Hatoful Boyfriend, the fantastically strange Japanese visual novel about being a human dating birds, was one of the most delightful surprises in gaming last year. Well get ready to fall in love all over again, because its sequel is also getting a remastered western release.
The sequel, Hatoful Boyfriend: Holiday Star is coming to PlayStation 4, Vita, and PC this fall. Original creator Hato Moa is working with developer Mediatonic, who helped remaster the original game. Publisher Devolver Digital is again leading the western release.
“Hatoful Boyfriend fans will travel to fantastically styled worlds, meet interesting new chickadees, and find romance in elegantly designed winter wonderlands and a new mysterious watercolor world. Dust the snow off your wings and take flight with both familiar faces and new friends in extraordinary adventures,” Devolver says in its announcement. Another notable tidbit: “It’s not a Hatoful Boyfriend game without a bit of the bizarre like anime inspired magical girl transformations for all your favourite pigeon boyfriends.” Sounds about right.
“While we would have loved to create an all-new franchise with our friends at Mediatonic, investing $350,000 in bird motion-capture gear limits our options,” Devolver CFO Fork Parker added.
The previous game is currently available on Windows, Mac, and Linux via Steam. PS4 and Vita ports are en route for this summer, giving PlayStation fans a chance to catch up before the new game arrives. You play as the only human attending Saint PigeoNation’s Institute, a high school for intelligent, talking birds. You seem to be the only human around, a fact which is glossed over initially but, when picked at, gradually uncovers the sinister truth underlying the world you inhabit.
I came into the first game somewhat skeptically, never having played any visual novels before. However, I was totally won over by its absurd humor, unexpected emotional depth, and slow-played, elaborate world-building. A short play time and high variability makes this a wonderful little morsel, which will be particularly well-suited for portable play on the Vita.