Review Visual Novel

Beat Blades Haruka – Review

Beat Blades Haruka (Choukou Sennin Haruka) is a 2008 visual novel by AliceSoft, an eroge company known for their numerous titles that feature various kinds of gameplay. It is the second installment in the company’s Beat series, a set of visual novels that feature heroines powering up through various sexual activities to fight against enemy forces. It was also the first AliceSoft title to be officially released in English, courtesy of MangaGamer.

If you’ve been in the visual novel scene for a while, there’s no doubt that AliceSoft is one of those names that stick out among famous eroge producers. It’s one of the oldest companies in the industry, having been established back in 1989. They were even given a shoutout as one of the bigger companies in the recently concluded 16bit Sensation: Another Layer anime! I’m personally a fan of their works, so Beat Blades Haruka is something I’ve been excited to try out. Let’s jump right into it! (Nin-nin!)

Beat Blades Haruka - Story Introduction

Fighting For Salvation

Beat Blades Haruka is set in modern Japan where an ancient evil, the Noroi Faction, seeks to overthrow the status quo by reviving their powerful deity of the same name. The Crescent Moons, a group of ninjas that fight for justice, seek to destroy the faction’s plans and settle their centuries-long feud once and for all. However, the enemy is strong, fueled by the deity’s incredible power called sinergy. The Crescent Moons need to procure their own source of strength, one that is born from a righteous heart and a desire to help others.

One night, a high school student named Ikusabe Takamaru finds himself embroiled in this conflict as enemies called Nunjas surround him and his longtime friend Shihoudou Narika. Hopelessly outmatched, the two fight a losing battle when the Crescent Moons, along with a kunoichi named Takamori Haruka, arrive to help them. Although they were making a comeback at first, the situation takes a turn for the worse when Orochimaru, one of the four Tetra Sealers of the Noroi Faction, joins the battle. Orochimaru overpowers Haruka and moves to take her life, but Takamaru, in a bid to protect her, stands between them. He is wounded by the enemy, but refuses to move. In an attempt to salvage the situation, the Crescent Moons intervene to give Takamaru and Haruka an opportunity to escape. With Haruka in tow, Takamaru runs to safety.

Powering Up Through Skinship?!

Haruka is bewildered by Takamaru’s actions, and asks him why he risked his life for her. Confirming it came from a heart of gold, Haruka explains to him his role as this generation’s Dragonian, the leader of the Crescent Moons. She explains further that a Dragonian that comes into contact with an excited female can harness the energy that manifest through sexual acts. They call this sex power, or SP for short. To turn the tides against their current enemy, Takamaru needs to sensually excite Haruka and provide her the strength she needs to beat the Noroi Faction and save the day!

Thus starts a series of battles that will determine the fate of their world, where their greatest weapons are high libido levels and their creativity. Luckily for Takamaru, his status as a horny male, currently at the peak of his adolescence, makes this a rather instinctive task. Engage in various acts with the heroines, train and learn useful skills, and defeat enemies that sow the seeds of chaos at night—it’s a fulfilling yet tiring daily life for the master of the Crescent Moons and his kunoichis!

Beat Blades Haruka - Monster Art

Nostalgic But Tragically Basic

Beat Blades Haruka feels rather nostalgic as a game. If you’ve watched tokusatsu shows such as the Super Sentai, Ultraman, or Kamen Rider series, it employs a similar monster-of-the-week formula. Our heroes are swarmed by grunts that steadily get stronger as the story progresses, and are usually accompanied by a unique enemy that serves as their leader or general. In the game, these high ranking foes are called the Kainin. Essentially, the Kainin serve as stepping stones to gauge your strength before you confront the big bosses of each segment of the game, the Tetra Sealers. The end goal is to beat all of these Tetra Sealers and, by extension, Noroi as well.

The straightforwardness of Beat Blades Haruka’s story makes it pretty easy to follow. There are a few twists here and there, but nothing that makes it feel like it went off the rails. This, however, makes the plot incredibly predictable. Despite some interesting portions in the narrative, such as the villains’ motivations, Beat Blades Haruka is unable to provide a satisfying conclusion for most of its characters’ arcs. Its overreliance on the dualistic nature of its conflict snuffs out character complexities that could have been there, instead opting to relegate them to descriptions of “good” and “bad”. As a result, the story lacks hints of excitement you’d get from action-packed stories because there’s not much return for being invested in the cast.

A Kunoichi Raising Simulator

Instead of its plot, what stands at the core of Beat Blades Haruka as a visual novel is its gameplay. The game is similar to a management simulator where you aim to make your kunoichi stronger through various actions within a day cycle. You can take a maximum of three actions across the Morning, Afternoon, and Night Phases, with the third being specifically for battle-oriented activities.

You can raise your kunoichi’s stats through dragon synergy, training, and battle, but these use up action points symbolized by dice. The game rolls a die to determine the value of your action points that add up towards an amount you need to reach to succeed in the action. The amount varies depending on the action’s level and frequency. Thus, actions of a higher level and frequency demand more points for success, necessitating more action points or dice. The remaining actions, such as Raise Libido, Rest, and Enemy Search, don’t directly improve stats and instead help with the management of your action points throughout the phases of a day. Thus, successfully beating the game demands good management of not only your kunoichi’s stat increase activities, but your miscellaneous management stats as well.

The system being based on a dice roll is honestly pretty frustrating at times. An easy action that needs 6 points to succeed can take a maximum of 6 action points to perform if you roll a value of 1 for each point. I’m pretty used to the random nature of AliceSoft games, so it didn’t faze me as much, but it does feel bad having to lengthen your playthroughs because random dice rolls set your expected progress back by a few days.

Beat Blades Haruka - Combat Screen

Flirting By Day, Knocking Down Enemies By Night

In terms of story progression, the Night Phase is the most significant part of the day; it’s when your kunoichi are sent to fight against the Noroi Faction’s forces. If they beat an enemy headliner, chances are they advance the story and trigger automatic events you can read. Losing, however, is a little bit more complicated. It’s interesting that losing outside of story-important battles isn’t an automatic game over. In fact, it gives you more H-scenes and can even level up your overall stats!. Finding out which one gives what was pretty intriguing; I found it really fun how you can try to maximize your gains from both winning and losing to the enemies.

The battles are standard turn-based encounters. You have a selection of attacks you can choose to perform with varying SP costs you can pay for with SP you gathered during the Day and Afternoon phases, and if you win the battle increases your SP limit. In terms of stats, Reflex is the most unique-sounding one, but its function is similar to accuracy and evasion put together. Managing your heroine’s five stats well will make encounters a breeze to go through. Otherwise, you’ll end up playing the most frustrating battles you can ever imagine.

Beat Blades Haruka - Castle

Inside The Castle Are… More Ninjas?

A second battle mode called “Castle Raid” is basically an automatic side-scrolling game. You can choose between three routes to traverse through, and depending on the route, you have the chance to encounter enemies, traps, or treasure. Enemies and traps drain Barrier or SP depending on the encounter, whilst treasures give you valuable upgrades to your stats. At the end of each route, you have the option to fight the floor’s boss or return back to base to try again next time.

It’s a pretty cool idea to include an alternative battle mode for what’s essentially a dungeon crawler, but it’s so simple that it’s not really an exciting feature. Without the correct setup, it’s basically a mode where you spam your character on the route until you get to the boss regardless of your current strength. If you’re too weak to beat the boss in the traditional turn-based battle, you can stall the castle raid there and grind out stats in the next days’ cycles because the castle raid saves your progress for each route. If you do get the best set of skills for a castle raid, the nodes besides treasure become meaningless and it turns the mode into an animation you watch until you get to the boss.

Beat Blades Haruka - Skill Screen

At The End Of The Day, Sex Points Are Skills Too

Speaking of skills, besides in battle, you can also spend SP to make your kunoichi learn passive skills that have various effects. These skills can either give you quality of life benefits for specific actions in a day, or increase your kunoichi’s stats or skills’ firepower. A kunoichi can only learn a maximum of three skills, however, so it’s important to know what you want to build them as before committing to anything.

Honestly, it makes sense to limit the number of skills you can learn because some of them are just too powerful. Depending on which content you’ll be using your kunoichi for, there are some clear winners among the skills, so picking anything else just feels like a wrong decision. For some of them, the descriptions are vague enough to make you reconsider picking it just because you’re not sure what the benefits actually are. Without a guide, you’ll have to do a bit of trial and error to identify what’s worth taking.

And finally, when the day ends, the game tallies Peace Points earned and adds it to the total. These Peace Points increase when an enemy is defeated and decrease for every enemy left standing at the end of the day. For a run to not end prematurely, you need to keep these points above zero by routinely beating enemy grunts that spawn daily.

Beat Blades Haruka - Character Screen

There Are Many Types Of Love!

Beat Blades Haruka features three heroines that Takamaru can pursue romantically. Each of these heroines have their own set of individual good endings and collective bad endings. In total, there are fifteen endings that count for gallery collection. Unlocking them requires varying amounts of these three parameters: Love, Brutality, and Peace. Getting all of these endings will require at least two full playthroughs because some of them are locked behind New Game Plus.

Frankly, there’s not much of a difference when you compare the story of each route. Their main difference is usually the featured heroine stories and nothing else. These differences are so minimal that they’re inconsequential for the overall narrative. Unironically, I found the “bad” endings to be the most interesting ones because of how they feel more creative than the good ones. They make use of the heroines’ character traits well enough to give them their own unique flairs.

The routes, instead of pushing the story towards a specific direction, determine what kind of dragon synergy options you will have access to towards the end of the game. They also change who’s featured in the automatic events that you can encounter in a day, but those become repetitive as the game loops back after running out of unique ones to show. Depending on your tastes, the lack of story can kill your motivation to do more playthroughs to unlock the rest of the content.

Creative Dragon Synergy

For most of my playthrough, if I wasn’t grinding my kunoichis’ stats, I was reading H-scenes. Beat Blades Haruka has a staggering 84 H-scenes, with most of them having two or three variations classified into levels. These levels are unlockable through repeating certain actions and can give more benefits the higher it is. They can also be rewarded for losing battles against the Kainin and achieving certain endings.

The breadth of adult content featured in these H-scenes is incredible. What Beat Blades Haruka lacks in its story it makes up for in the plethora of situations it puts the game’s heroines in. H-scenes can vary from very standard ones involving Takamaru to more niche hardcore ones that can involve multiple people. AliceSoft is known to include humiliating scenarios for the heroines in their game, so unsurprisingly, the majority of adult content in Beat Blades Haruka involves degrading them through sexual assault. Thankfully, the game includes an option to skip certain scenes for people who want to avoid them.

It is worth noting, however, that the majority of these scenes are actually optional. Even the unavoidable rape scenes can be skipped via the aforementioned option, so you can play purely for the romantic adult content and still enjoy the game. Of course the implications remain, but I appreciate Beat Blades Haruka implementing such an inclusive option for the players.

Beat Blades Haruka - A Great Selection

But for people who are into these humiliating scenes, there’s no shortage of variations that they can enjoy. Monsters, plants, additional appendages, animal roleplay, electrocution, hypnosis—these are only a few of the possible elements in the game’s H-scenes. And perhaps on purpose, only the scenes of this nature have voice acting for the male partners! Pretty cruel, in a sense.

This is not to say that the game lacks good romantic H-scenes though. For the most part, H-scenes featuring Takamaru with his heroine of choice have a healthy amount of variation as well. Instead of doing it solely in their bedrooms, the backdrop changes to places such as the school, an amusement park, love hotels, the train, and even dream scenarios. There are also elements of roleplaying, teasing, using toys, and consensual S&M. You can also feel the characters easing into each of these adult scenarios the higher the level becomes, which makes them a lot more intimate and alluring as a read.

Of course, given the copious amount of adult content, an all-ages version of Beat Blades Haruka does not exist. That would eliminate close to two-thirds of the game’s length!

Art And Music

Beat Blades Haruka boasts a total of 99 unique CGs, not including variations. These CGs are mostly sexual in nature, but the level of detail given to them make them engaging to look at. The art sports the traditional old-school style that most games from this time period have. The colors are sharp and the lighting feels like a sort of metallic luster. It’s nostalgic to look at because of how singular the colors they pick for the art are. It sticks to a defined color range, which gives it its characteristically bold and solid impression.

Aside from the CGs and characters, I really like how diverse their designs for the Kainin were. The Kainin obviously have various inspirations for them, some being Japanese and some taking up sci-fi elements. These designs bleed into the characterization of these enemies and, by extension, the H-scenes they’re part of as well. It’s pretty amazing how much of an impression they make when you see them. They’re memorable and easily distinguishable from each other, which makes beating them a pretty fulfilling experience.

Beat Blades Haruka - Kainin

The game features incredible voice acting for all of the sex scenes and most of its significant scenes. The heroines’ VAs did an incredible job relaying their characters’ individual charms and frustrating humiliations. My personal bias towards chuuni content was also satisfied with how they voiced their entrance lines, their battle chants, and winning quotes. It’s full of energy and determination, just like how heroes should sound.

As for the music, it’s very good. While it does feel like something from the past, the simple and relaxing tunes of Moment in the Afternoon and Shining Days aren’t exhausting to listen to. With most of the setting’s inspiration coming from the concept of shinobi, it has noticeably Japanese tracks as well, such as Gale Flash and Whirlwind. My personal favorite is End of Eternity, a boss fight track that has just the right amount of hype and excitement to get the blood pumping for a big takedown.

Beat Blades Haruka - Alice's Mansion

Extras And Minigames

Lastly, as an AliceSoft game, Beat Blades Haruka also includes a constant feature in the company’s releases, Alice’s Mansion. This part of the game contains a Staff Corner and a Minigame that you can unlock bonus content in. For the Staff Corner, it usually contains messages from various members of the AliceSoft team. Surprisingly, Beat Blades Haruka features mostly commentary from the English localization team of MangaGamer, which is honestly a really good touch. It introduces a unique flair to the English release and lets you peek into what kind of things the team were concerned or worried about during the game’s development.

The minigame included in Alice’s Mansion is called Subarutan X, a side-scrolling hack and slash game. The gameplay is pretty simple: make Subaru run and cut down as many enemies as you can within the time limit. It’s a fun way of implementing unlockable guest illustrations and extending the game’s playability. It’s also not too hard; I had to play it like once to get everything in one go, but there’s also the option to play it multiple times in case you find the score goal of 5000 too difficult.


Beat Blades Haruka is a fun visual novel that combines turn-based gameplay with management simulator elements to engage its readers, rewarding them with creatively sultry scenes for their personal enjoyment. With unique enemies and a decent difficulty curve, it’s actually a pretty fun game to pick up and progress in at your own pace. Beware of its random elements, however, as it can catch you off-guard and throw your in-game plans into disarray.

Whilst the gameplay was pretty enjoyable despite how simple it was, Beat Blades Haruka’s story left a lot to be desired. Although there are routes, most of its scenario plays out linearly and presents largely negligible differences in the narrative. Whilst the standard and good endings are disappointing, its bias towards humiliating and degrading scenarios made its “bad” ends a lot more interesting from a reader’s perspective. Coupled with generous amounts of the same type of play, fans of adult content of that nature will find a lot to enjoy in the game.

Beat Blades Haruka is a good visual novel to pick up if you’re into high sexual content of various kinds. It’s hard to beat in terms of its sheer number of scenes and creative scenarios. Otherwise, it’s a pretty standard title with simplistic gameplay and a lackluster story. Just know what you’re getting into if you do try it out.


Platforms: PC
Purchase: MangaGamer, JAST

If you are looking for another visual novel, you may enjoy KONOSUBA – God’s Blessing On This Wonderful World! Love For These Clothes Of Desire! Alternatively, if you’re looking for another classic eroge, you may enjoy our review of SHUFFLE!

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