Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Hyakka Hakyurou Sengoku Ninponchou - Review

Game: [Hyakka Hakyurou Sengoku Ninponchou]
English title: Nightshade. (Why tho?)
Genre: Otome Game Visual Novel.
Developer/Publisher: Red Entertainment, D3Publisher.
Platform: PS Vita.
Release date: 2016-2- 25

 I never thought I would be bothering with the JPN release and you may be wondering the same.
TBH its just an excuse to delay BWS... 😋
First off this game was on sale for 23$ at JPN psn... for like the second time and considering
console otome games rarely go that low the deal was too good to pass up.
Secondly I'm too deep into sengoku hell right now I may as well go with one more game.
I still plan to support the english release and replay down the line.
  

Okay since this game is coming out in ENG and there are detailed summary reviews elsewhere
 I'll just make this as short as I can while still going over like/dislikes.

First of all the OP movie is pretty good! MIKOTO is a pretty good singer and composer.

Like Geten no Hana, Hyakka Hyakurou is a more serious ninja otome game if you were to expect
something light-hearted like Shinobi, Koi Utsutsu you are looking in the wrong place.
Anyway many doubted D3P as this was first coming out in japan, after 3 kusoge releases
what would you expect? anyway reviews turned out to be favorable and it seems
D3P was only the publisher not the creator/dev of this which is RED entertainment.
RED is known for a few great otome... like the first Juuza Engi... or the recent Kenka Bancho Otome.
I'd love to add Scared rider xechs to that list but... as an otome it was lacking.


Pro's
-  Decent but straight-forward story.
- Interesting characters.
- Heroine.
- Art, should be obvious TEITA was in charge of everything.
- Music, beautiful a lot of tracks fit the scenes perfectly.

Con's
- Short.
- Part of the plot gets old fast.
- No jumping back via the backlog.😞


One of the first things that stood out to me is that the heroine has a sprite and is often seen
 next to the characters, not to mention she's pretty badass and involved but Enju really
 should think about herself more as she's doesn't mind dying for the sake of others etc.
 Also the art, the ART, this one screen below it could even pass for a CG but it is not.
The diversity in sprites also make the fight scenes that much more entertaining to watch.
Everyone had an even amount of CG's so this was another good point...
On the other hand the things that didn't stand out... the common route atleast half of it
 didn't leave a huge impression on me because almost nothing note worthy happened till the end
which is actually where the real plot starts and let me tell you its not as light as the common route.

Other than that the length was just right... any longer and the same-ish plot would become tiring.
Sadly this game wasn't very romance focused but atleast you get yourself a well written plot
 with an involved heroine but it not that deep, I just wish Enju had a voice she deserves it.
Another thing I liked, other characters do not disappear from the face of the planet some will
come to help out! this is great, I honestly feel some less story driven otome could learn from it.

System? standard VN stuff there's almost no need for a guide but if you want
all memoirs quickly you may as well use choro's.
There was no skip to the next choice option but skip was fast so future playthrough are mostly painless.
 Sadly this game does suffer from the I am sure I have been through this scene before
but since it doesn't classify it as old you can't readskip it because its a teensy bit different.

For playorder I went with the following...
Goemon -> Hanzo -> Kuroyuki -> Choujirou -> Gekkamaru
Goemon's route was a great way to kick things off and wasn't that heavy on overall plot and Kuroyuki is best done after Hanzo...
I only recommend this order if you like suffering😏 and want to finish one story arc before moving
 to the next since the first three and last two have shared plot but if you can't handle that
I still recommend using same order except saving Goemon for between Chounii and Gekkamaru.
Definitely do not do Gekkamaru first... his route perhaps had the best plot so consider it for last. :)

Some rambles on routes and CG's after the jump, minor spoilers warning just incase.




~
The story is about a girl named Enju who wants to be a great shinobi however on her first mission
to catch Ishikawa Goemon a thief in the act, which went well but then she gets framed for the murder
of Hideyoshi Toyotomi...Enju's ideals and dreams of becoming a great shinobi
are shattered as she gets caught up in a conspiracy...
Anyway its a story about life and death and to not needlessly throw your life away and that
being a shinobi is not such a great thing? in my opinion it was quite a difficult theme...
Not the typical otome stuff that is for sure.

~
Ishikawa Goemon, 26 years old.
CV: Midorikawa Hikaru.

I didn't really have a lot to say about the route but not much stood out to me which I do not mean in a bad way.
A playboy and a thief... a kind one at that, well Goemon is supposed to be the japanese
equivalent of robin hood. Also I am glad that I can say I liked Midorin's acting this time?
Like seriously he tends to use this nasal voice for 70% of his characters but for Goemon its not the case?
Well despite being flirty he's an okay dude some types annoy me but I don't feel that way with Goemon.
The route was pretty balanced, i'm more than certain one would be satisfied with it as a whole
if done first, the plot with the kid was nice but it only showed running away isn't solving anything.
 Overall this route was good and fun, some parts were depressing but I like Goemon
as a character a whole lot unlike another Goemon... from a certain other recent otomege.
TBH i'm glad I did this route first... it felt like a great way to kick things off and had I done him
later the impact would've been less? the bad end was disturbing but fitting, ofc the best end is best.
Doing him later doesn't even make much sense story wise, unless you want a break
in between Chounii and Gekkamaru... it obv he's interested in Enju in other routes
but Goemon's actual route doesn't do much except leave hints at other matters
the way everything was resolved fits the character but partly I was like what.
 Romance ★★★★☆
Plot ★★★☆☆
Enjoyment overall ★★★★☆
 ~

Hattori Hanzo, 33 years old.
CV: Tsuda Kenjirou.
 A professional and badass ninja who takes his job seriously, he shows no mercy not even towards women.
Also if looks could kill... Hanzo really knows how to give you the ice cold glare.
Hanzo's quirk is most obviously gap moe... and well I have a thing for that not to mention he's hawt.
Speaking of yet another seiyuu who does a stellar performance in this game it got to be Tsudaken!
I heard rumors about him but I nearly don't hear him enough...
 Regarding the route... it started out with some backstage yadayada stuff and it seems
Ieyashu is a good guy...??? but some scenes seemed to go on forever so my eyes glazed over
 untill Hanzo came from the shadows looking at Enju like come with me if you want to live since
he was ordered by Ieyashu to protect Enju at all costs but its not like she had much a choice so...
Hanzo just knocks Enju out cuz she was being an indecisive pain in the butt. 😂😂😂
Hanzo would be good friends with Momoji Naomitsu because they're both all about muh duty.
Okay let's stop the comparison there...
Other than that Hanzo is surprisingly considerate and sweet despite the tough exterior.
 He apparently knew Enju's mom too, oh well the first half of the route was surprisingly
 peaceful but as expected someone was bound to catch up on their escapade anyway.
Dayum... on the other hand Natsuhiko is that you?
Hanzo is a really cool character and the I'll take care of everything type.
 He frequently just knocks Enju out cuz she's in the way but eventually let's Enju test her resolve
by letting her deal with pursuers, cuz he thought it'd be good for her growth and trains her further.
Overall this route held a lot of weight... Enju really grew physically and mentally.
Near the end of the route it had me go why this...  the BGM made the whole scene that much more epic.
Enju's father is oh so terrible but Hanzo? he's a man of his word! after everything I really love him...
and Hanzo truly deserves all the happiness, yes all of it.
Romance-wise though... uhm its obvious they grew closer and that he cares for her but
Enju seemed more like a disciple or daughter instead of a romantic interest at times
this is probably due the way he was so supportive for Enju and he is a straigh-forward person
and the route more or less was about what it means to be a shinobi? he even knew her mom
plus he's old enough to be her father... 😂😂😂 but who can resist such a sexy man though ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)
I think the romance is still believable and as a whole it was enjoyable, it also left a bigger impression
on me than Goemon, speaking of the ending it was so sweet but uh the last CG of the best end... 😕
I'd have preferred Enju's face but it really showed his happiness still so I can't really complain.
The bad end was sort of abrupt but sad... the blow would've been bigger if I did it first bit alas.
I enjoyed this route a lot, watching Enju grow and all that was interesting sadly had it not
been for Ieyashu's orders... ow well I still fell for this guy.
Probably one of my favorite scenes.
 Romance ★★★☆☆
Plot ★★★★★
Enjoyment overall ★★★★★
~

Kuroyuki, 16 years old.
CV: Shimono Hiro.
 Gekkamaru's younger brother and Enju's yandere adoptive otouto-kun, it obv he cares for her
 a whole lot but is always outshined by his older brother Gekkamaru's overprotectiveness.
Kuroyuki's exchange with Enju in Hanzo's route makes that much more sense if you do this route after Hanzo.
Well it quickly became obvious Kuroyuki has liked Enju all this time... ever since that time in the past.
Kuroyuki is really good at supressing his feelings tho in other route, he won't force them on her and
he's quite sincere when he told her in his own which makes me able to understand
and like him more but you know how these types go... huehuehue.
Kuroyuki is such a sweet guy, willing to defeat the pursuers for Enju's sake...
I'd say he could pass for a chuuni but not really... maybe by appearance (lol).
I think he really genuinely loved Enju and was willing to wait for her.
The sweetest part was perhaps him sucking the poison out of Enju's wound she got
when trying to protect him, he got mad since he wouldn't know what to do if she died
seriously though Kuroyuki is too good and too pure for this world.
This was probably the most romance oriented route thus far... yandereness aside. >_>
What is true love anyway?
There was this short scene were Ennosuke tried to ask Hanzo questions when he was around...
only for Hanzo to be like マジかよ and proceeds to answer by throwing shurikens at Ennosuke's ass.😂
That little gag aside the route was pretty serious... Kuroyuki has got to be one of then better written
yanderes i've encountered seriously not only is he likeable his background was interesting which
made it clear why he's like that he simply doesn't want to lose another one he cares about
but I have to admit near the end he gave me the chills... wew.
Also the rivalry with Gekkanii was real, I guess the writing saved this route for me
in more ways than one also Enju was strong she didn't fall into his trap, the ending was cute
and the overall route was decent, that bad end though... was down right sad.
 Romance ★★★★☆
Plot ★★★★☆
Enjoyment overall ★★★★☆

~

Momochi Choujirou, 23 years old.
CV: Toriumi Kousuke.
Enju's cousin but acts as an older bro and teacher to the koga fam.
I sorta had felt that it would be like Hanzo's route but for better or for worse it turned out to be
completely different but partly I still think as character they are alike since orders are orders.
Except that Hanzo's way better.\( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)/whoops bias.
To be honest I wasn't that interested in him... ok maybe a little but yeah you get the picture.
Some parts of the common route were different when going for Chou-nii so this route was longer.
We got a cute moment with him as to show he really cares about Enju...
Yeah you're not like yourself... I was also pretty ??? at first but after everything it makes sense.
Anyway Chounii was really proud of Enju for capturing Goemon... but then plot happened
and well I can say it was a unique take  compared to other routes but here I am going why this?
Enju still gets help from unexpected corners and overall she mentally was strong.
The route was quite difficult because the way the plot went but it good...
TBH halfway in I just wanted Goemon to steal Enju away... but alas its not that simple.
 Chounii just needs to get his priorities straight but by then it was too late oh well mistakes were
made people died, there was deceit but Enju grew stronger, the despair was real too real.😖
I never was prepared for this pain... I... but honestly I think the last bit of the route was a little rushed.
The CG in the bad end was beautiful... but the pain and sadness it came with. T~T
The route was difficult to get into but overall wasn't bad... should be obvious I enjoyed it less.
 Romance ★★★★☆
Plot ★★★★☆
Enjoyment overall ★★★☆☆
~

Gekkamaru, 19 years old.
CV: Hatano Wataru.
 Gekkamaru is Enju's servant and she is his master, he's super duper loyal and really
 seems to care for a lot for her in general, quite overprotective too.
Turns out there is a plot reason for this... but that all you get out of me. 🤐
Sadly I'm indifferent about these types...but I agree this boy is too pure and too good for this world.
Gekkamaru slightly reminds me of Seras Dragoon except that he isn't a gross doM since he's always there
and respects the Enju's wishes regardless of route and after the last route I really want to see him happy.
Some of the plot in this route was shared with Chounii... and well we should know by now that no
matter what Gekkamaru is always there for Enju willing to protect her, he would even kill his friends.
Gekkamaru is even willing to die for her but the truth behind it all hurt. T~T
Oh and even tho its Gekkamaru's route Hanzo offered Enju some moral support
stopping her from making bad decisions like killing herself, Hanzo is such a good guy!
Also Kuroyuki and Gekkanii's rivalry was amusing and lightened up the mood. 😂
It was sad seeing how Gekkamaru wants to be so much more than a servant and how this girl
had a crush on him after they found her alonside the road and carried her back to the village...
I guess there are really people out there who develop feelings for someone who helped them on a whim.😕
Hmm I did roll my eyes at the points Enju let herself be taken by pursuers... also the constant apologizing
when it wasn't her fault... but overall it was alright Enju did what she could to save Gekkamaru
so I can forgive some of the early parts, yeah that right she really grew.
Dejavu... except its the other way around.
 Gekkamaru tries so hard to protect Enju... despite being in poor condition its admirable
but at one point it got really scary💦 I literally gritted my teeth. 😬 the scenes absorbed me...
For me that rarely happens... so I was surprised.
Like Chounii this route was heavy but a lot better paced, there were funny scenes and sad ones
who made me smile and got me teary-eyed... it also really obvious  Gekkamaru is the main route
which I do not mind but man... so much twist and turns I was at the edge of my seat. 😢
Both this route and Hanzo's were the best routes in the whole game atleast imo.
Romance ★★★★☆
Plot ★★★★★
Enjoyment overall ★★★★★
~

Fav route:
Hanzo & Gekkamaru > Kuroyuki > Chounii > Goemon.
All things considered of plot, romance and Enju's growth etc.
Chounii and Gekkamaru had the most emotional impact... Goemon was the lightest route overall
 but the one I really liked was Hanzo closely followed by Gekkamaru and Kuroyuki.
Yeah ok Hanzo's may have been questionable romance wise but everything else was 👌👌👌.

Fav character:
Hanzo > Gekkamaru > Kuroyuki > Goemon / Chounii.
There is not much point to this,  I liked everyone so its more or less a personal order of preference.


Final Thoughs?
  There is not much else to write that I haven't already said,  its a good otome game with a great
heroine but due to plot there wasn't much time for romance so I'd love a FD  with more ~relaxed~
circumstances but honestly though RED shouldn't push themselves regarding FD or sequels.
I honestly would've loved a route with Ieyashu too... but then again I think it fine as is
because I really draw question marks at how it would work out.
Like KOEI games I loved how each route broughts a unique way to solve the problem at hand and let
us learn more about the characters... who helped Enju in their own way and in turn Enju helping
them, this all probably saved the game in more ways than one because let's face it the runaway plot
does become tiring after a few route but atleast the writers knew what they were doing so all is
a-okay because every character had their own motivations and backgrounds to discover, it was
really well written imo but sadly in some routes Enju gets protected too much...
 Enju is just being pampered by most guys, she trained for years and even Chounii said she's
ready I can understand emotional turmoil but really the only route that did it well was Hanzo and maybe Gekkamaru.
Anyway when it comes out in english on steam please support it by buying it
if you don't have the money then wait, there's no way it won't go on sale at one point and you know
how dirt cheap games on steam can get so you won't have excuses not to buy it legally.

8/10

Characters ★★★★★
Art  ★★★★★
Scenario/plot ★★★★☆ (Its really good... but part of it will get old.)
Music ★★★★★
System  ★★★☆☆ (Comfy... but the little things need work backlog jumping where?)
Enjoyment overall ★★★★☆

If I had to recommend any D3P otome game it would be this one, be it in JPN or ENG
I whole heartedly recommend it!

2 comments:

  1. Thanks for the review... (sorry for late comment)
    Well if a otome game was on sale for less than 20$ who can resist?
    glad to hear that from multiple sources that this otomege
    is pretty good compared to other recent D3P stuff
    I'll keep the play order in mind even if it doesn't matter that much i'll make sure to do Gekkamaru later down the line.

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  2. I really wish that they localized this game on the PS VITA instead of just on Steam. Dont get me wrong, I love Steam but all the otoges I own are on Steam and I want to pull away from Steam for a while and play otoges on the Vita but there arent a lot of them in English. Like ughhhh (Im also learning how to read japanese but kanji is just so hard 😣😣😣)

    ReplyDelete