Aksys Announces Old and New Otome Titles coming to the West in 2020! (Nintendo Switch)

New Otome Game Titles Coming to the West in 2020!

The wait is over ladies! As of today (July 5, 2019), Aksys Games confirmed several Otome titles that will grace the West in 2020 for the Nintendo Switch console.

During Aksys’ Anime Expo panel, the company who’s known to localize famous Otomate brand titles, have confirmed four games they’ll be bringing to the West in the next year.

Here’s a list of what we’ll have:

 

CODE REALIZE: Guardian of Rebirth and Future Blessings

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Code Realize: Guardian of Rebirth and it’s first fandisc, Code Realize: Future Blessings are finally getting a Nintendo Switch Port. First of all, I assumed they would just port the PS4 Game, Code Realize: Bouquet of Rainbows (which basically consist of the two games in a bundle), but it looks like Aksys will be having them on separate cartridges. The release date for Guardian of Rebirth will be on February of 2020 while Future Blessings will be in Spring of 2020.

If you’re new to the Code Realize Series, I’ve written reviews for both the first and second game, feel free to check em’ out below:

Code Realize: Guardian of Rebirth Review
Code Realize: Future Blessings Review

 

 

COLLAR X MALICE AND COLLAR X MALICE UNLIMITED

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The famous crime-solving otome visual novel, Collar x Malice is finally getting a Switch port.  To those who are new to this title, CxM became very popular in the West due to its heart-pounding mystery type storyline topped with its alluring cast of characters that will leave you breathless all throughout the game. Not only that but the game’s first fandisc, Collar x Malice Unlimited is on its way too. Both games’ western release date for the N.Switch remains TBD in 2020.

CxM is my favorite otome title so I’m naturally excited about this. If you’re curious about this title, feel free to check out my review of the first game here.

 

 

PIOFIORE NO BANSHOU (WORKING TITLE)

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That’s right folks! This mafia themed otome game is finally gracing the West after getting a lot of well-received feedbacks from the Japanese market back when it was first released in 2018 for the PS Vita. Aksys, has yet to confirm the game’s official English title. Piofiore no Banshou’s western release date remains TBD in 2020.

Fun Fact: Piofiore no Banshou’s Nintendo Switch port in Japan, was recently announced this year (set to release on July 25, 2019) as well as it’s upcoming fandisc for 2020, Piofiore no Banshou – Episodio 1929.

Read the game’s synopsis here.
View the game trailer here.

 

CAFE ENCHANTE

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This one actually made me scream. (°◡°♡)

Cafe Enchante or Gensou Kissa Enchante (Japanese Title) was initially announced back in 2018’s Otomate Party in Japan but it wasn’t until this year’s recent Otomate Party (JP) that we got to see more information about the game and it’s set of unique and interesting characters. Cafe Enchante’s release date in Japan will be on October 10, 2019, while the western release date remains TBD in 2020.

The game premise is about a young girl, Kotone Awaki (protagonist) who inherits her grandfather’s cafe only to discover that none of the patrons are human.

Fun Fact: This game’s scenario writer is Nao Kojima, a well-known screenwriter in the Otome Industry who’s fairly popular for his famous works: Hakuoki, Code Realize, and Variable Barricade. The game’s head illustrator is the artist Yuuya. You’ll find some of her works very familiar if you’ve played the titles:  Hanayaka Nari series, Dandy Shot “Pub Encounters” and Jakuo no Lyla.

View the game’s trailer here.

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Sources: Anime News Network

 

New Nintendo Switch Otomate Titles for 2019 and 2020

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Otomate has recently revealed a couple of upcoming new titles as well as new info and confirmed release dates of their previously announced games during the Otomate Party (2019) Event held in Tokyo International Convention Center, Japan.

There are currently twelve games (old and new) that were announced coming to the Nintendo Switch.

 

Spade no Kuni no Alice “Alice of the Spade Country”
Wonderful White World & Wonderful Black World

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Watch the game’s trailer here.

This new title is a revival of the Heart no Kuni no Alice series by Quinrose, now with the name Quinrose reborn under the Otomate brand.  It’s predecessors, Heart no Kuni no Alice (2007), Clover no Kuni no Alice (2007), Joker no Kuni no Alice (2009), Diamond no Kuni no Alice (2012) were originally released as QuinRose titles in the Playstation Portable before the company went bankrupt in 2015.

(Edit: Thanks to Miau for the tip!)

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CUPID PARASITE

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Watch the game’s trailer here.

Cupid Parasite is a love comedy otome game about a protagonist who’s a bridal matchmaker that’s also *secretly* a cupid (goddess) at the same time. Her goal is to help “five parasites” (five ikemens) who can’t find true love.


 

 

DAIROKU: AYAKASHIMORI

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Watch the game’s trailer here.

No further details have been revealed for this game, other than all the ikemens are “yokais” (non-human, demon/spirits). Seiyuus (Voice Actors) include Toshiyuki Toyonaga, Tatsuhisa Suzuki, Takahiro Sakurai, Yusuke Kobayashi, Ryouta Ohsaka.

Fun Fact: If you love the art for Bad Apple Wars, you will love this game’s character designs, as it’s created by the same artist Suou.


 

 

TOKEI SHIKAKE NO APOCALYPSE “CLOCKWORK APOCALYPSE”

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Watch the game’s trailer here.

Otomate teases us with a brief description of this new title as “A Story that starts with a Bad End”. Besides that, no further details have been revealed for this game yet.


 

 

PIOFIORE NO BANSHOU – EPISODIO 1929

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Watch the game’s trailer here.

This will be the first fandisc of 2018’s hit Otomate title Piofiore No Banshou. This fandisc will be written by Kazura Ringo and will be directed by Asahi Takamura. Both are the same screenwriter and director of the first game.


 

 

MEIJI KATSUGEKI HAIKARA 

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Watch the game’s trailer here.

The game is developed and supervised by Ichi Column, the popular game studio known for their hit Hanayaka Nari series. No further details have been revealed for this game other than its setting will be in the Meiji Period (😂just like how the title gives it away lol).

Here are all of the characters, full body screenshots below:

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AMNESIA SERIES
MEMORIES, CROWD AND LATER

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Watch the game’s trailer here.

Rejoice! Our favorite title, Amnesia Memories finally gets a Nintendo Switch Port. This game is confirmed to release September 12, 2019. Furthermore, the game’s first and second fandisc, Amnesia Crowd and Later, will also be making it’s way to the switch console. The bundled fandisc of Crowd and Later is set to release on October 3, 2019.


 

 

COLLAR X MALICE & COLLAR X MALICE UNLIMITED

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Watch the official announcement trailer here.

…And if the previous title didn’t satisfy you, get a load of this!

Collar x Malice and Collar x Malice Unlimited will be storming its way to the Nintendo Switch Otome market in 2020. In addition, an anime adaptation of the series is currently in the works! 


 

 

OLYMPIA SOIREE

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Watch the game’s new trailer here.

They’ve actually pre-announced this game during last year’s Otomate Party (2018). Sadly, this title’s release date was pushed back to 2020. The game was designed by the famous Japanese Illustrator Satoi who’s very popular for her famous works in Diabolik Lovers series, Re: Birthday Song series and Ozmafia.


 

 

BILSHANKA SENKI ~Genpeiden~

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Watch the game’s new trailer here.

Just like Olympia Soriee, this game was also pre-announced during last year’s Otomate party (2018). Bilshanka Senki Genpeiden is a collaboration between Red Entertainment and Otomate. Its release date was also pushed back to 2020.

The story premise takes place around the Heian period during the civil war of Genpei (1180-1185), opposing the two clans Yorimoto and Taira. Most of the main characters are inspired by real personalities of the time. The heroine is the last daughter of the Minamoto and is named Shanaou, birth name of the famous General Minamoto no Yoshitsune.

Seiyuus (Voice Actors) include Makoto Furukawa, Soma Saito, Kengo Kawanishi, Yuichiro Umehara, and Jun Fukuyama.


 

 

Gensou Kissa Enchanté 

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Watch the game’s new trailer here.

To end this roundup with a bang. Here, we have more deets and a confirmed release date for the game Gensou Kissa Enchante. The game premise is about a young girl, Kotone Awaki (protagonist) who inherits her grandfather’s cafe only to discover that none of the patrons are human.

Fun Fact: This game’s scenario writer is Nao Kojima, who’s widely known for his famous works: Hakuoki, Code Realize, and Variable Barricade. The game’s head illustrator is the ever popular Japanese artist Yuuya. You’ll find some of her works very familiar if you’ve played the titles:  Hanayaka Nari series, Dandy Shot “Pub Encounters” and Jakuo no Lyla.

Seiyuus (Voice Actors) include Kenji Akabane, Yuichiro Umehara, Kaito Ishikawa, Yuki Ono and Junichi Suwabe.

Interested? Check out these CG screenshots taken from the game’s trailer!  

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Does this game makes you thirs– er, hungry or what?! 😂 Gensou Kissa Enchante is confirmed to release on October 10, 2019.


 

Source: Otomate JP Official Website
Disclaimer: These games are only confirmed in Japan.

UPDATE: Aksys Games Announces Old and New Otome Titles Coming to the West in 2020

 

Enchanted In The Moonlight is now out in the Eshop!

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Game Title: Enchanted In The Moonlight
Release Date: June 13, 2019 (North America)
Developers:
Voltage Inc.
Publishers:
Voltage Inc.

The hit mobile otome game by Voltage  Inc. is now out in the Eshop (North America) and should now be available to purchase. Originally released as a mobile port back in June 2014, Enchanted In The Moonlight: Miyabi, Kyoga & Samon and Enchanted In The Moonlight: Kiryu, Chikage & Yukinojo can now be played in the Nintendo Switch Console.

Click here for Enchanted In The Moonlight: Miyabi, Kyoga & Samon downloadable content (Nintendo Eshop).

Click here for Enchanted In The Moonlight: Kiryu, Chikage & Yukinojo downloadable content (Nintendo Eshop).

STORY (Nintendo Eshop)

You’re an average, 25-year-old girl whose life consists of working at the local library, keeping up your family’s shrine, and not much else.

However, that all changes when gorgeous men save you from mysterious, malevolent forces! These men aren’t all they appear to be, though. They’re actually Ayakashi Spirits!

You discover that your blood is imbued with an ancient power, one that the spirit world covets, and these handsome strangers are willing to protect you… for a price, that is.

Are you ready to make a deal with these otherworldly creatures?

 

VOICED? NO

The two Voltage games are both available in Japanese and English language. According to Voltage’s official website, two more “unknown titles” are set to release for the Switch this year, so let’s all be on a lookout for it.

For more otome games available in the Nintendo Switch, click this link.

 

Source: Voltage Inc. Official Twitter

Blog Anniversary Give Away

Hi guys! It’s my blog anniversary! YEEET! It’s already been a year since I started this site, can you believe it?! Woah

I won’t be doing the obligatory yearly recap (stat-wise) for my site today. Instead, I’ll keep this post simple by thanking all my subscribers, readers and viewers for keeping up with Otome Kitten despite my random inactivity.

pixel-hearts-png-11REALLY GUYS! FROM THE BOTTOM OF MY HEART, THANK YOU!pixel-hearts-png-11

Anyway, as my way of giving back all the love, I am holding a game raffle / give-away. I’ve decided to do this every year too, for as long as this blog stays alive! This year’s game raffle will be OKAMI HD for the Nintendo Switch. Please click the image below to enter!

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PLEASE NOTE:

  • The game is digital copy only.
  • The game code is in North America Region, so you will need a NA account to download and play the game. The good news is that, it is fairly easy to create an account in another region using the same console. (This is what I do when purchasing games only available in Japan’s eshop. lol)
  • The winner will be announced on April 20, 2019 (2PM CST) via Twitter, please keep your DMs open!
  • I wish everyone participating, good luck and happy gaming! ヽ(o^▽^o)ノ

source

 

 

WILL: A Wonderful World Review (Nintendo Switch)

(Non-Otome Game Review) Visual Novel

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WILL: A WONDERFUL WORLD

Release Date:  October 18, 2018 (North America)
Developers: 4Door Games, WMY Studio
Publishers:  WMY Studio, CIRCLE Ent.
Platforms:  PC, Nintendo Switch
ESRB Rating: M (Mature)

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GAME PREMISE

(Nintendo Eshop)
There is an urban legend…
Write down your troubles on a note and pray. A god shall hear your story as relayed.
People who believe in the legend live all over this world, in every shape and form. They write and pray to the gods, seeking help for their troubles.

A quiet nerd stuck in a hopeless crush.
An impoverished artist contemplating suicide.
A rookie police officer hoping for his first big case.
A young woman desperately chasing her dream.
Even a stray cat who would be satisfied with just some food to eat.

What would the world be like if such a god exists with the power to alter the fate of those that believe in this urban legend? What if, you are that god?

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First Impressions

One day you wake up as a young goddess called, Myth who apparently lost all her memories. Clueless as to who you are and what’s going on, another god, Will, who takes the form of a dog fills you in with the deets. You learn that your job is to fix the problems of those (humans) who write you letters asking for aid.

As you go along the story, you’ll also get to discover the rules and limitations of your power when bending the fates and destinies of your mortal ‘clients’Aight! This should be fun!

 

MECHANICS: Puzzles and Problem Solving

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You’ll spend most of your time reading letters for the entirety of the game while thinking of ways to alter each situation that’ll give you the best possible outcome. To do this, you’ll either switch or re-arrange sections/portions of texts from one letter to another; by doing this (with your so-called magic pen), you’re changing the fates of the main characters giving them better end results.

You’re also given two options on how you want to play the game at the start. The Normal Mode gives you hints and clues in solving puzzles while Lunatic Mode doesn’t.

 

ART AND MUSIC

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Although it’s not the shoujotype art, I normally crave for in visual novels (laughs), the artwork was nonetheless, fantastic for this game. I personally love the character designs and thought they were absolutely adorable, esp. my sons Jimmy and officer Chang. ( ´ ▽ ` )

The carefully curated bgms, blended perfectly to the game’s well-crafted atmosphere.  I liked how each main characters have their own theme and while they’re not fully voiced, the game added pre-lap dialogues for each main cast, so you can hear them talk before you read their letters. The OP song, “Ω2πⱯ” was also one of my personal favorites as it did a great job laying out the game’s enigmatic vibe.

You can purchase the game’s complete soundtrack here.

 

MAIN CHARACTERS

Besides the two gods, Will and Myth who are in complete control of how each scenario move forward, you’ll also be following the lives of these main characters, all of which have very interesting story arcs.

  • Alicia
  • Carlos
  • Chang Gyeong-Ming
  • Jimmy
  • (Lieutenant) Kang Baek-Ya
  • Li Wen
  • Park Sang-gun
  • Spottie
  • Wen Zhaoren

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(Note: More characters unlock as you progress in the story)

 

Rewriting One’s Fate Affects Another

‘Deduce and Decide’ ~ these are the most crucial points of the gameplay as your decisions either make or break the character’s goal, endgame or even fate ~ Who would’ve thought playing god can be so difficult!

It’s also fun to see how every story is somewhat interwoven and connected with another as you later on, progress through its overarching plot. Ever heard of the butterfly effectThis game is kind of like that.

 

When I say ‘dark’… I mean it.

All of the main characters have their own unhappy (sometimes distressing) stories to tell that bring up different real-life issues. At first, the themes were rather minor and almost trivial. Issues that were presented in the beginning can come up as simple as helping a boy impress a girl at school to aiding a police officer make the best out of his first day on duty.

But as the letters pile up, you’ll eventually come across more serious problems which can sometimes lead to a crippling life or death predicament. Be warned, the stories get dark, pretty fast!

That said, this game is not for everyone. There were a few scenarios that tackled very sensitive subjects such as suicide, sex trafficking, mental illness, and child abuse. If these issues make you feel uncomfortable, you may need to think twice before picking this one up as the darker themes can be a little too much (for the faint of heart)

I personally, felt really uneasy going through Alicia’s arc in the beginning. This character cannot catch a break at all, and her route was becoming harder to swallow each episode.

But here’s one of the game’s major pros: These (sensitive) issues were dealt oh so well that it even took me by surprise! I was really impressed by how each of them ended up with a positive turn around. I’ve also enjoyed how the writers added humor to some of the depressing scenes. Most of the characters go waayyy deeper than I expected, they’re not boring so to speak and their development was really something to look forward to.

 

SYSTEM AND LOCALIZATION

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I bought the Nintendo Switch copy of the game. The only problem I’ve had with it, the first time it came out in the e-shop was that it wouldn’t let me play on “docked mode” and the game will only load if you’re playing it hand-held. Thankfully, the developers fixed this bug a couple of days after its release and you should now be able to switch on either mode with no issues. The game also crashed twice for me, but thanks to its auto save mode, none of my progress were deleted.

The localization was pretty good. I only noticed this one menial, funny typo that irregularly came up near the end of the game (where the word “dice” became “die” 😂 lol) ~ but I don’t think this will, by any chance, hinder your progress. Although WILL was published by Circle Entertainment, it was Sekai Project who provided its English translations. *tips hat to SP* ヽ( ̄ω ̄)

The N.Switch System was very straightforward and easy to navigate. While Nintendo doesn’t offer trophy systems, the game conveniently enough has its own achievement section for players who want to complete it by 100%.

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It also offers a Dictionary section where you can read and view the vocabulary terms that were used in the game. Some entries come with illustrations, such as the example above. Look at that cute Ser Spotty plushie!

 

TRAILER

 

 

OVERALL THOUGHTS?

It took me a decent 20-25 hours to beat the entire game as there were a couple of instances where I had to go back and unlock other endings to see if the story branches out differently. Some of the puzzles can get a bit difficult and exhausting near the end that it certainly requires a lot of patience if you’re planning to clear this one out by a hundred percent (that means getting all the endings, completing all dictionary entries and collecting all the CGs).

Take note that in this visual novel, giving the characters a “good ending” doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the “best” for them.

WILL: A Wonderful World is not your average visual novel. Its unconventional mechanism of moving sections of texts from one story to another was quite engaging. I had fun experimenting on the countless possible outcomes for each of the in-game characters. Their stories were really good and the main casts’ development was immensely defined, they grow on you.

I should warn you though; the game gets aggressively heavy in tone as you progress. While I don’t really mind the hefty timbre of angst and sadness some story presented, I don’t think you should be playing this one blindly if you’re someone who’s easily triggered with the issues mentioned above.

Do I recommend this game? YES
If you’re a visual novel junkie like me, this game is an absolute gem and seriously a must-buy! I haven’t played a VN this interesting not to mention, emotionally heartrending in years. To me, WILL: A Wonderful World, was such a memorable experience, one that sticks to you like glue. I bought the digital copy of the game ($15.00) during its debut in the eshop and now that they’re releasing a physical version, I pre-ordered it again for the reason that it’s definitely one for the shelves and worth the collection.

I recommend picking this one up along with your fav. box of dark chocolates for the experience.😉

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CHLO’S RATING: 7/10

New Patch Updates – Otome Games (Nintendo Switch)

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Great news otome fans! Digimerce LLC has recently released patch updates for the following Nintendo Switch otome games:

  • Ayakashi Koi Gikyoku (patch update released last December 2018)
  • Iris School of Wizardry ~ Vinculum Hearts (February 26, 2019)

I believe a lot of us are already aware of the awful translations as well as the lack of proofreading on most of these Switch titles back when it was first released in the eshop last year. Thanks to all of your feedback as consumers, the game publishers themselves finally took action and fixed the translation mistakes of their games.

Below are some of the “BEFORE and AFTER” screenshots of the two games.

BEFORE:

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AFTER:

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I must say, the English subtitles have greatly improved and these games should now be playable  for everyone to enjoy. There’s still no news if they’ll be doing the same with “Kitty Love” but it is highly possible they’ll be fixing the translations for that game as well and soon. 

Still having second thoughts if it’s worth getting these games in your Switch Library? Hopefully, my reviews below will help you decide! Tee-hee! (ノ´ヮ`)ノ*: ・゚

 

Nightshade Review (Nintendo Switch)

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NIGHTSHADE

Release Date:  December 20, 2018 (North America)
Developers:  Red Entertainment / LANTERN ROOMS
Publishers: D3Publisher
Platforms:  Nintendo Switch, PC (Steam)
ESRB Rating: (Mature) 17+

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Walkthroughs:

  1. Goemon
  2. Chojiro
  3. Hanzo
  4. Kuroyuki
  5. Gekkamaru
  6. Common Route

 

PROLOGUE (from Nightshade’s official site)
During the Sengoku Period the two main factions of ninja clans, Iga and Kōga, warred against each other for decades.
In the year 1593, Nobunaga Oda started the Tenshō Iga war, decimating most of the Iga ninjas in the process. The very few that survived were absorbed into the Kōga clan, despite their past rivalries. After 17 years the Sengoku Period finally came to an end, and Japan was unified.

Enju (Protagonist), daughter of Kandō Ueno, the Head of the Kōga clan, spends her days training diligently in hope of becoming a full-fledged ninja like her peers. At long last, she is assigned to her first mission but finds herself caught in a dark conspiracy.

 

ART AND MUSIC
One of Nightshade’s prominent features that’ll easily make an impression among otome fans, is its art style. The game credits non-other than the famous illustrator, Teita who’s fairly popular for her other works such as Norn9, the Juuzaengi  Engetsu Sangokuden saga and the recently released visual novel, Charade Maniacs.

I wish I could say the same for the game’s musical score. The OP theme was nice but wasn’t memorable at all. The END theme (Good End) however, “Taezaru Hana”  by MIKOTO was pretty soothing that I ended up purchasing the track in iTunes. Listen to the full song below:

 

Voice Acting
Nightshade honestly has the best seiyuu lineup. The voice acting was, in fact, one of the major highlights of the game. The VAs really did an amazing job capturing your emotions. I was already expecting this much from their topnotch VA list, but they did more than stellar performances with this game! Every seiyuu involved were magnificent, even the side character, Ieyasu Tokugawa (voiced by Koki Miyata, who’s famous for his role as Ukyo in Amnesia), did an amazing job portraying his cunning personality.

 

Hikaru Midorikawa ♥ “Goemon Ishikawa” – Tamahome (Fushigi Yuugi Suzaku Ibun), Zenya (Sweet Pool), Ayato (Diabolik Lovers), Hanate (7’Scarlet), Yutaka Nabari (Nil Admirari)

Wataru Hatano “Gekkemaru” – Asato (Lamento Beyond the Void), Lindo (Dance with the Devils), Kotarou (Hakuoki), Sakiyama Youji (Sweet Pool), Yuuto (Storm Lover)

Hiro Shimono “Kuroyuki – Shou Kurusu (Utapri), Senri Ichinose (Norn9), Sou Kiryuu (Harukanaru Toki no Naka De 5), Ricchie (Black Wolves Saga), Ray Blackwell (Ikerev)

Kenjiro Tsuda “Hanzo Hattori” – Chikage Kazama (Hakuoki), Soshi Amazaki (The Charming Empire), Leonardo Da Vinci (Ikevamp), Nathan Seymour (Tiger & Bunny)

Kosuke Toriumi “Chojiro Momochi” – Hajime Saito (Hakuoki), Kagiha (Psychedelica BB), Poyo-Poyo (Period Cube), Hideyoshi (Ikesen), Lawrence (Psychedelica AH), John Watson (Code Realize)

 

MAIN CHARACTERS (Spoiler Free)

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I must say, I love all of the characters and their routes that it was hard for me to pick a favorite. If you’re concerned with plot spoilers in your first playthrough, my recommendation would be to play the routes in the following order (from least to greatest in spoiler content):  Goemon – Hanzo – Chojiro – Kuroyuki – Gekkamaru. For enjoyability, I’d recommend playing in the same order. Goemon and Hanzo were the lighter routes, Chojiro was angst from start to finish and the brothers (Kuroyuki and Gekkamaru) have more plot revelations than you’d  expect. I would also strongly recommend saving Gekkamaru’s route for last, trust me when I say, this makes your last playthrough more worthwhile. 😉

 

GOEMON ISHIKAWA

  • The Japanese Robin Hood
  • ladykiller

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True to his name in history books, Goemon Ishikawa is the legendary Japanese outlaw who stole gold and other valuables from the rich to give to the poor. He’s very popular among the townspeople due to his ingenious thieving schemes. He is known to send prior notices to his targets before he robs them off their treasures. Goemon is also a highly skilled ninja who has the wit of a brilliant tactician.

Playing Goemon’s route first was a good choice since his story was the lightest among the bachelors in the game, plus I haven’t fallen in love with Midorikawa’s voice in a while, so there’s also that ha! I find Goemon’s story really refreshing due to his carefree personality and charismatic nature. Because of this, it was so easy to like this character from the get-go. Going down his route will let you discover a few revelations regarding Goemon’s past, where he came from and how he ended up as the notorious thief he is now. His route also offers a couple of plot twists and although it was a little predictable towards the end, it was executed really well where it didn’t feel awkward nor forced. As far as the romance goes, Goemon is a straight-up, ladykiller. It was fun to see his relationship with Enju develop all throughout his route. His playful teasing and his easy-going personality will have you falling for him in no time.

 

HANZO HATTORI

  • Mr. stoic ninja
  • kuudere

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Besides, being Lord Ieyasu Tokugawa’s personal guard, Hanzo is also the Tokugawa clan’s shinobi leader. Because of his resounding title as the strongest ninja history has ever known, he is very popular among all the shinobi clans in Japan. He is normally calm and collected but will not hesitate to become ruthless for the success of his mission.

Hanzo is the oldest among the bachelors (and I absolutely love him!) He is, I believe 33 years old, making quite an age gap between him and the heroine Enju, but LOL this is Toyotomi-Tokugawa (Edo 1600’s – 1800’s) period we’re talking about, where huge age gaps among couples are very common… But age aside, let me tell you… Hanzo’s route completely took me by surprise! I have no words! *Breaths heavily* I guess, I was already eyeing this character from the start since Kenjiro Tsuda voiced him. But I wasn’t expecting his arc to be this good that it literally caught me off guard. He ended up becoming my favorite of the entire game!

At first, he started as the very straightforward stoic kind, who’s only doing his master, Lord Tokugawa’s bidding. But after a few encounters where he teams up with the heroine and helps her survive, he begins to slightly soften up, giving us a glimpse of his true adorable fluffy nature. Both Hanzo and Enju go through tremendous character development in this route, especially the heroine. I just love seeing Enju prove herself time and again how much she wanted to make it as a true shinobi while she constantly faces hardships every step of the way (she’s freakin’ cool!) I also love seeing Hanzo unexpectedly supporting her through her struggles. It’s as if, rather than saving her all the time, he wants her to learn to depend on herself instead; and to me, this relationship was truly very refreshing, not to mention absolutely heartwarming. Expect a lot of badass back to back action scenes in this route, where Hanzo and Enju kick some ninja ass!

 

CHOJIRO MOMOCHI

  • Big Brother
  • Angst! Angst! Angst!

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Chojiro is the son of the late leader of Iga, Tanba Momochi . After losing his family and clan in the Tensho Iga War at the age of five, he joined the Koga clan along with the other Iga survivors. Chojiro is also the heroine’s cousin as well as her mentor/trainer. He is a man of a few words and he completely devotes himself to his missions without questions.

I made a mistake playing Chojiro’s route earlier in the game as I wasn’t ready for a sudden whirlwind of angst! At the start, Chojiro’s personality was very closed off, its almost as if he has built a wall before him to keep others away. Because of his tragic past, he doesn’t want to get attached to anyone, afraid he’d lose them at the blink of an eye just like how he lost his parents when he was young. This makes his relationship with Enju a little less intimate from the beginning. As the heroine tries her best to get a closer reach of him, he waves his feelings off because he’s conflicted between succeeding his missions as a shinobi versus his own desire to help Enju and stay by her side.

Chojiro’s route was also the most tragic in the game!😭 Ya’ll better prepare those tissues! Romantic wise, his story was not my favorite. The drama just out-weights the romance on this one. I do love the writing in his route though. It seriously gave me an emotional breakdown I wasn’t prepared for. 😅I suggest playing his route in the middle to get the angst out of the way. This, also kinda gives you more room to recuperate from the heavy drama before jumping into an even more dramatic finish as you do Gekka’s route last.

 

KUROYUKI

  • clever, cunning
  • soft yand

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Kuroyuki is Gekkamaru’s younger brother. Right after he was born, both boys became orphans and were taken in by Enju’s family. He was sent away on an extended mission when he was eight, by the heroine’s father Kando Ueno, who’s also the leader and head chief of the Koga clan. Kuroyuki is also the same age as Enju (16).

Not much is revealed about this character other than he is Gekkamaru’s brother who was sent on a secret mission when he was eight years old. Where did he go? What was he doing for the last eight years he was gone? It was rather questionable how his character (in other routes) always comes and goes sporadically in the plot.

I couldn’t really expound more on Kuroyuki’s arc without entering spoiler territory but going down his route will let you discover one interesting revelation about him and the game’s overarching plot. It was quite satisfying to play Yuki’s route because finally! we get to fill in some plot holes. I fell in love with his story for the same reasons some people are calling it out for. It wasn’t light nor easy-going as Goemon’s or Hanzo’s, it wasn’t tragic as Chojiro’s or Gekkamaru’s. It was dark and I probably wouldn’t have it in any other way. Kudos to Hiro Shimono for breathing extra life to this character!

 

GEKKAMARU

  • best boi
  • puppy eyes
  • true route ish?

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After losing his family at the age of three, Gekkamaru was adopted by the heroine’s parents along with his younger brother Kuroyuki. Gekkamaru was assigned as Enju’s trusted bodyguard when they were young and has proven his loyalty and devotion through time by sticking to his role as Enju’s protector. He is wholeheartedly committed to his master (Enju) to a point where he becomes too overprotective of her.

So after going through all kinds of heaps and hooplas of playing and suffering each of the character routes in the game, I’m finally down on my last one, Gekkamaru. I know you can just play his route whenever but I chose to do his story last for the experience. ohoho!

…and I have no regrets!😭 Gekkamaru’s route started with pure dramatic fluff as expected. It was just so precious and endearing to see how far this man would go for the sake of the heroine. His loyalty and dedication for Enju was such a pure bliss that it even pains me to see him doing too much😭. His route was a combination of action, romance, a side of humor and a whole lot of drama as he and the heroine struggled to survive by each other’s side. I thought to myself, “This story couldn’t get any better or worse, could it?” but then angst hits the fan through plot twists after plot twists (during the last chapters) and this was where the story really picked up. I was at lost for words. I felt really sad, angry and confused. His route put me through a tidal wave of emotions, I had to pause the game for a while, sit in a corner to get my head straight and my breathing in check! lmao! Gekkamaru’s route is like a slow burn, heart-rending gut punch and I absolutely loved it.

 

ENJU UENO (Main Heroine)

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Enju is a strong heroine and I adore her to bits. Unfortunately, her potentiality to become an even better shinobi was wasted in some routes because of the whole damsel in distress scenarios, with the exception on Hanzo’s and Gekkamaru’s route ~ these were probably the only arcs where Enju was able to hone her skills as a ninja and showed her true strengths.

Enju Ueno was literally, thrown to the wolves when she got caught up into this despicable game of survival, out of the blue. Not only that, but the ordeal she went through of betrayal, loss, and sorrow was absolutely too much to handle for someone her age. Still, despite all the hardships, she chose to live and survive. I was thoroughly impressed by her determination which I believe was one of her strongest points. YES, this is one badass heroine right here folks!

 

Side Characters

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Ennosuke (Left) – The fastest ninja in the Koga clan. He’s not romanceable, and I don’t think I’d want him as a dateable character either, heh. I love his friendly banters with Kyara.

Kyara (Right) – Proud, graceful, responsible, and badass on the battlefield. Her weapon of choice is a “chigirigi” which is similar to the “morning star” in medieval age weaponry. I ship her with Ennosuke. AlsoSaori Hayami voices her, so this to me was a plus!

Kasumi (Center) – the cutest, most adorable ninja…ever! She’s the youngest of Chojiro’s disciples. Looks up to Enju and Kyara as her older sisters. I love her so much! *must protecc*

 

SYSTEM AND LOCALIZATION
I purchased the physical copy of Nightshade (proxy shipped) which lets you choose three language options to start the game with (English, Chinese, Japanese). I can say, that the localization was fairly decent. I didn’t play the PC version, but I asked a few people who owned both PC and Switch copy and as far as their answers go, D3Publisher did not change the English translations for Nightshade on the Switch. They changed the fonts though! D3Publisher is known to deliver decent game localizations. They’re not the best but they’re not disappointing either. I’ve spotted a couple of minor typos in the game, but it’s NOT something that would ruin the whole experience for you.

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The Switch system was very comfortable and very easy to navigate from the jump. They even offer a “rewind” option for you to backtrack scenarios, which to me, was a saving grace. This way, making the correct save files became a piece of cake. The Nintendo Switch version also contains the game’s DLC “Special Content”. These are extra fluff episodes that happened in the middle of a character’s story. They also come with a special CG (one for each story).

 

TRAILER

 

OVERALL THOUGHTS? (ノ´ヮ`)ノ*: ・
It took me a total of 30 hours to finish the game, and none of these 1800 minutes spent were wasted. Yes, I loved every bit of it.

Although the story was set in the Sengoku “Warring” period of Japan. Instead of the usual cliche battleground premise, that’s normally used in Sengoku themed animes and VNs. Nightshade’s story focused more on the darker side of politics during the said period. The indirect “battle royale” theme, I admit, was quite bracing and very well-paced, at that. It was something I never expected to actually work in an otome game.

Besides Nightshade’s gorgeous artwork, I wanted to compliment the game’s stunning special effects, such as the leaves falling in the BG, flower petals scattering about  (whenever Enju uses her ninjitsu), and the moving sprites (which played exceptionally well during fight scenes). The voice acting for Nightshade blew me away and I couldn’t have wished for a better seiyuu lineup. I guess my only gripe here was Enju’s inconsistency as the heroine. In some routes, she’s badass while in others, she’s weak and very dependent. Her characteristics as a whole seem to vary depending on who’s the guy she’s with. I still love her as the main protagonist though!

While I’ve enjoyed playing all the routes in Nightshade and their respective stories, the ones that made an impression on me were Hanzo’s, Goemon’s and Gekkamaru’s. Chojiro’s was good but it was too angsty for my taste and while Kuroyuki’s story drove me to the edge of my seat, this is the route where Enju is at her weakest.

Do I recommend this game? YES
This is the first-ever english otome game in the Switch that I would no doubt recommend to everyone at the drop of a hat. I’m so glad I’ve waited for this port, despite all the STEAM sales that have gone by the previous years 😂 (laughs). To be honest, I was even quite sad when I finished it 😅 and wished there was more content for me to explore. If you’re having second thoughts whether or not it’s worth shelling out 48 bux to get this game in your Nintendo Switch Library. Here’s my advice: GET IT! This one’s definitely a gem and imo, almost up to par with the big titles (like Code Realize, Hakuoki, CxM). If you want an otome game with impressive storyline and characters you can’t ever get enough of, I can’t recommend Nightshade enough!

 

CHLO’S RATING: 8/10