Sakura Fantasy
Gameplay 3
Graphics 8
Sound 7

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

Summary 6.0 Above Average
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Sakura Fantasy

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

Sakura Fantasy is the story of Raelin, a novice knight in training who fled the destruction of her homelands at the hands of monsters when she was younger. Under the tutelage of her strict instructor, Kiera, Raelin hones her skills but frequently ends up in trouble because she is a daydreamer.

Like many of her fellow warriors, Raelin has a special gift, which in her case is the ability to farsee. It is essentially a form of astral projection, which allows Raelin to see people and places without having to physically visit them. This is obviously a talent that causes her to be treated with some suspicion by others, which is fully justified as Raelin has a bad habit of spying on people during their most intimate moments. However, Raelin ends up on the quest of a lifetime when a falling star lands up somewhere in a dangerous area outside the walls of the city, called the Mires. Raelin, along with her friend Gwynne and Kiera, is instructed to find this star, but very few of those who have ventured outside the city have ever returned.

Winged Cloud has built a reputation for visual novels that look great and feature plenty of fan service but are often lacking when it comes to storylines and interesting characters. Surprisingly Sakura Fantasy bucks this trend by actually featuring a genuinely interesting game world. Sure, it’s not that original or unique, but it is definitely a step up from what is typically seen in the genre in general and Winged Cloud in particular. It is also are yuri title with a female protagonist although this just means it contains even more fan service than usual.

The first half of Sakura Fantasy is set mostly in the barracks and the training field as Raelin goes through the daily grind of becoming a knight. We find out that people are cowering behind the walls of the city as a blight slowly overtakes and corrupts the lands outside it. Raelin eventually receives a promotion that sees her patrolling the halls of the castle, which is where she encounters the legendary empress. It is after this meeting that Raelin and her companions are sent out into the Mires, which is where the second half of the game takes place. The story is interesting for the most part and it is hard not to be impressed by the sheer amount of times and ways that Winged Cloud has managed to shoehorn in fan service.

If Raelin is not walking in on people in various states of undress she is spying on them in the bath or having sex with them in her dreams. Sakura Fantasy is not a very long game, but a large portion of it is taken up by these scenes. Some will love them, some will find them gratuitous, but at this point, everyone should know what they are getting themselves into with a Winged Cloud release. An uncensor patch is also available which turns the mostly ecchi CGs a whole lot lewder.

Raelin is a humorous protagonist even though she seems to be unable to stay clothed during battle. The game also features plenty of decisions, but we were disappointed to discover on subsequent playthroughs that most of these are largely meaningless. If you are lucky then picking a different choice will lead to a new CG. In most cases, though, you might get one line of different dialogue, and then the story will continue in exactly the same fashion. However, the biggest issue with Sakura Fantasy is the fact that it is incomplete. Winged Cloud released the game as the first chapter in a planned series and so it ends before the party has reached their objective. After the game failed to sell as many copies as they had hoped the plans for subsequent chapters were shelved and this point it is unlikely they will ever see the light of day. It is really a pity as it means Sakura Fantasy ends in the middle of what could have been an interesting story. This also means that it is really hard to recommend the game as it would be the same as reading half a book or watching half a movie. There are just too many unanswered questions and loose ends at the end of this chapter to make it worthwhile.

Winged Cloud rarely disappoints when it comes to the artwork for their titles and Sakura Fantasy is no exception. The character sprites all look beautiful and the CGs have a level of polish that many other visual novels lack. There are also quite a few different backgrounds to give the game so more visual variety. Also, it is one of the few Winged Cloud titles with Japanese voice acting for the characters. The background music is also a nice fit for the fantasy theme of the game.

If Sakura Fantasy included all the planned chapters, it could have been one of the best titles in the Sakura series, but on its own, it is hard to recommend. It might be worth it if Winged Cloud by some miracle decides to continue the story in the future, but until then it will always be an unfinished game.

System Requirements

  • OS: Windows XP
  • Processor: 1.2 GHz Pentium 4
  • Memory: 1 GB RAM
  • Graphics: 1280 x 720
  • DirectX: Version 9.0c
  • Storage: 200 MB available space
  • OS: 10.6
  • Processor: Any 64 bit processor
  • Memory: 1 GB RAM
  • Graphics: 1280 x 720
  • Storage: 200 MB available space
  • Processor: 1.2 GHz Pentium 4
  • Memory: 1 GB RAM
  • Graphics: 1280 x 720
  • Storage: 200 MB available space

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