Perhaps the most surprising thing about Hakuoki is its commitment to the time, place and historical significance of the samurai it winds its narrative around.
There's a large 'Encyclopedia' where you can look up terms liberally used in the text, such as 'daimyo' (ruler of a fiefdom).
Garrus in particular never really stopped doing his calibrations, the baritone bastard. The advice came back: Hakuoki is not a game where you answer how your character would answer, instead it is a game about how well you know the man.It turns out I was role-playing myself, which was why I wasn't successful at attaining any of the fantasy men in Hakuoki.You can check out her excellent Otome game 101 for more info.And yet, I'd finished the game three times and never kissed anyone; I'd begun to think my foray into dating sims had become some sort elaborate joke on the part of the universe.A Gion courtesan turns up to have drinks dressed in elaborate wig and kimono; war and politics feature heavily in almost every conversation; very strong language is used throughout and bloody deaths are heavily implied through the animated blade sweeps across the screen.
It's exciting to be among the hustle of six samurai debating whether to assassinate someone or not - even if your role is only to read and press 'next' until you can initiate your next kiss plan.
This initially seems at odds with a game that markets itself as a dating sim.
Most western romance narratives tend to be very overt when people are interested in each other - they will joke around with each other, go out of their way to touch each other, make excuses to see each other.
There are six endings, depending on whom you become closest to.
I've been coached by Otome game enthusiast and ex-Irrational lady Amanda Cosmos that this is typical of the genre.
I've played through Dragon Age and Mass Effect and begun a sex and relationship game column over at Rock Paper Shotgun (they let me call it S.