Sakura Wars is an pleasant revival of the enduring sequence, presenting an interesting mix of genres. Unfortunately, it far too typically falls sufferer to drained tropes and writing which treats its wonderful feminine solid as little greater than objects. Still, in case you’re a sucker for participating tales, wacky fight and an odd, uncommon world I like to recommend giving Sakura Wars a strive.
Faithful to the unique whereas constructing upon it
A robust solid of characters price investing in
Excellent soundtrack and luxurious visuals all through
Presents an interesting mix of various genres
Writing is oftentimes outdated and misogynistic
Combat is merely satisfactory
Movement and digicam points come up very often
Review Price: £49.99
Release Date: April 28, 2020
Since rising on the Sega Saturn again in 1998, Sakura Wars has remained an understated but iconic member of the JRPG style and change into instantly recognisable due to its infectious theme track and an unorthodox mix of visible novel and technique mechanics.
Having obtained numerous sequels, anime sequence and different variations, Oji Hiroi’s eclectic creation has by no means stumbled into reboot territory. That is, till now with the arrival of Sakura Wars. A smooth continuation of the unique story, it maintains lots of the unique’s hallmarks whereas forging its personal formidable path ahead.
It makes some noticeable fumbles, largely attributable to its tiresome inclusion of outdated anime tropes and oftentimes misogynistic depiction of girls. It’s a crying disgrace, since this is without doubt one of the style’s most achieved efforts in years, showing surprisingly high-budget given the relative area of interest it occupies.
So it’s unlucky this development doesn’t push ahead writing that’s regularly creepy in the best way our male protagonist leers over the sport’s heroines, lessening the influence of genuinely emotional moments of worthwhile character growth. All this apart, there’s nonetheless loads to like about this Sakura Wars revival.
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Sakura Wars is splendidly distinctive in its setting and characters. Taking place in a fictionalised model of Japan’s Taisho Period (1940) the place demons threaten to cross into our world, society is protected by the World Luxuriant Opera Federation.
This absurdly named organisation consists of beloved actresses who additionally double as mech pilots, leaping into big robots to do battle with evil at a second’s discover. It’s an absurd premise however is bought with sufficient melodramatic conviction that I instantly discovered myself obsessed with it. However, this immersion is ruined by arguably crucial issue – Sakura War’s protagonist.
You play as Seijuro Kamiyama, a naval captain who’s out of the blue transferred to Tokyo and put answerable for the Imperial Combat Revue. Japan’s division of the aforementioned organisation has been struggling for years, its international popularity in tatters due to repeated assaults and a wider historical past that holds them again from greatness.
Kamiyama is your archetypal protagonist; lean, black-haired and seemingly faultless of their abilities. This is why lots of the Revue’s members fall head over heels for him once they’d be higher off going with anybody else. Maybe I’m being too harsh, and all the time made dialogue selections that painted him in a optimistic mild, however many conditions are engineered with lascivious intent, which all the time left a nasty style in my mouth.
Your new headquarters is located in a frankly beautiful theatre, and this the place a lot of Sakura Wars takes place. You’ll discover the sprawling stage, pristine eating corridor and underground hanger speaking with a wonderful solid of characters, lots of which act as romantic pursuits for the participant. It’s a tried-and-true visible novel strategy which falls sufferer to its worst habits, failing to grasp we’re now in 2020.
That being stated, a lot of Sakura Wars is well-written and well worth the emotional funding, particularly as soon as you end up falling down the rabbit gap of sure characters. Sakura is the titular mech pilot. She’s a younger, aspiring actress with a coronary heart of gold, intent on honouring her troupe’s legacy whereas forging her personal path ahead. She cracks underneath stress, messages in your in-game cellphone typically riddled with cutesy spelling errors.
Hatsuho is one other spotlight. A bashful shrine maiden who doesn’t take crap from anyone, giving her captain a knuckle sandwich for being a creeper on a couple of event. Other heroines embrace an formidable author and a infantile ninja, each of which have their fair proportion of time within the highlight. After the primary handful of episodes, you’ll be centered on a particular one, propelling you in the direction of considered one of a number of totally different endings.
Extended dialogue sequences are exceptionally executed. From a first-person perspective, you’ll uncover speech choices by interacting with the surroundings, piecing collectively the proper issues to say that flatter your rising relationship with every troupe member. The sound cues that accompany the appropriate selections are vastly satisfying, and also you achieve a visible concept of your progress in-between episodes, which themselves are offered as charmingly old-school episode previews.
These moments additionally spotlight the creepier elements of Sakura Wars. Unsavoury feedback floor because the cursor brushes previous chests, thighs and different options. It makes the ladies really feel like objects servicing our protagonist, and actions accessible to the participant solely reinforce this gross illustration. You can keep away from it altogether, however the truth such issues floor so regularly is fiercely outdated, even for a style like this.
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Combat in Sakura Wars is pretty simplistic, aping the likes of Dynasty Warriors with a couple of RPG parts thrown in to spice issues up. You management a wide range of totally different mechs, all of that are piloted by both Kamiyama or the broader theatre troupe. You’ll do battle towards demons, reboots and larger antagonists launched all through the marketing campaign. Levels are huge but linear as you blast by way of demonic environments wiping out all the pieces in your path.
It feels effective, but is hardly outstanding within the grand scheme of issues. Regardless of the mech you’re controlling, all of which have their very own distinct weapons, fight lacks a way of impactful finesse to essentially assist it shine. It’s additionally a stark departure from the sequence’ roots, which can show controversial.
Inconsistent digicam controls and collision detection additionally frustrate, making it far harder than it ought to be to utilise Sakura War’s already restricted combo system. You’ll earn extra armour, assault energy and relationship factors by increase kill streaks and executing particular strikes, which come naturally attributable to an absence of problem. It’s a blessing that these sections are irregular sufficient that powering by way of by no means felt like a nuisance.
That, and I can’t think about many are coming to Sakura Wars hoping to be enthralled by the fight. It’s a aspect dish to the unfolding narrative and character moments, each of that are all the time on the forefront.
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Outside of the principle story, there’s loads of optionally available actions to leap into, lots of which assist enhance relationships with characters and unlock loads of bonus goodies. After the opening hours, you’ll be free to discover a sprawling imaginative and prescient of Tokyo to speak with pals and tackle optionally available quests. Most of those are fairly easy however usually lead to new conversations and eventualities I beloved to expertise.
There’s additionally Bromides – unlockable postcards which harken again to the sequence’ previous. Hardcore followers will adore the entire references, all of which really feel crafted with a cautious quantity of affection. You should purchase ones that includes trendy characters from the theatre shopkeeper, though watch out since they’re in restricted provide. You can replay previous missions with totally different mechs by way of a fight simulator, incomes you bonus expertise in case you’re devoted sufficient to grind.
Sakura Wars is an pleasant revival of the enduring sequence, presenting an interesting mix of genres that stored me engaged as I delved deeper into its characters’ tales and intriguing central thriller.
Unfortunately, it far too typically falls sufferer to drained tropes and writing which treats its wonderful feminine solid as little greater than objects. It’s harrowing because the tales past these gestures are worthwhile and heartfelt.
These points aren’t inconceivable to miss, and it’s price coping with them to earn the engrossing journey hidden beneath them. If you’re a sucker for participating tales, wacky fight and an odd, uncommon world I like to recommend giving Sakura Wars a strive.
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Jade is the devoted video games author at TechSwitch. She handles all issues gaming whether or not or not it’s information, opinions, occasions or foolish options. Seen at retailers comparable to MTV UK, Kotaku and TechSwitch (…
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