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Hakuoki: Stories of the Shinsengumi

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GF Rating
4.8

146 ratings

Critic & User Reviews

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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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GF Rating
10

Perfect

Otome are story based video games

posted by groundfighter (PEARLAND, TX) Jun 5, 2014

Member since Mar 2012

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

Otome (????? otome gemu?, lit. "girl game") are story based video games that are targeted towards a female market. Generally one of the goals, besides the main plot goal, is to develop a romantic relationship between the female player character and one of several male, or occasionally female characters. This genre is most established in Japan, and is mostly made up of visual novels and simulation games.
My wife recently "gameflyed" this game and loved it immensely, this is not a normal style video game, but if you love Anime and/or historical Japanese samurai stories, this is an awesome use of Gamefly...

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GF Rating
8

Very Good

HAKUOKI: STORIES OF THE SHINSENGUMI

posted by NINJAKU (ELKHART, IN) May 12, 2014

Member since May 2014

4 out of 5 gamers (80%) found this review helpful

FIRST OF ALL, THIS IS NOT A GAME. IT IS A JAPANESE GRAPHIC NOVEL ON DISK WITH A FEW CHOICES TO DIRECT STORY ARC. THIS STORY REQUIRES ALMOST ALL READING. THAT BEING SAID, I FOUND AS I PROGRESSED THROUGH THE STORY I ENJOYED IT MORE AND MORE. FOR THOSE WHO HAVE THE ABILITY TO SIT AND READ A GOOD STORY ON THE PS3, THIS IS AN INTERESTING EXPERIENCE THAT I WOULD ENCOURAGE.

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GF Rating
2

Really Bad

This is a game?

posted by brandone (JESSIEVILLE, AR) May 8, 2014

Member since Aug 2009

1 out of 6 gamers (17%) found this review helpful

I thought at some point I would be able to "play". This is a choose your own adventure book in visual form.

The story was interesting at first, but it began to get very long winded and the "choose" part was few and far between.

If you like to read A LOT, then you might enjoy this "game". I'm going to give it a 2, and that's being nice.

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GF Rating
1

Horrible

Was not a game I would recommend to anyone

posted by NetFlixMike (CHULA, GA) Oct 6, 2014

Member since Aug 2014

This was an awful game. It was more like a video with a VERY FEW options to change the storyline. Most definitely not worth the wait nor the time it took to go back. Please save yourself the aggravation and bypass this for a much better game. If I were to rate this game I rate this game on the negative, I am glad I have 2 games available otherwise I would have burned this at the stake.

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GF Rating
10

Perfect

Great Game!

posted by yukimasahiko (COLUMBUS, OH) Sep 22, 2014

Member since Sep 2014

This game is great as long as u keep in mind that its more of a novel story arch and some choices u get can determine your ending. Great characters and I love the history in it I looked some of it up after beating it. So I know it does have a lot of history in it the romance choices in it i loved each one in there own way. This isn't really a spoiler but I do wish Sannan was romance able lol.

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GF Rating
6

Above Average

A visual Romance Novel, and Little Else

posted by Leo_Bottoms (LA HABRA, CA) Aug 3, 2014

Member since Jan 2013

It is quite clear this game was misplaced in the action section when it truly should have been in something along the lines of Simulation, as the game is at its core a visual novel and one that seems to emphasize explaining what the individual says before they say it which gets very tiring.

And as far as visual novels go, this is one that certainly wouldn't appeal to my heterosexual tastes as the main character is a girl crossdressing in feudal Japan who can romance one of six different love interests. Wacky Shenanigans to ensue! But the wackiness that would encourage further reading is bogged down by aforementioned needless explanations. Luckily, the in-game encyclopedia is helpful to anyone who isn't familiar with the time period or the phrases used, which makes the game more enriching than standard visual novel fare possibly.

On it's own as a game, however, it's guaranteed to give hours of fun same as a book would, but it'd be one of those corny romance novels with the Hercules in a torn shirt on the cover. So if you're into that kinda thing, then this'll be the best you'll come across on Gamefly, possibly.

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GF Rating
4

Weak

Read only game

posted by hadren (ROY, UT) May 19, 2014

Member since May 2014

this game is like one of those books where you read so far in and you get to choose what to do and the story goes from there you don't get to play at all, it is a great game if all you want to do is read but there is no player control'd action

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GF Rating
1

Horrible

All Reading; No Playing

posted by DrJMaster1 (ASTORIA, NY) May 19, 2014

Member since Apr 2010

Just to let you know, this "game" consists of nothing more than reading. If you're looking to read, this is the best game ever! If you're looking for ANYTHING ELSE, this is not the game for you.

Do you like to run? Not the game for you.
Do you like to battle? Not the game for you.
Do you like to play the games you rent? Again, this is not the game for you.

Do you like to read?!?! Well then YAY! This game is the winner!!!

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GF Rating
1

Horrible

Just no

posted by damianrock (DULUTH, GA) May 13, 2014

Top Reviewer

Member since Nov 2007

You already know this is a book, not a game. You already know its aimed at girls who like boys who look like girls. All that might fine, but there are no animations just still frames with moving mouths. There is no text to voice - you have to read and cannot jump the text ahead. And for a "choose your own adventure," there are no decision trees outside of three choices. This game is bad.

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GF Rating
1

Horrible

Piece of junk

posted by Schtiv (CAPE CORAL, FL) May 12, 2014

Member since Apr 2010

Nothing fun about this at all. I thought it was a game but I was very wrong. Like others have said, this is a chose-your-own-adventure story. The only thing you do is click a button.

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GF Rating
2

Really Bad

very grateful for gamefly

posted by pembohemia (SILVERDALE, WA) May 10, 2014

Member since Mar 2005

In my opinion this "game" is not a game at all. It's really a novel where you can choose options from time to time. If reading is you thing it's a cool. But I like a little more action and button mashing fun. If I would of bought this game I would of been furious. With gamefly I got to preview it and realize it's not my kind of game.

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GF Rating
1

Horrible

. . . .

posted by LilMaverick88 (NEW LLANO, LA) May 9, 2014

Member since May 2014

This game was a mistake to rent.

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GF Rating
1

Horrible

If you like dating Japanese anime guys.

posted by xphantoman (ORANGE PARK, FL) May 9, 2014

Member since Mar 2011

If you like dating Japanese anime guys. this game is for you. I don't even think this is a game. It is more like novel reading with colorful background.

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GF Rating
1

Horrible

Why is this considerd a game?

posted by SoDrab (COLUMBUS, OH) May 9, 2014

Member since Nov 2012

This "game" is litteraly 100% dialogue, there's no actual gameplay. You sit there tapping "x" the entire time reading dialogue and selecting choices that decide what gets said next. If I wanted to read a book I'd pick up a book!

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