Review: Koihime Enbu RyoRaiRai


Super waifu wars 3 HD remix Arcade Anime edition

Fighting game fans have it pretty good right now. The big three of Street Fighter V, Tekken 7 and Dragonball FighterZ are doing pretty well and we have recently seen new games such as Blazblue Cross Tag Battle and Fighting EX Layer added to the mix which have been (mostly) warmly received.

And now Degica Games are trying to get a slice of the pie with the release of Koihime Enbu RyoRaiRai, an update to the original Koihime Enbu game which was released in the west on steam in 2016. Unlike other recent updates, like Streetfighter V arcade edition, RyoRaiRai is being released as a separate game (albeit with a very low price tag) but is it worth paying up again for?

Koihime Enbu RyoRaiRai review

Koihime Enbu RyoRaiRai (PC [reviewed], PS4)
Developer: Unknown Games
Publisher: Degica Games
Released: July 13, 2018
MSRP: $19.99

For the uninitiated, Koihime Enbu is a 2.5D fighting game spin-off from a japanese adult galge which gained quite a large following in the Japanese arcade scene (Pro player Galileo famously dropped Blazblue for this game soon after his legendary EVO win back in 2014). People have likened it to an even more anime version of Samurai Showdown and that's not too bad a description.

Long combos are near non existent in this game unless certain conditions are met so the focus is on careful spacing and distancing yourself carefully, or "footsies" to use a FGC term. Every character has a universal anti-air attack to jumping in constantly is not a viable tactics for most characters so much of the game is also played on ground level.

Koihime Enbu RyoRaiRai review

This in itself marks the game out from other fighting games on the market as even regular moves can do a lot of damage (one character can take away 1/3rd of their opponents life bar with well timed charge attack which is done by holding down a single button!) but there is still a lot of technical challenge in the game due to its other main mechanic, dubbed the Hougeki system.

All characters have special attacks mapped to forward or down/forward+medium or heavy attack and if it connects cleanly, the opponent is put into a crush state which THEN allows for combos and all sorts of technical tricks. It almost completely changes the game but you still need to get that initial hit in for anything to happen, which adds another layer of strategy to the game and the hougeki attacks can still be easily blocked.

That is the game in a nutshell but what does RyoRaiRai bring to the table?

First and foremost, RyoRaiRai introduces a new playable character in the form of Chouryou Bun'en and a new assist in Kaku Bunwa into the mix, bringing the total number of playable characters up to 14 weapon wielding warrior women with 8 assists to choose from. Furthermore, the original assist characters, which were locked to specific character factions, can now be selected regardless of the character you picked. So before, if you wanted to use a specific support character, you had to pick a certain player character first. That is no longer the case and you can mix and match however you feel like.

Koihime Enbu RyoRaiRai review

There were also a number of balance changes and new properties added to certain moves at the expense of others. For veterans, this will end up being a big deal as some tactics and combos will no longer work but if you're coming in new, it's nothing to worry about. The game also introduces a new challenge mode into the practice menu, which doubles as a sort of tutorial for new players, though it's nowhere near as extensive as other fighting games like Xrd or UNIST).

The previous arcade and scenario modes have now been combined so you have the standard arcade experience with some story cutscenes before certain battles and there are a few cosmetic additions, such as markers for combo extenders which are limited to 1 use per combo. Before you had to keep track of which ones you have used yourself so it's nice to see a visual marker to assist you with keeping your combo going.

So, with all that said, the question is "is it worth putting money down for this game?" Honestly? Yes! 

If you like more old style games such as the older Street Fighter 2 games or Samurai Showdown and you haven't tried this game before, it is definitely worth it, especially at the reduced price.If you're a newcomer to fighting games then it's a good way to learn some fundamentals present in all fighting games without getting overwhelmed with the extra mechanics and meters (at least until you feel ready to start learning combos during the hougeki state). And for those who have purchased the original Koihime Enbu, I'd still say it's worth it! I mean, it's $20!! 

Koihime Enbu RyoRaiRai review

The game really does offer something different compared to other fighting games and I think a lot of people will enjoy it once they've had a try. And with a super low price tag for entry, there really isn't a better time to hop on and have a go. 

[This review is based on a retail build of the game provided by the publisher.]

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Koihime Enbu RyoRaiRai reviewed by Chris Seto



Impressive effort with a few noticeable problems holding it back. Won't astound everyone, but is worth your time and cash.
How we score:  The Destructoid reviews guide


Chris Seto
Chris SetoContributor   gamer profile

Greetings true believers!! In real life, I go by the name of Chris, but in the realms of the internet, I am known as GundamJehutyKai! The name itself came by an IRC chat many moons ago and is a ... more + disclosures



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