Vehura Reviews – Ikemen Sengoku: Romances Across Time

The third game release by CYBIRD Inc, I knew of this game’s popularity even before its release in English. It’s getting a port of Playstation Vita, it had stage plays, collaborations, there was an anime coming. Basically, in the two years the game had been out, it had BLOWN UP to become one of CYBIRD’s most popular properties. So, when they finally announced that we were getting the game in English, I was ready to see what the fuss was about.

At the same time, I was cautious. I didn’t want to hype up the game too much in my mind. There are many games that are really popular that I have played only to be disappointed with the game overall whether is be in writing, gameplay, main character, ect. So, I wanted to go into this game not expecting much at all and have it do the work to convince me that it deserves to be thought of as a great game.

And hoooo boi, has it convinced me.


Basics

Story – The Main Character (played by you!) landed her dream job and then, whoops, now she is in Sengoku era.

Like another CYBIRD game, Destined to Love, this one deals with another timeslip. The difference here is, the reason for the timeslip is answered in the prologue (it has yet to be explained in DtL), by none other than the guy who time slipped with you.

The MC comes back through a wormhole, to the Honno-ji Incident that ended with the death of the real life Nobunaga. She stops a man from attacking Nobunaga and then helps him escape the flames, not really knowing who he is. She then proceeds to sass the shit out of him, which he is both surprised and amused by, and he declares her his lucky charm and tells her to stay in his castle as his chatelaine, a woman in charge of running the household, after she turned down doing “girly things.”

She meets back up with the man who came back in time with her. He has taken up the name Sasuke Saratobi, a famous fictional ninja, which allows him to work in the shadows without making too much of an impact. He sneaks in to visits her in Nobunaga’s Castle, as he’s kiiiinda in the enemy’s camp, to her to tell her that he has calculated that another wormhole will open up in three months time and that she should be prepared to go back… TO THE FUTURE. He also warns her not to fall in love with anyone.

Pictured: Famous last words.

You then pick a warlord to in no way make hearts eyes with and off we go!

Main Character – Just best lady. A+
The Main Character is a fashion designer who has just landed her dream job. Also, she takes no shit. This is a real rarity in otome games. I can think of ONE other MC who is like this and I have played a LOT of otome games.

She has sass, she makes references to things I am not ready for, she does NOT tolerate people trying to walk all over her, she will eventually do what is asked of her but she’s quick to immediately say no and then, when convinced, she doesn’t stay quiet.

Basically, the Lords are the ones doing most of the chasing here. To them she is intriguing and they want to know more. Hell, myself and many other are wondering if they can make a separate MC so we can date the MC. I love her so much.

Love Interest – Heeeeeeeeeeeeeey~
Since the game has just been released, there are three opening routes. Having played through all of Masamune and partial through Nobunaga, I have to say, I love all of these guys.

Masamune is amazing and probably more true to his historical self. I found myself swooning over him almost immediately. I love my “bad boy” love interest and Masamune fits it to a T. He lives in the moment, kisses the MC because she looked cute and he wanted to. You watch their relationship build in a very realistic sort of way. The MC finds herself pulled into Masamune’s pace (and she likes it). There is a moment where they are legit in a situation that, if this was any other game, could have gone horrible horribly wrong, but the MC keeps her cool and brings them out of it.. and then they talk like adults.

Seriously, what is this game? Communication? In an otome game? …..

I started Nobunaga and, just when you think that the game is about to go into sexual assault territory, the MC, once again, keeps her cool and manages to turn the situation around.

Then she still manages to end up in a sticky situation where, once again, if this were any other otome game, the scenario could have gone horrible wrong, but she sets up an ultimatum if he wants to continue.

And here’s the shocker, he follows through with this. He tells her to tell him firmly to stop, she does, and he immediately removes himself from her.

Granted there is a part of the MC that soooo wants to continue, but it’s only Chapter 2, gotta make the Devil King of the Sixth Heaven earn it. He doesn’t just get it for free. No, sir!

Everyone, in one way or another either respects the MC (a CYBIRD staple) or pushes her to better herself. So far everyone is likeable to a degree with a few question marks in the bunch, but only time, and main route/event stories will tell.

Writing – These are funny, mature stories
Anybody can write a story, but it takes a lot to write a good story. As I have said, I finished Masamune and was pretty much blown away, dokis everywhere. Nobunaga is great so far too. The writing is solid, the stories are mature, so far, everyone is acting like adults. It’s really nice when I think about the sort of stories I have been reading up to this point.

I really really enjoy smut and adult scenes in my games, but I don’t need there to be straight up smut in Ikemen Sengoku because CYBIRD knows how to write hot stories that have good teasing and foreplay, their MCs are into it, and at no point am I EXTREMELY uncomfortable with the interaction.

Pictured: It happens. Seriously. No ragrats!

If you are coming to this game expecting hardcore scenes (and non-con) due to the Mature rating in whatever respective app store you downloaded the game from, you are going to be disappointed. But, you should stay for the realistic relationship building, general respect between the MC and the other characters, and comedy.

Art – Gorgeous.
Yamashiro-san once again hits it out of the park with her artwork. While the armor design isn’t 100% historically accurate, there are hints to the originals here and there. The characters themselves are colored in a painterly type style which makes them nice to look at. Character faces don’t stay in one position and change out facial expressions. Their heads change positions from time to time. There is a small issue where, if Masamune is not wearing his eye patch, you will see it pop into existence for a second before it disappears again when his face changes. lol


Mechanics

Reading the story – Patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet
Your standard otome. Every day, you are given 5 chapter tickets to read the story. There are 10 chapters per part as well as Avatar Checks and Grace Checks. The game is going to give you a lot of free tickets when you start the game and you need to resist using them. Save them for collection events or main story campaigns. If you use all the free tickets the game throws at you, you are going to immediate his checks (usually avatar checks) that you will not be able to pass.

There are two endings: Romantic and Dramatic. Their names should let you know what kind of ending you are in for. Reading an ending and then its epilogue will award you max prizes for the route. Complete both endings for double route clear bonus! Please note that, upon follow up reads, you do have to start from the beginning.

Avatar Checks –  Dress up
These happen throughout the route you are playing. There are two options: Premium or Normal. Premium avatars can only be purchased with Coins that you have to buy with real money. In exchange, you get a avatar with high Beauty and a story that is usually more romantic that saves in your Memories located in the Room. If you cannot buy a premium, you can buy the normal, which is also going to be a good story. At the time of writing this review, there is no way to get Coins for free. But, if you enjoy the game, I encourage you to support it by spending some money!

Lessons – Be the best at… doing lessons… or something!
Going on Lessons raises your Beauty, get you Gold (game’s version of money), and, if you win five times in a row, points for your gacha. Pick your favorite Lord and, if you win, you’ll get a voiced message from him that changes depending on random chance and if you did your five in a row. There is also a multi-go button that, if you have at least two open lessons, you can press the button and go all at once. Love it!

Gacha – Put together a puzzle!
Called the ‘Castle Gacha,’ you actually pick a puzzle piece. The Gacha has special pieces: Rare, Super Rare, and Premium.

  • Rare is a avatar to put in your castle. You can win the same item multiple times.
  • Super Rare is the love interest avatar or clothing for your castle avatar, you can only collect and display one even if you win the same multiple times.
  • Premium is a POV from the Lord who’s Gacha you are spinning and it corresponds to something that happens in the story, hold off reading it until the game tells you to and see that scene from that Lord’s eyes!
Pictured: I’m weak to this man blushing…

If you win multiple pieces, it’s not a big deal. They also have Gold value attached to them and you can sell them, minus one because you need it for the puzzle.

Friends – Easy Greeting
It is a well known tip to max out your friends list ASAP in any free-to-play game. Once you have acquired friends, if you click on the icon on the top left (that looks like two people), the Friend’s menu will come up. Press Friends’ List and there is a button that says Greet All. *stares* YOU PRESS IT AND IT GREETS ALL YOUR FRIENDS AT ONCE.

Get it together, other otome companies…


Other things that are amazing

Voiced – Listen to that hot voice
This game has voices. It’s not 100% voiced, but there is a line when:

  • you open the game
  • if the Lord is up on the home screen and you press the sound button, he will say something to you
  • you get an excellent doing lessons
  • you change your clothes
  • you make a choice in the game (on the points screen)
  • there are also voiced files you can win in events (these save into Memories)

If you are every trying to load something and it takes some time, this is because the game is loading a voice file in case you wish to hear it.

Side Stories – Huehuehuehue
There is a section in Memories for the side stories you have collected while playing the game whether it be from events, gacha, or premium avatars. They are organized BY LORD and then further organized from there for easy access. If there is a side story (or voiced file) you have collected but haven’t played yet, there will be a NEW about the Lord’s name and then again over the section the file is in.

Events Tab – It’s all here!
I like this so much! No more scrolling forever on the home page! Collections, Stories, Grab Bags, Special Gachas, ect will all be under this tab. You don’t have to scroll through a carousel and it’s easily accessible.


Just a few gripes…

The Friend’s Section
No auto add function. You have to add one at a time and the game will show you people who are already full. I quick scroll to the bottom and start from there, but the game needs an auto add function or to not show people who are full.

When you Greet friends, the game auto sends them a “Hello” to their message log. I don’t really care for this. What if someone wants to send me an actual message, but I don’t see it because my Log is full of people saying “Hello”?

Present Box
There is no way to delete something from the present box. So, if you don’t have room and can’t buy space, your option is to just leave it there to eventually expire, forever being reminded of it every time you open the game.


Rating: 4.5/5

Overall, so far, a solid game. I trust CYBIRD to have great stories as their writing is consistent. I’m looking forward to event stories and learning more!

Official Links For CYBIRD

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