Psychedelica of the Black Butterfly Review

2018-05-20-083051

PSYCHEDELICA OF THE BLACK BUTTERFLY

Release Date: April 27, 2018 (North America)
Developers:  Idea Factory, Otomate
Publishers:  Idea Factory, Aksys Games
Platforms:  PS Vita
ESRB Rating: T (Teen)

0000BUTTON

 

Aksys Games promised to release three otome titles as part of their 2018’s Summer Mystery Promo. As their first released title, Psychedelica of the Black Butterfly is an oddball among the usual otome labels that were recently localized this year.

Exploring the World In Between
As intriguing as the title sounds, this game draws you to a heart-rending story line of tragic mystery and offers one very unique way of playing it. That said, Psychedelica BB is not your average otome game. I’d like to think of it as one of those underrated visual novels that holds deeper meanings and weights very powerful messages coming from it’s well written routes. I consider the added side romance as a nice fluff to lighten up the game’s rather dark theme.

Psychedelica BB pretty much revolves around the theme of ‘death’ and ‘grief’. So if you’re uncomfortable with these topics, this game is probably not for you.

Walkthrough:
Common Route (Best Ending and Real Word Ending)
All Character Routes and Endings

 

Read the story synopsis here.

 

ART AND MUSIC
The game’s art style is one of it’s most appealing factor. It had a very remarkable aesthetic sensation that imbues the surreal world of the setting’s dream-like state. We have the artist, Satol Yuiga to thank for that. Looking forward to more of her works in the upcoming game Psychedelica of the Ashen Hawk this June.

Another aspect that captivates you to this game is its soundtrack. For the most part, I really enjoyed the game’s BGMs. It blended well with the mystifying atmosphere it’s trying to create. Here’s my fav track!

Voice Acting
One thing I noticed at the start of the game was the voiced heroine. It’s not every day that your main protagonist gets a VA so I was really excited how this one played out. Although I could not relate to Beniyuri (MC) on a personal level, I liked how her voice actor smoothly carries out her dialogues. It makes the player (you) really empathize with the character’s emotions.

Nakahara Mai “BENIYURI” – Nagisa (Clannad), Kaede Minami (Mirmu De Pon), Noi Kasahara (The Wallflower) 

Toriumi Kosuke “KAGIHA” –  Rei Mikuni (Collar x Malice), Shuu (Diabolik Lovers), Saitou Hajime (Hakuoki), Momochi Choujirou (Nightshade), Uesugi Kenshin (Sengoku Nightblood), Hideyoshi Toyotomi (Ikemen Sengoku)

Ishikawa Kaito “HIKAGE” – Alyn Crawford (Midnight Cinderella), Tobio Kageyama (Haikyu!), Tenya Iida (My Hero Academia)

Hosoya Yoshimasa “YAMATO” – Luka (Amnesia Crowd / World), Loki (Kamigami No Asobi),  Yukimura Sanada (Ikemen Sengoku) , Yusuke Asahina (Brother’s Conflict)

Matsuoka Yoshitsugu “MONSHIRO” – Arata (Arata The Legend), Takuru Miyashiro (CHAOS Child)

Tetsuya Kakihara♥ “KARASUBA” – Victor Frankenstein (Code Realize), Shin (Amnesia Memories), Toki Tanba (The Charming Empire), Isora (7’sCarlet) 

 

ROUTES AND MAIN CHARACTERS

2018-05-20-144447

Recommended Play Order Below:

1)Common Route
2)Kagiha
3)Hikage
4)Yamato
5)Monshiro
6)Karasuba

Following the play order above is the easiest, most convenient way to unlock all of the character’s endings as well as the common route’s best, good and real-world ending. I don’t think there’s a ‘True Route’ in this game so you can deviate whichever character you want to play first. However, be aware that when aiming for some of the character’s  “True Ending”, you are required to unlock another character’s route beforehand. For example, Yamato’s true ending can only be obtained if you’ve finished Kagiha’s route.

Also, I believe this game only had ONE Happy Ending. (sarcastic laugh) image No kidding! I’m not saying the rest are bad either but they are definitely NOT ‘happy’ so to speak.

 

Characters (SPOILER FREE)

KAGIHA

  • Eldest
  • Big Bro
  • Route Message: “Acceptance”

It is almost impossible not to do Kagiha’s route first nor unravel this character’s story as he was very much involved in the main plot (Common Route) and pretty much the rest of all the routes in this game. Kagiha is considered the big-brother-type character of the bunch. He’s usually that guy that puts a stop to playful fights (initiated by Karasuba and Yamato). He’s also genuinely very affectionate and gentle towards the heroine.

Kagiha’s story was very emotional. I cried after finishing his route. It’s pretty up there with the heavy drama that I’m almost certain will get your hearts bawling in the end. If you think Saint Germain’s route in Code Realize was heartbreaking, try this one on for size! 

2018-05-22-222657

 

HIKAGE 

  • Leader-ish
  • Cunning
  • Route Message: “Letting Go of the Past”

I’m actually glad I played Hikage’s route second. The thing is, there are certain short stories you’ll need to watch to get this character’s ending. Tip: Knock out all of his short stories and clear Kagiha’s ending and you’ll have no problems running his route smoothly. Hikage’s character was also very much involved in the Common Route. His plot twist was really unexpected that I was actually caught off guard on my first playthrough. In his route, there were a few easter eggs that were brought up which I really enjoyed, like the picture book story about the “Psychedelica of the Black Butterfly” (Yes! the game title itself! lol). IMO, the fable somehow explains Hikage’s true feelings and anguish towards his past and present.

2018-05-26-203955

 

YAMATO

  • Hates the sound of rain
  • Lone Wolf
  • Route Message: “Guilt

Yamato’s character was my favorite since he was the most realistic character in the game. He starts off as this really irritable persona who’s always getting agitated during the game’s premise, but later on softens up after talking to Beniyuri and regaining parts of his memories. His behavior in the manor was deliberately explained during the real world ending (Why he’s always so desperate to go back to the real world, why he hates the sound of rain, etc.). This is why it is a prerequisite to unlock the Real World Ending first before jumping into his route. Yamato was also a very flawed character from the get-go (one, I can personally relate to),  his story merely gravitates towards his feelings of guilt and despair due to his past actions which he fully regrets. His story conclusion was either to wallow in guilt and grief (Bad End) or to continue moving forward (Good End).

2018-05-28-214046

 

MONSHIRO

  • Fox boi
  • Aloof
  • Route Message: “Trust”

Another favorite character of mine, in Psychedelica BB. Monshiro is the mysterious fox masked stranger who appeared at the start of the game rescuing Beniyuri and Hikage from the manor’s lurking monsters. He is one peculiar character that kept reappearing in the common route trying to get close to the main protagonist by helping her in any way he can. He doesn’t talk much and appears to have an attachment towards Beniyuri and Yamato. Because he’s always used to being alone, it was very difficult for him to interact with others, making it a little awkward whenever he does. 

Monshiro’s route probably had THE best pacing in the game~ I was at the edge of my seat while playing his story.

2018-05-28-213656

 

KARASUBA

  • Biggest Flirt
  • Yandere
  • Route Message: “Denial”

Karasuba is one happy go lucky character and the easiest going of the group. He’s usually found butting heads with Yamato and continuously flirts with heroine all throughout the story. Despite his cheerful facade, Karasuba is actually one deep character and the jolly personality he’s fronting is his way of hiding the skeletons in his closet. Karasuba’s true ending was also the most difficult to unlock (to me anyway lol) as you’re required to watch almost all of the short stories and clear other routes beforehand. I did like all of his endings, including his ominous bad endingimage(laughs). I was also satisfied to unlock his good ending as it clearly redeems the character’s good side through the heroine’s help.

2018-05-27-204125

 

BENIYURI (Main Heroine)

  • Character  Message: Repudiation (refusal to accept the truth)

beniyuri

Besides having the weirdest name I’ve come across with for an otome heroine, Beniyuri is a kind, patient and optimistic protagonist and I like her own strength and sense of determination in the game. That aside, this heroine can also become a bit nosy, reckless and way too trusting not knowing her naivety can hurt her in the long run.

Beniyuri may not be the best otome heroine, but still one great likable character in Psychedelica BB. 

 

 

FLOWCHART AND MINI GAME
Playing this game requires you to navigate through a flowchart system. I don’t really find this troublesome at all since it kind of works to the game’s advantage when trying to determine the story branches you’re in as well as getting to the endings you’re aiming for. I guess the only con I can point out regarding the flowchart system is that the side stories won’t automatically play when you’re going for a character’s route. You will need to load the flowchart and unlock the short stories to watch them separately. So to those who are fond of auto-plays, this may come out a bit bothersome, but you’ll get used to it eventually.

Butterfly Hunt Mini Game
You will only get to play this mini-game on chapters 2:2 and 4:1. The game requires you to hunt for ‘monsters‘ in the form of butterflies, locking targets to shoot them. The trick is to lock as many targets as you can before firing a shot, that way you’ll get more points than usual. You’ll need to aim for a score of A or S to unlock trophies (on PSVita). You’ll also need these points when unlocking short stories in the flowchart.

You will also get to choose who to pair up within this mini-game. All your partner ever does really, is cheer for you lol. 

 

GAME TRAILER / OPENING MOVIE

 

OVERALL THOUGHTS?
The entire gameplay for Psychedelica BB is a bit short (20-30 hours) which kind of works for me since I’m not too fond of really long play runs. To me, PBB is a game with good pacing and one REALLY impressive story-line that’ll get you all them FEELS. It also offers great valuable lessons in life that got me deep in thought after finishing the game, and I really love it when a visual novel does that.

Although the romance was given less emphasis, I still enjoyed playing Psychedelica of the Black Butterfly as a whole and wouldn’t mind playing it again… *cough* after I get this big lump of nail off my chest *cough* 

I will admit, it’s not my favorite but it did come close to my top five. It may be underrated (as it seems), but I believe this is one great game that fits its full pricing. If you’re a visual novel fan who enjoys a very “human” story with relatable characters and don’t mind melancholic endings, this one is definitely worth picking up.

 

Chlo’s Rating: 7/10

The Men of Yoshiwara: Kikuya – Tokiwa Walkthrough

30716048_132114280973783_1546483123309510656_n

TOKIWA – Second best courtesan in Kikuya

NOTE: This guide is for the SUPER HAPPY ENDINGTo get the HAPPY ENDING CG,simply start from Chapter 13 (likability should be  at 0%). It shouldn’t matter what your last two choices are. 

 

Chapter 1
-It’s the first time
-I’m scared…but…

 

 

Chapter 2
-It’s because your face is very beautiful
-Yes

 

 

Chapter 3
-I couldn’t forget about yesterday
-Brush his hand away

 

 

Chapter 4
-Call out to him
-I’m really curious
-Is there a reason that you told me this?

 

 

Chapter 5
-Why don’t you let it go outside?
-I think it will look really good on you

 

 

Chapter 6
-Are you okay?
-Fret over it

 

 

Chapter 7
-Please tell me anything
-Say you love him

 

 

Chapter 8
-Just nod since there’s nothing that can be done
-I’m serious now

 

 

Chapter 9
-You can’t lose
-…

 

 

Chapter 10
-I’ve fallen inlove with you all over again
-Please wait for my reply

 

 

Chapter 11
-Keep staring at him
-I can’t leave you, Tokiwa-san

 

 

Chapter 12
-Try to say something
-Tell the truth

 

 

 Chapter 13
-I wish I could
-I love you

 

 

-Super Happy Ending-

 

 

HAKUOKI Kyoto Winds – Sanosuke Harada Walkthrough

2018-08-23-204019

SANOSUKE HARADA

GOOD ENDING:

CHAPTER 1
-Attempt to explain my situation.
-Gave up
-Search the compound
-No, I can’t
-Quietly return to my room
-Thank you
-Join them on their rounds
-No, I’m not

 

CHAPTER 2
-Remain in the compound
-Why me?
-Yamazaki, you should go
-Head the the Ikeda Inn
-… follow Harada
-… want to come
-To Kuge Gate
-Get rid of Shiranui
-Want to watch over everyone while you’re gone…

 

CHAPTER 3
-Return to my room
-Go outside
-We all wish for the same thing
-Stay
-Didn’t move
-Have faith in Harada
-Yes, please
-It’s not any of my business
-Their interest in me
-The notice board
-Strange
-Did I really look that unhappy?

 

CHAPTER 4
-The soldiers
-Someone close to the people who were leaving
-Yes
-Go find the others
-You don’t even know anything
-Trust the Shinsengumi
-I like eating with other people
-Still wanted to help
-Convince Heisuke
-Tried to negotiate with the demons
-I’ll stay here.

 

CHAPTER 5
-It’s hard to say
-Pretend to drink
-Run away

(Good Ending)

 

 

NORMAL ENDING:

Go to “Records of Service” in the main title
Load Harada Chapter 5 with LOW romance

-That’s pointless
-Run away

(Normal Ending)

 

 

BAD ENDING:

Go to “Records of Service” in the main title
Load Harada Chapter 5 with LOW romance

-That’s pointless
-Fight!

(Bad Ending)

 

The Charming Empire: Kagemitsu Togawa Walkthrough

2018100713090900-21DC55627B27A96C21194D6DBFB527E4

KAGEMITSU TOGAWA – Your childhood friend.

Take note, this is a walkthrough for the Happy End, to unlock the Normal End CG, just choose the opposite choices (the game only offers two choices).

 

Chapter 1
-The future

 

 

Chapter 2
-A sugar candy

 

 

Chapter 3
-“This is all new to me …”

 

 

Chapter 4
-“I’ve never seen this design”

 

 

Chapter 5
-“I was spacing out”

 

 

Chapter 6
-“I’m happy”

 

 

Chapter 7
-“You seem so tired… “

 

 

Chapter 8
-Left

 

 

Chapter 9
-“That’s embarrassing”

 

 

Chapter 10
-Hold his hand

 

 

Chapter 11
-“No”

 

 

Chapter 12
-“Why a revolution?”

 

 

Chapter 13
-“Forget the revolution”

 

 

Chapter 14
-Ask about the promise

 

 

Chapter 15
-“You do deserve it”

 

 

-HAPPY END-

The Men of Yoshiwara: Kikuya – Takao Walkthrough

takao

TAKAO – Kikuya’s number one courtesan.

NOTE: This guide is for the SUPER HAPPY ENDINGTo get the HAPPY ENDING CG,simply start from Chapter 13 (likability should be  at 0%). It shouldn’t matter what your last two choices are. 

 

Chapter 1
-Stare in awe
-Push him aside

 

 

Chapter 2
-I’m sorry
-Takao san

 

 

Chapter 3
-Yes…
-O-okay

 

 

Chapter 4
-Ask Takao to save you
-Don’t touch

 

 

Chapter 5
-Tokiwa-san said something mean
-Tell him that you scared

 

 

Chapter 6
-A noisy place
-Call his name
-Will still wait

 

 

Chapter 7
-You want me to make a move?
-It’s for you
-Surrender your body

 

 

Chapter 8
-I’ll think of a better way
-Try your best to buy his freedom

 

 

Chapter 9
-It doesn’t matter

 

 

Chapter 10
-I won’t dream anymore
-Won’t dissapear

 

 

Chapter 11
-I’m scared
-Accept

 

 

Chapter 12
-Me too
-Is it really okay?

 

 

Chapter 13
-I’ll go too

 

 

-Super Happy Ending-

The Charming Empire Review (Nintendo Switch)

29663051_104631953722016_3098547348950940533_o

THE CHARMING EMPIRE

Release Date: March 29, 2018 (North America)
Developer
OperaHouse, D3Publisher Inc.
Publisher: Dogenzaka Lab, D3Publisher 
Platforms: Steam, Nintendo Switch, Mobile (iOS and Android)
ESRB Rating: M+17 Mature

0000BUTTON

 

Walkthroughs:

 

STORY (From Nintendo Eshop Page)
“Our heroine, Amane Kosaka, was living a simple yet happy life in the countryside until one day she was suddenly taken away to live in the empire, summoned by her brother Soshi Amazaki — the current ruler. Though she was unaware of the underlying circumstances, she finds herself brought to this lively and palpable central city.
Living in the immaculate royal palace, our heroine comes to learn that the empire might not be as joyful as it seems.

Her brother is no longer the gentleman she once knew…
A corrupt organization secretly runs things behind the scenes…
The heroine’s fate guides her down the path of love.”

 

ART
The Charming Empire’s artwork was done by the artist, Fuji Mitsuya, a well-known mangaka responsible for most of the beautiful art covers of popular JP Drama CDs (e.g. Midnight Jiangshi, Majestic Crown). If you admire her works, you’ll definitely love the CG’s for this game. Although they fall rather short as expected due to the game’s plotline, they were all undeniably beautiful.

 

MUSIC AND VOICE ACTING
I like how catchy The Charming Empire’s intro music was. Their BGMs were pretty good too, an improvement from what they had with the Yoshiwara series. But what initially attracted me the most was the game’s voice acting from top-ranking seiyus in the industry.

31682339_143933436458534_6172184221319168000_o

Tetsuya Kakihara “Toki Tanba” – Victor Frankenstein (Code Realize), Shin (Amnesia), Karasuba (Psychedelica BB)

Toshiki Masuda “Kei Yoshimine” – Ieyasu Tokugawa (Ikemen Sengoku), Yukimura (SLBP), Iori (IDOLish7)

Takuya Eguchi “Koichiro Sera” – Kazuki Hoshino (Collar x Malice), Nomura (Hakouki), Nagi (IDOLish7)

Toshiyuki Toyonaga “Kagemitsu Togawa” – Junichirou (Bungou Stray Dogs), Yuri (Yuuri on Ice)

Kenjiro Tsuda “Soshi Amazaki” –  Chikage Kazama (Hakuoki), Hattori Hanzo (Nightshade)

 

ROUTES AND CHARACTERS
While playing the game, I noticed how each route mostly follows the exact same story pattern: Get whisked away to the capital – become a royalty – romance with the guy you choose – a rebellion occurs – conclusion.

All of the routes were short that it barely gets you that connection to the guy you’re romancing. If it weren’t for their profound voice acting, the stories would’ve fallen quite flat and somewhat boring due to zero character development.

Characters
The only recurring characters of the game are Sochi Amazaki and Kagemitsu. The rest of the guys only appear in their routes alone.

 

spoilersss

 

TOKI TANBABad boy, Robinhood, Best Cook, Baumkuchen!

2018100713065900-21DC55627B27A96C21194D6DBFB527E4Toki is the handsome cafe owner you bumped into one day while you were secretly strolling off town. You became acquainted with him due to his friendly & flirtatious personality and eventually tried to help him out in his cafe by waitressing and washing the dishes (lol the things you do for a handsome stud)image. He is rather popular in town and is loved by his customers. He appears very kind towards you but actually has hidden motives which you’ll get to discover in the middle of his route.

 

KEI YOSHIMINEHot tutor, Smart, Talented, Tsundere as hell, Prince Charming, Pinky Swear, Best Boy!

2018100713080200-21DC55627B27A96C21194D6DBFB527E4Kei would have to be my favorite route in this game. Kei was a prince abducted from a land which Soshi’s family conquered and destroyed. He became a prisoner in the capital after that unfortunate incident and now he’s currently living as your private tutor with a fiery grudge against your own brother. Unlike the other main characters and their respective routes, Kei was probably the only one that developed a realistic romance with the heroine. His story didn’t feel too rushed and the bonding between him and the MC was more genuine. Kei’s story is also a good choice for your first route in this game.

 

KOICHIRO SERASilent, Cold, Serious, The Bodyguard, Samurai, Best Soldier, Sketchy af

2018100713083700-21DC55627B27A96C21194D6DBFB527E4
Sera is your faithful bodyguard who will watch you 24 hours a day and will never leave your side, ever! In his route, he was appointed by your brother Soshi, as your trusty bodyguard who needs to be with you wherever you go. This man is very devoted when it comes to his job. His bushido code is prioritizing your protection 24/7. I felt bad while I was playing his route mainly because of how Sera was starving himself just to watch over you (the guy eats one riceball every meal) imageSob! During his story, it was revealed that he was part of the rebellion group who plans to overthrow your brother’s regime. I didn’t quite like how it felt as if he was only using you so they can put an end to Soshi’s dictatorship. In the end, It feels like Sera’s feelings for you weren’t really genuine because he was way too distant to even develop a relationship with the heroine during his story’s transition of events. Oh well! (shrugs)

 

KAGEMITSU TOGAWAChildhood Friend, Substitute Tutor, Mr. Nice Guy, Boring.

2018100713090900-21DC55627B27A96C21194D6DBFB527E4Kagemitsu is your childhood friend and also your brother Soshi’s best friend and right-hand adviser. I was kind of interested with this character at first but was surprised at how bland his story turned out. Since you’ve always known him and liked him for the way he was, his route poorly falls into the typical childhood friend trope cliche. Again, the romance felt too forced. The only interesting part about Kagemitsu’s route was how involved it was with Soshi’s underlying story. It may be better to play this character prior to Soshi since their stories felt somewhat connected.

 

SOSHI AMAZAKI Has Trust Issues, Cold, Cunning, Bipolar (but not really), Incest (but not really)

2018100713100100-21DC55627B27A96C21194D6DBFB527E4Soshi probably has the most interesting story among the main characters. Mainly because he was considered the bad guy in other routes. By playing his route you’ll get to discover his side of the story. Soshi also offers a little bit of character development as he starts cold towards the MC (you) but then, later on, develops warms feelings as he tries to open up to the heroine. I kinda like Soshi’s story. It had a couple of plot twists and I was satisfied with the way it ended. The only downside in his route was how pathetic the heroine was in this story that it gets overly annoying playing her character. (Rolls eye)

 

TRAILER

 

OVERALL THOUGHTS?
I really couldn’t say anything more other than how simple this game was. Perhaps if you’re looking for an easy short read that’s not too engaging (you can literally finish one route in an hour), this game is a good candidate.

Personally, I love the voice acting best as well as this game’s art style. But story-wise, it’s painfully predictable that it gets boring at times to a point where you literally don’t care how it ends. I really don’t think it’s worth the full price. So if you’re concerned with getting your money’s worth, I don’t recommend buying this game unless it’s on sale. Despite the mediocre story writing, the game had a few pros up its sleeve such as having very little typos, and I did enjoy two routes (Kei and Soshi). On a side note, if you’re a fan of the seiyus: Tetsuya Kakihara or Kenjiro Tsuda, this game won’t be so bad as you think it’d be.

 

Chlo’s Rating: 4/10

The Men of Yoshiwara: Kikuya – Kagerou Walkthrough

76207e71af4e12dcb2deaea07b431e530953a00b_hq

KAGEROU – baby courtesan in training.

NOTE: This guide is for the SUPER HAPPY ENDINGTo get the HAPPY ENDING CG,simply start from Chapter 13 (likability should be  at 0%). It shouldn’t matter what your last two choices are. 

 

Chapter 1
-Apologize for your faults
-I won’t tell anyone

 

 

Chapter 2
-Play it off as a coincidence
-What a wonderful sentiment

 

 

Chapter 3
-Say thank you
-…

 

 

Chapter 4
-Is it something precious?
-See how things go

 

 

Chapter 5
-Hold his hand back
-Is there another way to get out of Yoshiwara?

 

 

Chapter 6
-He was kind to me
-We’re around the same age

 

 

Chapter 7
-Say no
-Call his name

 

 

Chapter 8
-Gently stroke his cheek
-Don’t worry about me, worry about yourself

 

 

Chapter 9
-I’m sorry for keeping it a secret
-I like you Kagerou-san

 

 

Chapter 10
-Yes…
-Okay

 

 

Chapter 11
-Worse than yesterday
-Accept it obediently

 

 

Chapter 12
-Hold his hand back
-Calm down

 

 

Chapter 13
-Quietly nod
-I can’t do that

 

 

-Super Happy Ending-