By Jonathan Falu / October 28th, 2016
|Release Date||October 5, 2016|
I only ever heard of the Sakura visual novel series occasionally, and what I heard was…less than positive. Though with the premise of Sakura Space, and the thoughts in a review on this site, I went into Sakura Nova fairly positive. At the very least, I thought the game would provide sufficient entertainment. Games edging on NSFW (such as Senran Kagura) were always fun and provided interesting characters, so maybe this could have done the same too.
The story follows three knights in-training around the same age. Mikage tries his best to distance himself from the fame his dad obtained, and to make his own legacy. All while dealing with the responsibility of being team leader, and nervously working with his fellow female knights. Arise, on the other hand, struggles with trying to help her family at times but is incredibly vocal and emotional, which often leads to her failing at several tasks in combat. This usually includes being captured at least three times. Kaguya is about one of the only three that doesn’t possess a long-term goal outside of being a knight of tradition, and even desired to keep her magic a secret, for reasons I am not sure of. The story makes a very big deal about the characters needing to work together, to be more in sync. Naturally, in an 18+ game, the bonding usually involves sex at random moments while the three live together. At first, it’s fairly okay as the team is slowly built-up into more of a fighting force.
Unfortunately, the story ends before it really gets started, with very little development happening with anyone, aside from Mikage. The finale itself is very rushed, and solved with surprising ease. Given how the team claimed how much they wanted to be knights, I had assumed the demon seen in one of the screenshots would be the main antagonist. Or maybe set-up a route or hentai scene with her and the main character. Those hoping for that kind of thing will be disappointed. Other elements, like Kaguya wanting to keep her magic a secret, are also left unexplored. Even the better plot elements sadly fall apart in this very short visual novel, making it feel like only a fraction of a story. There is also voice-acting present, though only for three of the girls in the game, which includes the teacher. Aside from that, no one else is voiced. And for some reason, during sex-scenes, certain words are bleeped out despite the Japanese dub; I don’t quite get why.
The artwork is easy on the eyes, though the backgrounds do feel a bit plain. The character models however are very expressive when talking, with enough detail to show off their emotion, as well as their bodies. The music however is not really noticeable. Not once did it never grab my attention, even during the more action-packed moments. Gameplay-wise, there are no alternate routes or much in the way of extras. This confused me as you are presented with choices, though after playing through this game twice the only thing that was different was seeing different dialogue and scenes that are otherwise not important. Not even the sex scenes changed. The sex scenes are nicely drawn and even feature voice acting, at least for the female knights, but it never takes advantage of its setting. The world, as far as I know, features a mix of monsters from a medieval-fantasy such as goblins, slimes, and more. Yet at the same time, the world clearly has some technology to it as well, so I thought there would be more unique sex-scenes, both in terms of settings and maybe monsters since there is tentacle rape at one point. Sadly, the stuff here is fairly generic; the scenes usually ending after one act of sex.
For about $10, I feel many other games can be bought at around the same price with far more content, like Destiny’s Princess, though minus the porn on Steam. I can’t even imagine this game selling well if censored, as the story here is extremely short, lasting about four to five hours with hardly any payoff that isn’t more hentai. More can be done here, and it’s a shame none of it was explored in greater detail.
Review copy was provided by Nutaku.net for review purposes.
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