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About the product
- Six New Stories – Learn what happens in between major events, and gain a bit of insight into the minds of the characters! These side tales give new meaning to other events in the story
- See The Men of Hakuoki in 3D – Utilizing Nintendo 3DS™’s 3D functionality, play Hakuoki: Memories of the Shinsengumi in 3D
- Photo/Movie Gallery – As you progress through the game, unlock a myriad of photos and movies from important moments in the story
- Photo Booth Fun – Get your friends and pose with your favorite characters in a variety of themes and backgrounds inspired by purikura – Japanese photo sticker booths. Create some unforgettable pictures
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An Epic Tale of Love and Honor – Learn about Chizuru and her many companions, as well as the secrets and political intrigue behind the Shinsengumi and the mystery of her missing father.
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If you're a dating sim (otome game) or visual novel fan, you have to give Hakuouki a try. You truly will love it.
In this game, you play as a girl who winds up under the protection of the Shinsengumi warriors. Over the course of the story, the heroine gets to know the warriors and their struggle. When you get halfway through the game, you will end up in the story path of whichever of the guys you have the highest Romance level with. I found that the game did a good job of making me care about the characters that I liked the most, which was nice. I really felt for not just the heroine's friendship with the Shinsengumi, but also the Shinsengumi warriors' friendships.
One nitpick I had with the game was figuring out how to untangle myself from the "dead end" path that I wound up in at the very last stage of the game. I had to go to GameFAQS since I was unable to determine what mistake I had made in an earlier chapter. As it turned out, I had made the wrong choice just before the halfway point that determined which guy's route I got. Because that choice gave me extra romance points, I wound up getting the dead end. This was a little annoying, but thankfully, there is a helpful "skip read text" option for chapters that you have already played through. I kept many saves over the course of the game before the few critical decision points, so I was able to undo my wrong choice and get a wonderful ending. The relative lack of interactivity and few choices is one of my main complaints in the game. Sometimes I felt impatient about getting to some of the choices.
Visually, the game is impressive with nice artwork and backgrounds. There are some great illustrations for certain dramatic moments in the game which can be reviewed in the Gallery option on the main menu. There are only Japanese voiceovers, which are fine even though I prefer English dubs. I don't think that I could go to an English dub after playing through this whole game in Japanese. There are even some nice orchestrations in the game, too.
I have played otome games in the past, but was unsatisfied with them. This is the first otome game that I have really enjoyed. It had good characters and an emotional, dramatic story. There are some lighter moments in the story which help to show the bonds between the Shinsengumi members. It took me about 20 hours to play through this game, and I think that I may play through it again someday. I am now interested in other otome games by the same publisher, such as Sweet Fuse.
* Good presentation
* Good, dramatic, and twisting story and involving characters
* Overall low level of interactivity
* Avoiding dreaded "dead ends" can be tricky
A note about this game and Hakuoki: Demon of the Fleeting Blossom on the PSP: It seems that this game is a port of that game, and is basically the same game. However, this 3DS version has a fun photo booth option where you can take pictures with the 3DS camera and add borders featuring Hakuoki characters. If you already have Demon of the Fleeting Blossom, then you probably don't need Memories of the Shinsengumi.