Current for platform: PS4
Serie Sakura Wars It’s been around since 1996, but only a few have heard of it outside of Japan. Over the years, the only part of the series that Sega decided to locate and release in the West, it was Sakura Wars: Goodbye my love for PlayStation 2. The game not only changed the publisher into new territories, but was also delayed for five years, and decided to remove the V number from the name so as not to scare off potential buyers. Therefore Sega I realized that there was no point in continuing the series that everyone had forgotten, so the new Sakura Wars – The so-called soft reset, which does not require any knowledge of the content of previous games and is designed for a new audience.
It is called soft because the action takes place in the same universe (a few years after the fifth part), and some characters familiar to the fans have returned. And structurally, the novelty is similar to previous games: it combines adventure with elements of a visual novel, a dating and action simulator. It is true that in battles there is no longer a tactical component: it is a simple ruble with dozens of enemies in mind. Warriors of the dynasty.
The main character was Seijiro Kamiyama, the former captain of the Coast Guard ship, who for some reason lost his position and was sent to the Imperial Bolshoi Theater. She must now lead a combat unit called the Flower Division, which is made up entirely of girls whose job it is to protect Tokyo from occasional demon attacks. However, fighting with evil spirits is far from the team’s only concern – as the theater cannot sit idle, the characters also put on shows for the townspeople to have fun.
When Kamiyama arrives at the theater, he goes through difficult times. Big worries with money, performance turns out more or less, and without a worthy captain in a battle, girls are bad. The protagonist will have to rectify the situation over eight chapters, while meeting all the heroes, representatives of the Flowers division and other characters, many here. Both members of the remaining units and those working in the theater have someone to talk to.
Conversations with friends and girlfriends on Sakura Wars we spent a lot more time than the battles. After each story, the hero can move freely around the theater (and beyond, there are many small areas here) and react to every opportunity to hang out with someone. A green exclamation mark on the map indicates the next location, after visiting where the story will continue, and the same blue icons are optional conversations that can be skipped completely.
All these bonus scenes are an opportunity to improve relations with certain heroes. During the conversation, at some point, the opportunity to choose replicas arises: they gave a normal answer to the question, and the character will fall more in love with you, and if you say nonsense, the interlocutor will respond accordingly. There are a lot of such episodes in the plot, but additional reunions will speed up the dating process significantly. Unfortunately Sakura Wars Situations are not spared when the cue seems appropriate, and the protagonist carries nonsense with a completely different meaning, but isn’t that scary.
They give you a few seconds to choose an answer: if you don’t press anything, the hero will remain silent. Sometimes, moreover, this is the best option.
The game does not punish much for such oversights, and sometimes even pressure to make such mistakes. Kamiyama is revealed to be this pervert who wants to spy on what girls are doing in the bathroom all the time, and right now the player allows him to take a risk or turns around and walks away. The second option, of course, is more correct, but there are so many fun scenes associated with espionage that it’s a sin to miss them. And overall, the humor here is solid – you can’t do without an anime cliché, but often laugh at the heroes’ actions. Even in the later chapters, when the going gets worse and passions heat up, jokes become relevant.
The story itself is good too: it all starts well, the girls get ready for their next performance, sometimes they fight demons, but somewhere in between, unexpected twists, dramatic moments, wiping clips of tears follow and moderately pompous speeches. Nothing unusual, but watch the development of the events with interest, and the pace of the storytelling is excellent: there are no long and drawn-down episodes, so the game is played in a maximum of thirty hours, taking account for additional dialogs. Without them, you will probably spend twenty.
Captain and womanizer
In many ways, the story is so immersed in itself thanks to the excellent characters: none of the five participants in the Flower Division are boring, it’s a pleasure to spend time with them. From the shy Claris, who comes to the library at every opportunity, to the charming busty actress Anastasia, everyone is wonderful and every time you are happy to see a new scene with their participation. The star here, of course, is Sakura, who has known the main character since childhood, with her mostly there are many interesting episodes of the plot.
Each of these girls can be so thrilled that at some point she will invite the protagonist, after which you will talk heart to heart and end up falling in love with you. Then he’ll send messages, sometimes he’ll call somewhere, and their relationship will start to grow stronger. During my tour, all five heroines had feelings for Kamiyama, but closer to the end, I often chose just one of them to connect the ending with her. Apparently only the last ten minutes of the game change, there is no non-linearity in the plot.
Relationships also affect the level of motivation you start a demon fight with when this or that girl is paired with Kamiyama. There are ten levels of motivation, and with each of them the damage done by the heroes increases. The payout is negligible, and even in battle levels they get very quickly, but the bonus is still nice.
But the fights themselves disappoint: the developers didn’t pay attention. The protagonist and his partner sit on furs and taunt demons of different sizes – these are all fights. There is a usual hit, there is a strong hit, there is a cumulative “ult”, and if you shoot just before the opponent’s attack, time will slow down for a few seconds, as in Bayonetta or NieR: Automata. Among the hits it is possible to make combinations, but there are very few of them, be it three ordinary hits and one strong, or four common.
You can switch between skins with just one click, and here the authors have tried to add variety: someone hits fast, someone slow, someone shoots projectiles. But in the end, only use this in extreme cases, as it’s easier to press the same buttons and save the “ult”. There are no other options, except joint actions, which are only given once for an exit. And then these are not full attacks, only the participants for a short time become twice as strong.
The images of the skins are very good and completely consistent with their owners.
Similar places, without secrets or bonus tests. Opponents look different, but they are all boring robots, only some have shields, while others look like dinosaurs. Every now and then some interesting mechanics pop up in boss fights, but they are all very easy to beat, not once in the game have I or my teammates died. There is an additional mode where the same missions can be played with different girls, but there are enough one-on-one battles in the plot: you don’t want to endure that monotony again.
But, as already mentioned above, the battles here are much less frequent than the daily episodes. And this part Sakura Wars, which is associated with conversations and funny scenes, becomes the main one. In this sense, the game is of course not Person 5where the fights were at the same level as everything else, both in terms of style and timeliness. But the budget has Sakura Wars Far from being so great, even the English dub did not dare to add here.
The rest has nothing to complain about. The picture is particularly nice: beautiful places, cool painted characters, very nice animation, in some places I remember Dragon Quest XI, despite the fact that everything here is more modest and there is no such scale. Particularly surprising are the anime inserts, which are much more numerous here than in the same Person 5. Beautifully drawn and perfectly conveying the mood and atmosphere of the scene, you almost expect more than the next plot twist.
In slow mode, critically injured opponents can finish quickly by clicking on the “Triangle”.
Sega chosen the wrong launch date by pitching Sakura Wars almost at the same time as the Japanese giants in the face Royal 5 people and Remake de Final Fantasy VIIbut the game will certainly find its niche. It’s a simple, uncomplicated adventure with lovely characters that you stay with, trying not to miss a single extra dialogue. I hope Sega I have no plans to quit the show again, I’ve already missed the Flower Division, the theater and the enveloping Tokyo vibe.
Benefits: solid story, gradually accelerating with each chapter; high rate of storytelling; memorable characters you want to spend time with; good mood and lots of additional fun scenes; wonderful anime insertions, which are more than expected here; good graphics and good animation.
The inconvenients: devoid of depth of battle, which quickly becomes monotonous; The words spoken by the character do not always correspond to the chosen answer.
Source: The Verge