Hakuoki is big on alternate histories

The Hakuoki series has always been one that offered an opportunity to enjoy alternate histories. Adding supernatural creatures to retellings of historical events is going to do that. As is adding in romance elements, since the players falling for these warriors will want happy endings with the men they love. Hakuoki: Kyoto Winds and Edo Blossoms takes this concept to new heights. These new and expanded storylines offer even more alternate takes, some of which play with the course of fictional events.

Read more

Review: Atelier Lydie & Suelle ties up a trilogy

Gust’s Atelier series releases in groups of trilogies as of late. For example, Atelier Rorona, Totori and Meruru are part of the Arland trilogy, while Atelier Ayesha, Escha & Logy and Shallie make up the Dusk line. We are now at the end of another group. Atelier Lydie & Suelle: The Alchemists and the Mysterious Paintings is a game pulling double duty. It is expected to provide people an opportunity to help a pair of twins develop the best atelier in their town, while also wrapping up all of the Mysterious series’ storylines. While this particular trilogy has not been the most enthralling in Atelier history, this installment tries to make up for its predecessors’ story shortcomings while quickly tying up loose ends.

Read more

Review: Ni no Kuni II builds a nation of imagination

The return of a property mashing up all-stars, Ni no Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom aims to step out of its predecessor’s shadow. It uses animation work from those with Studio Ghibli experience, but no longer has a connection to the studio itself. It comes from the team behind many core Dragon Quest titles, but moves further away from some of that series’ tropes while retaining what works in a more divergent context. It tells a tale of idealized innocence, without for a second apologizing for it. And it never lets up on the charm.

Read more

The Witch’s Isle is a more complex and mature Cocosola game

Cocosola is a rather unusual company. If people know the name, it is likely due to their clicker titles. After all, this is the developer that started the “evolution” game craze by putting out Alpaca Evolution, where you tap alpacas to make your alpaca absorb them and morph into unholy forms of itself, and I am Giraffe, which was Alpaca Evoltion with creatures that looked a little like giraffes. The Witch’s Isle is its first foray into a deeper adventure, one that requires you to think, explore a town and be willing to fail to progress.

Read more

Iba is in a unique position in Hakuoki

Hachiro Iba is in a unique situation in Hakuoki: Edo Blossoms. As a new bachelor, he has an entirely fresh storyline. There is also the fact that he is a childhood friend of Chizuru Yukimura, since this provides new background on her life. But there is one more important way in which Hachiro is a game changer. Through him, we have an entirely new look at the Fury situation.

Read more

Review: Hakuoki: Edo Blossoms offers a more straightforward story

Otome fans find themselves in a familiar place again. Hakuoki, much like the Furies that inhabit it, is an undying beast of a visual novel lurching its way to new systems. This time, it’s wrapping up a tale. Hakuoki: Edo Blossoms finishes the saga started in last year’s Kyoto Winds, bringing closure to its 13 storylines. While things may feel a bit different, it ends up feeling more efficient.

Read more

Let’s look back at the history of White Day: A Labyrinth Named School

With the actual White Day almost here, it is the perfect time to talk about a game with the same name. In certain Asian countries, like Japan, South Korea and China, a holiday is celebrated where men who received chocolate or gifts on Valentine’s Day reciprocate by offering the women a gift on March 14, White Day. In White Day: A Labyrinth Named School, attempting to participate in this holiday has dramatic consequences for a young man.

Read more