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Game Info:

Koihime Enbu
Developed By: UNKNOWN GAMES, M2 Co., LTD
Published By: Degica
Release Date: May 19, 2016
Available On: PC, PS3, PS4
ESRB Rating: N/A
Genre: 2D Fighting
Mode: 1 – 2 Players, local or online
MSRP: $39.99

Thank you Degica for sending us this game to review!

Koihime Enbu appears to be just a generic anime fighter.  And in some ways, it is – its source material is a rather obscure set of visual novels, Koihime Musou, and the whole roster of characters is girls.  Who hasn't heard of an all girl anime fighting game cast?  These days, it seems more rare to find a guy in games like this.  Despite that, under the hood there seems to be a pretty solid fighting experience.

Like many 2D fighting games, this seems to take a fair amount of inspiration from Street Fighter, with many of the moves taking the form of the common quarter circle forward (QCF) or forward down forward (FDF) movesets.  Most of the girls also carry a weapon, and much of the caution and timing that I found useful in Samurai Shodown applies here as well.  Most of the attacks can either be chained into a combo, or counters can be executed, providing openings for more attacks or counters.  Honestly, the actual mechanics of fighting are pretty good, and can keep your interest for a while.

There are thirteen different playable characters, as well as seven assist characters.  Each one plays quite differently, with different rhythms, speeds, attacks, and ranges.  In arcade mode, each fighter can choose one of two assist characters.  They affect what the 'assist' attack does.  Sometimes it directly damages an opponent, while others immobilize them in some way.  It can really come in handy!

Koihime Enbu
Highlights:

Strong Points: Nice looking anime and hand drawn art; solid fighting game mechanics
Weak Points: Dialog localization is not the best
Moral Warnings: Fighting game violence, including punches, kicks, and weapon attacks; blood splatters with some attacks; plenty of cleavage, midriffs, and visible panties; some girls flirt, joke with, or put themselves in provocative situations with other girls

There is a 'tactics' meter, which is similar to Street Fighter's Super Gauge.  It has four levels, with various moves, like the ex and assist moves, using one meter, and super and ultimate moves using three or four.  These can really change the momentum in battle, as once you start attacking, a skilled player can combo those together to drop some serious health.

There is the aforementioned arcade mode, which is likely very similar to the physical arcade machines from Japan that this game is based on.  There is also a story mode, which adds a bit more conversation in between fights than the arcade mode.  There is an excellent training mode, with challenges, which are a welcome addition.  Lastly, there is online and vs. modes.  The one time I tried to play online (and of course lost miserably) I was able to find someone to play against, but the community is likely small.  I did try a few local bouts and everything worked as expected.

The pixel graphics, effects, and backgrounds really look great.  I've always appreciated pixel art where it is appropriate, and it looks really nice here.  The characters themselves seem a bit lower resolution than some of the portraits and other things, but it's not too distracting.  Animations also look great.  The scenes between battles are serviceable but nothing special.

The music is pretty good, and the sound effects of each attack and impact hit with an appropriate amount of oomph.  The sound track is also available for a very reasonable $4.99, and includes FLAC and MP3.  It's always great when FLACs are included, as that is uncompressed CD (or better) quality.

Koihime Enbu
Score Breakdown:
Higher is better
(10/10 is perfect)

Game Score - 80%
Gameplay - 13/20
Graphics - 9/10
Sound - 9/10
Stability - 4/5
Controls - 5/5

Morality Score - 79%
Violence - 6/10
Language - 8.5/10
Sexual Content - 5/10
Occult/Supernatural - 10/10
Cultural/Moral/Ethical - 10/10

Appropriateness wise, Koihime Enbu is a mixed bag.  Violence is as expected, with punches, kicks, and various weapon attacks that hit your opponent.  Some attacks cause red blood splatters, though most do not.  I did not notice any curse words, though since I am not skilled enough to beat the game on scenario mode, it is possible that there may be some I have not seen.  There were some odd scenes with phrases like 'I've trained my buttocks for occasions like this.'  The majority of moral warnings that I would point out are related to sexual content.

Several of the girls are large breasted, and many of them show some form of cleavage.  Some top view, some bottom view, some side view.  Almost all wear form fitting clothes, even if they don't show any skin in that area.  Some midriffs are also shown.  Several characters also have visible panties, sometimes in their normal stances, or occasionally while fighting.

A few of the girls seem to have homosexual attraction towards other girls.  One in particular seems to have lines like 'Would you like to have another bout in my bedroom?' and a few of the endings involve some compromising situations with her.  There are a few other scenes with girls at a hot spring or wearing bikinis at a beach.

Koihime Enbu is a fairly solid fighting game with good mechanics and nice production values.  The content is a bit sparse for anyone who is not a hardcore fighting game fan.  None of the stories I played seemed to have any significance to the overall story of the characters, but were mostly silly banter.  If it wasn't for the questionable content in places, it would be easy to recommend for its competent fighting game system, especially during the inevitable sale.  As it is, I expect this game to gather a small but dedicated community, like many other less popular fighting games.

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Christ Centered Gamer looks at video games from two view points. We analyze games on a secular level which will break down a game based on its graphics, sound, stability and overall gaming experience. If you’re concerned about the family friendliness of a game, we have a separate moral score which looks at violence, language, sexual content, occult references and other ethical issues.

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