frankly insulting for giving a bad score for WHAT IT'S PURPOSE IS. You watch a story unfold and make occasional decisions that change its outcome, exactly what it says on the box.

As for the story itself, its very well voice acted, though there's no English dub option, graphicly it lacks but the art design makes every Shinesngumi captain look unique and endearing in some way and while the decisions you make don't come as often as they could (and occasionally don't explain exactly what their outcome will cause, resulting with a tendency to Save Scum), the story is engaging, which is important since that's the main focus of an Otome Visual Novel.

All in all, I'd give this game about a 7.5 as it is a very, VERY niche game but does itself well enough. However, as you might see my score above, I'm giving this game a perfect 10 as a hope to make Hakuoki get the true rating it deserves.

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GF Rating
10

Perfect

It's an Otome game

posted by Kaioken13 (ARLINGTON, WA) May 10, 2014

Member since May 2014

3 out of 3 gamers (100%) found this review helpful

I just wanted to say this is supposed to be an otome game. It is meant to be aimed towards female gamers. Its filled Bishies (pretty boys) that you can try to date. It is meant to be a visual novel and that is made clear in the description. This game has you decide between two or three different actions. Each choice leads to a different arc and there are good endings and bad ones. That’s it. There is no fighting or walking around because there isn’t suppose to be.

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GF Rating
10

Perfect

Great Choose Your Own Adventure Virtual Novel

posted by VellBell (SAINT HELENS, OR) Jun 6, 2014

Member since Jun 2014

2 out of 2 gamers (100%) found this review helpful

If I can say anything about this game, is do not let the score or the negative comments fool you. If they rated it so lowly because they couldn't "play a game", it's only because they can't read descriptions. That is not the fault of the game, but of those who jump to conclusions. Now, to the real stuff!

This game is a remake of sorts, on the original 3DS title. Yes, it's a visual novel. It has a few choices every so often that affect the outcome of the story. The game has 6 routes it can ultimately follow, but numerous endings among those routes. The stories themselves can be very beautiful and moving.

And despite what some others have said, it DOES have a skip option. Or rather, a speed up option that makes going through the "game" again for other routes very handy. It will of course "slow" again automatically when you come to a choice, or dialogue that hasn't been said before. Also, the text speed can be changed via options, so a fast reader isn't hindered by anything other than their own ability to hit the continue button.

As far as looks go, this game is beautiful. It's not animated, but instead relies on gorgeous still pictures, or the classic 3D character models on screen while "speaking". The game portrays the atmosphere well within this medium.

As far as what this game has above it's 3DS predecessor, there's plenty. It has content that was never seen outside of Japan. There are MANY new side events to read through, many being humorous or just plain cute! Also, there are side events for characters that weren't featured as one of the "bachelors".

Keeping in mind that this IS a Virtual Novel, and it IS intended for a female audience, this game really is great. It also makes me hopeful that we'll see more virtual novels come this way, and not just otome games. I recommend this for any otome or book fan. Or for any girl looking for entertainment that doesn't have to come from slashing their enemies with a sword.

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