Sakura Beach
Gameplay 4
Graphics 7
Sound 6

Sakura Beach is a typical fan service focused visual novel with a generic storyline, implausible situations, and rather generic characters. Watching childhood friends Ayumi and Momoko practically throw themselves at the completely oblivious Seiji can be amusing, but overall there isn’t a lot here that players will remember after completing the game.

Gameplay: Six choices that lead to one of three different endings.

Graphics: Vibrant backgrounds and character sprites are decent.

Sound: Rather generic

Summary 5.7 Above Average
Gameplay 0
Graphics 0
Sound 0
Summary rating from user's marks. You can set own marks for this article - just click on stars above and press "Accept".
Accept
Summary 0.0 Terrible

Sakura Beach

Developer: Winged Cloud | Publisher: Winged Cloud | Release Date: 2015 | Genre: Indie / Casual / Visual Novel | Website: N/A | Purchase: Steam

Seiji, the protagonist of Sakura Beach, spends most of his time daydreaming about space much to the disgust of his two childhood friends, Ayumi and Momoko. In an attempt to get Seiji out of his own head the two girls drag him along on a weeklong beach holiday where it becomes painfully obvious that they are both smitten with him. Well, obvious to anyone apart from Seiji, who somehow remains completely oblivious about their intentions. It’s not uncommon for the protagonists in visual novels to be somewhat clueless when it comes to love, but Seiji takes this to a whole new level. These girls would have had better luck spending their money on Casino ZED online (Canada) than getting through to Seiji!

Over the course of the week, Seiji will encounter all the usual tropes of the genre, such as walking in on girls in their underwear because they are completely deaf and can’t hear him knocking on their door. The standard visual novel rules of physics also apply, so underwear has a habit of randomly falling off when stared at, and thrown pillows can not only knock you unconscious but also cause amnesia. Sometimes these situations can be mildly amusing, but overall it feels like Sakura Beach misses the mark when it comes to humor.

Sakura Beach only features six or so choices, and these are all centered around who Seiji sides with during arguments. Favoring one girl over the other then leads to an ending where they confess their love to him. However, the game also features a third ending if Seiji can’t make up his mind and doesn’t have any qualms about polygamy. Don’t get too excited, though, as apart from a few suggestive CGs there is a complete lack of any nudity in Sakura Beach. The text sometimes describes something lewd happening, but none of this is ever reflected in the visuals. Unlike other Sakura titles, there is no patch to spice things up either. The result is a game that feels rather tame despite the beach setting and risque scenes that Seiji stumbles into.

Seiji and the two girls are the only characters in the story and they all fall into the usual anime tropes. Seiji had a troubled past that turned him into a loner until the two girls entered his life and they became inseparable. Ayumi, with her red eyes and dark air, is a typical tsundere character who is constantly accusing Seiji of being a pervert or assaulting him on a whim. Momoko, with her blue eyes and blond hair, is way more laidback and enjoys teasing Seiji.

Only Ayumi and Momoko have character sprites, but their designs are decent albeit a little generic. The game also features plenty of beach themed backgrounds with sand, seas, and palm trees. Apart from the beach scenes, there are also backgrounds featuring locations such as the hotel rooms and pool. In total there are about 15 CGs that can be viewed from the “Extra” menu after being unlocked in the game.

The Sakura Beach soundtrack isn’t bad, but the tunes loop rather quickly and can become repetitive after a while. The game also lacks a music player for listening to the tracks outside of the story. Despite only featuring two characters the game also does not make use of any voice acting, so everything is text only. Speaking about the text, the game still has a few spelling and grammar issues littered throughout. These are minor things, such as a character saying she has a reputation to “upload” or will get in “sholtly” but they are rather noticeable. There’s not much to say about the interface as it is the standard visual novel fare that gets the job done but not much more.

While there is nothing particularly terrible about Sakura Beach it is also not a very memorable game. The story is as generic as you can get and Seiji is not exactly a very likable protagonist. Even the girls are cliched enough that we doubt anyone will even remember their names after completing the game. The game does attempt to add some depth to Seiji’s character by revealing some darker things about his past, but the overall tone of the game is very light. This is fine for players who want to read something that is not very demanding, but anyone looking for compelling characters or stories won’t find it here.

System Requirements

  • OS: Microsoft Windows XP/Vista/7/8 (32 bit or 64 bit)
  • Processor: 1Ghz
  • Memory: 512 MB RAM
  • Graphics: DirectX® 9 Compatible Graphics Card
  • DirectX: Version 9.0c
  • OS: Ubuntu 10.10 or higher
  • Processor: 1 Gz
  • Memory: 512 MB RAM
  • Graphics: OpenGL compatible card

Related posts

LocoCycle

LocoCycle

LocoCycle is a game that revels in it's cheesy b-movie plot and backs it up with some nice arcade-style gameplay. Alternating between shooting cars off the road or beating up flying bad guys with martial arts moves is as entertaining as it is wacky. It's not the longest or most in-depth game we've ever played, but it is definitely worth the low asking price. Gameplay: An arcade-like experience which lacks depth, but is a lot of fun. Graphics: Nice character detail, but the environments feels a bit sparse. Sound: A nice performance from the Prague Symphony Orchestra and solid voice acting.

Koropokkur in Love ~A Little Fairy’s Tale~

Koropokkur in Love ~A Little Fairy’s Tale~

Koropokkur in Love ~A Little Fairy’s Tale~ is a serviceable kinetic novel featuring a fairy with dreams of becoming human, but the story is just a little too generic for our liking. The game has its moments, but there is nothing here that hasn't already been done much better before. It is enjoyable enough while it lasts, but unlikely to be something players will give much thought after completing it. Gameplay: The story is cute but short and generic. Graphics: Fans of Hinoue Itaru will love the art style, but others might find it dated. Sound: No voice acting, but the music is decent enough.

Sakura Fantasy

Sakura Fantasy

Sakura Fantasy features an intriguing storyline, interesting characters, and beautiful artwork, but ends with too many unresolved questions. This wouldn't have been so bad if the planned sequels were ever released, but unfortunately, this was not to be. Unfortunately, this means anyone playing the game for the story will be disappointed. However, players who are purely interested in the lewd content will find plenty here, especially after installing the optional uncensor patch. Gameplay: Interesting until the story just ends without any real conclusion. Graphics: The visuals look great is filled with the usual amount of fan service. Sound: Decent Japanese voice acting and the soundtrack is good too.

Vertical Drop Heroes HD

Vertical Drop Heroes HD

Vertical Drop Heroes HD is simple enough that you can instantly jump in and have fun for a few minutes, but addictive enough to keep you hooked for hours. All the procedural elements keep things interesting and there are tons of skills as well as traits to unlock. The game offers a lot of value for money and will keep you coming back again and again for "just one more go." Gameplay: Simple, but very addictive. Graphics: Cartoonish visuals with some nice 2-D artwork. Sound: Catchy tunes.

Appointment With F.E.A.R

Appointment With F.E.A.R

If you are a fan of the original role playing gamebook you will love the way that Tin Man Games brought it to life. You'll still spend most of your time reading, but the great illustrations and comic book style presentation along with the soundtrack brings everything to life. The storyline is pretty straightforward, but infused with plenty of humor and parodies which makes it more entertaining. The different powers and story branches also give the game a lot of replay value. Gameplay: Like reading a visual novel and making the key choices yourself. Graphics: No animations, but some nice comic book style art and bold colors. Sound: The music and sound effects make the game feel more dynamic.

Bulb Boy

Bulb Boy

Bulb Boy is a strange point & click adventure style game about a boy with a bulb for a head trying to save his family from the evil that took over their house. It features some surprising elements for the genre, such as action scenes and boss battles, along with simple yet fun puzzles to solve. Some parts of the game can be annoying and the game is rather short despite its slow pace, but overall it deserves a closer look. Gameplay: Not your typical point & click adventure. Graphics: Gory, gross, and actually quite good. Sound: Unnerving sound effects and creepy music.

Leave a comment

2 + nine =