Sakura Nova
Gameplay 6
Graphics 8
Sound 7

The setting and characters are all good, but nothing ever happens to really make you care about either. The game does feature a free patch to add back all the censored content, so anyone looking for a nukige title will probably enjoy Sakura Nova. Unfortunately, those looking for a memorable story or plan on playing without the patch are likely to be disappointed.

Gameplay: There are choices to be made and three different endings, but the story is a bit lacking.

Graphics: Like other titles in the Sakura series the visuals are beautiful, but static.

Sound: Not much to say about the music, but the voice acting is pretty good

Summary 7.0 Good
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 Nova

Developer: Winged Cloud | Publisher: Sekai Project | Release Date: 2016 | Genre: Visual Novel | Website: Official Website | Purchase: Steam

 The star of Sakura Nova, the latest visual novel from Winged Cloud, is a royal knight in training named Mikage. With aspirations of surpassing his father, one of the most respected knights in the kingdom, Mikage joins a prestigious academy. Unfortunately, our hero has a rather rocky start to his training after walking in on two cute girls while they are busy getting dressed. It turns out that the two, Kaguya and Arisa, are actually his fellow team members, which doesn’t do the harmony of the squad any good. Due to the friction caused by their clashing personalities the three decide to move in together in an effort to become more in-sync with each other. Of course, with this being a Winged Cloud title, the lead characters almost spend more time getting intimate with each other than performing their duties as knights.

Winged Cloud has garnered quite a reputation for their risqué visual novels, thanks to the abundance of fan-service and paper thin plots. Sakura Nova is no exception and, thanks to the free R-rated uncensor patch, it is also one of their titles that veers the closes to being nukige. This means that those looking for some lewd artwork will be very pleased, but anyone expecting much of a story would be better off with something else. Sakura Nova features interesting characters and a rather nice setting, but due to a lack of character development it fails to really capitalize on either. While Sakura Nova is one of the longer entries in the series, it is also one of the least memorable, at least in terms of the actual story.

The game basically follows the formula of the three heroes getting sent off on some training mission where the girls end up in trouble and Mikage saving them from peril. This is usually followed by a scene where one of the girls shower Mikage with gratitude by throwing herself at him. When playing the uncensored version of the game these scenes are quite explicit and leaves nothing to the imagination. However, despite the inclusion of slimes that can disintegrate clothes and tentacles that go where no tentacle should ever go, the H-scenes are a little lacking in variety. Perhaps we have become a little too jaded, but none of the H-scenes every really stood out as special. Even the harem ending feels a little out of the blue and could definitely have benefited more from a better build-up. The story does have a couple of humorous moments and it is overall very lighthearted, just like the other titles in the Sakura series.

Sakura Nova features three different endings, one for each girl and the aforementioned harem ending. The ending you receive is dependent on the choices you have to make during the game, but it isn’t always immediately apparent what effect choices will have. Getting to the different endings can take some trial-and-error, but luckily the game features a “skip” button to quickly get through previously read text. Visually the game looks great and lives up to the high standard set by the artwork in previous Winged Cloud titles. Although the cast of characters is rather limited, the girls all look very cute and there are some nice CGs as well. Unfortunately, the game doesn’t feature any animation and while the backgrounds like nice, the locations are rather limited.

While the music in Sakura Nova didn’t really grab our attention, it was nice to hear that all of the girls in the game are voiced by Japanese actresses. This is a really nice touch and definitely lends an extra bit of polish to the game. It is a little peculiar that some of the words uttered by the voice actresses during the H-scenes are censored with bleeps though as the text isn’t. The music, sound, ambience and voice volume can all be adjusted independently, but while the game features a CG gallery, it doesn’t have a jukebox option. Considering that none of the tracks are particularly memorable this isn’t too big of a loss. The interface is clean and functional, with text displayed at the bottom of the screen. Players can save or load at any time and there is an “auto” as well as “skip” button.

There is no doubt that, like the other Sakura titles by Winged Cloud, Sakura Nova is very easy on the eyes. It is a pity that the nice visuals are not backed up by a better story. We actually liked the characters, from Mikage who is actually quite a competent fighter trying to escape the shadow of his father, to the girls, both of whom have their own personality quirks. However, the story felt a little too disjointed to really draw us in and each scenario only serves as an excuse to dish up another H-scene. If that is all that you expect from Sakura Nova you’ll have fun, but if you want a visual novel with a story that will keep you hooked then there are better options available. There are enough titles in the series at this point for players to know more or less what they are getting themselves into though, so if you are a fan of the Sakura titles you should add this one to your library.

System Requirements

  • OS: Windows XP+
  • Processor: 1.2 GHz Pentium 4
  • Memory: 1 GB RAM
  • Graphics: 1280 x 720
  • DirectX: Version 9.0c
  • Storage: 1 GB available space
  • OS: Ubuntu/SteamOS
  • Processor: 1.2 GHz Pentium 4
  • Memory: 1 GB RAM
  • Graphics: OpenGL compatible card
  • Storage: 1 GB available space

Related posts

Apsulov: End of Gods

Apsulov: End of Gods

Apsoluv: End of Gods is a future Viking horror where players must guide a young woman named Alice through the dark depths of a Swedish research facility. Norse Mythology meets science fiction in this game where the scientists meddling with the nine realms has had catastrophic consequences. Although a little rough around the edges in some places, Apsoluv: End of Gods is an excellent game with a fascinating premise and comes highly recommended. Gameplay: Lots of exploration along with some environmental puzzles and a bit of platforming. Graphics: The game is very dark, but some of the environments look incredible. Sound: Some of the voice acting is a little stiff, but the music and sound effects are excellent.

Planet Diver

Planet Diver

Planet Diver is fast paced and very addictive when played in short bursts, but lack of mission variety does mean it can become repetitive. Still, you get a lot of content for a very low price which definitely makes it worth the investment in time and money. Just keep in mind that quick reflexes are required when braving the deep, obstacle filled chasms through which your wing suit diver loves to plunge. Gameplay: Fast paced, challenging and quite addictive although it can become repetitive. Graphics: It takes a while to get used to the retro style scanlines, but the overall effect is quite nice. Sound: The music is a little unusual, but very fitting.

Perception

Perception

Perception is a unique horror title with a charming protagonist who just happens to be blind. This puts a whole new spin on exploring a haunted location as you have to make use of echolocation to find your way around. Although creepy, some of the horror elements, such as being chased by an evil presence if you make too much noise, doesn’t quite live up to expectations. However, the story is very interesting, despite a couple of cliches and discovering what happened in the house throughout the years is fascinating. While the game won’t win any awards for its monochromatic visuals, it does feature some stellar voice acting. Players in search of an atmospheric ghost story that isn’t too demanding should definitely try out Perception. Gameplay: A little short and easy, but very interesting while it lasts. Graphics: The visuals are purposely kept simple, which means it doesn’t look as good as some other horror titles. Sound: Great ambient sound effects and brilliant voice acting, especially for the protagonist.

Zombie Army 4: Dead War

Zombie Army 4: Dead War

Zombie Army 4: Dead War refines all the zombie sniping antics of Zombie Army Trilogy while also adding some of the refinements found in Strange Brigade. It's a very entertaining game with plenty of action, but like its predecessors, it's best played with a group of friends. Dead War still has a couple of rough spots and can get repetitive, but has plenty of replay value. Gameplay: Run around in third person while shooting zombies with sniper rifles and other World War 2 era weapons. Graphics: Detailed and gory, but the color palette can be a little dull at times. Sound: Decent music and sound effects, but there's entirely too much blabbering going on for a zombie game.

Genesis Noir

Genesis Noir

Tying together a love triangle between a jazz singer, saxophone player, and watch peddler with the big bang sounds like something that shouldn't work and yet Genesis Noir pulls it off. From the noir visual style and beautiful jazz soundtrack to the surreal locations and dreamlike feel of the game, there is a lot to praise about Genesis Noir. However, it is also not a game that will appeal to everyone, especially those who prefer traditional titles over more experimental ones like this. It is certainly a wild ride, though, and open-minded players will have a blast soaking up the psychedelic atmosphere of this game. Gameplay: Simple, but fun. Graphics: Beautiful and unique. Sound: The jazz soundtrack is a perfect match for the game.

Continue?9876543210

Continue?9876543210

I didn't quite know what to expect from Continue but I certainly enjoyed the experience. The game might seem a little pretentious, but it handles mature themes in an interesting manner and managed to keep me hooked right to the bitter end. It is not often that a game challenges players to confront their own mortality, but I think Continue has pulled it off admirably. Gameplay: A game that challenges you to think instead of just testing your reflexes. Graphics: Moody and atmospheric in a retro kind of way. Sound: A brilliant soundtrack with good sound effects.

Leave a comment

two × 3 =