I’m not sure why, but Koei is releasing ‘best edition’ (read: cheap) versions of two of the most popular Harutoki games this month for the PSP.
The first is Harukanaru Toki no Naka de 3 with Izayoiki Aizo Ban (best edition), one of the most enduringly popular otome games as rated by fans. I’m thinking of getting this, as I only have it on PS2, and as Izayoiki was a fandisk that you had to swap in and out with the original game to play, is a right pain, especially since my Japanese PS2 went kaput. In this version Izayoiki is one the same PSP cartridge as the original game, so NO swapping is needed! Yay! Plus, at only Y2800 this is pretty cheap. It’s an RPG (nothing too hardcore), so you get quite a few hours of playtime. And Shirogane was before his time as the sexy psycho who ends up being more popular than the main characters (I love him too, I can’t help it).
The other is the sequel/2nd fandisk for Harutoki 3, Harukanaru Toki no Naka de 3Unmei no Labyrinth Aizo Ban (best edition). It’s also new to the PSP and Y2800. It’s set after the ‘normal’, happy but not romantic, ending of #3, and is in the heroine’s world. The plot is totally unrelated to history in this one.
So if you’ve never played a Harutoki, and/or you’re interested in otome RPGs, I’d recommend getting the first game.
They’re also releasing Harutoki, the original game Hachiyousho (OK the original was on PS1, but Hachiyousho is the PS2 adaptation) for the PSP, but for some reason it’s more expensive. I don’t think it’s really worth it. Plus i just like #3 much better.
Not a ton of news this month, but definitely some things to watch out for:
L.G.S – Shinsetsu Houshin Engi, another classical Chinese novel adaptation. I don’t know anything about the source material, but the setup is that in ancient China, there’s the human world, and then the ascetic world. In the human world, the good king Chuuou was made to do evil things by the machinations of Sotatsuki, so the ascetics decided to seal her. Because of her skill, Yousen was nominated to do this.
Yousen, the heroine, is regarded as a genius ascetic (sennin is hard to translate, I always think of them as wise men but obviously she’s not a man, and they seem to have special powers pretty often) and lives on Mt. Konron. She’s not very sociable, but is meek when talking to her teacher, Gyokutei Shinjin. She was also turned into a youkai somehow by her father as a young child. Apparently depending on your choices during the game, Yousen will either remain a sennin (light ending) or become a true youkai (shadow ending). I’ll do the characters once the seiyuu are announced.
Arabian’s Lost: Quinrose is redoing this for the PSP! I’m kind of excited for this, because I really liked this game way back when it was released for the PS2. It was my first Quinrose game and I loved the non-standard characters. You might recognize Curtis Nile from Crimson Empire, here you can actually get him! The art’s all updated too, which is good, although I’m not sure about Shark’s redesign. Tyrone definitely looks better though. The article in B’s Log doesn’t show Maisen at all, so perhaps his parts are being removed?
Also, the seiyuu for Abunai Koi no Sousashitsu (scheduled for May 31 release on the PSP) are announced:
Mikechi Masaomi (CV: Maeno Tomoaki)
Fujimori Kenji (CV: Kondou Takashi)
Kisaragi Kouhei (CV: Tachibana Shinnosuke)
Ogasawara Ryou (CV: Suganuma Hisayoshi)
Onose Aoi (CV: Morikawa Toshiyuki)
Hozumi Rui (CV: Miki Shinichirou)
Fujimori Takashi (CV: Narita Ken)
And there are screenshots of the different areas in Bakudan Handan which SOUND like they’re different types of minigames, which would be great. However I still can’t find any description of gameplay in articles or on the website, so I’m not going to assume anything.
That’s about it that I can see, of course there’s more info on several fandisks and upcoming games, but mostly just scene descriptions. Oh, and a new character in Jyuuzaengi, Bachou (CV: Sugita Tomokazu)
Boo, my B’s Log didn’t come today, but I really didn’t have time to read it anyways.
I did find THIS: Japan Otome Festival 2, happening late February.
I know there are lots of events for otome games in Japan, though I’ve never been to one. This one though, is a collaboration between Neoromance and Otomate and B’s Log, so it’s pretty big. It’s basically a two-day stage show, with a HUGE number of seiyuu doing live sketches in character, songs, and some discussion (in their own personas).
Here’s the list of seiyuu (and the characters they’ll be performing as underneath):
伊藤健太郎 Kentaro Ito
井上和彦 Kazuhiko Inoue
橘 友雅（遙かなる時空の中で）/ 梶原景時（遙かなる時空の中で３）
岡野浩介 Kousuke Okano
置鮎龍太郎 Ryotaro Okiayu
下野 紘 Hiro Shimono
桐生 祟（遙かなる時空の中で５）/ ルシア（猛獣使いと王子様）
関 智一 Tomokazu Seki
高橋直純 Naozumi Takahashi
高橋広樹 Hiroki Takahashi
津田健次郎 Kenjiro Tsuda
風間千景（薄桜鬼）/ 無責任番長（ビーズログTV 恋愛番長）
寺島拓篤 Takuma Terashima
桐生 瞬（遙かなる時空の中で５）/ シルビオ（猛獣使いと王子様）/ ヤス（恋愛番長 命短し、恋せよ乙女! Love is Power）/ 貴樹（闇の皇太子）
鳥海浩輔 Kohsuke Toriumi
藤原泰衡（遙かなる時空の中で３）/ 英 円／ビショップ（CLOCK ZERO〜終焉の一秒〜）/ 斎藤 一（薄桜鬼）/ セクシー番長（恋愛番長 命短し、恋せよ乙女! Love is Power）
浪川大輔 Daisuke Namikawa
成田 剣 Ken Narita
アリオス（アンジェリーク）/ レヴィアス（アンジェリーク 魔恋の六騎士）
野宮一範 Kazunori Nomiya
平川大輔 Daisuke Hirakawa
ベルナール（ネオ アンジェリーク）/ 大蛇 卓（緋色の欠片）
堀内賢雄 Kenyu Horiuchi
前野智昭 Tomoaki Maeno
不動翔麻（100万人の金色のコルダ）/ ヨハネ（アンジェリーク 魔恋の六騎士）/ 加納理一郎／放浪者（CLOCK ZERO〜終焉の一秒〜）
森川智之 Toshiyuki Morikawa
エルンスト（アンジェリーク）/ カイン（アンジェリーク 魔恋の六騎士）/ ホスト番長（恋愛番長２ MidnightLesson!!!）/ 安倍晴明（闇の皇太子）
森久保祥太郎 Showtaro Morikubo
沖田総司（薄桜鬼）/ ジョヴァンニ（アンジェリーク 魔恋の六騎士）/ 恋愛番長（恋愛番長 命短し、恋せよ乙女! Love is Power）
森田成一 Masakazu Morita
吉野裕行 Hiroyuki Yoshino
藤堂平助（薄桜鬼）/ ヤンキー番長（恋愛番長２ MidnightLesson!!!）
代永 翼 Tsubasa Yonaga
Huge, right? For this event, they do 4 shows, 2 each day, and each one focuses on different titles. Tickets range from Y4800 to Y8800, holy expensive! But I guess for something that’s so rare, maybe it’s worth it. I’ve seen DVDs of these events as well, I wish I’d gotten them when I saw them. I wonder if they sometimes use the sketches later in drama CDs or something – it seems like a waste not to.
Anyways, I just saw this while I was lamenting the delay of B’s Log and thought I’d introduce one more thing we miss out on outside of Japan
I finally got Angelique Six Knights, and have been playing a fair bit, but really haven’t gotten too far – apparently the first time around you have to do the non-romance route, and I haven’t even finished that yet. I’m still getting acquainted with all the knight captains, and the battle and bad guy(s?) haven’t shown up yet. Here are my impressions of the knight captains.
Kain (CV: Morikawa Toshiyuki) – the oldest knight captain, he’s the defacto leader when Leviath isn’t around. He’s mature and intelligent, and his company is the Dark Crown Knights.
Kiefer (CV: Hirata Hiroaki)- a snobby jerk, although he does have a point when he complains about the unfitting behaviour of Giovanni and Gerhart. His company is the Sharp Ice Knights, and he actually keeps them in line by whipping whoever comes in last during sparring.
Gerhart (CV: Hiyama Nobuyuki) – a big sweetheart, his company the Sea Dragon Knights are apparently former pirates, and one of them is his sister Maria, who becomes friends with Theresa as the only other young woman at the fortress. He’s often drinking and gambling with Giovanni, though he always loses.
Giovanni (CV: Morikubo Shoutarou) – a casual flirt, he always wins when Gerhart gambles with him. He likes it when the heroine puts herself in the middle of things like trying to stop a fight. His company are the Shining Light Knights (or something like that).
Eugene (CV: Ono Daisuke) – the knight captain who likes the heroine the least at first – Kiefer treats her with contempt but Eugene almost kills her and definitely wants her out of the fortress, his company is the Moonlight Knights who focus more on magic than fighting. After a while it seems that it’s more that he doesn’t like new people, and he warms up to Theresa faster than Kiefer.
Shona (CV: Kaji Yuuki) – not the most socially adept person but he’s quite perceptive. His company is the Fallen Angel Knights.
Leviath (CV: Narita Ken) – the leader of everyone, he seems cold but has shown some moments of warmth. He looks just like Renoux’s dead/missing brother.
And since this was pretty short, I thought I’d throw in some videos.
First up, Omochabako no Kuni no Alice, coming out this month:
Beyond the Future – I pre-ordered this one, probably won’t be playing it until after Christmas:
The newest game from Rejet, collaborating with the creators of Are You Alice:
Tiny x Machine Gun
A bunch of UtaPuri playing videos, this one is only one song on hard, but it brings up a bunch of other ones as well:
Black Wolves Saga, also from Rejet in 2012, which they’ve been tweeting about incessantly:
It’s about werewolves, and it seems pretty dark.
And Strobe Mania, which I TOTALLY forgot about, I think it’s out already:
Finally, for anyone who’s a Gintama fan (I know it’s 50% toilet humour, 30% meta, and only 20% amazing story arcs, but I just can’t quit it), here is something we would all love to see – don’t even pretend you wouldn’t buy this! (though the video is eight minutes long, the relevant part is only the first two)
Next week I’ll hopefully have a Gekkan post up, and perhaps a Peter Pan one as well!
A few new games this month!
On the first page of the new B’s Log, there’s an announcement of a new game from Poni Pachet, the theme of which is…the mafia and magicians in the land of Oz! What this game, Ozmafia, will be like, I have NO clue, but the art is very nice. There’ll be more info in the next B’s Log.
Otomate is working with Gust on a new Atelier title! If you’re not familiar with the Atelier series, it’s a series of games where you’re a young alchemist, and have to build up your abilities while making new items through alchemy . The Otomate Atelier title, Atelier Elkrone, will include romance along with the alchemy sim elements.
A new R18 game was announced, Kimi ga Tame, Koishi Midareshi Tsuki no Hana, for the PC. The main character is a female ninja (a kunoichi), and it’s set in the Edo era.
Exorcism of Maria, from Karin, is going to be re-released for the PSP.
A date is set for releasing Angelique -Maren no Rokukishi-. It will come out for the PSP on November 11.
Argh, I’m feeling so lazy lately, I really have to get going on so many games! Anyways, here’s the news from B’s Log and Girl’s Style:
This doesn’t cover the most recent B’s Log released last week, so there may well be even more games coming up soon. I’m having trouble keeping up with all these!
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.
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.
Harukanaru Toki no Naka de 5 is only a month away now (only??), ok, still a month away, and since the gameplay seems to be quite different, I’m laying out what’s been explained so far in the otome mags.
The background story is that the heroine is on a plane returning to Japan after studying abroad. She’s with her cousin Miyako (CV:Saiga Mitsuki), and her adopted brotherｓ Shun (CV: Terajima Takuma) and Sou, but the plane malfunctions in the air. They brace themselves for the crash, but when they next regain consciousness, the heroine, Miyako, and Shun are in a different world.
This is the alternate world of Bakumatsu-era Japan, and the heroine has been chosen as the Priestess of the White Dragon. Miyako is the Black Dragon Priestess, and seems to fulfill a similar ‘older sister’ role to Saku from Harutoki 3. A high-ranking member of the Bakufuu government, Amami (CV: Suwabe Junichi), gives the heroine an hourglass and tells her to use it. When she does, she finds she returns to her own world.
The heroine has to save the Bakumatasu world within a limited amount of time – when she is in that world, her hourglass empties constantly (top right in screenshot). To refill it, she has to return to her own world, but there’s a cost to that as well. Each time she returns to her world, one of her ‘life fragments’ is used up(top left in screenshot). If all of them are used before doing what you have to, it’s game over. And apparently some events will automatically use one, so you can’t totally control it.
The heroine can fight with up to three party members. At the beginning of each turn you choose to do moves (including attacks) or abilities (like healing) for each member. As in previous Harutokis, you can choose to do special attacks with multiple characters that are especially effective when their element is one that the enemy is weak against.
There are a couple of new features to this system as well. A special attack seems to only hit one enemy, but if you combine special attacks in a certain order, you can do a ‘chain tactic’ (renkinjutsu), where even characters that aren’t in the battle party can join in the attack if your bond with them is strong enough . These attacks hit all enemies and can be very powerful.
There is also an experience system, but I’m not sure if it’s as detailed as before, where you can choose to get new abilities, or if your stats just increase.
If you beat an onryou with an element attack it’s weak against, it turns into a ‘tamashii’ (soul) and you can seal it in your weapons. This improves your weapon, and once you’ve improved it a certain amount, the weapon will change into a different weapon, eventually becoming a legendary weapon.
A couple other notes: The Four Gods show up in human form in Harutoki 5! They are all voiced by previous hachiyou, of course corresponding to their old parts – Seiryuu (Seki Tomokazu), Suzaku (Takahashi Naozumi), Byakko (Inoue Kazuhiko), and Genbu (Hoshi Souichirou). Also, the March B’s Log has pics of all the hachiyou in modern clothing, so perhaps they can come with you when you travel to your own world??
Even though the battle system and some other important parts of the game have been revealed, the overall plot is still kind of mysterious. Some of the teasers seemed pretty ominous, and Ruby Party says that the hourglass is the symbol of the whole game, so who knows what will happen to the heroine when her time runs out?
I finally got the Harutoki 4 PSP with the Harutoki 5 demo included in it (thanks YesAsia, even though I paid extra to get it Fedexed it was sent a week late, grr), and have a few thoughts!
1. The beginning feels like Corda, probably because of the music and the modern setting. The heroine’s cousin Miyako is female, though she looks and sounds like a guy…her CV is Saiga Mitsuki, whom I’ve always heard playing male roles, that might be it (including Kuranosuke in my new favourite anime Kuragehime!!) Anyways, I’ll get used to it, though it doesn’t help that she gets jealous of the heroine’s male friends in a ‘childhood friend who loves the heroine’ kind of way.
1a (forgot to write this before): Sakamoto Ryouma (the guy with wavy brown hair) (CV: Suzumura Kenichi)…all I can hear in my head is him playing Okita in Gintama…must remember not to watch any Gintama before I play this.
4. The heroine seems extremely absentminded and kind of dense, but this is hopefully due to the scenes shown in the demo. And she seems to have never heard of the Shinsengumi or Okita Souji – though she grew up in Japan. Odd.
5. I think I’m going to laugh whenever Ernest (blonde guy) says something in English – not because of his pronunciation, which is perfect (though American/Canadian accented, not English), but because of the dialogue – “Gosh”, “My Dear Savior” being a couple examples. Then again, I’ve read some pretty cheesy romance novel dialogue, I’m sure I can handle it.
All in all, this demo does a pretty good job in making me impatient to play Harutoki 5! Thank god I have lots of other games to pass the time with until then, including replaying Harutoki 4 with all its new scenes, which I’m off to do now!