Game: The Amazing Shinsengumi: Heroes in Love
Developer: D3 Publisher, known for the Vitamin and Storm Lover series
Summary from D3 Publisher: The year is 1864, at the end of the Edo period. A group of men bravely took action to extinguish a burning house. Those men were part of a group called the Shinsengumi. In order to protect the city of Kyoto, they would rush to any place that needed them. The curtain rises on the crusade of the members of the Shinsengumi, whose hearts burn as passionately as the flames they fight…
Platform: Android and iOS
Okita Soji: Sarcastic and ill-natured but has a strong devotion toward the Shinsengumi.
Saito Hajime: Hard to read and doesn’t talk much. However, he is nothing but considerate toward others.
Nagakura Shinpachi: Trusted by all. Caring, and has a brotherly disposition.
Harada Sanosuke: Flirtatious, and can be dishonest from time to time, but very kind to women and children.
Todo Heisuke: Innocent and straightforward.
For this game, I chose to play as two characters as they were the only ones to catch my interest. I liked Soji’s cocky attitude, plus he was the most attractive of the bunch, and I was intrigued by Hajime’s quiet and expressionless demeanor. I played it on my iPad mini.
Story: Our girl, the main character, needs a place to stay after her house burns down, and thankfully the amazing Shinsengumi allow her to stay at their place. Depending on which character route you choose, that determines whose room you’ll be staying in.
She tries to fit in with the group of men and soldiers, doing housework and getting to know the characters. It reminds me a bit of Hakuoki.
Overall, the story is fairly cute and although it has some serious tones, the lack of depth in the story itself prevents it from being on the same level as Hakuoki. If you can ignore the lack of story and the focus on the characters, you still get a very enjoyable story, however. I personally enjoyed the routes I played, but recognized that it did lack in that regard.
Music/voices: After a bit of game time, I had to stop playing the repetitive music which left things silent. Although I enjoyed the stories, I kind of wish there were voices in the game.
Gameplay: Soji and Hajime’s routes were still touching. I liked how the game slowly unveiled each character’s different side. Soji comes across as crass and kind of a jerk, but he was very caring. Hajime seemed to be emotionless and very rational, but once you really got to know him, he turned out to be quite aggressive.
Hajime’s route ended up being my favorite of the two. His ignorance of normal social cues made for some chuckle-worthy situations. One seemingly innocent situation Hajime and the heroine find themselves in has the elements of a double entendre, when he wipes off the heroine and her clothes. I was probably blushing right along side the heroine.
The routes I played were generally without grammar errors. I saw one or two typos. Reading the story was easy and flowed well. D3P does a very good job of translating its games. Some of the more intimate scenes got laughs out of me, though, and reminded me a bit of a cheesy romance novel. But I found it charming overall.
Art: Two things that draw me to D3P’s mobile games are the animated characters and beautiful art. The CG’s unveiled throughout the game add a nice touch that help keep the story from being full on monotonous. In order to unveil all the CG’s you need to get the best ending (there are three), as well as play the sequel. I liked the game enough to buy the regular character route (seven chapters, with three possible endings), the sequel and the date scenario.
Replay value: Although I didn’t play the other routes, we get a taste of the other characters. Like other otome games, the routes have characters with different personalities to appeal to different people. The next character I might play is Sanosuke Harada, a huge flirt. I’m interested in seeing the other side of him. I probably won’t play the other routes as I’m not a huge fan of their personalities, but other people might be. Since there are three endings, it’s fun to try and get all three endings, and play the extras, to reveal all of the CGs.
Audience: Check this game out if you like VNs set in historical times and that focus on the characters. You might want to pass if you want a deep, plot-driven story.