Sakura Nova (PC) Review

By Gabriel Jones 28.03.2017 1

Review for Sakura Nova on PC

Far in the future, mankind's survival is dependent upon the skill and bravery of the Knight Corps. With the ever-increasing frequency of monster attacks, the academy that trains these loyal soldiers has seen a slew of applicants. One of them, a young man by the name of Mikage, shows promise in matters of combat, but his inability to work with others hinders his potential. In Mikage's first day at the academy, he meets fellow students Arisa and Kaguya. While these ladies are adept fighters, they're inexperienced at teamwork. Only through intense training and… awkward sexual tension can this trio form a team capable of saving the day.

Sakura Nova is a visual novel that focuses on the exploits of Mikage, Arisa, and Kaguya. They all have their reasons for joining the academy. Many trials stand in the way of their road to knighthood. While they undergo training, all manner of fiends are trying to wipe out civilization. There might even be times where the students have to take matters into their own hands. Over time, their relationship develops into something beyond friends. Depending on decisions made by the player, Mikage could find himself married to the woman of his dreams.

However, while this game is certainly heavy on the "plot," there's very little storyline. The characterization is bland and predictable. The protagonist is good-looking, driven, humble, and boring. The potential love interests don't fare any better. Their personalities are trite and overly familiar, as if they were put together by a committee. While each character has an arc, they don't really benefit the story as a whole, so it's just something tacked on to pad the run time. There also isn't much in the way of world building. It's never explained why there are goblins, demons, or giant spiders in the future. Is it necessary to know everything about this sci-fi world? Probably not, but some people like a little immersion to go with their titillation.

As the story progresses, the viewer will face a handful of choices. Having decisions to make is a fine way to engage the viewer, but they need to have real consequences in order for them to mean anything. The few times Mikage has a choice only determines which girl he could potentially end up with. Even decisions made during an intense battle don't carry much weight. It would have been really exciting if there was a possibility that the wrong choice could be made, and someone could possibly suffer a miserable end. It's not this reviewer's intention to be morbid or anything, but if there are no stakes, then there's not much of a purpose. Besides, who didn't enjoy reading "Choose Your Own Adventure" books when they were younger?

Screenshot for Sakura Nova on PC

It's also difficult to appreciate the game's attempts at being sexy. The artwork is drawn well enough, though one wonders how the ladies are always oiled up for maximum shininess. When it comes to sexiness, or being sexy, it's a matter of context. In one scene, Mikage talks about the importance of communication, and somehow this segues into Arisa fondling Kaguya's breasts. It's completely forced and doesn't make any sense.

Some of the other "sexy moments" in this visual novel are just plain disturbing. Arisa has really bad luck with monsters, because she's always being targeted by touchy-feely slimes and groping goblins. She and Kaguya share an unfortunate run-in with a roper's tentacles as well. It's also worth mentioning that at one point, Arisa is attacked by a vengeful water spirit while swimming in a lake. She's drowning, and Mikage is clearly angry, frustrated, and sad that he can't do anything to help her. However, she's also naked, which shifts the tone of the scene into a very weird and uncomfortable place.

In terms of production values, there is very little to complain about. The user interface is exceptionally well done, offering all of the amenities that fans of visual novels could ever need. Previously-viewed dialogue can be effortlessly skipped, and the game can be saved at any time. The voice acting is thoroughly solid. However, there could have been more CG images. Not necessarily sexy ones either, just some pictures of the main characters fighting monsters.

Screenshot for Sakura Nova on PC

Cubed3 Rating

3/10
Rated 3 out of 10

Bad

With games like Sakura Nova, it's obvious that Winged Cloud knows where their bread is buttered. Still, it's hard to ignore the lack of a compelling story and interesting characters. Mikage is nothing more than an everyday harem dullard, and his relationship with Arisa and Kaguya progresses far too rapidly. They go from awkward meetings in the changing room to best friends to living together in just a few short days. There's nothing to keep the player engaged, unless, of course, they're sticking around just to see the naughty pictures.

Developer

Winged Cloud

Publisher

Winged Cloud

Genre

Visual Novel

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  3/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

Comments

Never played these games but while the girls look hot literally EVERY GAME they look the exact same which takes away big time.

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