The PSP is doing well in Japan, which isn’t expected since it was more warmly embraced there, but it’s kind of amazing to see it just won’t die here either. It’s still getting new games, the latest of which is Aksys’ Hakuoki: Warriors of the Shinsengumi on February 19, 2013. People who are interested in Japanese history and warriors fighting, but didn’t want anything to do with the love aspect of Hakuoki: Demon of the Fleeting Blossom, have a new way to live as a Shinsengumi.
Hakuoki: Warriors of the Shinsengumi is a fighting game with some mild visual novel elements. It’s mainly about the fighting, however. Battles are similar to though in the Dynasty Warriors and Samurai Warriors series, with players following one of the Shinsengumi through various missions, cutting down opponents. It isn’t entirely historically accurate though, as the two storylines Shinsengumi Memorial and Shinsengumi Chronicle have supernatural elements. In both cases, the main characters can transform into Fury versions of themselves, which are strong with demonic tendencies. In Memorial, however, you fight through the Hakuoki: Demon of the Fleeting Blossom story and in Chronicle you go through a more accurate retelling of history, only changing your hero’s fate along the way so he doesn’t die.
For people who don’t want to invest a lot of time, sitting for hours to fight throug a storyline, there is a Skirmish mode. Here there are eight characters to choose from and you get to level them up for story mode and tackle the missions you’ve already beaten.
Now, as for ordering, there are two ways to get Hakuoki: Warriors of the Shinsengumi. One is through the PlayStation Store come February 19, so you can download and immediately play it on your PSP or Vita. The other is to get a physical copy. In each case it’s $29.99, so I’d go with the UMD version. See, all copies of Hakuoki: Warriors of the Shinsengumi include a 16 page artbook, not to mention Amazon pre-orders include a scarf with the characters on it. Unless you only own a Vita, it’s smarter to go with a physical copy that nets you extra goodies.