Hakuoki: Edo Blossoms
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.