Top Critic Average
At its core, Koihime Enbu is a solid 2D fighter that is more geared towards players already familiar with the genre, and while the “story” aspect may be lacking, the focus is on combat mechanics and not plot, which can be felt in the handling. It may not be the best fighter out there, but it definitely is a solid entry into the series, despite its more…niche Koihime Musou, roots.
The game is good enough to stand on its own without multiplayer, but the lack of any accessible games or rooms really damages the value (especially at the $40 price tag).
Koihime Enbu is an accessible anime fighter that focuses on spacing, fundamentally sound play and the Fatal Counter system. The art direction is great though the music is a bit forgettable. If only the online community on PC existed this game might have real legs as a gateway game into the fighting game genre.
Ultimately, Koihime Enbu is meant for a specific audience; fans of Koihime Musou who desired a fighting game. Genre fans may enjoy the title, too, as it does boast a solid combat system and some good distinction to set itself apart from "Generic Fist Punching Guy Fighter #82" due to using weapons, special moves, and the tactics bar - but it's not going to suddenly be drawing in crowds en masse.
If you're looking for a fighting game with a back-to-basics approach, then Koihime Enbu fits the bill. It's a title that rewards solid fundamentals and one that's easy to get into. A lack of modes hurts its long-term value, but the core gameplay is plenty of fun.
I applaud the developers for focusing on making an accessible fighting game. It is even more of a bonus that it plays extremely well and looks fantastic. Combine that with the fact that I can use my fight sticks on the PC to play it, and one would think it would be a dream come true. Sadly, the lack of interesting characters and modes to play, not to mention a barren online community, make this one fighting game that is hard to recommend.
As someone who absolutely loves games in all their forms, it's hard to be so harsh on Koihime Enbu. It offers up a combination of buxom young women and ancient Chinese literature that I'm certain would have never been made in the west. However, content is light and as such, the characters don't shine as much as they prior knowledge of their personality and mannerisms. Koihime Enbu is a fun purchase if you're a big time fighting game fanatic, but it's hard to recommend it to the average consumer.