*Well, Voltage forced my hand on this one, so I’m posting this earlier than I expected, to make room another review next week…*
So, finally Voltage has decided to jump on the Shinsengumi bandwagon with their newest release; Era of Samurai: Code of Love. I have no idea why they saw fit to replace Shinsengumi with Samurai, at this point in the game it’s not like Western audiences are unfamiliar with the Shinsengumi especially with the Hakuoki series still dominating the western otoge market… But, I’m sure they had their reasons…
I have played a couple of games featuring the Shinsengumi, some were really good…and others not so much, so I’m really curious to see what kind of spin Voltage plans on putting on the historical samurai romance premise (that they didn’t already cover in Sakura Amidst Chaos/ Samurai Love Ballad).
**Disclaimer: I DO NOT own any of the images used in this review, ALL images, screenshots, and characters belong to Voltage Inc. Please if you are interested in the game, download the game for free in the App Store or from Google Play and purchase the stories when they are available in your area.**
A love that will change history!
You (name changable) work as a doctor’s assistant in a small local clinic, after your father the clinic’s former physician died a little over a year ago. While working in the clinic one day you overhear some of your patients whispering about a group of ruthless ronin who have been mercilessly slaughtering anyone in their path. Of course the rumors terrify you, a woman alone in the world, so you make a mental note to be careful when walking outside alone at night. However not long after you hear the rumors the very same band of ronin break into your home late at night, fearing the worst you agree to shelter them so as not to antagonize them further. But, before you can figure out your next move, a group of men clad in blue burst in to confront the ronin. An intense battle breaks out and your home is set on fire in the process, grief stricken and afraid you pass out as the flames devour everything you own. After being saved you find yourself in the care of the Shinsengumi a band of fierce warriors. Alone, afraid, and with no where to go, you agree to stay with the Shinsengumi as their new first aid officer. But what will become of you, a lone woman in a den of wolves? And what of the ronin that burned down your home? Choose one of the Shinsegumi to be your personal protector and embark on a love affair that people will remember throughout the ages…
- Toshizo Hijikata– The Demon Deputy of the Shinengumi. He’s a cold and calculating commander who leads his men with an iron fist. Always dutiful, Hijikata follows any order without question… but what of love? Can you manage to warm his cold heart?
- Soji Okita–The Fearless Master Swordsman. He is a ruthless warrior with a lust for blood, his disregard for human life is frightening. But, there is something else behind his terrifying gaze. Is there more to this ruthless killer than meets the eye? Can you teach him the value of a life without bloodshed?
- Sanosuke Harada- The Daring and Courageous Lancer. He is a righteous warrior who is willing to lay his life down for his beliefs. He may have a brusque way of speaking but his men look up to his fearless tactics and strength. But what will happen when you capture his heart? Is love the chink in his armor?
- Hajime Saito–The Silent, Left-handed Swordsman. He is an impassive man and a formidable warrior, whose skills are second only to Soji Okita. But there is more to him than his skill with a sword, Saito is highly perceptive, able to assess any situation quickly and objectively. Is there more to this quiet man than meets the eye? What’s really going on behind his blank gaze?
- Isami Kondo-The Heroic Leader of the Shinsengumi. He is the fearless and capable commander, with a kind and soothing smile. Respected by his men and comrades, Kondo is a force to be reckoned with in battle. Is there room for you beside such a formidable man?
Gameplay and Features
While Era of Samurai: Code of Love is your typical Voltage game utilizing the same basic game play as their other apps, it does offer two new and rather unique features. The first new feature is the “Coins” system. It’s similar to the system in place for Sweet Cafe, with it players can purchase coins to use to purchase stories within the game (players can still buy stories using real money too). Coins just offer a more streamlined buying option, allowing players to purchase stories without having to go through the respective app store login processes. Voltage has hinted that there will be future features that will utilize the Coin system, but as of right now they are being tight lipped about it. Coins purchased in the game will never disappear, unless you delete the app.
In addition to the Coin system, Voltage also introduced a new way to Restore/Transfer game data. Instead of having to keep track of Transfer ID codes, players can now register an email address and password that will be used to restore purchases and transfer data to new devices. The email and password can be used multiple times for multiple devices!
There are two endings available in Era of Samurai: Code of Love: Written by Fate and Written by Love. The Written in Love Ending is the more romantic of the two endings, while the Written in Fate Ending is a bittersweet moment.
It’s the Shinsengumi… this isn’t something we haven’t seen before in an otoge, so I don’t really have high expectations for anything new in this game. I mean, I’m curious to see if Voltage brings anything new to the table, but I won’t be surprised if they don’t. At this point I’m playing this game purely out of
loyalty curiosity and from what I’ve played of the prologue, I see some promise.
First, the music and art: I actually really like the BGM for this game so far, it really sets the mood for the game and somehow it sounds slightly more epic than the usual Voltage BGM. I dunno what it is, but it really has me pumped for the full game. The sound effects were nice too, I’m trying to remember if they had the sword clashing sounds in Sakura Amidst Chaos…but no matter it was cool. I really like this artist, I think its the same one from Star Crossed Myth, but there isn’t much new or exciting there. The sprites for the love interests are nice, but I have the same issue I had with Sakura Amidst Chaos…the guys look a little young to be fierce warriors. In my head I kind of pictured them being a little more mature looking, not that they look bad now or anything. I just wanted something a little more gruff.
As of this writing,
only Hijikata’s Hijikata and Soji’s routes are now available and I plan on posting the reviews for those soon, but the Shinsengumi memebers that I am most looking forward to are Hajime Saito and Isami Kondo. Saito just looks so hot, and I like mysterious quiet types, they always manage to surprise me. Plus Saito looks like he’s got something dark lurking behind his impassive gaze! Then there’s Kondo, something about a man in power is sexy and I can’t wait to see what his route has in store for me. Maybe it’ll be similar to Gaia’s route from A Knight’s Devotion. With that being said, I have a bit of a confession to make, Soji Okita, scares the crap out of me, he reminds me of a sun-kissed Orochimaru and it makes me a little uncomfortable.
Finally the MC… I love that Voltage made her more than just some village girl like they did with Sakura Amidst Chaos, instead making he a doctor’s assistant. It’s a new approach for Voltage, and I wholeheartedly approve! Maybe this is a sign that this MC will be a capable character, but only time will tell. I can’t wait to see what voltage does with her in the coming routes, fingers crossed they make her a fighter!
I want to like this game, I really do, but I can see so many ways this can go wrong…But, I will reserve judgement until I finish the individual routes. Expect individual reviews as soon as the stories are released!
What do you think about otoge with historical settings? Do you think the Shinsengumi premise is overplayed in otoge? Have you played any other voltage routes? Do you have a suggested route? Want me to review a specific game or character? Feel free to Comment on this post or Ask Me on my tumblr! As always Thank You for reading!