When it comes to fighting games, it’s hard to stand out in today’s somewhat oversaturated market, but I am happy to report that Koihime Enbu RoyRaRai is a pleasant surprise (even though I’m still not one hundred percent sure how you pronounce the name). Developed by UNKNOWN GAMES and published by Degica, the roster comprises of an all-female cast, all with totally unique combos and attacks. However, whilst it may have been a pleasant surprise in terms of gameplay, I found myself wanting a little bit more from the story. With that being said, let’s dive in and dissect this game further.
Let’s start with the graphics, which in my opinion are incredible. Whilst it may be a classic 2-D art style, everything from the characters to the battle’s backdrop is just so colourful and vibrant. Just scrolling through the roster, you can really see the amount of work that had went into each character in order to ensure that they all had distinct looks. Considering the fact that UNKNOWN GAMES is a relatively small development studio (located in Japan), this is a seriously impressive feat and I cannot commend them enough for their fantastic work.
Similarly, the gameplay is also very enjoyable, for both fighting game connoisseurs who spent their childhood glued to Tekken and Mortal Kombat (Like Myself) and newcomers who have no clue what they’re doing. There is something so familiar about the controls, if like me you have plenty of experience with these type of games, you will have no problem and will be able to go straight into the Arcade Mode, should you so wish. The only thing that I found slightly confusing, was the option to pick a strategist, who acts as a support character and may influence what special moves you can perform. It just seemed like an unnecessary add-on to me (but hey, that’s just my opinion).
As I have previously stated, the game is also suitable for those of you who may be new to the genre. I would initially recommend entering the training mode in order to find a character you like and familiarise yourself with their move set and combos. But once you have spent some time in this mode, you will realise how easy the controls are and will be ready to play the Arcade Mode. This is yet another aspect of the game that works in UNKNOWN GAMES’ favour; they have created something that is accessible to everyone and not just a specific somewhat niche audience.
One of my biggest issues lies with the game’s overall story. I wasn’t sure what was happening during the cut scenes in between the fights (which may be my own fault). So I did what any curious mind would do, I headed to Google in order to do some further research. It was there that I found out that Koihime Enbu RoyRaiRai was inspired by the historic Chinese novel Romance of the Three Kingdoms. Once I knew this I was even more disappointed that the story was weak, as the source material clearly exists, so it begged the question why was everything so… lacking. Overall, I just think the ‘Arcade Mode’ could have been handled in a better way. It just went from one battle to the other, which is fine and has been done by many fighting games, such as Tekken and Mortal Kombat. But with the cut scenes placed inbetween each round, I would have hoped for something a little more coherent.
Another slight issue that dawned on me during the Arcade Mode, was that all the characters were already unlocked and readily available. So as I was playing through each fight, I began to question, what am I even playing for? Because usually in these type of games, when you compete the ‘Arcade/Story Mode’ with one character you unlock a brand new character. But Koihime Enbu Roy Rai Rai has everyone unlocked from the get go, so really what is your reward, what is it that is supposed to keep the gamer going? I know I may sound like I am nit-picking, but it would have been more intriguing to hold off on releasing the entire roster, and allow players to unlock them as the game progressed.
Overall, Koihime Enbu RoyRaiRai is a fun game with a few minor issues. Currently retailing at £15.99 in the PlayStation Store, I would highly recommend it to both fighting game veterans and those of you who are wishing to explore the genre further. I would also like to once again commend UNKNOWN GAMES for their hard work, they have truly created a beautifully designed game, which looks like it came from a major developer. The replay value somewhat diminishes due to the fact that all the characters are available from the outset, but perhaps you could just explore each one and find out which fighter works best for you.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary Sony Playstation 4 code was provided to Bonus Stage for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Koihime Enbu RoyRaiRai Review
User Review( votes)
The famous Chinese novel ‘Romance of the Three Kingdoms’ meets Teken, in this hybrid of a fighting game.
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