Hakuoki: Edo Blossoms
Top Critic Average
I truly have no idea why Idea Factory decided to split this remake into two releases, and I would have greatly preferred having this full story contained in a single release. Regardless, if you enjoyed the story of Kyoto Winds, Edo Blossoms is pretty much essential playing.
The split release makes it feels like a collection of epilogues rather than the second half of a story and emphasises just how similar the routes are. The strengths of the original visual novel are still here: a large cast of samurai to pursue, plenty of action and plot twists if you're not there for the romance and some welcome glimpses at life in this interesting time period. If you can stomach parts of the story, it makes for a fascinating follow-up to Hakuoki: Kyoto Winds.
In the end, I don’t regret my time with Edo Blossoms. While I am disappointed, I did enjoy getting to know these people. The tale of the Shinsengumi men is one that I will not soon forget. Nor will I forget the struggles Chizuru had to go through. However, I expect better from both Idea Factory Japan and especially Idea Factory International. Hopefully, the company decides to bring over Hakuoki: Shinkai – Fuukaden for the PlayStation 4 and give Hakuoki the treatment I know only IFI can.
Hakuoki Edo Blossoms was one of the two PS Vita long-haulers I had always planned to cover, but never got around to before shelving my PSTV. Thankfully, I’m back in the fray and was able to check this adventure out on its intended hardware, and it’s fairly enjoyable, following up on Kyoto Winds rather well. The fact you can pick your route immediately is a huge plus, and I enjoyed learning glossary terms as much as I did years ago in Kyoto, but otherwise Edo Blossoms is a fairly typical visual novel that you’d probably be best to play after the original. The MSRP for this game has lowered on the PSN, and for the $10 price point, I absolutely think it’s worth a buy to continue the story, though if you’re a physical hunter, this one’s more rare than the original, so be wary.
Hakuoki: Edo Blossoms is a fun Otome visual novel that succeeds with what it sets out to achieve. It might have some flaws but it is mostly a positive experience over its predecessor.
Being a slightly weaker sequel to that by the tiniest of margins still means that Edo Blossoms is one of the best visual novels out there.
Edo Blossoms feels like the weaker of the two halves, which isn't always the best position for a conclusion to be.
Hakuoki: Edo Blossoms is a solid sequel that carries on with the story of Hakuoki: Kyoto Winds, so if you have played the prequel then you're going to have a great time with this one. You do need to like visual novels, particularly those of the Otome genre, to have a good time with this PS Vita release. The narrative, colorful and detailed locations and the varied cast of characters will keep you engaged until the end. All voice acting in the game is only available in Japanese, and while I would have liked to interact with other characters with voice acting in English, this is not a deal-breaker and does not get in the way of enjoying this adventure.
Hakuoki: Edo Blossoms is potentially the best otomate game made thus far and is in its finest possible form here. The extra bachelors give fans a new perspective on a now old story. With the Vita on the way out and a new Sony handheld seemingly unlikely, visual novel fans should rejoice in these stories while they have a chance. That being said, the format of the game makes little sense, splitting the story in half like this and punishing fans. Forcing loyal fans to purchase two games when they could have delivered a complete edition is not ideal… The new bachelors make up for it somewhat, at least.