[Nintendo Switch] Winter’s Wish: Spirits of Edo Review
May 29, 2023
Winter’s Wish: Spirits of Edo from Aksys Games, Idea Factory, and Otomate is an Otome visual novel that places you in the role of a girl born with a special power. Learn more in our Winter’s Wish: Spirits of Edo review!
Winter’s Wish: Spirits of Edo from Aksys Games, Idea Factory, and Otomate is an Otome visual novel that places you in the role of a girl born with a special power. It’s 1716 in the Kyoho era. Your name is Suzuno, the descendant of the Hakuseki clan. You’ve been exiled to the snowy mountains due to a special power: you can see emotional Threads that no one else can. The issue is that you can see black Threads whenever a disaster is about to occur, which leads the others to believe that she’s the cause of said disasters.
The Oniwaban, an organization of undercover agents created to help maintain order, shows up at her door. It seems Suzuno is needed at Edo since her ability could save the country… from demonic forces! Or it might destroy it. Who knows! The Oniwaban have been tasked with safely bringing Suzuno back from the mountains. It seems there are some supernatural forces threatening the land from the shadows, and it’s thanks to Suzuno’s powers that the Oniwaban might be able to have a chance of saving the day.
What are the supernatural forces that are attacking the people? The Oniwaban call them the blightforms. The blightforms are entities of pure evil that are conjured into existence by the black Threads that hang from people’s necks. The black Threads that Suzuno can see usually mean that a great tragedy is about to take place, as was the case for a villager’s wife who passed away out of the blue without being sick before. This is why the villagers think that Suzuno is a Yokai that curses anyone she interacts with. You’ll get to see a blightform early in the game during the first chapter rigth after Suzuno walks down from the mountain top to try and ask the villagers to take care of her father’s grave while she’s gone.
If you’re new to visual novels, games in this genre will have you take on stories with hundreds of dialogue options and thousands of words for their many branching story paths. That’s also the case for Winter’s Wish: Spirits of Edo. The game is fully voice-acted in Japanese and features English subtitles. Unless you know Japanese, you’ll be doing a lot of reading during your time with Winter’s Wish: Spirits of Edo. You can progress through the dialogue by pressing the A button. Whenever an important term is presented, it will be highlighted in blue, and it will be added to your glossary. You can check the glossary whenever a new term pops up by pressing down on the D-Pad. This will show you additional information about that term.
Since this is of the Otome variety, that means you’ll be playing as a female character who will meet a series of potential love interests you can end up with depending on the many, many choices you make along the way, which will lead you down different branching paths. For Winter’s Wish: Spirits of Edo, they are Genjuro Kuga, Kinji, Kunitaka Tojo, Ohtaro, Tomanori Takamura, and Yoichi.
Genjuro Kuga has a covert job as a castle watchman, which allows him to see and hear many things as he makes his rounds. He’s got a genuine curiosity for learning what Suzuro’s powers can really do. Kinji works as a kabuki actor as his cover, which allows him to collect intelligence at the entertainment district without anyone being suspicious. Kunitaka Tojo is a very friendly and accommodating individual who happens to have a pet parrot… that sorta hates him.
Ohtaro works as a baker in the entertainment district, which allows him to interact with many people. He’s cheerful and sociable, which makes it very easy to get along with pretty much anyone. Tomanori Takamura is the most recent recruit to the Oniwaban, and, for some reason, he has no memories from before joining the organization. He’s the first one you’ll meet since he’ll arrive at the mountain’s summit ahead of the others. As for Yoichi, he’s a bit lazy and moody, so he’s always looking for the easiest way of doing everything, but at least he’s extremely honest!
Winter’s Wish: Spirits of Edo from Aksys Games offers an interesting Otome visual novel with a supernatural twist. As Suzuno, the ability to see the emotional Threads is a powerful one, and it could end up being key for saving the land from the supernatural entities that the Oniwaban are fighting against. There are plenty of potential suitors for you as you experience the many story branches that can take you to one of the good or bad endings in your future. You’ll be replaying these branches several times as you skip previously read dialogue and jump toward the next spot where you can make this or that choice. There is no flowchart to use to your advantage, so you’ll need to be aware of how you can affect each future interaction. At least there’s the option of using a rewind feature that can allow you to jump between chapters for the different romancing paths. Winter’s Wish: Spirits of Edo is out on Nintendo Switch with a $49.99 price tag.
Disclaimer This Winter’s Wish: Spirits of Edo review is based on a Nintendo Switch copy provided by Aksys Games.