Koihime Enbu RyoRaiRai developed by Unknown Games recently released July 12, 2018. This newest iteration of the Koihime fighting games added a few things. A new character Choryo Bun’en, new assist character Kaku Bunwa, custom assist choice, general tweaks and changes. This title and its previous installations are derived from the Koihime Musou visual novel series. The visual novel series and other respective Koihime video games are based on a Chinese novel called Romance of the Three Kingdoms. This is why the game is set in ancient China during the Han dynasty. Which is also why we have an all-female roster consisting of gender-bent Chinese generals.
Game Name: Koihime Enbu RyoRaiRai
Platform(s): PlayStation 4 (reviewed), and PC
Publisher(s): Degica Games
Developer(s): UNKNOWN GAMES, M2 Co.,LTD
Release Date: July 12, 2018
This game features 14 playable characters and 8 different assist characters all dressed in a somewhat generic anime art style. The cast size may be small, but the characters do have their own interesting quirks and intricacies that help flesh out the roster. For example, a character might have a unique trait or ability that is specific to them alone. Such as Gakushin’s ability to link a series of air normals in succession or Kakoton’s ability to charge command normals.
Stages are pretty, but they feel devoid of life or energy. This may be due to an absence of NPC’s or environmental reactions occurring in the background. The musical tracks that accompany stages are hype and quite befitting of a fighting game.
What’s nice is that the system mechanics are fairly straightforward. You’ll be using standard attacks prevalent in most 2D fighters; normals, specials, supers (referred to in-game as Ougi), and even a flashy, ultimate move called “Hiougi.” There are also universal attacks such as a slow overhead and an anti-air that whole roster has access to. Your buttons for performing the aforementioned attacks are delegated to light (A), middle (B), hard (C). and special (D). Basic stuff like I said, and definitely nothing to write home about.
However, Koihime Enbu’s uniqueness is brought to light by the Fatal Counter mechanic. Land a specific attack being either a hard attack or some other command normal on counter-hit and your opponent will be reduced to a crumple state. Using certain hard attacks on a crumpled opponent will let you juggle their character around the stage like a ping-pong ball. You basically get a free pass to style on your opponent for little, which is lovely.
There aren’t many game modes to choose from, unfortunately, so the game does feel a bit barebones because of this. Koihime Enbu RyoRaiRai has an arcade mode, local versus, online versus, training mode, challenge mode (that’s found within training mode), replay mode, and a gallery mode. No real tutorial mode exists within the game so you’re left to figure things out on your own.
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Koihime Enbu RyoRaiRa is a solid fighter all things considered, but still a bit lacking in some departments. The art style and design of characters are a bit generic and uninspired. The stages feel just a bit empty. And the lack of modes is disappointing. Regardless of faults, the gameplay is fun and responsive. Fatal Counters add some zest to how the game plays. Characters bring their own spice and flavoring to the table. Plus, the music is nice and sets the tone for exciting matches.