So Beat Blades Haruka. Its another Alicesoft game, making it like the 15 or so Alicesoft title to be translated, and the first to be officially licensed and sold in the west. It has some drama surrounding that fact, but that’s not really important. An important thing to note is Haruka is unlike every other Alicesoft title in the west, so for this game I’m going to start with the gameplay as that’s what most people probably want to know about.
So what is Beat Blades Haruka? The easiet way to define it would be a sex raising sim with basic turn based combat I guess. Every game day you have three actions, two day and one night action. During the day actions you do the raising sim part of the game. You can either select an h-scene which raises a girls stats and energy(called SP, or sex power) or train them which raises their health. To do these you use dice, which you recover at a rate of libido/10 per day. You can raise libido by selecting that options during your day events or through story choices. You can also rest(gives two dice immediately) or find enemies which is important for the night phase.
During the night you select enemies to fight to try and keep your peace points and unlike the days can roll dice to get more fighting chances. Your PP is basically the main reason you fight enemies, as all enemies decrease your PP every day and winning fights raises your PP and gives the winning girl more max SP. Run out of PP(or go 100 days without winning the game) and its game over, not that you are likely to have either of these happen. Haruka is a fairly easy game overall, and unless you try to do all three heroines equally you shouldn’t have any problems. Yes, this game has three girls you can sleep with, but for the best game experience I would actually suggest only going for one a run as the way h scenes work(tiered with better benefits at higher levels) doing all the available scenes for a girl will get her the stats she needs to beat the current boss. It actually flows fairly well if you do it that way, though do make sure the girl you are going for is the one you grind up. This is important if you don’t want to get stonewalled later.
Anyway, there are two things left to mention. One is game over scenes. Like Monster Girl Quest, losing fights against enemies gives you h scenes, though in this its only against male unique’s called kainin. You have an instant lose option so getting these scenes is very easy and each kainin has two per girl. Losing also boosts a girls stats by one each, and also ups your brutal level. This factors into the endings as you need a certain brutal level to get the brutal routes, but it is easy to get a high enough one. Note, getting these scenes also lowers love level which you cannot grind out, so do make sure you aren’t losing when going for a love route.
The other thing to mention is Castles. These are kind of the game’s dungeons, where your girls have to make it to bosses by going through autofights and traps that drain their health and SP(mana in combat). Every fight or trap you deal with stays gone the next time you come in, so these are kind of like gauntlets of endurance you need to beat to continue the game. There are some skills you an get using SP that make these a breeze and I never had any issues with them.
So the last thing is combat. Its a very simple one vs one fighting simple with three stats and four moves. Stats are atk, def, and reflex and I guess health counts. Your moves are attack(completely worthless but free to use), a 3SP weak attack(limited damage, good near the beginning), a 10SP strong attack(best option for every girl), and a 20SP special that is unique to each girl. Haruka gets a stun move, Narika(loli) gets increased damage for all her attacks, and Subaru gets a ratio damage skill that is probably the best of the three.
Anyway, while it sounds like a lot the game is actually kinda boring if you only talk gameplay. You always have the option to just out grind your enemy and none of the game overs are that hard to avoid. Basically, if you are playing Beat Blades Haruka for a game, you are doing something wrong. The gameplay exists to justify the porn. Unlike other Alicesoft games, this game is a nukige through and through. So how good is it at porn?
H Stuff and Other Things
So the easiest visual novel to compare this to is Free Friends, which is a game about choosing to rape or fall in love with a girl you meet by chance. Haruka shares the vanilla or rape part. Instead of being a rape game or a vanilla game about training ninjas, its both. You train the girls using vanilla content and if you lose fights or get evil enough you can start using the dark content. This makes Haruka kind of a mixed bag, as it caters to two very different audiences.
The vanilla content is what I was more interested in, and it does that stuff well. It features several different fetishes for each girl and the scenes are decently long and varied overall. One thing I want to mention is how scene replay works. When you go to look at cgs or play a scene, it will show you the main cg for that scene. So if a scene has a secondary position or part, you won’t know until you play it. So for example, a blowjob scene in its 2nd level(vanilla scenes all have 3 variations with increasing stat buffs and varied events) becomes both a blowjob and a footjob. You wouldn’t know that unless you played the game and saw the scene. Anyway, I enjoyed the vanilla stuff, it was well written and it stayed vanilla throughout. I really enjoyed Narika’s the most as unlike the other two you sometimes get to see her thoughts in scene, and seeing a tsundere’s thoughts during sex is just adorable and hot.
The dark content on the other hand is incredibly varied. You have gangrape of course, but also futanari, animal training, monster birth, mind control, tentacles in several shapes and sizes, inflation, and mind break. Strangely no ntr, no scene is written from the MC’s perspective when the girls are getting raped except the brutal unique scenes and in those you are telling them to get raped. Anyway, just like the vanilla content this stuff is varied and has decent length and both have good voice acting. Unlike the vanilla stuff, most of these scenes only have two variations with the second one just getting to the girl enjoying it faster.
So Haruka is very much a porn game with an emphasis on porn. Both scene types get about an equal number of scenes and neither feels worthless or tacked on. I will say plot wise that the brutal stuff where your main character has the girls be gangraped feels odd(all the brutal stuff feels weird based on the story). And if you want to see a lot of threesomes, this game will not deliver. There is a total of 3 h scenes where the mc and more then one girl have sex and one of those is an ending scene. In fact the whole harem route feels very empty compared to the others which I can definitely see as a disappointment to some.
So what is the story? Haurka and Subaru are ninja’s from feudal Japan who while fighting a group who follow a monster known as Noroi, end up being set to modern day Japan. Subaru is captured and Haruka joins up with the remaining Crescent Moon ninja’s to prepare for Noroi’s forces. You play as the current leader of the Crescent Moons, though the MC doesn’t know anything about his role or power. Our MC is known as the draconian and can give certain girls super human powers via sex. So Haruka meets him and decides he is worth following and the next day they have sex. The day prior Noroi’s forces showed up but thanks to a barrier they can only trickle into the real world. So its up to Haruka(and eventually Narika) to defeat Noroi before he is fully revived, and to do this they must have sex with our MC.
So a bit on the three heroines. Haruka is pretty much the ideal Japanese wife, she has little personality and is loyal like a dog. If the MC asks her to do something she will. Narika is our MC’s friend and a tsundere. Its been her job to control your love life for the Crescent Moons so you didn’t use your power wrong. She has also been elected as the person who was suppose to become your wife if anything major happened in this era, a role she grew fond of. Subaru is the last heroine and she is gotten 3/4’s into the game. She has the lowest number of scenes and a short ending compared to the others. She is the mature women, being sexually experienced and a trained warrior. Her scenes are usually about which one of the two are in control while doing it.
So is the story deep or important? Not really. It can get kinda dark with the minibosses scenes and loss scenes but the game is very much a parody of an enemy of the week show. Basically don’t read this for the story as the story is just an excuse for the h scenes to be how they are.
Verdict and Save
So I like Haruka overall. I never expected it to be amazing and so I got basically what I expected, an above average nukige with some gameplay elements. I have problems with it though, mainly at how similar the love/harem routes are(like 4 unique events not counting h scenes), how bland a character Haruka is(outside of the porn she is basically just the overly trusting wife, Narika is just is so much better at being a character), how kind of out of place the dark content feels to the story, the combat is just kind of there and is really easy, how weird cg unlocks are(its the only menu that doesn’t tell you you unlocked everything) and of course the drama behind the game. For those who don’t know, Haruka was announced for coming to the west about a month or two before Rance 5D and 6 were basically suppose to come out. So we went from 2 Rance games to Haruka one day and a lot of hate came as a result, and it wasn’t really handled well by the translator’s or the community.
Anyway, I enjoyed the game. I liked how easy it was for me, someone who doesn’t like dark porn, to avoid that content and focus solely on the vanilla stuff I do enjoy. The game had some interesting ideas and I liked how it went through and used the fact its a porn game to show how evil the bad guys were. I liked how Subaru’s route avoids the final boss, and it is my favorite in the whole game because of it. I feel that I had just spread my playtime out I would have enjoyed this for at least a full month as the game really does have a lot of content. So as long as you want a good nukige that does both vanilla and dark porn, this is a great choice. In fact, this is probably the best nukige with gameplay in English.
Save contains all h scenes, music and cgs(I think) unlocked. Also has saves near the start of every route if you want them.
Beat Blades Haruka