Hakuoki: Demon of the Fleeting Blossom (PSP Games)
When Chizuru goes to Kyoto to search for her missing father, monsters attack her. Fortunately, a group of warriors known as the Shinsengumi save her just in time. Now she finds herself involved in Japanese history in a way she never thought possible.
Chizuru and her father are the main factors of this. The only thing I can say without giving away spoilers is that demons are involved and one element of history that makes it to the game is the introduction of western culture integrating into Japanese life.
I’m sure many of you expect me to complain about Chizuru being a damsel in distress but I’m actually going to give this a pass. I can’t ignore the fact that this game takes place in a time where the belief that women should stay in the kitchen was very common. While it’s possible to create strong female characters in a sexist setting (again I look to HBO’s Rome), it is incredibly difficult. Chizuru has grown up on these beliefs so it’s possible that her subconscious mind will not allow her to take action in a way that in her mind would be inappropriate for her gender.
The game play is your standard visual novel. During the first three chapters, you make decisions that determine which guy will fall in love with Chizuru at the start of the fourth chapter. You can choose between Hijikata, Okita, Saito, Heisuke and Harada. If her relationship with any of them is not high enough, you end up with Kazama. You can also collect words for your encyclopedia so you can understand what’s going on in the game. You can also collect pictures for your gallery.
This game is intriguing but gets dull after a while. I give it 6 out of 10; interesting idea but is a little drawn out at times.