The soft reboot of Sakura Wars has secured its place in the new era of the adventure/ visual novel genre by offering characters and settings that are unique, well written and mostly different from what we see in other games of the genre.
For a series that hasn’t had any new releases in a long time, this one from Sega really hits the mark for me. It is a game with evolving character arcs through talking and dating sim elements, which make your characters grow closer to one another. You will find yourself growing more attached to certain characters as you play through their stories and make you really connect with the game. The music in Sakura Wars is very well done and plays very well into the mood of the title. All in all, Sakura Wars is worthy of a play through if you've been itching for another great anime game in your library.Full Disclosure - This copy was provided by PR for the purposes of this review.
Wow, some people are on drugs in these comments. Graphically not acceptable for a PS4? It is everything it is trying to be graphically and more than acceptable, it looks bloody great.
Horizon got raved about for graphics but that girl looked so weird, I hated it. So many games on PS4 set graphical targets way higher than they can achieve, creating a very unrealistic, realistic look. This game never attempts to be realistic, it attempts to be anime and achieves it in style. Graphics are just not a point for criticism here.
The music fits perfectly and musical and graphical transitions between scenes are brilliant. It all flows. Even the loading screens fit in well. It's a Weeb game. If you're not slightly Weeby, then you plain and simple should avoid this game. I however am quite Weeby and I love action RPG's, so it's right up my alley. If you aren't in to anime and Japanese games, or action RPG's then just don't bother, save your money. You will hate it.
So to explain, you adventure around your area to story advancing spots. Story plays out in 3 ways, text conversations, text with VA conversations and animated cutscenes. The action RPG style sections are typical, jump, hit soft, hit hard, special and dodge. Quick dodge slows time. To be honest, it is a tad clunky but not terrible.
The character's are likeable, the story has some moments of humour. Silly humour but better than slap stick.
It is just a really nicely made fun game. I guess the highlight feature is conversation choices. The options are pretty much be a boring nerd, be a gentleman, or be a ****. The be a **** option can generate some funny responses and I get the impression it is how the designers intended the game to be played. Overall, I'm loving this game. I am currently playing Persona 5 Royal amongst other games and I really want to like it but just find it a bit lame. The writing is awful in it, so this was a pleasant surprise. I have found it much more entertaining than P5 and the characters are way less annoying. Fortunately Sakura is Japanese voiced and not the typical American VA rubbish.
An impressive purchase and my overall enjoyment factor has easy been 10/10.
On a side note. This isn't suitable to play with young kids around due to the sexual nature of some scenes. It isn't a sexual game, the dating side is tacked on and can be skipped through quickly. The fan service is completely acceptable, other than beach ball sized **** the characters are all adults and it's not full of upskirt shots. It is just a very booby game. The mapping on this game is excellent. It is always clear where you should be. It is a linear game, if you like a big open world then this is the wrong game.
Sakura Wars isn’t for everyone, but fans of quirky Japanese imports, or those simply looking for something a bit outside their comfort zone, ought to give it a shot. The game’s action is run-of-the-mill, but its heartfelt character-driven story and polished anime-infused presentation largely make up for that. Sakura Wars may not win every battle, but it stands tall in the end.
Sakura Wars is an easy title to recommend to anyone looking for a layered game world populated by a cast of memorable characters. However, those who prefer a more immediately rewarding adventure will likely get exhausted by its story-heavy setup.
This just isn’t the grand revival of the Sakura Wars franchise I was hoping for, and I’m sure that most other longtime fans will feel the same. As for newbies, there’s some enjoyment here, but it just doesn’t measure up to other major releases on the market right now.
The soft reboot of Sakura Wars leaves much to be desired but it is an adequate experience that accomplishes what it ultimately set out to do. It's a decent blend of multiple genres but does not particularly excel at any of them. The setting and backstory are interesting, but unfortunately, Sakura Wars did not fully utilize them to their advantage.
Sakura Wars is great game, maybe not best game in series (,,Sakura Wars 3 Is Paris Burning ?'' is a masterpiece), but game is very fun. It's 80% Visual Novel / Dating Sim hybrid + 20% Hack'n Slash (musou). The new cast is great, good story, good graphic, amazing soundtrack and atmosphere. But the best part of this game are animations, its like watching anime. Sure, the game have some big issues, like repetive and very simple gameplay, no RPG elements/progression (this series begs to be turned into a typical jrpg), no difficulty settings (game is way too easy), uninteresteting villain, and bad ending for old fans, but overall it's a good game. Especially for 30$.
I hope SEGA continue this series in West, and we get in near future official translations SW 1-4 + So Long My Love on all modern systems (XBOX, PS, NSW, PC). This series should be on all platforms, not only on PS4.
Must play for anime/visual novel fans. It does a lot of things, battle, dating, "Tete a Tete", collecting cards, hanafuda play. But excels at none of it, especially the battle is rather mediocre, I usually finished the boss in 1 special attack. The most important is the story and it's very good and the variety makes it exciting, almost feels like Yakuza. It makes me become fans of the series.
I, like many westerners, have never got to experience any of the Sakura Wars games due to fact that they were released exclusively in Japan on the Sega Dreamcast and Sega Saturn. Now Sega has decided to give us a new entry after ten years that serves as a soft reboot for the franchise allowing more people to experience the action dating sim. The final product is an odd, but delightful experience that stuck with me long after I stopped playing. If you are familiar with the original games or perhaps watched the anime and movie then you are probably wondering where the original characters are. Well don’t worry about that, it will be explained in the story. You take the role of Seijuro Kamiyama who has just been appointed as the new captain of the combat revue known as the Flower Division, the absolute bottom of the barrel compared to the other combat units. How do I know that their status is so low? Because literally every other combat revue will show up to your base of operations to remind you how pathetic your group is. Seriously they go out of their way to belittle you. So it is up to you and your new unit to prove to everyone that the new Flower Division is just as capable as their predecessors.
No underdog narrative like that would work unless you have likable characters and thankfully Sakura Wars has a bunch of lovable leads.
We have the fiery shrine maiden Hatsuko, the aspiring ninja master Azami, the actress Anastasia, Clarisis the book worm, and the pure hearted swords woman Sakura. It’s through helping them with their insecurities that you see new sides to these girls and you start to form a genuine connection. You can develop these bonds even further with romance or the “te a te” moments as they are referred. If your bond is high enough before the final missions you can choose who will be your destined partner. The fact that every woman gets a different ending makes each of them feel special. Just for the love of god DO NOT FORGET TO GO ON A DATE WITH THEM. The consequences of doing so are severe. Our protagonist Seijuro is a treasure because you can decide if he is a stand up guy who would die for his comrades or you can make him a total sleaze bag who can’t resist peeping into the girls showers. Seriously the dialogue choices range from earnest and encouraging to perverted and juvenile and it’s pretty humorous to be honest.
Now onto the gameplay. The combat is easy to learn and pick up on as you slice and shoot your way through enemies in your mech. In fact a little too easy as I never once died and my health only dropped to orange once. If you save up your special attack then you can reduce the bosses health by 3/4ths instantly. Hell I obtained several S ranks with ease. I get taking the new player friendly approach, but there still needs to be some challenge. At least these segments don’t last long which was the right call. If you do yearn for more mech action then you can replay missions with the other characters. Again they are the exact same missions, but they really serve as what I like to call “makeup bonding”. If you select the wrong dialogue choice then you can increase your bond levels with the ladies with these mission replays.
While I stated that I adore our main characters I can’t say the same about our villain. Who is so obviously evil that its shocking no one has once said “Guys I think this man is completely off his rockers. We should probably speak up” Another nitpick I have is that there is no English dub. I don’t mind if I’m playing in Japanese, but there are scenes while in combat characters will deliver loads of exposition that I should be giving my undivided attention to, but I’m a little distracted with the constant fighting. If it was in English then I could hear what they are saying. If you are one of those people who prefers subs over dubs then you’ll be pleasantly surprised that the cast includes several top tier Japanese voice actors like Ayane Sakura, Miyuki Sawashiro, Maaya Uchida, and Tomokazu Sugita (anything with Gintoki’s actor is always worth watching/playing). These actors deliver a hundred and ten percent in almost every scene… even the drag out ones. My final gripe is that while the story is passable it tends to drag out certain moments that end up being total fake outs. Some of them try to tug your heart strings, but these don’t feel earned. Maybe that’s because at the end of the day it is still a dating sim game with potential perverted moments. Kind of a drastic change in tone.
While the lack of a complex story and straightforward action are some of Sakura Wars glaring issues, it makes up for it with it’s cast of oddballs that you can’t help, but grow attached too.
Badly designed combat of this game made it only half-good. Social part is ok, sometimes even good. but combat is as bad as 0/10. Its repetitive, unintuitive, and no fun (and you must get S rating with all girls on all missions).
SummaryImprove the Revue Flower Division team's fortune to avoid being shut down in Sakura Wars for PlayStation 4. Set in a 1940s steampunk Tokyo, this single-player game features a dynamic LIPS dialogue system so you can build relationships through what you say and the way you say it. Lead your motivated team members to victory on the battlefi...