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About the product
- Hakuoki: Stories of the Shinsengumi brings the critically-acclaimed visual novel Hakuoki series to the PlayStation3 entertainment system with over 20 hours of additional content!
- Weaving a beautiful story with stunning art, Hakuoki: Stories of the Shinsengumi tells the tale of Chizuru and a band of warriors who set out on a journey to find Chizuru's missing father.
- Unlock new content and learn more about your favorite characters! The Hakuoki characters are even reimagined as high school students or teachers in modern day Japan!
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Hakuoki: Stories of the Shinsengumi Limited Edition includes items inspired by both Japanese culture and the Hakuoki series including a hairpin, comb, "omamori" love charm and premium box!
Top customer reviews
Let's start off with the package and what comes with it. The only problem(s) the box has in my book is that the box was a bit damaged on one corner when I received it, and when the box is closed, all the things inside easily move around - despite having designated spots for each item. However, it was the damage on the corner of the box that was disappointing, since I honestly wouldn't expect a box - let alone a limited edition box - to tear so easily. Just sliding the box back into the PS3 cover slip damages the corners, though that does not bother me since I do/did not expect for the box to last forever without getting any "battle scars". The tear on the corner that made the box lid lopsided was almost enough for me to lower this to four stars, because as much as I am not actually bothered by the damage on the corner and tried my best to fix it with glue (which kind of worked), it was bit disappointing. Especially in comparison to my last Hakuoki Limited Edition purchase (Hakuoki: Memories of the Shinsengumi - Limited edition), I was not expecting the quality of the box to be in such a condition. None the less though, IT IS NOT A BIG ISSUE - it's just enough for me to say that this product isn't 100 percent perfect, but it DOES NOT mean this product is not good (and YOU WILL SOON KNOW WHY THIS STILL HAS FIVE STARS!)
The items that are within the box are pretty good, the comb is nice, made with some decent material (it looks like it is made out of wood, but I don't think it is made out of wood, however I am not sure). The hair pin is cute, however from the decorative piece at the top of the hair pin, I feel like I wouldn't recommend actually using the hair pin, as a well, hair pin. It feels as though the decorative cherry blossom and Hakuoki emblem on the end of the hair pin could come off. The omamori is nice, there is a thin piece of cardboard in it, but if you ever wanted to hide keys to your diary, it would be a clever spot to it in (though it would probably be a pain to get out, so I actually scrap that idea). In conclusion, the items are great!
ONTO THE GAME REVIEW! (AND THE REASON WHY THIS HAS FIVE STARS!)
If you have already played the PSP game Hakuoki: Demon of the Fleeting Blossom (or can also be known as the game with a PSP port for the PS Vita), or Hakuoki: Memories of the Shinsengumi, then there won't be much of a difference when you play the MAIN story to this game. The reasons that you should buy this game if you have already played the PSP port or the 3DS version, and you're interested in this, is either: 1. To support Hakuoki and help support/show that other games like it should be released here in America more often.
2. To read the wonderful extra story interaction between Chizuru (main character) and the Hakuoki characters. - The side stories (which is basically a whole second game within the game itself if you consider all of them) give a different perspective on what it's like for Chizuru to live with the Shinsengumi. I say this is worth buying the game because these side stories show how their relationships developed over time in between events.
3. After completing a route, the game provides you with a pleasant extra surprise (as if you didn't already get enough from the limited edition box set with the items!): A PS3 theme for your PS3 Dashboard. - For example, the first route I finished was Toudou's, so the game gave me a Toudou Hakuoki Theme for my PS3 Dashboard. Yes, there is a theme for EVERY character that you finish the route of (as far as I am aware anyway. If this turns out to not be true, I will update this review.)
However, what really saved this product from getting four stars in my book was the fact that the characters move in the game. Yes, they move. They move a bit to show that they are breathing, they blink, and their mouths move when they talk. (Not all of the character's mouths move when they talk, but this problem only effects the side characters. It does not effect the main characters at all.) For me, playing the game on the PS Vita with the PSP port, and the 3DS, it was already awesome as it was without the characters actually moving (though the 3D is really nice on the 3DS.) The moving of the characters though had not been something that I had anticipated. I honestly had thought that the characters would be still and not move - just pictures like the PSP and 3DS versions of the game. So it was a completely unexpected, and pleasant surprise, to see the game be just a bit different with something as simple as the character's mouths moving when they talk, blinking, and moving a bit.
In conclusion, though the box was a bit damaged, the items are nice with decent quality, and the video game has GREAT stuff to offer! It has great stuff to offer, not only for people that are new to Hakuoki, but for players that have already played the game before!
It's a VN. Not really a game with gameplay. It is a choose your adventure story.
This game include the original game and the fan disc of side stories that deals more with romance and less about the War.
For example the Geisha side story. It also has the School Days mini comic extras.
I recommend this version if you are a fan of Hakuoki and would like to see more romance and lighthearted parts of the story.
Now on with the Limited Edition items.
I found the outer box very pretty. However the edges of my box was a little bit damaged. Not sure if I'm unlucky or the others are like that too.
The comb is made out of wood so it is sturdy.
The hair pin looks kind of cheap to me but I wasn't expecting much? The cherry blossoms part is made of rubber.
The charm is pretty nice. It's my favorite thing in this LE. I feel like it is made well.
That's everything. If you have questions I would be happy to answer. :)
I played Hijikata's main route first because he has been a favorite samurai idol (Kaze no Hikaru, Hakuoki anime series) for a while. The graphics, the voice acting, the artistry and the detailed history lesson were worth the purchase for die hard Hakuoki fans. I bought it with a gift card and not my own money so maybe if I spent money on it, I'd be less satisfied. It can get repetitive fast especially if you're aiming to get all the CG's for all the characters. (Trophies FTW!)
The mature rating predominantly goes to cursing. Otherwise not really sure why it's M rating. There is no sex, cartoon violence, some blood and guts, political themes and did I mention NO SEX? The romance is pretty mild, and for an M rating, that's a little odd (i.e. disappointing).
Fans will be familiar with the story of the Shinsengumi, but I totally teared up during Kondo's sacrifice and during the expected deaths of some characters. Though the story sticks to history pretty closely, and there is a lot of Japanese History exposition in this game, the fact that some lead characters die in several plot lines when historically they did not was a little incredulous. But then again, we're dealing with supernatural demons and vampiric zombies in this game, and people who actually die in history end up coming out alive, so maybe I shouldn't have been surprised that the game kills off people who historically aren't supposed to die.
I found Hijikata's path the longest and most fulfilling because you see the Shinsengumi's story from its inglorious beginning to its bitter end. Saito, Heisuke, Okita, Kazama, all detract from the Shinsengumi's fate so that was fun to experience the slight change in plot/villains.
But I suppose the most disappointing of all was the heroine herself. She's absolutely dull as rocks in Hijikata's plot line, but her personality improves with all the other characters.
You can't "unlock" the bonus material without some effort but it will be worth it if you're a fan. Not only does this game combine the main Hakuoki game-play, it also includes Hakuoki: Stories of the Shinsengumi, and each character's "Memories of Love" (little side quests that parallel the main story line for the protagonist with every character). The bonus material unlocks (if you select the right choices to bloom the Ephemera sakura tree) only when you complete the characters' side quests (Stories & Memories of Love). Completing all the main stories will get you the CG's and earn you trophies, but will not unlock the bonus material. The catch is that you have to finish at least two main storylines to unlock the side quests.
If you want to "finish" the game and earn those trophies you have to play routes you're really not that interested in.... and that's a lot of fast forwarding... But they have an alternate FF function that stops during text/plots you haven't experienced before so that's helpful for not missing out on new plot lines/dialogue.
The bonus material is delightful. It throws all the characters into a modern setting, as if they reincarnated and are back together again. It is also the basis for the Hakuoki SSL (Sweet School Life) TV drama, and the PS Vita game.
Would totally recommend this for Hakuoki anime/comic fans, and otome game enthusiasts.