Sakura Spirit (PC Review)

A visual novel sometimes seems like a good idea. It’s snack sized gaming to the triple A gaming main meals. Snacks can be good right? And to top it off, what treat could be healthier than a visual novel which is mostly reading, its almost educational. Try and tell your mom that, next time she asks you to put the game down. But as with any game, it doesn’t mean that one can just pick up any visual novel and expect it to be decent. Just as there are trash discount books, so too there are terrible visual novels and unfortunately Sakura Spirit is one of them.

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You would think that being a visual novel, the writing would be one of its strong points, but with Sakura Spirit, that could not be further from the truth. In fact the story here was such a waste of time that 30 minutes into the game, I didn’t even bother to try anymore and just skimmed thru everything to get to the end of the game. I would have stopped and put it away but I was not going to let a 2 hour game go unfinished.

In Sakura Spirit, you play Gushiken Takahiro, a teenager and judo star who is wondering around in the woods one day. He stops at a shrine but for whatever reason suddenly faints while praying and gets transported into another world. There he finds two village guardian girls chasing after two foxgirls. I’ve forgotten the reason why. Eventually he gets noticed by the foxgirls and they house him and protect him while he tries to find a way home.

Unfortunately aside from that nothing else happens. While he’s housed by the foxgirls there’s a few instances of suggestive teasing from the girls but there’s no character development of any kind because there’s no storyline to speak of. There’s just line after line of unnecessary text of completely pointless banter. Oh and about 75% of the way through, you get one dialogue choice for the entire game, presumably to alter the ending. (That’s one more than a conventional book I suppose!)

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The game does have some nice art and the anime characters and backgrounds are nicely drawn, but that’s probably the only thing going for it. Regardless, one could almost say this was a joke game that somebody cobbled together in the hope of swindling a few dollars from the cashed up steam crowd.

For most people, you’d do better at any bookshop and picking up a manga and reading that. If you must play a visual novel, there are far better options, and even though I did not like Hatoful Boyfriend and reviewed it recently, it at least makes a serious attempt at telling a story. Remember kids, don’t judge a book by its boobs.

Rating: 1 Foxgirl out of 10


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