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Posted on Apr 10th 2019 at 08:00:00 AM by (ErbBetaPatched)
Posted under Sakura Wars, ps2, strategy games, review

Its here! A game I wanted to play for a long time, and I'm glad I did! I felt good after playing this. Haven't played a game that just made me feel good since Stardew Valley came out. And although I feel good, I also feel sad because we never got more Sakura Wars games, because this one didn't sell well enough. However, we got a new one coming in the near future, but I'm not sure if its going to make its way over here. Back when this game came out, visual novels and strategy RPGs weren't as popular in the West, and a game like this, which is five games into an established franchise, were doomed to fail. And that's a tragedy. We're getting a new Sakura Wars game in the near future, and I hope it does well and makes its way over here, so that we can get more of this positive energy in this gaming culture.

One thing I really appreciated looking back on the game is the character stories. In a way they remind me of the character arcs in Persona 4. In that game characters can be trapped in dungeons and be forced to face "shadow" versions of themselves that exaggerate their personality problems and reveal their true thoughts and feelings. If a character completely refused to admit that their shadow self is telling the truth, then it grows into a monster and tries to kill the party. Only by accepting their flaws can they grow as characters. Just as in this game, the arcs are predictable, but effective in showing off the depth of the characters. I was genuinely surprised to see where these stories went at times; I never expected a game like this to delve into the psyche of a woman who is literally crippled by her own mortality. But they handled it well, and everyone was involved in each others' struggles, and it makes for a nice story that you can enjoy in installments, or in long sessions.

One thing I really learned in making this review is the value of actually recording everything I'm playing. I missed a couple pieces of gameplay that I really could have used, such as the entirety of Chapter 5's tactical segment. On top of that, my recording of Chapter 2, which has some of the coolest interactions in the game and has quite an interesting tactical segment, corrupted, except for the end boss. From now on I should just not worry about hard drive space and record everything I play, because chances are I'm going to reflect on it when I make the review, and I hate having to cut something from a review because I referenced a piece of gameplay that I didn't record. For example, I initially didn't record the last two chapters, which show up a lot in the video, but luckily I found a late-game save and was able to go back and fix my mistakes.

Next up I'm going to be tackling the entire .hack series, which I have a lot good and bad things to say about. Until then, have a good day!

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