Conclusion from 11. 05. 2020
Sakura Wars proved to be more of a playable anime than an RPG in the test. Last but not least, the cliché-laden characters take care of that. They take on the role of Seijuro Kamiyama, the newly appointed captain of the Flower Division, an underground unit of five newbies that fights against demons with a 'Mech. For the first time in the series, you play these battles in real time and no longer play them in turn strategy. Even though Sakura Wars is an entertaining genre mix for anime and manga fans, the one-dimensional representation of the characters and the monotonous mission design during the mech battles must be critically noted.
- New combat mechanics in real time
- Well told storyline and interesting scenario
- Excellent anime sequences
- Excellent soundtrack
- Stereotypical characters
- Monotonous mission design
- Difficulty level cannot be adjusted
In our test, “ Sakura Wars “Fun and provided entertaining entertainment. But there were also one or two situations that left us with a big question mark, especially with the very stereotypical design of the female characters and the sometimes unimaginative design in the mech fights.
Sakura Wars in the test: We liked that
The game series “Sakura Wars” has been very successful in Asia for several years and the last time with “Sakura Wars: So Long, My Love “in 2010 made the jump to Europe – at that time still for the Playstation 2 and the Nintendo Wii. In combination with Koch Media, Sega now has the new version of the game Sakura Wars from the year 2005 published in Europe.
A brief introduction to the story: The player finds as Seijuro Kamiyama, the commander of the secret combat unit flower brigade or flower division, again in Tokyo in the 1940s. But not a Tokyo as we know it, but an alternative steampunk variant. Your task now is to bring the troops back to their old strength. Because about ten years ago, the unit had suffered massive losses in a major demon attack on the city and had to be re-launched. So they decided on a group of five young women who officially work as actresses at the imperial theater and who are secretly used as fighters against demonic forces. As a player, you have to keep an eye on both the theater career and the fighting strength of your warriors. This is done using a dialog system, among other things. Depending on how you choose, you motivate a character and thus possibly strengthen the fighting power of your group. You have a total of eight chapters to revive the flower brigade. Exactly this starting scenario creates a special fascination as you tackle the individual missions and side quests.
In addition, the quality of the cutscenes that you get to see is outstanding, so that you are not only will ask if you’re playing or watching an anime movie. This is underlined by the fantastic soundtrack, which literally always hits the right note.
Fortunately, something was changed when saving, because in the version published in this country, you can save freely. This is not possible only during the fights, a dialogue or an anime sequence.
Sakura Wars in the test: We do not like that
But as is so often the case: where there is light, there is also shadow, and so there is one in Sakura Wars or other criticism. This includes, above all, the representation of the female characters, where you consistently feel that they come from a simple anime drawing board. In general, characters and story seem absolutely exaggerated in some places – almost like a mixture of soap and scriptet reality series.
It is also a shame that the Mech battles are no longer conducted in round tactics, but are fought in real time. The bustle that arises here reminds one strongly of the overpopulated combat sequences of the Dynasty Warrior series. There is also a lack of variety because the missions are very similar. In addition, the individual 'Mechs can only be equipped individually to a limited extent. The developers should have put a little more effort into this.
You will also search in vain for English or German voice output, because Sakura Wars is limited to Japanese voice output – and not continuously. But fans of J-RPGS, who are often used to a partial synchronization, will be able to cope with that.
Buy Sakura Wars
Despite all the criticism, Sakura Wars is an entertaining adventure. If you are a fan of anime series or manga, you should take a closer look at the game. Fortunately, the game does not always take itself too seriously, so after a first shake of the head you can often laugh at the dialogue just being held.
Karsten Bunz is interested in hardware and software related to gaming. Whether mouse & keyboard, headset, notebook or game PC – if decent power is in the game, Karsten will take care of it.