I’ve now played through several Harutoki 5 routes, and have some other general thoughts about the flow of the game:
Combat is easy after the first playthrough – I never ran out of life, though I did have to go back to my world a couple times to recharge. Almost as soon as you get chain attacks, you can always get the ‘fast battle’ bonus. Just pay attention to the elements, and try to power up your weapons as much as possible – note that if you allow members outside of the battle group to join your chain attack, you won’t get powerup orbs from the enemies that attack kills.
One thing I realized after a while, is that you can replace one powerup with the exact same one, and still get the weapon upgrade – useful when a lot of the earlier monsters just drop the same, not that useful, powerups.
Once your weapon gets to level 6, it will change to something new. I’m currently on weapon level 6+ for all characters, and around level 20-25 combat, and everything, including the last boss, is E-Z. I am 1337! (Only in Harutoki do I get to feel this way, maybe that’s why I love it so much?)
The story is the same no matter what route you do, but they show different parts of it in different routes. Also, what you and the route character do is different. I found that Yuki’s character is also different depending on the route you take, although in all of them she gets stronger and less fuzzy-headed than in the first part of the story (thankfully). That was a deliberate choice, I think, to make her development more obvious.
So far I have done Shun, Ryouma, Ouchi, Tatewaki, and Chinami (almost accidentally). My favourite was Ryouma, although Ouchi was good too. Shun’s is ok but kind of depressing in some ways, and Tatewaki, at one point in his story I really didn’t like him anymore, but by the end I liked him again. Chinami’s was ok as well, although part of his drama was resolved off-screen, and I’d rather have seen him deal with it with Yuki.
I’m looking forward to doing Ernest and Takasugi, but not really Okita – I know his route will probably have him making a breakthrough in getting his own willpower/conscience, but for some reason I’m not that interested.
I’m enjoying it, and the art and music is as high quality as ever, but I have to say that the lack of voice affects the game quite a bit. The whole intro is voiced, which is nice enough, but once you get into the meat of the game, each character only has a handful of voiced scenes (as well as being in other characters’ scenes). Since several characters aren’t with you the whole time, overall I’m having a hard time getting into the stories. Also, this is just my preference, but I felt that a lot of romantic scenes were whispered too much, especially for certain characters.
I still have several routes to finish though, and I might have just been in the wrong mood for it the last few days. So far my favourite route is Ryouma, but we shall see, I’m looking forward to Ernest and Takasugi a lot.
It didn’t seem right to post fluff right after the disasters in Japan, but things seem to be approaching normal now, and I got a new shipment of otome magazines.
For anyone wondering what kind of swag you get with otome mags, here’s a pic I took (the colour’s kind of off but whatever):
1 – several miniposters (one set of five or so from each B’s Log)
2 – two booklets about the Yamanote Boys series (one from each B’s Log)
3 – page of stickers from Starry Sky! very cute
4 – the mags – I got the April and May B’s Log, and the most recent Cool-B and Sweet Princess
5 – The 2011 Tokyo Otome Guide – I have to plan for my fall trip! it has listings of otome-focused stores, manga, games, cosplay, everything, as well as some hotel and restaurant listings (even some butler cafés!), with lots of pics and ideas. Lots of fun to read through!
6 – Two DVD-Roms that came with Cool-B and Sweet Princess. They have promo movies, wallpapers, game guides, and even some playable demos.
And now for the news from those magazines!
A fandisk was announced for Hiiro no Kakera 4 Shin Tamayori-hime Denshou, called Piece of Future. Scheduled for July 2011, the Suwabe Brothers will be capturable! Awesome.
Sangokuren Senki is coming to PS2!!! I’m extremely happy, I’ve heard a lot of good things about this game and darnit, I’m just a sucker for fantasy historicals!
A new Quinrose game, Mother Goose no Himitsu no Yakata (Mother Goose’s Secret House) – scheduled for the PSP on June 23. Apparently there are two parts, a quiz part and an adventure part. The story is kind of like Alice, in that the heroine falls into a different world and has to find a way out. But to do so, she has to pass quizzes based on nursery rhymes. The men she meets all know her, but she doesn’t remember them. There’s a lot of really gorgeous art for this, it seems that Quinrose has over 200 nursery rhymes (which will be shown in English and then Japanese translations) illustrated by lots of different artists. Here’s a pic!
Cute huh? From left to right, the characters are:
Cezary Fritche (CV: Morikawa Toshiyuki) – a poor scholar
Eric Burrell (CV: Toriumi Kousuke) – an odd jobs guy
Arthur Lindgren (CV: Sakurai Takahiro) – a noble gentleman
Bacchus Moore (CV: Suwabe Junichi) – a cook
(sitting) Vincent Noble (CV: Yasumoto Hiroki) – a student of Cezary at a well-known school
The Nise no Chigiri fandisk, Omoide no Saki e, is coming July 21!
A new R18 game, Persona, is announced from Mirai, the creators of the Hoshi no Joou series and Jingi Naki Otome, It seems to be based on the Phantom of the Opera, but there was just a teaser spread this month.
More info on the new Otomate PSP game, Amnesia. The heroine wakes up with (surprise!) amnesia, and apparently has to figure out which of her (current?past?) boyfriends is the real one, or something.
Kago no Naka no Alicis, the all-ages fantasy PC game from icingCandy, is set for Apr 22.
Info on the Alice movie! It’s coming out on July 30, in 7 cities around Japan. The art is quite nice, dare I say, possibly nicer than the original game! Apparently the story is new, and they’re trying to make it accessible to people who’ve never played the game. Apparently Joker is in it, and that is a hint as to the story, and there’s lots of action.
Seiyuu announcements for Hotokensaa, the sentai otome game:
Kondou Ryuuichi, Hotokensaa Blue: Akabane Kenji
Sumeragi Rikuto, Hotokensaa Yellow: Takagi Shun
Doujima Mitsuki, Hotokensaa Green: Kimura Ryouhei
I finally got Harutoki 5!
Two hours sounds like a fair bit for the average game, at least enough to know most of the plot points, but as with most RPGs, it’s barely scratching the surface in Harutoki 5. So far I have:
* been in a plane crash;
* travelled to historical Japan (around 1863??);
* almost got killed by Takasugi Shinsaku (CV: Yasumoto Hiroki), who should end up being one my guardians, and tried to save Genbu (one of the four Guardian Beasts);
* travelled back to modern Japan and found out that Japan (and maybe the world?) has apparently been annihilated except for my house and my cousin’s (there are also no people left);
* fought two onryou (monsters);
* got sucked back to historical Japan again;
* tried to free Suzaku during a battle and then fought it;
* and got sent back to modern Japan.
All I want to know is, when is something *exciting* going to happen?? Heh.
I’ve encountered five hachiyou, but only one, my adopted brother Shun (CV: Terajima Takuma), has been with me for (almost) the whole time. The rest were one-time meetings. It just went from full-voice to non-voiced (boo!), and the heroine even had some lines (only when she was alone and reflecting on her situation, it was a bit strange).
Right now it seems like there are hachiyou on either side of this war, those supporting the existing shogun (Okita Souji （CV: Okamoto Nobuhiko), maybe Ernest （CV: Shitanda Michael), and those trying to reinstate the emperor (Takasugi, Chinami (CV: Abe Atsushi). It’s a little bit like Harutoki 2 that way. Will I have to choose a side? Will things end up the way they did in our world? (Since the other world is similar to ours but not the same, they theoretically could).
I don’t know much yet, although I think I’d like to get going and stop switching worlds for a while. I want to get into the character’s stories! So, not much else to say right now, but I’ll update soon-ish.