Otome Games in Nintendo Switch (English)

Otome Game in Nintendo Switch (1)

Since the Vita apocalypse has finally dawned upon us, a lot of otome fans in the west were left hangin’ in the dark after Sony’s big announcement on shutting down production of physical PS Vita games. With this shocking news set to place, localization companies such as Idea Factory Intl. and Aksys Games, who’s known for bringing popular otome titles to the west has ceased to announce any otome games this year. Discounting Code Realize: Wintertide Miracles ofc! (the only confirmed Otomate title that will have a physical release this coming 2019).

So where does that leave us otome fans?
While there are still a lot of otome games that are digitally making their way to the west through different medias (PC, Steam, mobile and Switch), this post will be touching up on the ones that are available in the Nintendo Switch console.

Below I’ll be listing down all otome titles that are currently available in the Eshop (NA and EU):

 

The Men of Yoshiwara: Kikuya

0000kikuya
Game Review
Voiced? NO
Price: 19.99 USD
Chlo’s Rating: 5/10

Comments: I personally, liked this game because of its *cough* steamy content and beautiful art. Some routes were great, while others were boring. It is a bit expensive though for a non voiced tittle.
Recommended routes: Kagura, Kagerou, Takao.

 

 

The Men of Yoshiwara: Oghiya

0000oghiya
Game Review (in progress)
Voiced? NO
Price: 14.99 USD
Chlo’s Rating: NA

Comments: In terms of the game’s sound and mechanics, I find this one better than the first Yoshiwara series. Story wise, I’ve only finished Takigawa’s route so I can’t really spell out any thoughts if this game was better than its predecessor. I do like Oghiya MC more than Kikuya MC.

 

 

The Charming Empire

0000charming
Game Review
Voiced? YES
Price: 24.99 USD
Chlo’s Rating: 5/10

Comments: The only thing I liked about this game were the voice actors and the artwork. The story was super bland and most of the routes ended in a rush.
Recommended Routes: Kei Yoshimine, Soshi Amazaki

 

 

Pub Encounters “Dandy Shot”

0000pub
Game Review (in progress)
Voiced? NO
Price: 16.99 USD
Chlo’s Rating: NA

Comments: I kept putting this game down for some reason lol. I’ve been hearing a few mixed reviews regarding Dandy Shot (Pub Encounters). Most of the reviews were actually quite good, as long as you don’t mind romancing older men (chuckles). I’ve only finished Yuze Ryunosuke’s route, he’s the tsundere and his story wasn’t so bad.

 

 

Destiny Princess

0000detiny
Game Review (in progress)
Voiced? NO
Price: 14.99 USD
Chlo’s Rating: NA

Comments: One gripe I have for this game was that, because it was a mobile port the CGs on the Switch looked really weird and stretched. The game has an interesting prologue and I’ve actually enjoyed its steamy content.^^; I’ve finished three routes so far. Some were good, while others were meh.
Recommended Routes: Nobunaga

 

 

The Amazing Shinsengumi

0000amashin
Game Review (in progress)
Voiced? NO
Price: 11.99 USD
Chlo’s Rating: NA

Comments:  I’ve played the game’s prologue and it was boring as heck. I haven’t started a route yet but based on hearsay (from the otome community), this game apparently borders a bit on “rapey” scenarios? Haha if you’re someone’s who’s uncomfortable with that, it may be best to stay out of this game.^^;;

 

 

Ayakashi Koi Gikyoku

slide_keyvisual4
Game Review
Voiced? YES
Price: 24.99 USD
Chlo’s Rating: 3/10

Comments: This game had great voice acting. That’s it. Story is bad and translations are the worst.

 

 

Gakuen Club

gakuennnclub
Game Review
Voiced? YES
Price: 24.99 USD
Chlo’s Rating: 5/10

Comments: This game wasn’t so bad. It had some good routes worth checking out and the art style was really beautiful. But since all the main characters were younger high school  teens, the game didn’t appeal to me as much.
Recommended Routes: Saku Takizawa, Toma Sakai

 

 

Iris School of Wizardry – Vinculum Hearts

H2x1_NSwitchDS_IrisSchoolofWizardryVinculumHearts_image1600wGame Review
Voiced? YES
Price: 24.99 USD
Chlo’s Rating: 5/10

Comments: Just like Ayakoi, the translations were pretty bad in this game but the story itself was fairly decent. I loved the game’s shoujo manga art style and I believe I’ve enjoyed a couple of routes on this one.
Recommended Routes: Matias, A-Jay, Iris

 

 

Kitty Love – Way to look for love

eb50ae2fb02cf04ea7bc39f49c896934ca64825f_s2_n1
Game Review
Voiced: YES
Price: 24.99 USD
Chlo’s Rating: 6/10

Comments: Again, the game’s english subs needed proof reading on this one. However, I was able to chug it all up because the story was so cute. The game’s art style, music, voice acting and enjoyable stories were its redeeming qualities.
Recommended Routes: Kohei, Takuma

 

 

Nightshade (Coming Soon)

0c860e8c-1e5e-4eb3-9bd7-33abf2bc076bGame Review 
Voiced: YES
Price: 47.99 USD
Chlo’s Rating: NA

Comments: The Nintendo Switch port for Nightshade, will officially release this coming Dec. 20, 2018. The price listed above is for the (Western Release) digital copy of the game you can purchase from the Eshop. There will be no physical copies available for NA, EU, AU region. If you wish to import the physical copy of the game, the price may vary depending on the website you’re ordering it from or the (proxy) shipping method you’ll be using.

 

line

There you have it! So far, these are the current (English) Otome games available on the Switch Console. There’s probably a couple more Operahouse (mobile) games that’ll be ported to the switch soon (I’m pretty sure they’re working on Spiral Memoria right now and possibly Yumemidori Nostalgia) but no official news has been released yet, so this is all just mere speculation. *wink*

While Otomate, Japan’s leading company in producing otome games are slowly but surely moving to the Nintendo Switch as their main visual novel console going forward, there has yet to be any announcement whether any of their old and new titles (for the Switch) are getting localized.

If you’re curious which games (Non-Otomate titles included) are currently available in the Switch eshop Japan, here’s a list below for both physical and digital releases:

(The list below does not include the games that were already localized)

  1. Code Realize Saiko no Hanataba – link here
  2. Hakuoki Shinkai Fuka Den – link here
  3. NORN9 LOFN – link here
  4. Beast Darling! (Digital) – link here
  5. Nil Admirari no Tenbin – link here
  6. Cendrillon PalikA – link here
  7. Sangoku Koi Senki – (Nov. 22, 2018) link here
  8. Yoshiwara Hinganbana – (Dec. 20, 2018) link here
  9. Nightshade “Hyakka Hakuru” – (Dec. 20, 2018) link here
  10. La Corda d’Oro Octave – (Feb. 14, 2019) link here
  11. Harukanaru Toki no Naka De 6 – (Mar. 3, 2019) link here

For other Otomate upcoming 2019 titles, you can refer to these following posts:

If you think I’ve missed on some other titles (I’m pretty sure I did lol), please do let me know so I can update this list.

Kitty Love – Way to look for love Review (Nintendo Switch)

206eac1fe686ed9830cc0bcf71743f239f6ad509_s2_n1

KITTY LOVE – WAY TO LOOK FOR LOVE

Release Date: Novemeber 1, 2018
Developers: OperaHouse Inc.
Publishers: OperaHouse Inc., DIGIMERCE
Platforms:  Nintendo Switch
ESRB Rating: E (10+)

0000BUTTON

 

Just like Iris School of Wizardry ~ Vinculum Hearts, the game Kitty Love or Nyan Love “Watashi no Koi no Mitsukekata” (original tittle), was recently released to the Nintendo Switch console this year, although the game has been around since the year 2014 as a mobile port.

 

Walkthroughs:

 

STORY
Honoka Shinota (main protagonist) works at a flower shop and spends everyday working hard at her job.
Then one night, at the park she always visits, an odd-eyed black cat cursed her into becoming a cat at night and human by morning.
“There’s only one way to break the curse”, the black cat said… and it is…

――True love’s kiss.

 

If you’re curious about the game’s localization, specifically, if the english subs have improved, my answer is nada. It is the same ol’ inconsistent subs from the last game Iris School of Wizardry Vinculum Hearts. A couple of typos and misspellings, some misused prepositions, a few lost pronouns here and there, you get the gist! It is tolerable so to speak and you can still follow through the plot if you have the patience for it, that is. lol ヾ(´∀`) Ha…haha…
Did this threw you off? If not, please continue reading.^^

 

ART AND MUSIC
The game’s artwork and character design was beautifully done by Japanese illustrator, Nami Hidaka – you can view her official page here. If you’ve played a couple of OperaHouse’s otomes before, you’ll recognize some of their bg stock images that were re-used in this game (totally understandable for a game that used to be a mobile port).

The theme was really cute – that I found myself humming the OP and Ending theme a couple of times. lol

Voice Acting

072f66e4e15ef9486e7b8a03b6734e8d3803331f_s2_n1

Soma Saito “Takuma Suguri”  Mineo Enomoto (Collar x Malice), Levi (Psychedelica of the Ashen Hawk), Rem Kaginuki (Dance with Devils), Sota (Possession Magenta)

Atsushi Tamaru “Kohei Natsume” Tsukimi (Koroshiya to Strawberry), Kasuga (Variable Barricade)

Hiroki Yasumoto “Shogo Fujimoto” – Razel (Lamento Beyond the Void), Karasuma (7’scarlet), Hyuga Shinobu (KLAP)

Maeno Tomoaki “Kyosuke Kawahara” Arsene Lupin (Code Realize), Onigashima Houou (Kenka Banchou Otome), Keisuke Sanjou (Collar x Malice)

Sakurai Takahiro “Narumi Saijo” Alma (Bad Apple Wars), Astrum (Period Cube), Ruki (Diabolik Lovers), Rui Sagisawa (Nil Admirari)

 

MAIN CHARACTERS (Minor Spoilers)
There’s no recommended route order in the game, However, just be sure to play Saijo’s story last, to avoid unwanted plot spoilers in the beginning. I played and enjoyed mine in this following order: Takuma — Kohei — Kyosuke — Shogo — Saijo.

I promise to keep the spoiler contents to a minimum below, but i’m still putting up my spoiler banner to  remind ya’lls to proceed and skim with caution.^^ 

spoilersss

 

TAKUMA SUGURI

  • Flower shop owner
  • Loves Chinese food
  • Secret past

Takuma is the owner of “Flora”, the flower shop Honoka works at. He is a warm, friendly and understanding boss who seems to be very gentle upfront. In almost every route in the game he remains supportive towards the heroine (to a point, where he even acts as a wingman for the other guys, in their respective routes).

2018110419182500-DC7F497D6B03628BCFC1F74A235534C0

I played Takuma’s route first because I am forever thirsty for Soma Saito and he seemed like a good character to start (as suggested by the game). Despite his bright and gentle demeanor, I was anticipating  some yandere tendencies in his route as he appears to be hiding something deviant up his sleeve. To my surprise (or rather dissapointment, lol) Takuma is not yandere nor even close to one (laughs). He was however, revealed to be a delinquent in his past, which made him reluctant in admitting his feelings towards Honoka, fearing she will never accept him and that he’s not deserving of someone like her because of his “bad record”Aww. What I really liked in Takuma’s route was how his romantic relationship for Honoka developed. It was so endearing to see him realizing his feelings for the heroine as he tells cat Honoka at night how he’s beginning to fall in love with human Honoka. (*≧ω≦*) The fluff content of this route was pretty up there and his “happy ending” was surprisingly badass and def something to look forward to.

 

KOHEI NATSUME 

  • The childhood friend
  • Tsundere

Kohei is Honoka’s childhood friend. Because they grew up together in the same hometown, the heroine thinks of him as her big brother. In reality, Kohei secretly has a crush on Honoka, but decides to keep his feelings under wraps afraid it might ruin their friendship.

2018110419203100-DC7F497D6B03628BCFC1F74A235534C0

Kohei’s route was full of fluffy surprises and was probably my favorite in the game. I’m usually not a fan of the cliche “childhood friend trope” but if there was one that was done right, Kohei’s story def takes the cake! Kohei and Honoka’s relationship build up was paced really well – it was so adorable – that I was grinning the whole time playing his route. Kohei Natsume’s tsundere nature makes him a darling of a character and it was so fun seeing him secretly hide his fascinations for all the neko he comes across with. It is also in this route, that the heroine reveals a traumatic past experience that involves her relationship with cats. Though Kohei’s happy ending  is the best ending for his route, his normal ending was fairly as good as the other, so really, it doesn’t matter which ending you unlock as both of them were quite satisfying, so to speak. ♡(。- ω -) Out of all the guys, Kohei was perhaps the biggest cat mom of the bunch! lol He even has a membership ID at the neko cafe near his workplace.

 

KYOSUKE KAWAHARA

  • Club Viola’s #1 host
  • Loves musical instruments

Kyosuke works as a host at Club Viola. He often visits Honoka’s flower shop  to buy bouquets for his lady clients in the club. Besides his secret love for cats, he’s also secretly passionate about making music.

2018110419223900-DC7F497D6B03628BCFC1F74A235534C0

In his route, Kyo, through cat Honoka’s support made him realize that his true calling was to become a musician instead of a club host. I think one of the main highlights in Kyosuke’s route was his playful teasing and banters with human Honoka which I believe brought them closer together in his story. This is also the only route where the main guy gets into a nasty rivalry with a (spriteless) side character, who almost harassed the heroine out of spite. I like Kyosuke’s character development for the most part as he shares his deep passion for music with cat Honoka, and at the same time continues to care about human Honoka, despite her shady disappearing acts (as she turns into a cat at night). My only gripe about this route, was that it had the most awful translations in the game that even the fluff content nor Maeno’s adorable voice acting couldn’t make up for it. Ah well… ┐(︶▽︶)┌

 

SHOGO FUJIMOTO

  • Mr. Kuudere Police man
  • Loves kawaii things

Shogo is the quiet police officer who often visits Honoka’s flower shop on his patrol route. Despite his stoic appearance, Shogo actually likes cute things and even collects adorable little knick-knacks (like knitting accessories and cat albums), he normally keeps in his room.

2018110419214600-DC7F497D6B03628BCFC1F74A235534C0

I find Shogo’s route a little amusing because contrary to his serious manly appearance (not to mention his deep sexy voice, that makes you weak in the knees uwu), inside, is just one big fluffy husbando who finds interest in everything kawaii. The guy has a set of pink flowered china at home for goodness sake! Bless him! (ノ´ヮ`)ノ*: ・゚ During his route, an old lady found Honoka in the streets after she transformed into a kitty for the first time, and took her to the police station. There she meets Shogo, who immediately took a liking at neko Honoka because of her cute appearance. After finding out Shogo’s unlikely adorable side, Honoka became more curious of the man so she decides to visit him every night (in her kitty form) at the police box he’s stationed, to get to know him better. Shogo’s story was cute although I wasn’t quite convinced why he fell in love with human Honoka that fast??? But hey, he broke Honocat’s curse with his luscious kiss in the end and that’s all that matters. Nyanhaha!

 

NARUMI SAIJO

  • The mysterious flower artist
  • Spoilers! Spoilers! Spoilers!

Saijo-san is the famous flower arranger artist who’s a regular customer at “Flora”, the flower shop where our main heroine works. He seems aloof at times and has this mysterious aura surrounding him. ***I couldn’t really talk more about his route without going into spoiler territory, so brace yourself!

2018110419234500-DC7F497D6B03628BCFC1F74A235534C0

If Sakurai’s voice didn’t obviously gave it away hopefully his character’s eyes did (laughs). Saijo Narumi is the odd-eyed black neko who in the prologue cursed Honoka to transform into a cat at night. His main reason for doing so was that a long time ago, his owner/master married a woman who was typically only using the poor guy for money and one day abruptly left him for someone richer. As a result, his master grew sick, heartbroken and eventually died. Upon witnessing the cruel nature of the woman that betrayed his master, Saijo developed this seething hatred for them, became a nekomata and randomly, out of spite cursed someone (Honoka) in the belief that because she’s a woman, she can easily break the spell by choosing a guy to fall in love with(ಠ_ಠ). Uhh..not cool mr.cat person sir! In the long run, he realized he made a grave mistake as he’s seen through Honoka’s struggles and became aware that not all women are the same.

For some reason, Saijo’s route was the only story that had angst… and I wasn’t ready for it! lol Both his endings were left a little open-ended and although I liked that it was bittersweet, I’d much prefer the other route’s fluffy endings better.^^

 

honoka

HONOKA SHINOTA (Main Heroine)
Seriously though, what’s not to like about a cat MC?! (chuckles) But in all honesty, I actually quite enjoyed playing Honoka as the main protagonist of this game. After turning into a cat at night, she could’ve just stayed at home and waited until she transforms back into her human form in the morning but nah brah… I think Ima go check out what my guy’s doing at his house…lmao! My kind of heroine! Her curiosity is definitely a winner!

 

 

 

TRAILER

 

OVERALL THOUGHTS?
It took me about 10-11 hours to finish the entire game. Each route has eight chapters which you can literally finish in two hours sitting. This actually worked perfect for me since I prefer my lighthearted novels short. Story wise, I absolutely loved it! I am just weak for cat daddies guys who adore cats and I believe this is one of the game’s prominent charms that’ll instantly draw your attention. Each stories were just too cute, I think I’ve enjoyed all of the routes but the ones that stood out to me the most were Kohei’s and Takuma’s.^^

The hype was real with Kitty Love and I’m glad I’ve played this game. It was very lighthearted with little to no angst at all. As someone who’s been playing  darker themed visual novels for so long, this was definitely a great switch up!  The art, music, outstanding VA’s, not to mention, the cute neko lovin’ stories were definitely the game’s highlights. If it wasn’t for the bad translations, Kitty Love would’ve been close to purrrrfection! Nyan.

Do I recommend this game? YES
Get it for the story, get it for the fluff content that’ll definitely put a smile on your face, get it to support otoge localizations. But get it, only if you have the patience to sit through the game’s lack of proof reading (you have been warned! lol). If not for the aforementioned issue, I would’ve rated this game a 7, but for now…

Chlo’s Rating: 6/10

Hakuoki Edo Blossoms Review

2018-09-11-204456

HAKUOKI EDO BLOSSOMS

Release Date:  March 13, 2018 (North America)
Developers: Idea Factory, Design Factory
Publishers: Otomate, Idea Factory International
Platforms:  PS VITA, Steam (PC)
ESRB Rating: M(Mature)

0000BUTTON

 

Read the game’s prologue here.

Walkthroughs:

 

ART AND MUSIC
As previously stated in my Kyoto Winds review, there were three artists involved in Hakuoki’s artwork. Kazuki YoneMiko, and Shiki Sakigumi. Most of the CGs are the same ones you get in the PS3 version of the game (Demon of the Fleeting Blossoms). The OP and ending themes for Edo Blossom were also done by the same composer and performed by the same artist of the game’s prequel. Listen to Edo Blossoms’ beautiful OP “Kaze no Nakade Saku Hana” on the track below:

 

CHARACTERS AND ROUTES (Spoiler Free)
I played the routes in the order that was suggested in the game (started with Hijikata and did Kazama last). Because it’s a sequel, there’s really no specific route order you need to follow as you will still be able to enjoy the stories regardless of which route you start or finish. My suggestion is to divide your favorites, where you play a fav guy first but also finish with another fav. so you’ll have that lasting “uwu” impression. (laughs) (*/ω\)

 

2018-10-02-213022TOSHIZO HIJIKATA
CV: Shinichirou Miki  –  Nesso Galland (Black Wolves Saga), Mr. Buckethead (Bad Apple Wars), Yuzuki Murakumo (7’scarlet)

Hijikata’s story was the longest in Edo Blossoms (five chapters), it’s also the only route with most endings (seven endings). 

Just like Kyoto Winds, Hijikata’s route was mainly the story of the Shinsengumi itself. It follows through the Shinsengumi’s activities the day they arrived in Edo and ended with their defeat in the Boshin war. One of the highlights of this route is Hijikata’s strong determination to fight for what he truly believes in despite standing on the losing end. Seeing this man’s strong resolution and will power, scene after scene was rather awe inspiring so to speak (it made me tear, sob!). I also loved how his romantic relationship with Chizuru developed in the long run, where It didn’t felt forced nor rushed. If anything, I thought it was actually very realistic. Hijikata longing for Chizuru was just so cute!

Story: 5/5
Romance: 5/5
Kissing CG: YES

 

2018-10-02-213603 SOUJI OKITA
CV: Shotaro Morikubo – Impey Barbicane (Code Realize), Jocus (Period Cube), Toa (7’scarlet)

Unlike Hijikata’s route, Okita’s story was more detached to the Shinsengumi’s activities as it picked up from where it left off in Kyoto Winds (Chizuru stays with Okita at Dr. Matsumoto’s place in Edo, to help him recover from his illness). I like how stubborn Okita’s character was but then goes meek every time Chizuru calls him out. Finally! the heroine tames this sadistic hunk! It was great how their relationship dynamics worked out for the best as they progressed through the story. I also felt real chemistry between the two of them – Okita’s route is probably one of the better ones, when it comes to romance. Moreover, I wanted to commend on Morikubo’s  awesome portrayal of Souji’s character, his voice acting really stood out in this game. He’s done this character justice and I have no words! Recalling the scene of Okita’s breakdown really shook my emotions to the core! (applause)

Story: 4/5
Romance: 5/5
Kissing CG: YES

 

SAITO HAJIME 2018-10-02-213901
CV: Kousuke Toriumi – Kagiha (Psychedelica BB), Poyo-Poyo (Period Cube), Hideyoshi (Ikesen), Lawrence (Psychedelica AH), John Watson (Code Realize)

To those who are Saito biased, you will definitely enjoy his route. For the most part, Saito continues his adorable kuudere nature as he juggles overworking himself to experiencing fatigue while keeping a watchful eye on Chizuru’s well being. His route had a couple of surprises that got me all ‘woah(Hint: Ear fetishes lol). My only gripe was that their romance didn’t surface until his last chapters and it is only because of Chizuru’s forwardness that this man was finally able to admit his feelings for her. But I guess this works out for some?

Story: 4/5
Romance: 3/5
Kissing CG: YES

 

2018-10-02-214225HEISUKE TOUDOU
CV: Yoshino Hiroyuki – Sendo Kiyoharu (Vitamin X), Auger von Garibaldi (Black Wolves Saga), Heishi (Norn9)

Heisuke was such a great character in Edo Blossoms.  I liked him as an NPC in almost all the routes in the game. His own story however, wasn’t too satisfying – if you ask me. Because he’s one of the first Shinsengumi rasetsu (fury), he spends a lot of time wallowing in grief and deep regrets (thinking about his life choices), questioning the “what ifs” and  a whole lot of “shoulda, woulda, coulda”. This went on probably for the mere half of his route where Chizuru tries her hardest to lift Mr. Down-in-the-dumps’ spirits up. It was sad and annoying at the same time but I’m glad it didn’t lasted. There’s still good chemistry between him and Chizuru so, this is one saving grace that didn’t get me all disinterested with his story.

Story: 3/5
Romance: 3/5
Kissing CG: YES

 

2018-10-02-214342

SANOSUKE HARADA
CV: Koji Yusa – Itsuki (Norn9), Mr. Gasmask (Bad Apple Wars), Bernardo (Luckydog1)

Oh boy! Get your fans ready, turn on the AC as it’s about to get hot in here! (//ω//)

As I’ve said in my Kyoto Winds review, If you want romance, Harada is definitely one for the taking! There’s certainly a good story in Harada’s route but man, I got so distracted with all the fluff content on this one, it’s too inevitable to ignore (chuckles). It was funny how Chizuru secretly hides her crush with yo boi’, saying things like “this man is so handsome and caring, I will never be worthy of him and his glorylmao! …At the same time, Sano being such a big flirt and all won’t stop doting on the heroine… I…just…can’t… take it! Their relationship was too adorable! Sano’s route is def one of the best routes to look forward to in Edo Blossoms and his ‘good end’ was one of the most satisfying endings in the game. Make no mistake about that.

Story: 5/5
Romance: 5/5
Kissing CG: OH YES!!!

 

2018-10-02-214616 SHINPACHI NAGAKURA
CV: Tsuboi Tomohiro – 
Toshi Maeda (Sengoku Basara), Rikimaru (Tenchu 2), Taliesin (Tears to Tiara)

While Shinpachi Nagakura remains one of the most likable characters in the series. Just like Heisuke, his route falls rather short in terms of both story and romance. Mostly, Shinpachi spends a lot of time loathing on the fact that he’s become a fury (Recalling, the incident in Kyoto Winds, where he was forced to drink the water of life due to unavoidable circumstances). With this, Chizuru guiltily blames herself for Shinpachi’s suffering and wants to support him in any way she can. In return, Shinpachi still pushes her away and goes into a complete depressive mode to a point that he becomes a hermit for weeks (ಠ_ಠ) – lol im not even kidding! Because of this, he becomes too distant with the heroine, that I literally can’t feel any intimate connection between the two of ’em. It took him four whole chapters to suddenly admit his feelings for Chizuru which for some reason felt rushed (to me anyway). ┐(‘~` )┌

Story: 2/5
Romance: 2/5
Kissing CG: YES

 

2018-10-02-214802

KEISUKE SANAN
CV: Nobuo Tobita – Straizo (JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure), Kan Soo-Jin (Akatsuki no Yona), Capt. Gordon (Disgea)

Sanan’s character in Edo Blossoms can either become your ally or the antagonist causing all the mayhem, depending on who’s route you’re on. I remember Sanan giving me the creeps when I played his route in Kyoto Winds. Luckily, he redeemed himself in this sequel and I’m so glad how his story turned out. I should warn you, his route was one emotional ride. Sanan was such a complex character where at one point you literally can’t stand him and on another you just can’t help but fall for him (°ロ°) It’s madness, I tell ya! After playing his route in EB, I now, clearly understand why Sanan’s character has a solid unwavering fanbase. *Tips hat*

Story: 4/5
Romance: 4/5
Kissing CG: YES

 

2018-10-02-215020

SUSUMU YAMAZAKI
CV: Takayuki Suzuki – Daedalus Munto (Demonion Series), Oota Hiroo (Koiken Otome)

WarningKyoto Winds Spoiler below!
I was so ecstatic to play Yamazaki’s route because unlike the other romanceable characters in Kyoto Winds, Yamazaki was the only one who didnt make it to Edo. (╥﹏╥) (Hint: He died in the battlefield). Yamazaki (in Kyoto Winds) only survived in two routes: his and Okita’s. That said, Playing Yamazaki’s route was such a treat in Edo Blossoms, because… you know, he’s alive and breathing for a change! (cackles). His route was rather short though, I remember finishing it way too quick compared to others. Needless to say, I love Yamazaki’s character to bits. I still hold my ground when I say, he’s such a good match for Chizuru,  both of them complement each other really well. His good ending was a little predictable but gosh, it was too perfect, I wouldn’t have it in any other way!

Story: 3/5
Romance: 5/5
Kissing CG: YES

 

2018-10-02-215316

HACHIRO IBA
CV: Mamoru Miyano – Akito (Ayakashi Koi Gikyoku), Light Yagami (Death Note), Tokiya (Utapri), Okabi Rintarou (Steins Gate)

I’ve been reading a lot of mixed reviews regarding Iba’s route in Edo Blossoms from western gamers. We either hate him or love him in his route. Why tho? Is it because of his obsessive crush with Chizuru, or is it because of his rapey demon hand? lol As an Iba bias,(˙꒳​˙) I don’t really find his route, in any way shape or form, offensive nor creepy, towards the main protagonist. The reason for his “odd” behavior was thoroughly explained in his story and was even foreshadowed a few times during his first chapters. OR perhaps, I just really have awful taste in men (lmao) To be quite honest, I’ve actually enjoyed Iba’s route fully. I thought it was pretty good. It was dark, yes but his character depth was strikingly beautiful. I love how Iba struggles with his own demons but at the same time continues to fight for his beliefs echoing Hijikata & the Shinsengumi’s dedication and will power. He has the nicest bittersweet ending and (i think) it could’ve been better if they’ve extended his epilogue.

Story: 4/5
Romance: 5/5
Kissing CG: YES

 

2018-10-02-215520 KAZUE SOUMA
CV: Yuki Kaji – Kei Okazaki (Collar x Malice), Finis (Code Realize), Kanato (Diabolik Lovers), Kakeru (Norn9), Hayato Ozaki (Nil Admirari)

I like describing Souma’s route as the amazing race to get to Hijikata (laughs). Because this was literally what went down for the first three chapters of his story (considering, an entire route in EB only consist 4 of chapters total). I felt that Souma’s story got a bit mundane in the middle but then picked up really quick on the fourth chapter. As I’ve griped before in Kyoto Winds, I still couldn’t feel any chemistry between him and Chizuru (ノД`). I loved that there was comic relief in the last chapters of his story though – the whole gang playfully teasing the lovers and Iba getting extremely jealous – oh boy! that was one good laugh. His ending was really sweet too (their reuniting scene was so precious). It’s one of my least favorite routes in EB but it wasn’t bad altogether. Also, kudos to Yuki  Kaji for breathing life into this character. His voice acting was indeed one of highlights in this route.

Story: 4/5
Romance: 3/5
Kissing CG: YES

 

2018-10-03-215147

RYOUMA SAKAMOTO
CV: Daisuke Ono – Hyuuga (Neo Angelique), Hades (Kamigami no Asobi), Subaru Asahina (Brother’s Conflict), Yuuya (Muv-Luv), Azuma Natsuhiko (Norn9)

Sakamoto’s story in Kyoto Winds was interesting enough to get me all hyped up with his route in EB. Sadly, to my disappointment, the intriguing factor of Ryouma’s character died down as his whole route was wasted chasing after his buddy Nakaoka and his band of evil furies from Tosa. There was nothing new of the sort that’ll get you compelled to keep going in his story. I honestly could not wait for it to end. Though I wanted to point out that it was his good ending that uniquely redeemed his route from dullness. I believe others may still probably enjoy Sakamoto’s route. This one just didn’t stick out to me in the game.

Story: 2/5
Romance: 3/5
Kissing CG: YES

 

2018-10-06-213526

CHIKAGE KAZAMA
CV: Kenjiro Tsuda – Hattori Hanzo (Nightshade), Soshi Amazaki (The Charming Empire), Leonardo Da Vinci (Ikevamp), Nathan Seymour (Tiger & Bunny)

I am literally a Kazama bias, that’s why I picked his route to play last. He is arrogant, selfish, and judgmental towards humans, the perfect husbando! (laughs). Again, just like his role in Kyoto Winds, Kazama can either be your enemy or your ally in the game depending on who’s route you’re at. In Edo Blossoms, he becomes Chizuru’s bodyguard as she journeys following the tracks of the Shinsengumi. He may not be upfront with his feelings towards the heroine, but you can clearly tell that his actions are genuinely all for her well being. It was such a treat seeing Kazama’s changed nature towards Chizuru. Like how he always ask her first, what her plan is and what she wants to do. I also enjoyed their couple banters with each other like how Chizuru calls him out when he had too much sake to drink. (´▽ `) It was cute to witness their relationship blossoming as they spend more time together. Plus, this is the only route where you can see Amagiri giving love advises and epic wingman talks to the heroine. lol

Story: 4/5
Romance: 5/5
Kissing CG: YES

 

Will I enjoy Edo Blossoms, even if I haven’t played Kyoto Winds?
Maybe if you’re only in for the romance, then perhaps you might? Though, to be perfectly honest, I don’t see the point of playing the sequel without delving into the main story first. Edo Blossoms is part two and the continuation of Kyoto Winds, so I’d always advise against playing it first if you haven’t touched Kyoto Winds at all. Perhaps if you’ve played the older Hakuoki games then you’ll probably get the gist of the story. Otherwise, you will be missing out on a whole lot of stuff.

 

TRAILER / OPENING MOVIE

 

 

OVERALL THOUGHTS?
Edo Blossom’s transition from Kyoto Winds was pretty smooth sailing as it immediately picked up the previous game’s premise. While the main plot and drama was built-up in Kyoto Winds, Edo Blossoms breaks the ice as it brought conclusion to each of the route’s cliffhangers in KW. Also, unlike its prequel, Edo Blossoms does not contain a long repetitive common story, so you can rest easy on this fact, if you were bogged down from completing the last game by it.

I may have gushed about it in my Kyoto Winds review, but the writing for this remake was indeed, outstanding. The writers did a great job telling Hakuoki’s gripping story while building each characters’ individuality and of course their relationship with the main protagonist, and I believe this is what most of us fans, craved for. We want to connect, sympathize and know these characters more. Out of the twelve main casts, the routes that left an impression on me the most was Hijikata, Harada, Iba and Kazama. Needless to say, each characters have their own personalities that stood out individually from the other. Heck, even the side characters shined in this sequel. My personal favs would be Kyo Shiranui (he’s awesome in Harada’s route), Keisuke Otori (he’s really hilarious in Hijikata and Souma’s route) and of course our beloved chief Isami Kondou, who’s probably brought us the most tears in this sequel.

2018-10-07-045459

To me, Edo Blossoms was a great read per se. I would definitely recommend this game to those who’ve played KW and the older Hakuoki games. Although, I wanna stress out the fact that this sequel’s angst was a bit overwhelming and while it worked out for me (I love torturing myself with immense angst lol), it may not work for some, esp. if you’re more inclined to enjoy light-hearted fluffy novels.

Overall, I would still give Hakuoki Edo Blossoms an A rating for its compelling story, brilliant characters that shone individually, an artwork to die for and for being one of the best visual novels that realistically tells the story of the last samurais in Japan: The Shinsengumi – of course, if you’re secretly a hopeless romantic like me, the romance factor is definitely a plus.

Chlo’s Rating: 9/10

 

 

Backlog Updates (October)

tumblr_mluvkaipq51qfsvizo1_500

Hello my fellow thirsty otome compatriots! Before this month ends, I’d like to make a quick update of my game backlogs. Nyan. A previous month back, I’ve set a goal to myself to maybe finish up some older games in my list but uh, lol… like that ever happened! (laughs)

I blame it all on DKS!
Recently, Dark Souls (Remastered) has taken over my life and it’s just so infuriating because I literally suck at this game. I don’t remember being this bad at rpgs I swear! (chuckles)  but man… I guess I’m still trying to get comfortable with this game’s controls (Hint: It’s wack af!) Anyway, I’m not here to review DKS lol, forgive me for griping! OK back to the topic.

Otoge Backlogs:

Currently Playing:

  • Norn9: Var Commons (PSVita) – Lol better late than never! 
  • Kitty Love (NSwitch)

Paused:

  • The Men of Yoshiwara: Oghiya (NSwitch)
  • Destiny Princess (NSwitch)
  • Pub Encounters (NSwitch)
  • The Amazing Shinsengumi (NSwitch)

 

Other Visual Novels:

  • Death Mark (NSwitch) – I’ve pre ordered this game, and will be getting my copy this Wednesday. This’ll be the highlight of my halloween and I’m really excited for it.
  • WILL: A Wonderful World (NSwitch) – I bought this because it was on sale in the eshop, the day it was released.

 

Reviews:

  • Hakuoki Edo Blossoms (In progress) – I’m about 65% finish with this review
  • Kitty Love

Walkthroughs:

  • Norn9: Var Commons (In progress)
  • Kitty Love (In progress)

 

There’ll be a couple more game releases this coming winter. A few on my list are: London Detective Mysteria, the game everyone’s so hyped about, Sweet Pool (BL game that’s worth every penny!), Nightshade (Physical copy for the Switch). If you’re by any chance interested with these games, ya’ll better be on a look out for them really soon!

Lastly, I wanted to thank everyone (all my readers, nyan!) who’s been very patient with me despite my horrible writing and my shameful taste in otome chracters lmao! THANK YOU ALL  for keeping up with this blog! Special shout out to all those who took their time sending those appreciation emails. Here’s one big hug from Kitty Chlo! 

78023f02117db3a10dda46e2bea6647e

 

Kitty Love is finally out in the Eshop!

kittylove_keyvisial_181025

Game Title: Kitty Love – Way to look for love
Release Date: November 1, 2018 (North America)
Developers: 
OperaHouse Corportion
Publishers: 
DIGIMERCE

This is a follow up post on the previous one I made last September regarding the game, Nyan “Kitty” Love.

Great news otome fans! Kitty Love is finally out in the Nintendo Eshop. This game is set to release this coming 1st of November.

Click here to read my review for this game.

Click here for Kitty Love’s downloadable content in Nintendo’s Eshop
Click here for Kitty Love’s official website.

 

STORY
Flower shop clerk Honoka has been occupied with her work. One night, when she visited the park that she normally goes to.

…She was cursed by an odd-eyed black cat, Now she becomes a cat at night and human by morning.

There’s only one way to break the curse.
――True love’s kiss.

 

Voiced? YES

Voice Actors include:

  • Soma Saito
  • Atsushi Tamaru
  • Hiroki Yasumoto
  • Tomoaki Maeno
  • Takahiro Sakurai

I’ve been hyping about this game since September as I’ve read a lot of good reviews about it from Japanese players. It’s also one of Operhahouse’s otome titles with the best sales record.

Other OperaHouse Otome games to look out for, that’ll most likely release on the Switch soon:

 

Iris School of Wizardry Vinculum Hearts Review (Nintendo Switch)

H2x1_NSwitchDS_IrisSchoolofWizardryVinculumHearts_image1600w

IRIS SCHOOL OF WIZARDRY ~ VINCULUM HEARTS

Release Date: October 11, 2018
Developers: OperaHouse Inc.
Publishers: OperaHouse Inc., DIGIMERCE
Platforms:  Nintendo Switch
ESRB Rating: T (Teen)

0000BUTTON

 

Fun Fact: The Nintendo Switch version for Iris School of Wizardry ~ Vinculum Hearts was initially released in August 2, 2018 (Japan). But the game has been around since year 2014 as a mobile port.

 

Walkthroughs:

 

STORY (from Vndb):
The Iris School of Wizardry, also known as ISW.
A school where girls and boys blessed with intelligence, talent, and economic fortune gather.

They say, getting into this school is exceptionally difficult, but those who graduate are promised a sparkling future as elite members of every important institution in the country.

The protagonist’ Aria’s parents died when she was a child, she spent her days taking care of her parents old rare bookshop and wishing she could someday become a fine magician like her father was. Then one day a letter came to her. 
It was permission to enroll into ISW.

 

LOCALIZATION
After the disastrous machine translations of Ayakashi Koi Gikyoku, I was so afraid this game will suffer the same treatment. ALRIGHT! SO…luckily, they didn’t do machine translations this time… However, the english subs were still faulty so I’m guessing the translator (obviously) wasn’t a native speaker. I’ve also noticed some translation inconsistencies where in some routes you can technically understand each sentences while the others were left iffy and awkward. Matias and Iris’s routes were probably the best ones in terms of translations. The good thing was that, I was able to tolerate most of it, lol ᕕ( ᐛ )ᕗ so this didn’t stopped me from enjoying the story. If you’re picky with your english subs though, I would advise against getting this game.

 

ART AND MUSIC
If you’re like me who’s a total sucker for gorgeous, shoujo manga art. You will love this game’s artstyle. ISOW Vinculum Hearts’ artwork was done by illustrator / mangaka Fujinami Mari. You’ve probably stumbled on some of her works such as “Erto bengoshi wa dokusen yoku no kakusanai”  manga (エリート弁護士は独占欲を隠さない) and the recent R18 otome by A’sRing, Furue Yurayura to.

The game’s trailer had an OP song called “The Promise of the Beginning” performed by seiyuu Nobuhiko Okamoto (*´▽`*). It’s not available in the game itself, but if you want to listen to the song, a sample track is available in iTunes, or you can listen to the full track below!

 

Voice Acting

Tetsuya Kakihara “Clyde King” – Victor Frankenstein (Code Realize), Karasuba (Psychedelica BB), Isora Amari (7’Scarlet), Shin (Amnesia)

Tomohisa Hashizume “Matias Archibald” –  Ryousi (Taishou x Alice), Liam Miller (Ren’ai Princess)

Yuuta kasuya “Cyril Grundy” – Piece (Shinkyoku Soukai Polyphonica), Tomohiko Tachibana (Duel Love: Koisuru Otome wa Shouri no Megami)

Ryousuke Kanemoto  “A-Jay Blackford” – Yuzu (Gunka o Haita Neko), Trias (Captain Earth)

Kazuyuki Okitsu “Keith Knight” Kyrie (Ozmafia!!), Ray (Ephermal),  Motofumi Mashiko (Nil Admirari), Tatsukichi (Yoshiwara Higanbana), Caster (Fate/Extella)

Nobuhiko Okamato “Iris” Hiroya (Period Cube), Manabu Souda (Collar x Malice), Hansel (Code Realize), Yang (Piofore no Banshou), Akira Kougami (Nil Admirari)

Mitsuki Saiga “Ashley Curtis” Sakuya (Norn9), Dantalion (Tokyo Babel)

Atsushi Kakehashi “Lee Fitzwilliam” – Axel (Ozmafia!!), Miyanomori Susumu (Hanayaka Nari, Waga Ichizoku)

 

PLOT AND SETTING
Since the story’s setting revolves around “the fantasy world of magic” I couldn’t help but notice a few similar elements from Harry Potter. One example was distinguishing purebloods from the halfbloods and mudbloods humans. In this game the purebloods are called “almus” while a halfblood is called an “ultio”. “Hide Street”, the dangerous alley of Fonnue city (place where the heroine grew up) was described rather similar to Knockturn Alley and a “summoning animal” was akin to a patronous

MAIN CHARACTERS AND ROUTES
Almost all the routes follow through the same plot line. “The heroine starts her new life as a student of ISW, partners up with her love interest during their midterm exams, spends time with him on their summer and winter break (Christmas eve), and eventually ends up becoming King and Queen during graduation day”. I have to say some routes were surprisingly good while the others were just “meh” (shrugs). ┐(‘~`;)┌

(IMO) The story is best enjoyed when played in the route order below:
Clyde — Matias — Cyril — Keith — A-Jay — Secret Route. I’ll try my very best to keep the spoilers to a minimum in my posts below but keep in mind to still read with caution.

spoilersss

 

CLYDE KING
Clyde is ISW’s student council president. He’s a very smart & talented  young lad who’s magical abilities surpasses other wizards of his age.

2018101920391900-81E0EDFD327B7E2B19F0CB0D479724C6

In his story, Clyde and Aria became number one in their class rankings after partnering up together during midterm exams. As a treat for the heroine’s hard work, Clyde takes her out on a date to Fonnue city. During their date, Aria opens up to Clyde by telling him how her parents died when she was ten years old and that she’s been living alone ever since. Clyde then promised her that from now on, he’ll be her other half and that he’ll take half of her pain and sadness in life and make sure she’ll never be alone to endure them.

(Fast Forward) During their Christmas break, while Aria was getting presents for all the society members, she recalls a special memory of the day she lost her parents and was crying all alone in the streets of Fonnue. There was a mysterious “prince-like” young boy who approached her and gave her a special white flower, stopping her from bawling her eyes out. Since then, Aria has treasured the flower dearly and now she’s finally decided to give it to someone she holds special in her heart. In the later parts of this story, it was revealed that Clyde was all along the mysterious boy who came to Aria’s aid when she was young and he was waiting all these years for her to remember. Aww. In return, the heroine took the white flower to Clyde and told him she has kept it preserved all this time and now she wants to give it back to that special boy who’s provided her happiness when she needed it the most. There’s more to this story but I didn’t want to spoil too much about it.

I did Clyde’s route first since I haven’t heard Kakki’s voice in a while (laughs). His story was somewhat predictable but it was cute from start to finish. There was really good chemistry between him and Aria and their romance didn’t felt forced at all. I also think his route was a great start for the game as it contained no major spoilers of it’s overarching plot, nor any type of angts or major conflicts and was all just pure smooth sailing, fluff goodness.

 

MATIAS ARCHIBALD
Matias is a member of ISW’s student council who’s known to be very cold upfront. His dream is to become a member of the Imperial Chilvaric Order after graduation.  Matias is also Clyde King’s best friend, and they’ve been inseparable since childhood.

2018101920402100-81E0EDFD327B7E2B19F0CB0D479724C6

In his story, Matias and Aria became partners in their midterm exams which resulted them to land on second place, while Clyde (who partnered with Ashley) still first. After the exams comes the school festival, and everyone agrees to hold a masquerade ball for one night. During the event, Matias who dressed up as a knight approached Aria and stretches out his hand as if telling her to come with him, Aria blindly follows and they eventually arrived at a room which resembles an underwater view (through Cyril’s magic). Here, they exchanged words not by talking but by waving their wands to form words in the water with magic. Matias went first by telling Aria she looked like Juliet and she responds telling him “You’re like Romeo then” (I swear I actually love the heroine’s forwardness in this route! lol). After exchanging sweet nothings as if role playing the characters, Romeo and Juliet, both of them ended up kissing each other as Matias pulled Aria’s mask away revealing her face. Aria, not being a total dummy MC knew she was with Matias all along but she still took the liberty to ask him his name one last time after their lips parted. She never got the answer as her knight began to skedaddle the moment their kiss ended. Pffffft! As cheesy as this was, I fully admit that I’ve shamelessly enjoyed this scene A LOT! lmao (*/ω\)

(Fast Forward) Before Christmas break, Matias and Aria went on a date to the city of Fonnue, and Aria was surprised to see a ‘megane’ Matias lol! (her man, wearing adorable glasses). During their date, both of them opened up to each other. Here, Aria tells him how her parents died and how she’s been living alone since she was ten and Matias in exchange, tells her about his eye problems which is his current hindrance of becoming a member of the Imperial Chilvaric Order. It was also revealed in the later parts of his route that it’ll only take a matter of time before Matias goes completely blind. (╥﹏╥)

Matias, I believe was one of the better routes of this game. Besides, having his translations a whole lot better compared to the others’, his story offered great character development for both him and the heroine. This is also the ONLY route where the heroine gets into a *cough* physical relationship with her love interest.(//▽//) 

 

CYRIL GRUNDY
Cyril is the youngest member of ISW’s student council. He is a bright, intelligent, competitive young boy who possess an abnormal sweet tooth.

2018101920421600-81E0EDFD327B7E2B19F0CB0D479724C6

After Aria partners up with Cyril in their midterm exams, they ended up still second to Clyde and Matias despite doing their very best. This however, didn’t stopped Cyril from trying harder, not just from studying but he does his ultimate best everyday as if it’s his last. In his route it was also revealed that Cyril has no sense of direction, so he bothers the heroine all the time to help him find his way around the school grounds.lol

(Fast forward) November 17th was Cyril’s birthday and the heroine decided to give him this pegasus feather which was believed to improve your abilities in flying. That night, as Aria hopped skipped her way to see her man, she found Cyril staring at the sky at the  House of White Rose’s balcony. Btw, the “House of White Rose” is the name of their student council house. Here, Cyril tells Aria he’s always been fascinated every time he looks at the stars & asked her how farther up does he need to go so he can reach them. Aria responds and tells him, someone’s probably thinking the same way on the other side and Cyril says he’ll let her know when he finally gets there. Now this dialogue was an implication of how SAD this route’s about to turn out because what happens next was freakin’ heartbreaking! Before Aria gets the chance of handing her gift, Cyril began to collapse on the floor and abruptly started clutching his chest. Aria panics and tells him she’ll call a doctor but Cyril shook his head and painfully spoke out of breath that he just need to take his “pills”. After helping Cyril take his meds, he finally calmed down as he rested in the sofa. Aria on the other hand, curiously took Cyril’s bag of medicine and was at lost for words when she read what’s written on the package. It was medicine for severe heart problems. (ಥ﹏ಥ)

Cyril’s route was probably the saddest in the game. Don’t play his route unless you’re ready for angts from start to finish. I also felt his relationship with the heroine was more of like a little brother rather than a love interest. Not really sure how I feel about his story either. His good and bad endings where pretty much the same. heh (ノД`)

 

A-JAY BLACKFORD
A-Jay is an easy going member of ISW’s student council who unexpectedly has a knack for solving some of the school’s darkest mysteries.

2018101920415000-81E0EDFD327B7E2B19F0CB0D479724C6

In his route, A-Jay invited Aria to his villa in Campanula during their summer break. Campanula is a place known for its expensive beach resorts where rich families own most of the luxurious villas in the area. There, Aria was introduced to A-Jay’s loving family who welcomed her whole heartedly with open arms. The next day, Aria takes a stroll with A-jay by the beach and here she tells him about how his family made her reminisce the days back when her parents were still alive, she also told A-jay how she’s been living alone ever since her parents passed away. Her confession, for some reason made A-jay tear up (his manly tears slowly gushing down his cheeks lol) and he tells Aria how he admires her for being so strong.

(Fast forward) One day, while Aria was on her way to get dinner, she stumbles on a mysterious door in one of the school corridors. Rather than entering, she decides not to and walks away to look for A-jay to ask him if he knew anything about the mystery doorway she just recently came across with. While approaching A-Jay’s dorm room, she noticed his door was open and decides to playfully surprise him (ಠ_ಠ) (because why the hell not?! lmao!) She stopped herself when she sees A-jay in the middle of changing and accidentally saw a scar engraved on his back which she recognized as a symbol for dark magic. Because of this, Aria became conflicted with her feelings for A-Jay and grew distant of him for several days. This little conflict was resolved (during the last chapters of his route) when A-jay confessed to Aria his dark but heartbreaking secret. In his confession he explained how he got the scar on his back and how the experience haunted him his whole life until he met the heroine.

I liked A-Jay’s route because although it still followed the same usual plot line, it branched out completely different from the others. I also find A-Jay’s character depth to be quite contributing to the game’s overall plot, although I wished they would’ve delved deeper into his past as his route had a few plot holes that needed some definitive answers (E.g. Cyrus). I’m glad his route’s happy ending was really sweet (ノ´ з `)ノ(It was almost perfect!) though I also find his bad ending quite interesting ^^; (chuckles).

 

KEITH KNIGHT
Keith is the cold commanding leader of the Imperial Chilvaric Order who’s also a guest teacher at ISW for the year.

2018101920433500-81E0EDFD327B7E2B19F0CB0D479724C6

I expected Keith’s route to be interesting because ya..know! teacher x student relationship is always amazing! hahaっಠ‿ಠ)っTo my dissapointment,  his story turned out very bland and predictable.

In his story, Aria partners up with Ashley in their midterm exams. They eventually came in second place in the rankings while Clyde who partnered with Cyril this time was first, and Matias & A-jay settles in third place. Besides being a full time teacher, Keith, was also gathering information regarding the upcoming “Thousand Year War”, where rebellious dark wizards are on the move, started by Voldermort Gillian Griffiths, their chosen leader. For the most part of Keith’s route, it was all merely fluff fillers where he gets to warm up with Aria and his backstory was never mentioned until the last chapters of his story.

(Fast Forward) During their graduation, Aria and Ashley became “class queens” after successfully finishing first place in their final exams. Aria also learned from the headmaster, Demetrius that it was actually Professor Keith who paid for her scholarship so she can get into the school. Keith eventually admitted on ghost paying for Aria’s tuition fees when she confronts him about it. Later that night, he takes Aria to the forest and calls out his summoning animal, a giant phoenix (ಠ_ಠ). Both of them hopped unto the phoenix called Ignis, and they flew in the night to Keith’s villa in Campanula. Here, Keith tells Aria his past story. How he’s an ultio (halfblood) like her and how he was raised by his grandfather in poverty after being abandoned by his parents. He also tells her of his grandfather’s death wish which was to get revenge at Alan Griffiths, the dark wizard who’s responsible for all the misfortune that’s befallen on them. Keith vowed to fulfill his grandfather’s wish but when he became the commander of the Imperial Chilvaric Order, Alan Griffiths was already dead, so now he’s chasing after Alan Griffith’s son, Gillian – the current leader of the dark rebellious movement who planned on waging the ‘thousand year war’ in the kingdom of Clarius.

Alright, I have so many complaints on Keith’s route. Besides having really bad translations, there’s just so much stuff going on! There were scenes that I believe weren’t necessary and are only creating plot holes after plot holes. I recall a scene where Keith mentioned “Aria could end the thousand year war” but after finishing his happy ending I got totally confused since there WASN’T any war nor any kind of fighting going on. I want some intense wand action dammit!!!

5x5n1wp

Then I unlocked his “Endless ending” (Bad Ending) and this is where I lost my shit. Because this one made more sense than the other! (ノ°益°)ノIt was in his bad ending that Aria was able to somehow stop the so called “thousand year war”At this point, I just couldnt wait to end my suffering and finish the game. lol

 

LEONORE “IRIS”
(Secret Route)

2018101920450400-81E0EDFD327B7E2B19F0CB0D479724C6

I stumbled on Iris’s secret route while doing A-Jay’s route. When Aria sees a mysterious door in one of ISW’s corridors, instead of turning away from it she enters and gets magically warped into a whole new bizarre world. Here she meets a strange boy who calls himself Leonore. Although he acts really childish most of the time, Aria started warming up to him, and they both spend a lot of time together in this little ol’ strange place. However, every time Aria brings up wanting to go back to ISW and the real world, Leonore gets upset and does a total split personality fit, becoming a sadistic murderer with a massive thirst for blood. I’m getting Amnesia Ukyo flashbacks here!

I liked Iris’s route for two reasons. First, it was translated better compared to others and second, I was totally not expecting a secret route in an OperhaHouse game so this one took me by surprise. lol Iris’s complicated character was also explained in detail during his story and Nobuhiko did extremely well as his VA. Although I thoroughly enjoyed his happy ending, just like Keith’s route, his endless ending had most of the answers regarding some of the plot holes in his story. (E.g. his wing shaped necklace)  \(︶▽︶)/ Oh well…

 

ARIA AUSTIN (Main Heroine)

7076fa89d899ced16289b0f72af8f2929e3920e6_s1_n1

I actually like this heroine a lot. Aria has proven capable all throughout the routes  of this game and was totally not a doormat. In the prologue, she challenged Cyril to a magical duel because she couldn’t take being talked shit at as an ‘ultio’ (halfblood). I also like that even though she knew most of the students in ISW are talking behind her back because she’s a commoner, she literally shrugs them off and goes “whatever, I’m just thankful enough to get into this school so I dont care what ya’lls think of me”. lol (๑˃ᴗ˂)ﻭ  She’s one very talented wizard who’s special ability is to easily remember everything she sees and read in detail.

It would’ve been cooler if her lines  were translated better because this sassy heroine can walk the talk!

 

SIDE CHARACTERS
Ashley CurtisAria’s androgynous (lady) roomate who’s rather flirty it’s almost cringy! Ashley was a great NPC, though I couldn’t care less about her character. I’m sure there are others who’d probably enjoy her and wishes for an Ashley route but pffft! I just don’t feel too comfortable of a lady roomie aggressively flirting at you the chance she gets (ಠ_ಠ), it’s just weird! to me anyway.

Demetrius Bishopthe headmaster of ISW with a jolly personality but has a few secrets up his sleeve. Demetrius was alright. He has his own eccentric way of entering a scene like when he slid down that rainbow to announce their final exam (Clyde’s route), or when he magically goes through walls lol or sometimes, even dramatically falling off the sky Mary Poppins style. haha ^^;

Professor Lee Fitzwilliam – one of the teachers in ISW who used to be best friends with Keith Knight. His backstory was only introduced during Keith’s route.

 

TRAILER

 

OVERALL THOUGHTS(°▽°)/
The game’s play length was a bit short. With each route only having five full chapters plus their ending epilogues, you can probably finish one route in two hours sitting (or less). In terms of story, I’ve actually enjoyed a few routes (Matias, A-Jay, Iris and maybe Clyde). Some elements in the story may seem like a cheap rip-off of Harry Potter but after finishing the entire game, I didn’t really feel any kind of HP vibe as far as how its overarching story ended. Comparing it to OperaHouse’s other selections of otome games, I’d say Vinculum Hearts probably has the upper hand when it comes to its enjoyability. The secret route definitely caught me off guard so I’m giving them kudos to that, and the feisty heroine definitely took this game up a notch.(^ω~)

In terms of localization, I’m not going to sugarcoat this one. It is not good nor even close to better. It’s definitely an improvement from what they did with Ayakashi Koi Gikyoku but is it good enough for its full price? Nope. The english translations were still faulty which was a shame since the story was definitely NOT bad at all. Do I recommend this game? If it was translated better I’d say ‘give this one a chance’ but right now, I would advise to wait for a price drop or til’ the game goes on sale.

If you don’t mind bad translations, there’s definitely a good story to enjoy. If you’re a grammar nazi and can’t stand horrible “engrish”, don’t even bother getting this one at all.

Chlo’s Rating: 5/10

 

Gakuen Club Review (Nintendo Switch)

Gakuen

GAKUEN CLUB

Release Date: August 30, 2018  (North America)
Developer
OperHouse, D3Publisher
Publisher: Dogenzaka Lab, D3Publisher 
Platforms: Steam, Nintendo Switch, Mobile (iOS and Android)
ESRB Rating: T (Teen)

0000BUTTON

 

This game’s localized version was originally released May 10, 2017 in PC (Steam) platform and  a month later ported to mobile platforms (iOS and Android) in June 12, 2017.

 

Walkthroughs:

  1. Renji Kamiki
  2. Wataru Kagurazaka
  3. Toma Sakai
  4. Saku Takizawa
  5. Yuya Yamaoka
  6. Asahi Minakawa

 

STORY
Our heroine is entering her junior year of high school when she finds out she will be suddenly transferring to the famous Kirika Academy located in the city due to her father’s new job. 

She is quite excited about starting her new school life, but she stumbles upon a secret night club that is being operated after school hours, and gets herself roped into working the kitchen…

As she grows closer to the other wait staff of the night club, she learns of their past, and finds herself becoming more and more involved in a complicated web of human relationships and romance…

 

ART AND MUSIC
Perhaps one of the pros that initially attracted me to Gakuen Club was the game’s artwork. These lovely character designs were done by the popular Japanese illustrator “Melo”. Her other famous works are Suuran Digit and Taishou x Alice. You can view the artist’s website here.

Fun Fact: Gakuen Club’s PS Vita version gets an awesome opening theme, with a song called “UNMASKED” performed by the artist, Mao Uzuki. You can listen to the track below, or watch the video here.

 

Voice Acting

KENN “Minakawa Asahi” –  Fuuto Asahina (Brothers Conflict), Yuuto Kujo (Beast Darling), Kintaro Katagiri (Yunohana Spring!), Totomaru Minowa (Kenka Banchou Otome)

Tsubasa Yonaga “Wataru Kagurazaka” – Hikaru Onigashima (Kenka Banchou Otome), Yakumo Tachibana (Vitamin X-Z)

Kensho Ono “Toma Sakai” – Hozumi Kohinata (Prince of Stride), Mict Haruno (Binary Star), Kurokono Tasuke (Gintama)

Mark Ishii “Yuya Yamaoka” – Lev Haiba (Haikyu),  Chrono Shindou (Cardfight! Vanguard G)

Yuuichirou Umehara “Renji Kamiki” – Demento (Period Cube), Shingen Takeda (Ikemen Sengoku), Shinobu Kurosawa (Dynamic Chord)

Kosuke Toriumi “Saku Takizawa” – Hajime Saito (Hakuoki), Poyo-Poyo (Period Cube), John Watson (Code Realize), Shuu (Diabolik Lovers), Toyotomi Hideyoshi (Ikemen Sengoku), Kagiha/Lawrence (Psychedelica Series)

 

MAIN CHARACTERS (No Spoilers)

Gakuen19

All the romanceable characters are shotas (laughs) so If you’re into this archetype, I believe this game is for you!  Personally, I’m not into the whole “young love”, or the “innocent-high-school-trope” thing. I like my men more mature and older (Darling, don’t we all do?! *chuckles*) – So as far as the romance goes, it was a little hard for me to get really enthused by these characters.( ° ∀ ° )ノ゙

I don’t think there’s a specific route order you have to follow, so by all means start with any character you like. If you want route recommendations, I suggest playing in this order:  Wataru — Renji — Toma — Saku — Yuya — Asahi.

 

RENJI KAMIKI – a senior in Kirika Academy who’s also a talented young pianist. 

Gakuen1

I did Renji’s route first because he was the best looking of the bunch, and the tallest! (kinda makes him look more mature than the other boys) lol (*/ω\) Renji is the flirty, outgoing type guy. He’s the boy you’d want to introduce to your folks because you’d know they’ll instantly like him. In his story, he’s not only very popular among the girls in the academy but also with the secret night club’s VIP guests (mostly women). Although Renji stages beautiful piano performances in a professional manner, he felt as if his music lacked something very important – and this sometimes puts him in a foul mood. Playing his route will let you discover Renji’s struggles that haunted him all his life and kept him from expressing his true self through his music.

Renji’s route was okay, it started good, got a bit repetitive and boring in the middle and ended in a rush. I may have enjoyed a few romantic scenes due to his flirty nature but overall, I thought Renji’s character was a little distant towards the heroine and I don’t think they really connected in his story.

 

WATARU KAGURAZAKAA very cunning and clever freshmen of Kirika Academy.

6f6f13ec1386bbd3479742cf0a4ef937c7d262eb_s2_n1

Wataru is the youngest member of Kirika Academy’s Secret Night club. He’s a cheerful character, who knows his own appeal and tends to use it at his advantage. He aims to become number one in the secret night club rankings to help him gain and achieve a personal wish. In his story, Wataru hits it off with Akane but then angst follows when his uncle forced him into an arranged marriage to gain company relations and to help their family business.(#`Д´)

Wataru is the most shota of all the shotas in this game lol. His route wasn’t so bad although I didn’t really cared much about it as it was plainly predictable from start to finish. His relationship with the heroine was good if you like the typical high school romance involving a young tsundere with a spunky attitude. His tiny squeaky voice didn’t help either and only got me more annoyed while going down his route. If anything, it made me feel like a cradle snatcher! 

 

TOMA SAKAIan unfriendly, handsome looking boy who’s frank remarks always stand out.

Gakuen20

Toma is a kuudere, he rarely talks and would only SIGH most of the time. In fact, you’ll hear him sighing all throughout the game (even in other routes). lol (っ´ω`)ノ Despite his unfriendly nature, he still remains close pals with his buddy Asahi Minakawa. In his story, Toma was revealed to be a child model who used to be really famous in the entertainment business – (this explains his very charming physical appearance). However, due to some internal family issues he’s been struggling with since childhood, he eventually developed health problems which lead him to quit his modeling career.

I never expected I’d enjoy Toma’s route but I actually found it surprisingly better than the others. Maybe it’s because I’m a total sucker for kuudere characters? haha It started really dull though but I’m glad it got better towards the ending. I liked his relationship with Akane and the way he opened up to her seemed very realistic, not to mention cute!

 

SAKU TAKIZAWAbookworm, a man of  few words who possess a unique mysterious personality.

Gakuen8

Saku’s route was probably THE BEST one in Gakuen Club. Wow! This megane really got my full attention. uwu (*ノωノ)  Saku maybe a man of few words but he is one attentive fella with very good listening skills. He offers logical advises to the night club’s VIP guests’ personal problems – this is one of his distinctive charms that gets people drawn to him. In his route, it was revealed that Saku’s parents were famous movie stars (his dad a film director and mom, an actress). You’ll also get to discover how he was raised all his life without receiving a single love from neither of them. SOB (╥_╥)

I find his story rather dark but very engaging at the same time. It started interesting enough to keep you going and ended with a great finish. Although going down his route was emotionally heartbreaking, his romantic events with the heroine never took a back seat and I enjoyed every scene they’ve had together including their cute exchanges in the library and their fluffy moments of confessing each other’s feelings during the school festival. All in all, this route was a perfect 10.

 

YUYA YAMAOKAa handsome, hardworking senior in Kirika Academy with a concerning dark past.

Gakuen24

Yuya was sort of a mysterious character at first. I’ve asked myself a couple of times, what’s so special about him? …and why is he even in the secret night club? To give you a non-spoiler answer; Unlike the other guys who are famous for their high status in society, Yuya is actually just an ordinary dude with a handsome face. lol He does have a dark secret up his sleeve which you’ll get to discover going down his route.

I have mixed feelings towards Yuya’s story. For the most part, it was all fluff fillers which aren’t even relevant. Yuya’s character was also very deviant compared to the other boys. He can be a jerk sometimes and annoyingly emo and I’m not even sure if his relationship with the heroine was genuine enough to last. haha! I did feel bad while reading his backstory (during his monologues) and I like how the VA Mark Ishii carried this character’s complex personality. It’s a shame he doesn’t have a lot of otome gigs!

 

ASAHI MINAKAWAthe son of the headmaster in Kirika Academy, who’s also in Akane’s class.

Gakuen21

Asahi is the heir of the Minakawa Group, the powerful conglomerate that runs Kirika Academy. He is bright, energetic and of course very popular at school. Besides being the genki guy who won’t leave you alone, Asahi Minakawa is also dat-one-character who’s born with a silver spoon in his mouth. His route was mainly him struggling to keep up his wealthy family’s high expectations.

I think playing Asahi’s route last, was a good choice since it contained most of the spoilers in Gakuen Club’s overall story. Other than that, his character development turned out very bland, dull and somewhat predictable. The romance was there but because of Asahi’s jolly-ol’ personality it felt a little forced, like there’s no motivation behind his feelings for Akane, at all. Also, His open-ended happy ending made me flip. (メ` ロ ´)

 

AKANE KOIZUMI (You) – Main Heroine
Akane is your typical transparent heroine. There’s nothing special about her. She doesn’t have any likable trait whatsoever, and was just blindly following and supporting most of the guys in their routes except maybe Saku and Toma’s, where her support actually made a  significant turn on how their stories were concluded.

 

TRAILER 

 

OVERALL THOUGHTS? ᕕ( ᐛ )ᕗ
Well, I didn’t  really have any high expectations from this game. I first played it on mobile, where I only did Toma’s route and got bored with it half way through. Perhaps playing it on the Switch the second time around made all the difference? The game’s system was very comfortable whether you play it handheld or docked. I played it on tv while my console was docked, so this, somehow prevented me from falling asleep! lmao.

The average play time in completing one single route was a good 2-3 hours (auto mode), though it took me a week to finish this game as I keep putting it down (ーー;). Most of the routes were boring as hell except for maybe Saku and Toma’s. These were the only two routes I’ve enjoyed, Saku being my favorite. I liked how all of the routes focused on very human stories and events, instead of the usual superfluous fantasies in otoges. Don’t get me wrong, I still love those good ol’ reverse harem fictions, but this was good change of pace.

Overall, Gakuen Club isn’t as bad as everyone assumed it to be. It had a couple of pros such Melo’s gorgeous art and not all the main characters sucked.^^ Do I recommend this game? Yes, but only if it’s on sale. I’m pretty sure you’ll at least enjoy one route (Saku’s Route). Each of the character’s stories do bring up realistic conflicts, which was a plus point to me. It’s a  very simple high-school themed visual novel though, so don’t expect it to be mind blowing or anything of the sort (chuckles).

Chlo’s Rating: 5/10