I started the week off by diving into a brand new JRPG, being Sega’s soft reboot of Sakura Wars on PS4. I’m familiar with the series, having imported one of the games on the Saturn and Dreamcast, though purely for collection purposes. I played a friend’s copy of the Wii game for a few hours too, but it’s safe to say this is my maiden voyage.
You play as a former Navy captain who takes a new job assisting an all-female mech-piloting crew who also happens to hunker down and run an old theater. Their plays suck, the building is old, and they’re on the verge of going tits up, so what was once thought to be a military mission ends up with you pulling double duty.
Most of the game is a visual novel, tasking you with talking to the various girls, learning about their motives, and building relationships with them. Your affinity goes up and down, depending on your dialogue choices, and said affinity influences the ladies during combat.
I’m roughly 8 hours in and combat has consisted of maybe… 30 minutes of that. It’s a bare-bones action RPG in this regard, mashing light and heavy attacks until a meter is filled and then unleashing a screen-clearing special move to thwart what the game calls “demons.” I’m definitely unimpressed with this aspect, though the mechs look awesome and I think I’d enjoy it more if there was just more combat in general.
I dig the game’s style, but the promised 1920’s steampunk aesthetic was drastically overstated. Aside from the steam-powered mechs that rarely appear, I’d never label Sakura Wars as “steampunk.”
It’s kind of fun, though, and definitely unique in its approach at melding visual novels with RPGs. The previous games were turn-based SRPGs, not real-time action, but, again, that’s been a whopping half-hour for me so far. In 8 hours.
I’m juggling Sakura Wars with a pretty crazy visual novel/otome on Switch called Collar X Malice. You play as a female police officer who is captured by a terrorist group called Adonis during a murderous crime spree known as X-Day. When she wakes up, she finds a piece of jewelry around her neck and a mysterious voice speaking to her from it, stating that the necklace contains a deadly poison and will kill her if she doesn’t follow their instructions or attempts to remove it.
A shady group of former police officers helps you out along the way, but I’m still working my way through the “common route” prologue (which is longer than I expected). It’s very cool, though. I’m intrigued by the story, dig the variety of character personality types, and the art is extraordinary.
The former just celebrated her 4th year of streaming, which is awesome! I can’t believe it’s been four years since I stumbled into her streaming Miracle Warriors on the Sega Master System. I’ve very, very proud of her and she’s built a fantastic, welcoming community along the way.
The3rdPlayer is one of my best buds and he recently began streaming his Dead by Daylight matches, which he just so happens to play with some of our other Twitter friends! I’ve thoroughly enjoyed watching him build his channel, reach Affiliate status, and even jump into their PlayStation party to shoot the shit.
That about does it for me, folks. Any big gaming plans this weekend?
UPDATE: I picked up Xenoblade Chronicles Definitive Edition in a moment of weakness so I’m sure that’s all I’ll be playing for the next few weeks.