Koihime Enbu is an anime fighting game based from the Koihime Muso universe which is made up of a visual novel game, a fighting game and some anime series, all of which I had never heard of before this game. Fortunately though the game is its own beast enough that if you saw this expansive catalogue of content as intimidating you need not worry too much.
Koihime Enbu is an absolutely gorgeous anime fighter. That was the first thing I realised as soon as I kicked into this game, the beautifully drawn anime character designs and the stunning backgrounds in the stages are just amazing. A lot of anime fighting games do this job well but it really is such a crucial element so with Koihime Enbu nailing this it is worth noting. They do use the usual anime cliche overly sexualised woman designs where you will see plenty of undies, but it was not as in your face as some games tend to be so it was not so bad. The animations look nice and smooth and I especially noticed the shadows movements on the character look really nice which just seals the beautiful design.
The gameplay itself is fairly stock standard, getting simple combos and attacks down takes very minimal time, but getting the hang of timing and the harder attacks can take a while to get the hang of. This is something I especially like in fighting games, a game being easy to pick up but more difficult to master. Unfortunately as hard as tried I could not find any tutorials, so trial and error is required.
This stands out in the middle of arcade mode where even a novice should whoop some ass early on, but about halfway through you will realise there is some time to be had in training mode. One thing I did notice though was the game does not seem to have the range of combos, more importantly long combo strings, like many other fighting titles do. I wouldn’t say it is an issue, just different. The other slightly different to usual element is the use of your tag partner, each character has the option of two partners who takes part in certain attacks in the match. You cannot switch to your partner, they just add some aesthetic variety to some of the attacks.
For someone unfamiliar with the lore, the scenario mode also known as the story mode, was strange, reading the characters interactions without the context for their relationships and based on the conversations they definitely have some. Fortunately the interactions are not too long so it just makes for a slightly different arcade mode for someone like myself. Aside from that the modes are fairly stock standard, online which worked well, even if I did get beaten badly, versus mode, arcade mode and training mode.
That is about it really. All in all Koihime Enbu is a solid anime fighter, not quite as complex as some others, but does it own things to be its own game. Stunning presentation puts the bow on very solid gameplay that I did not find a bug in. With there being next to no story mode in place the interactions between characters did seem a little strange without context, but there really is not much more to fault on it.
Released: May 2016
Platforms: PC (Windows 7 or higher)
Developer: Unknown Games
Publisher: Unknown Games