Posted by Retrokaiser On Saturday, September 19, 2015 1 comments
Sakura Spirit, a visual novel that has you playing the role of a teenager named Takahiro. Takahiro, a Judo Fighter, has fought his way to the finals of a judo tournament but has found himself very nervous about fighting in them. Takahiro is a fighter because he has a dream of becoming a hero just like those from the fairy tales and comic books. Takahiro starts asking around for advice for a cure for his nerves and finds out from a friend that there is a special shrine that's said to give anyone good luck if they made a wish there. Takahiro makes his way to the shrine and makes his wish. Takahiro notices something strange after making his wish as he hears a female voice and then soon sees a weird scantily clad woman with horns and a tail. The woman tells him something regarding his wish and then uses her magical powers to warp Takahiro to another dimension. This dimension looks like feudal Japan and Takahiro is confused, he doesn't know what is going on as he didn't think that the woman was serious. Takahiro wanders around for a little bit and soon runs into a pair of very sexy Fox Girls. Takahiro notices that the Fox Girls were stealing the underpants of a Guard from a local village. Long story short, Takahiro gets himself involved with them and winds up living with the Fox Girls until he figures out how to get home. Foxy. (Click on "Read More" to read the full review).
The story in this game is very generic, dull, and unoriginal to where it is like that I am reading one of many manga that does this exact kind of story. The story did have some strong scenes though and those scenes were very enjoyable as they get you into the story and care about what's going on, however once those scenes are over, the story goes back to being dull and un-enjoyable. I wouldn't say that I hated the story but I really didn't care for most of what was going on as you could predict on what was going to happen from the moment our main character meets up with the ladies, also the setting didn't help either.
The dialogue was very clean and well written in the grammar sense as there are no misspellings or typos to be found. The story is also very easy to understand due to the clean use of dialogue and you will not read anything that will make you scratch your head in confusion (like how my work does). I gotta give the maker of this visual novel a lot of credit for the clean grammar as it is great to see a game developer care that much about their product. I just wish that a lot of visual novels would follow this example of clean grammar. There are some lines in this game that will make you fall of your chair laughing due the unexpected innuendo used in those lines. The innuendo in this game actually reminds me of the innuendos found in the games released by Working Designs and that's not a bad thing.
A thing that I absolutely disliked about the story is the repetitive formula as the story went like this: Scene revolving main character, confrontation, little action scene, main character spends time with female character, sexy moment with female character, rinse, repeat. This repetitive formula did bother me as instead of enjoying progression, I was instead thinking "not this same old s##t again". I did enjoy some of the characters in this visual novel much like the fox sisters, they had some nice personalities and some character to the point where that I did care for them but other than that, I found the rest of the characters to be very one-dimensional with a lack a lot of charm and personality to where I did not care about them one bit.
The length of this visual novel isn't very long at all, you can get through this in about one to two hours depending on how fast you read through it. This visual novel can easily be powered though in one sitting. This visual novel does feel a lot longer than it actually is and that is due to how this visual novel is paced as it contains a lot of suspense that'll clog your brain up with thoughts. Those very same thoughts will give you false hope that the story will get good but sadly that's not the case as all the scenes just end up not living to the hype and will make you feel disappointed. The disappointment will make you feel like that you've wasted time that you could've used on something more valuable.
Controlling this game is very simple as all you do is left-click to move forward with the story and while simple, it is very effective. You can also do a right-click to bring up the save menu, if you want to place a digital bookmark for if you want to get back to it later. If you click by the story too fast and miss out on something that you wanted to read, you can use the mouse wheel to scroll past all of the past dialogue said and you can catch-up with ease. All of the controls were very smooth and responsive, so you'll have no problem with them other than by accidentally clicking by the pages way to fast.
The art-work in this game is very enjoyable as they were very cleanly done and very beautiful to look at. I wouldn't say that the designs were the most original looking but this visual novel does have some nice designs regardless of that. The art revolving the characters can be very saucy during certain scenes as you will see a lot of flesh, soaked clothing, clothe eating slime, and some very erotic use of melted chocolate, and so some people might not like it at all due to thinking that this is nothing but cheap pornography for the masses... It is far from being that and so just ignore those prudes.
I do have one complaint about how some of fan-service art was used as some of it was forced into the story and really didn't fit in at all with certain scenes and just ended up being random filler that ruins the mood. The backgrounds in this visual novel aren't very special at all as they are just generic looking sets that are just there to help serve for some atmosphere. The music in this game is not very good and is very forgettable and you'll more than likely forget about the soundtrack as soon as you exit the game.
Compared to the other visual novel I've reviewed from this series, Sakura Angels (2015), I found Sakura Spirit to be much better but that doesn't mean that this is a visual novel worth your time. Overall, this visual novel was incredibly average and I can only recommend getting this if you want to see the art as it is very nice. Even if you do get this for the art, you are best to get this when it is dirt cheap but other than that, pass. Now hopefully the third game in the series, Sakura Fantasy Chapter One (2015), will be any good? Review for that one is coming soon.
Game: Sakura Spirit
Developer: Winged Cloud
Publisher: Sekai Project
Genre: Visual Novel, Drama, Fantasy, Slice of Life, Action
Price: $9.99 (Steam)