Well, it was bound to happen: a popular Japan-only franchise featuring RPGing and dating gets a “reboot”, with said “reboot” getting an English language release the following few months.

Project Sakura Wars, the sequel to the Sakura Wars franchise after 20 long years, will be out in English on 28th April under the simple localized title Sakura Wars. The last time Sega localized a Sakura Wars title was back in 2005 with the PS2 title Sakura Wars: So Long, My Love, which was considered the black sheep of the Sakura Wars titles by hardcore fans.

The game combines action-role-playing elements with dating sim and visual novel gameplay. In this steampunk version of 1940s Imperial Tokyo, players control captain Seijuro Kamiyama who has to lead a squad of theatre performers-slash-mecha pilots serving under Japan’s defense force. The mechs here are called Spiricle Strikers and they’re used to protect Tokyo from a demon epidemic.

Remember when I said “black sheep”? Yeah, this new entry might get that status too; we’ve played a few hours of this game and while its production values and story-slash-dating aspects are stellar, the same can’t be said about the rest of the game. Let’s break it down:

  • The action gaming portions are pretty average.
  • The game’s story and third act will end up pissing off long-time Sakura Wars fans.

I’m all for kickass visual novel and anime tropes set in an alternate 1940s world with Tite “Bleach” Kubo artwork. But if half of your action bits are on par with a crappier Dynasty Warriors entry, you may need to reconsider adding and tweaking some bits for the international version before that pretty close April release date.

 

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