• The Hakuoki series has been around for quite some time, starting with the PS2 original and it’s sequel, then that getting ported to various platforms over the years, with an anime and two films, and even a Warriors style fighting game. Each of these ports always seemed to add new content. However, Hakuoki: Kyoto Winds is a full remake of the original PS2 game. If you wanted to know if this version of the story still has the ‘modern high school’ scenario that was added to the PS3 release, you’ll be disappointed here. It’s purely the story with new content and revamped artwork. However, even with just the reworked story content, Kyoto Winds is still an enjoyable otome visual novel experience.

    The story is about a young woman named Chizuru Yukimura, who is looking for her missing father, the doctor Kodo, after the letters he sent her stopped coming. She travels to Kyoto, which was the last known location of her father. However, she runs afoul of a group of men who seem to be deranged and have an insatiable bloodlust. The situation looks dire, but a group of men from the Shinsengumi, a peace-keeping force, save her. Of course looking suspicious herself, she’s brought in for questioning. She explains her situation, and they allow her to reside at their headquarters as their aide, as they are also looking for her father. They want to find him since he’s responsible for those insane men, due to a serum he created which grants superhuman strength the cost of one’s sanity and the ability to freely travel during the day. Basically, these people are called Furies, and are essentially vampires and the Shinsengumi is employing them under orders from the Shogunate. The group needs to find the doctor to possibly reverse the effects, or at least curb or remove it’s side-effects. However, to keep an eye on Chizuru, they pretty much put her under house arrest in the meantime. What follows is how Chizuru gets along with the various captains of the group, as well as other related figures, offering a total of twelve scenarios to pursue.

    The game’s presentation has been improved and the artwork reworked, so it now can be presented in wide-screen to take advantage of the Vita and modern PC’s. The various scenarios all have good stories, and even though some character routes are better than others, you will learn a bit more of what’s going on behind the scenes. A lexicon further helps the reader out, but it can only do so much. Being a Japanese period piece, you’ll still feel left out a bit unless you’ve done a bit of light reading regarding the end of the Tokugawa era. Also, the game ends in a cliff-hanger, as there’s still a second part to the story. Hopefully the West will get the sequel, as it’s a story worth reading for visual novel and otome fans. If there were a few flaws, they’d be that you can skip the chapter transitions, and that the English dub cast from the anime aren’t present in the voice acting. The only option is Japanese. Thankfully the voice acting is good, and you get a good feeling that it doesn’t sound phoned in. The last issues are the typos that crop up. IFI needs a more rigorous QA team. But what is here is great, and I can’t wait for part two. A solid recommend.

    Hakuoki: Kyoto Winds - Review
    A great remake of a classic visual novel, now with better artwork and more scenarios.
    Our Score8.5
    Positives
    • Each scenario has a little bit more of the scope of it's story revealed, even if you don't particularly care for the character I that route.
    Negatives
    • Despite a lexicon, you still might not fully grasp what's going on in the background of the point in Japanese history this story takes place in.
    • You can't skip the next chapter transition screen.
    8.5Overall Score
    Reader Rating: (0 Votes)
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