Sakura Wars is an anime game with a very lively and vibrant style and color scheme. The characters all have their own unique styles and are voice acted at top-notch levels. There really weren’t any dull characters and they all had some kind of lasting impressions. Sure, they all have some really corny lines and seem to be easily impressed by Kamiyama, but there’s merit in establishing the side characters as important entities.
Their outfits are even good representations of how their mechs are. For example, Kamiyama’s outfit and leader-like qualities are represented in his ivory-colored, gold-trimmed mecha wielding two swords. The other main character, who is the default love interest— Sakura Amamiya— sports a pink mech who is swift and deadly with a single sword.
I’m a sucker for any sort of anime mech designs like Gundams or the robos from Super Robot Taisen. They usually have some kind of thematic representation of their pilot and oftentimes translates very well to who the character is. What makes the Sakura Wars mechas distinct is that they’re all steam-powered to fit in with the 1940s steampunk theme of the franchise.
The meat of the game lies in your love interests. You have five to choose from and they basically cover all the typical aspects of anime girls. The main girl, Sakura, is your childhood friend who (without spoilers) obviously had some kind of love interest in you growing up. You’re probably going to have more interactions with her than any of the other girls in the game, but that doesn’t mean you have to choose her. As bad as it sounds too, she’s easier to impress given that you have more choices to win her heart over.
There’s also Hatsuho, Sakura’s best friend. She’s the tsundere of the bunch: she’s tough on the outside and hotheaded. Hatsuho oftentimes has a pugilistic reaction to things that agitate her or put her friends in bad predicaments. However, getting on her good side will enable the mushy, lovey-dovey side of her that can seem either really off putting or your cup of tea (no judgment here).
Then you have Clarissa, or as everyone calls her Claris. She’s the goody-two-shoes who is oftentimes buried in a book. She’s got a few dark secrets of her own which I won’t get into to avoid spoilers. Her default outfit is akin to something of an all-girls catholic school uniform with the trademark small plaid skirt. Kamiyama often finds himself in situations where he gets caught up in looking at her legs or up her skirt. Act however you want to see her reactions.
There’s also lolis if you’re into that, but now I’m judging negatively. Azami, the small ninja girl who is probably a pre-teen is also a love interest of sorts. You won’t have any obvious sexual tension with her like you experience with the other girls, but there are implications if you do “pick your cards right.”
Finally, you have a character who you meet slightly later in the story— Anastasia Palma. She’s a world-class actress who is the Imperial Theater’s last hope in trying to reel in larger audiences to their live performances. She’s got a platinum colored head of hair, a way with words, and of course— a really ample bosom.
Each of these characters does have their own ending if you raise their trust levels high enough with you throughout the game. This definitely opens up the opportunity for multiple playthroughs.
Sakura Wars is a game that preserves the qualities of the old and adapts to some new. It’s commendable, but it falls short where it really counts. The world is nice and the characters— albeit falling into many corny and overused anime tropes— are memorable. It needs better pacing and probably more robot combat. If not, at least more intricate combat. The story, apart from the romancing or bridge burning with characters is also quite the interesting one.
A copy of this game was provided to App Trigger for the purpose of this review. All scores are ranked out of 10, with .5 increments. Click here to learn more about our Review Policy.