Psychedelica of the Ashen Hawk Review

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PSYCHEDELICA OF THE ASHEN HAWK

Release Date: June 29, 2018 (North America)
Developers:  Idea Factory, Otomate
Publishers:  Idea Factory, Aksys Games
Platforms:  PS Vita
ESRB Rating: T (Teen)

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…and finally! The last title for Aksys’ Summer of Mystery Promo.

It’s a Witch-hunt!
Psychedelica of the Ashen Hawk holds true to its testimonials of a very engaging gameplay with a plot setting that’s intriguingly rather different compared to its prequel (Psychedelica of the Black Butterfly). With the game’s time period set to a Post-renaissance age, the story revolves around the ever famous “witch-hunt” phenomenon that was commonly popular in Early Modern History.

As part of the Psychedelica series where a melancholic finish is a known signature, do not expect to have ten folds of happy endings in this game. 

Walkthroughs:
Common Route Endings
ALL Main Character Endings

 

GAME SYNOPSIS
“In a town ruled by opposing clans and overshadowed by superstition and legend,
A child is born with the dreaded mark of a witch.
She conceals her identity until the theft of a mysterious relic
brings to light a series of staggering revelations.
The mysteries she will uncover could restore order
..or destroy everything that she knows..”

 

ART AND MUSIC
I like Satol Yuiga’s approach to this sequel’s art style. The artist showed a lot of emphasis on colder shades (different shades of black, gray, caramel brown, white), to highlight the game’s setting of ‘a town where winter never ends’.  The Kaleidoscope pattern on each of the character’s head annoyed me at first, but this was one of the easter eggs that got me really absorbed in the game.

The game’s soundtrack was also very new to me. From it’s brisk opening theme to it’s forlorn ending. Everything including the BGMs were incredibly surreal. I love the Middle Age vibe it’s rendering. I’ve included a sample of these tracks below (purchased from iTunes):

 

VOICE ACTING

Mutsumi Tamura “Jed / Eiar” – Kobayashi (Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid) Camilla Pareto (Asterisk War)

Hino Satoshi “Lavan” – Toma (Amnesia), Noiz (DRAMAtical Murder), Leo Crawford (Midnight Cinderella)

Saito Souma “Levi” – Mineo Enomoto (Collar x Malice), Rem Kaginuki (Dance with Devils), Sota (Possession Magenta)

Furukawa Makoto “Lugus” – Adage (Steam Prison), Kyle Ash (Ikerev), Clive (Million Dollar Boyfriend)

Daisuke Namikawa “Hugh” – Takeru Sazasuka (Collar x Malice), Kaga Akira (Clock Zero), Eigetsu/Yougetsu (Saiunkoku Monogatari), Komura Yuuichi (Hiiro no Kakera)

Daisuke Hirakawa “Tower Overlord” – Saint Germain (Code Realize), Laito (Diabolik Lovers), Zain (Period Cube), Nakaoka Shintarou (Hakuoki), Suguri Ohmi (Hiro no Kakera)

Kosuke Toriumi “Lawrence” – Saito Hajime (Hakuoki), Shiki (Period Cube), Rei Mikuni (Collar x Malice), Hideyoshi (Ikesen), Shuu (Diabolik Lovers), John Watson (Code Realize Future Blessings)

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

Morikawa Toshiyuki “Olgar” – Rai (Lamento Beyond the Void), Arles (Black Wolves Saga), Thoth (Kamigami no Asobi),

Oohara Sayaka “Francisca” – Margaret (Persona 4), Kela Hazel (Galaxy Angel)

 

MAIN CHARACTERS (SPOILER FREE)

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Some character’s true ending will only unlock after clearing another character’s route beforehand. For example, Levi’s good end will only unlock after finishing Lavan’s route. Following the walkthroughs, I’ve linked above is the easiest and most convenient way to unlock all of the game’s endings.

LAVAN

  • Lord of the Wolf Clan
  • Overprotective
  • One-Sided Luurrv

As the Wolf family’s first son, Lavan was raised to be the heir of their clan from day one. He’s a very charismatic, respectable man and almost everyone in town loves him. Besides his handsome features that gets him all dem stares from the ladies, he’s also exceptionally skilled in combat and loves collecting weapons (sword). Lavan is also the only guy in Jed’s harem who knows her cross-dressing secret. The game made this very obvious, so I don’t consider this as a spoiler. That said, I sort of feel bad seeing his unrequited love for Jed unfold as you read through chapters. I love Lavan’s interaction with the heroine in all his short story episodes though, it’s romantic fluff at its finest. Plus, his Masquerade CG is something to look forward to.

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LEVI

  • Short Tempered
  • Second Son Syndrome

Levi is the second son of the Wolf family. He’s also the head of the town’s vigilante committee. Although he can be a little short tempered at times (especially when provoked by the opposing faction), a lot of soldiers from the wolf clan respects him for his leadership. He thinks of Jed (the heroine) as his little brother and is always looking out for her best interest. One thing I really like about Levi, is how accepting he is when it comes to his flawed characteristics. I also love how there isn’t much of the cliched ‘sibling rivalry’ between him and Lavan in the game. Their brotherly relationship seemed pretty solid all throughout the story.

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LUGUS

  • Lord of the Hawk Clan
  • Gap Moe
  • Best boi

As the only son of the present Hawk Lord, Olgar, Lugus is expected to do his tyrannical father’s bidding, such as collecting taxes from the townsmen. He doesn’t seem to care what the rest of the town thinks of him as long as he gets the work done, befitting their faction. Lugus displays a very cold, unfriendly persona upfront but get into his good side and you’ll discover a surprisingly adorable gentleman. Not only is he the poster-boy of the Psychedelica AH, he’s also the game’s bias as most of his short story episodes contain an overwhelming amount of doki-dokis compared to the rest of the guys in the game (laughs).

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HUGH 

  • Mysterious “Traveler”
  • knows more than he lets on

Not much is really known about this character besides introducing himself as the mysterious traveler who took interest in the heroine’s story. Going through Hugh’s route gives you a lot of easter eggs in the Psychedelica lore. Tbh, Hugh’s character confused the hell out of me to a point where I had a million theories in my head that didn’t really panned out in the end. His character design was beautiful though, and I’m always a sucker for Daisuke Namikawa’s voice acting, so there’s that! ( ̄ω ̄)

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TOWER OVERLORD

  • Amnesiac
  • Free Spirited
  • Lazy

This eye-patched man lives with Jed in the town’s lonely white tower and acts as the heroine’s ‘guardian‘. Although listed only as a side character of the game, I consider the tower overlord as one of the main important casts in Psychedelica of the Ashen Hawk. Because of his free-spirited nature, his interactions with the heroine were always enjoyable. He’s also one of the few who knew about Jed’s real identity and would seldom tease her whenever she dresses up as a woman. Though this man deliberately wears an easygoing facade, inside his happy-go-lucky smiles lies a dark secret that brings about a deeper and more complicated character.

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JED / EIAR (Heroine)

  • Cross dressing MC
  • MVP
  • Best Girl

Born with the accursed red eye, our heroine was ill-fated as the descendant of an ominous witch, who was believed to have caused the town’s never-ending winter season. Because of this, she hides her true identity and decided to live her life as a man.

Alright, so if there’s any character in the game that truly deserves high regard of respect, Jed would be your gal. I have never felt so sympathetic towards a character until Jed. All throughout the game, this heroine was too good – I couldn’t even put it to words. She’s kind, very independent and above all, doesn’t wallow on any BS. Truth be told, it was so aggravating playing her character not because she was mundane (she’s not!) but because she was such a good character, it pains me to see all this misfortune befalling on herimage. I was totally at a point where I just want to give her a comforting hug, and scream: “Please cut this heroine some slack!” image

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this heroine can take a beating too and can fight well with the sword

 

MAPS
Aside from the flowchart, the game also allows you to navigate through TOWN MAPS where you can collect “Town Memories” and watch short episodes of sheer fluff goodness. Make sure to switch from Jed to Eiar whenever you can, as both characters offer different short stories.

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Town Memories – marked in PINK, with the magnifying glass icon. (you’ll need these to buy items from the antique shop by the tavern);  these are very short talk episodes with the town people.

Short Story Episodes – marked in BLUE, are short stories of the heroine’s encounter with the main & side characters of the game.

 

TRAILER / OPENING MOVIE

 

Will I enjoy Psychedelica of the Ashen Hawk even though I haven’t played Psychedelica of the Black Butterfly?

Psychedelica AH somehow created its own new lore which can stand alone on its own. That being said, it can be enjoyed as it is, even if you haven’t played Psychedelica BB. However, I still (strongly) recommend playing the prequel beforehand as there were A LOT of references from Black Butterfly that were very significant in Ashen Hawk. Playing its prequel also adds up to the game’s enjoyment level.

 

OVERALL THOUGHTS? (*°▽°*)
With lengthier gameplay this time, It did a great job introducing the main characters and their corresponding motives at the beginning of the story. I also like how each chapter was gradually building its overarching plot, one that’s very engaging, – I actually had a hard time putting down the game for a while.  All the characters were very likable and I love how each of them (including the side characters) seem to have their own backstories to share as you progress through the game. Although still low in romance, the game did manage to take the fluff up a notch when compared to its predecessor (PBB).

But just like any other mystery themed visual novel, it had a couple of plot holes that left me asking more questions after completing the game. I was expecting a proper closure, like the one in Psychedelica BB, but sadly there wasn’t any, which sort of left me a little confused… Will there be another sequel that will give me answers? Please…I need to know!

Do I Recommend this game?
Consider this title a nice treat to those who’ve played Psychedelica of the Black Butterfly (whether or not you’ve enjoyed it). Ashen Hawk had great pacing and story build up, it won’t take you that long to get absorbed in the game. However, it doesn’t promise a merry ending with rainbows and sunshine, so EXPECT and brace yourself for the angst and unexpected plot twists.

I guess, if you view the Psychedelica series as a visual novel rather than an otoge, you may appreciate it more. (* ^ ω ^)

 

Chlo’s Rating: 7/10

7’Scarlet Review

NOTE: This review is SPOILER FREE.

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7’SCARLET

Release Date: May 25, 2018 (North America)
Developers:  Toybox Inc, Otomate
Publishers:  Aksys Games
Platforms:  PS Vita
ESRB Rating: T (Teen)

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As the second title released by Aksys Games for their Summer of Mystery Promotion, 7’scarlet offers one gripping mystery-solving gameplay amplified with a cute touch of romance.

Walkthroughs:

Hino Kagutsuchi
Isora Amari
Toa Kushinada
Sosuke Tatehira
Yuzuki Murakumo
True Route & Final Character

 

Read the game’s synopsis here.

 

Romance and Folklore
Otome Visual Novels are either a hit or a miss when it comes to it’s story narratives. 7’scarlet did one hell of a job foregoing a simple but very intriguing mystery-type plot line while having a few romantic events as an additive to its overarching deep story.

With the help of its unique visuals and animations, playing 7’scarlet was close to watching your favorite anime series.

 

ART
One of the things I really enjoyed while playing 7’scarlet was the game’s astonishing BG images. It’s just so pretty! more like wallpaper material! ( ´ ▽ ` ). The game’s artist was non-other than, Kurahana Chinatsu an illustrator who’s also famous for her other popular works such as the character designs for Uta no Prince-Sama, Lamento (Beyond the Void), and Togainu no Chi.

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SOUNDTRACK AND VOICE ACTING
7’Scarlet has two opening themes, “World’s End Syndrome” and “LOVESICK”, you can unlock the latter after finishing a certain route in the game. The BGMs are good too, some are rather simple but very fitting for the game’s setting and transitions. Heck, I ended up buying the whole 7’scarlet soundtrack in iTunes.

One track that  absolutely gave me the feels was the song called “Starry”. You can listen to it below:

 

Voice Acting

Nobunaga Shimazaki “Hino – Napoleon (Ikevamp), Kurogane Naoto (BlazBlue)Mitsuhide (Sengoku Nightblood)

Tetsuya Kakihara “Isora – Shin (Amnesia), Victor Frankenstein (Code Realize), Karasuba (Pyschedelica BB), Toki Tanba (Charming Empire)

Showtaro Morikubo “Toa – Impey (Code Realize), Reiji (Uta no Prince-sama), Okita (Hakuoki)

Chiharu Sawashiro “Sosuke – Shila (Snow White and the Red hair), Hero (Caligula Effect)

Shinichirou Miki “Yuzuki – Hijikata (Hakuoki), Nesso Galland (Black Wolves Saga), Bucket-Sensei (Bad Apple Wars)

Sanae Kobayashi “Yuki – Sara Nome (Macross Zero), Nagisa (Maid Sama)

Hiroki Yasumoto “Mr. Karasuma – Azrael (BlazBlue), Nidai Nekomaru (Danganropa V3), Hyuga (KLAP)

Hiroki Takahashi “Kagura Tsukuyomi – Rayne (Neo Angelique Abyss), Otohiko (Kamisama Kiss), Koujaku (DRAMAtical Murder)

Daisuke Kishio “Yasu Azusa (Diabolik Lovers), Mizushima Arata (Kiniro no Corda: Bluesky), Kuzuryuu (Danganropa V3)

Chiwa Saito “Yua – Aoi Asahina (Danganropa V3), Taokaka (BlazBlue), Domina (Period Cube), Fate (Caster)

 

imageMAIN CHARACTERS (SPOILER FREE)

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Recommended play order:

1)Hino
2)Isora
3)Toa – only unlocks after finishing Hino and Isora’s good ending
4)Sosuke – only unlocks after finishing Toa’s good ending
5)Yuzuki – only unlocks after finishing all of the character’s good ending

 

Hino Kagutsuchi

  • Childhood friend
  • Sporty
  • Dork

Hino’s story was cute. Although it had very few spoilers regarding the game’s overarching plot, his route did a great job catering as “build-up” for the oncoming routes and mysteries you’ll get to unravel in the later part of the game. Hino was also rather, an amusing character. I enjoyed the fact that he was physically a jock on the outside but covertly the biggest dork on the inside image(the guy fangirls on ‘kawaii’ things! lol). His romance was a bit more of the generic childhood-friend trope, which I’m not really a big fan of. His route wasn’t my favorite, but it was definitely a good start.

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Isora Amari

  • Best Chef
  • Hot tempered
  • Yandere

Just like Hino’s route, Isora’s story offers very few spoilers of the game’s underlying plot but was well written enough to create a very mysterious atmosphere of the town, Okunezato. Isora’s character was also deeper than what I expected and I wished the writers expounded more on the depth of his ‘actions’ (e.g. his hot tempers) rather than just throwing it out there for the heck of it. Despite this, I love Isora Amari’s story. It had great pacing, enough to give you that creep factor you seek in every mystery-themed visual novel. His romance, on the other hand, may not suit everyone’s preferences. Although I personally enjoyed it, I can understand how it may not work for some.
┐(︶▽︶)┌

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Toa Kushinada

  • Cat mom
  • Color blind
  • such a sweet boi!

So my first impression with Toa was: “Really?! I have to romance this clumsy nerd, seriously, game?”. Then I started playing his route just to get it over with and omg! I did not expect the sudden turn of events! 

As I’ve probably mentioned repeatedly in my previous reviews… I absolutely love it when a game catches you off guard, and this character’s arc takes the cake! I couldn’t talk more about his story without going into spoiler territory so I’ll leave it at this: Toa was such a great character and he deserves all the love in the world! Best boy (imo), one that’s definitely unforgettable.(ノ´ヮ`)ノ*: ・゚

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Sosuke Tatehira

  • Smart
  • Neat freak!
  • Best Doctor
  • OC!

If there was one route that got me at the edge of my seat in 7’scarlet ~ it was definitely Sosuke’s. His story had great pacing where it started off very light then surprisingly escalated into a few puzzling events. His route also introduced a more definitive and deeper story regarding the mysteries surrounding the town of Okunezato. While the suspense was a little overwhelming in this route, I wanted to commend, how the romance never took a back seat in Sosuke’s story. His relationship with the heroine felt genuinely real and I love both his and Ichiko’s character development. I also loved the fact that Sosuke was such a neat freak and becomes very obsessive-compulsive about something so simple such as a goldfish scooping game! (rofl)

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Yuzuki Murakumo

  • Intense boss
  • Tsundere

While the suspense was building up in Sosuke’s previous route, Yuzuki’s story, on the other hand, was a powerhouse of everything (thrill, drama, a few action-packed scenes, and some romantic fluffs) …And although it happened so fast, all at the same time, I’ve got to say, the events picked up pretty well that it didn’t come out too forced nor too overwhelming with information. I personally love Yuzuki’s character. He is cold and irritable on the outside but inside his icy personality is one very warm, fluffy husbando!  His story was probably the most compelling one as far as solving the mysteries of Okunezato go.

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Ichiko Hanamaki (You)

  • amnesiac heroine (explained in ??? ‘s route)
  • hates strawberries (explained in ??? ‘s route)
  • can’t swim (explained in ??? ‘s route)

hanamakiDespite the the main protagonist’s naivety and recklessness to a point where you’d clearly have to question this heroine’s sense of danger (rofl), image Ichiko Hanamaki had a couple of good points up her sleeve such as her strong will and determination to look for her disappeared older brother, in spite of being absolutely clueless on where to begin. Another enjoyable aspect was how this heroine sometimes gets shamelessly clumsy in declaring her love to the gentleman of her liking. She had a couple of funny moments that got me all “lol guuurl, wtf ” ~ she’s definitely not the best MC all around (nor even close) but I had fun playing her.

 

 

And it gets better…
So the story doesn’t really end there. After finishing Hino, Isora, Toa, Sosuke, and Yuzuki’s route. Two more routes unlock in this game.

Who is the culprit?image
Another factor why this game was so entertaining to me was that it reminded me of playing Mafiascum.

As someone who’s been playing mafiascum online for a long time, the game’s conclusion was somewhat predictable but I’ve got to admit, it was one gripping read and the “True Ending” was painfully heartbreaking.

 

TRAILER

 

OVERALL THOUGHTS? ( ´ ▽ ` )
7’scarlet is a very well written mystery themed visual novel. While the story was so simple, the events were paced so good that each tension as you unravel the mysteries remained suspenseful enough to keep you going. Truth be told, I did not expect I’d get so emotionally attached to this game. It’s really one gripping read. I couldn’t get over it for maybe a week (laughs).

The animation and movie clips of 7’scarlet made this game more entertaining. Though without it, the game still excels as one of the better otome visual novels that were localized this year (story-wise). I guess my only gripe was that some of the main characters lacked development and I believe, there were a few instances where some scenes seemed a little shoehorned and weren’t necessary (e.g. some events in Isora’s story). I also wished they could’ve done more with the last secret route as the ending felt rushed and lacking. (shrug)

Nonetheless, I still thoroughly enjoyed playing this game and would still consider it one of the most compelling stories an otome game has to offer.

Do I recommend this game? YES! If you’re looking for a good mystery-romance themed visual novel with great art, music, animation and one unforgettable story that will rob you of words, 7’scarlet is a perfect choice.

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Chlo’s Rating: 7/10

7’scarlet – Yuzuki Murakumo Walkthrough

 

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YUZUKI MURAKUMO
NOTE: This route unlocks after completing the other character’s happy ending.

 

(Start NEW GAME and choose Yuzuki Murakumo’s Route from Scenarios)

YUZUKI’S ROUTE

August 3

-Those flowers are beautiful
-Ignore him

August 4

-Stay silent
-Be quiet

August 5

-Back

(Create a Save File 1 here)
-I was so scared

(Create a Save File 2 here)
-Ask him what happened to Tsuzuri

(Create a Save File 3 here)
-I’m not sure

 

August 6

(no choices)

 

August 7

-Is it Yasu?

 

August 8

(no choices)

 

August 9

(Create a Save File 4 here)
-Throw something

 

-HAPPY ENDING-

 

 

Tragic Love Endings:

Load Save File 3

-I do
-Is it you, Yuzuki?
-Throw something
-Tragic Love Ending 1

TIP: After clearing the True Route, go back to Yuzuki’s route and unlock his Tragic Love Ending 2

Load Save File 3 (this ending unlocks after clearing True Route)

-I do
-Is it you, Yuzuki?
-Throw something
-Stare at it
-Tragic Love Ending 2

 

BAD ENDINGS:

Load Save File 1

-You’re late
-Ask him what happened to Tsuzuri
-I do
-Is it you, Yuzuki?
-Throw something
-Bad End 1

 

Load Save File 2 

-Ask him about the Ensepulchers
-Bad End 2

 

Load Save File 4

-Run away
-Bad End 3

 

 

TIP: The True Route unlocks after completing Yuzuki’s happy ending.

7’scarlet – Sosuke Tatehira Walkthrough

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SOSUKE TATEHIRA 
NOTE: His route unlocks after finishing Toa’s route.

 

GENERAL ROUTE

August 1

-Wake yourself up
-Purple Flower Hair Ornament
-I don’t like him that much
-I’m more of a dog person.
-Hmmm…Did we meet…?
-Sosuke Tatehira

August 2

-Take a good look at the wind chimes
-Take a walk with Sosuke
-Go for a short walk
-Walk a little while longer

August 3

-I’m honestly just on vacation
-Go with Sosuke

 

(If you made the correct choices so far, you will get Sosuke’s route next)

 

SOSUKE’S ROUTE

August 3

-Are you bored?
-Offer him your mizu-ame
-Because you didn’t smile much.

August 4

(no choices)

 

August 5

-Be happy

 

August 6

-Silently put my hand on his

 

August 7

(no choices)

 

August 8

-I feel the same way

(Create a Save File 1 here)

-Open the door

 

August 9

-Sosuke (he will laugh^^)

(Create a Save File 2 here)

-Stay here
-Mr. Tsukuyomi

 

August 11

-HAPPY ENDING-

 

 

Tragic Love / Normal End:

Load Save File 1

-Be Cautious
-Hino
-Stay here
-Mr. Tsukuyomi
(Tragic Love / Normal End)

 

 

BAD ENDINGS:

Load Save File 2

-Go back to your room
-Bad End 1

 

 

TIPThere are no CGs available for both Sosuke’s Normal and Bad endings.

Hope this helps!

7’scarlet – Isora Amari Walkthrough

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ISORA AMARI

 

GENERAL ROUTE

August 1

-Wake yourself up
-Crescent Moon Pendant
-I don’t like him that much
-I’m more of a dog person
-Of course I remember
-Isora Amari

August 2

-Talk a little longer with Yua
-Help Isora

August 3

-I’m honestly just on vacation
-Go with Isora

 

(If you made the correct choices so far, you will get Isora’s route next)

 

ISORA’S ROUTE

August 3

-Look Away

August 4

-I wanted to watch you cook
-Thank Isora

August 5

(no choices)

August 6

-I trust you

August 7

-Go for a ride on a boat
-After Yuki left

(Create a Save File 1 here)
-I’ll get them

August ???

(Create a Save File 2 here)
-Blindly trust him

(Create a Save File 3 here)
-Stay in the room

 

-HAPPY ENDING-

 

Tragic Love Ending:

Load Save File 2

-Ask him what’s going on
-Stay in the room
(Tragic Love Ending)

 

BAD ENDINGS:

Load Save File 1

-Let’s get them together
-Bad End 1

 

Load Save File 3

-Leave the room
-Bad End 2

 

 

TIP: You can get Isora’s last CG by unlocking his Tragic Love Ending. All his bad ends doesn’t have any CGs in it.

Hope this helps!

7’scarlet – Hino Kagutsuchi Walkthrough

 

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HINO KAGUTSUCHI

 

GENERAL ROUTE

August 1 

-Yeah, I’ll wake you up.
-Purple Flower Hair Ornament
-I don’t like him that much.
-I’m more of a dog person.
-Hmmm… Did we meet…?
-Hino Kagutsuchi
-Take a bath
-Go through the red curtain

August 2

-Take a good look at the wind chimes
-Swim in the river with Hino

August 3

-I’m honestly just on vacation
-Go with Hino

(If you made the correct choices so far, you will get Hino’s route next)

 

HINO’S ROUTE

August 3

-It looks good on you
-Want some shaved ice?

(Create a Save File here 1)
-Go check on Hino

August 4

-Go for a walk

(Create a Save File here 2)
-Dry it with a handkerchief
-Clean the baths with Hino

August 5

-I can’t think of anyone
-Yeah you’re right

August 6

(Create a Save File here 3)
-Continue looking for your brother
-Examine the object housing the shrine deity
-Examine the walls
-Examine the floor

-HAPPY ENDING-

 

Tragic Love Ending:

Load Save File 3

-Think it over for a bit
-Examine the object housing the shrine deity
-Examine the walls
-Examine the floor
(Tragic Love Ending)

 

BAD ENDINGS:

 

Load Save File 1

-Go thank Mr. Tsukuyomi
-Tell him you came to look for your brother
Bad End 1

 

Load Save File 2

-Wash it off with water
-Say you’ll take a bath tomorrow
-Any of the first three choices
-You seem kind of different
-Continue looking for your brother
Bad End 2

 

Load Save File 3

-Go back to Tokyo for now
Bad End 3

 

 

TIP: There are no CG’s in the Hino’s bad ends, however, there’s a ‘TIP’ that unlocks in his Bad End 1, so be sure not to miss it!

Hope this helps!

Psychedelica of the Black Butterfly Review

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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)

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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

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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! 

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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.

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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).

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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.

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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.

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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