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Season of the Sakura DOS Main Menu

MISSING COVER

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Written by  :  Shazbut (167)
Written on  :  Aug 27, 2002
Platform  :  DOS
Rating  :  3.4 Stars3.4 Stars3.4 Stars3.4 Stars3.4 Stars

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Summary

Better than you think

The Good

Can I just say, I've loved real girls before and I've been loved by real girls before. I'm not a complete loser and you don't have to be to enjoy this game. I'm not a Hentai fan generally speaking. Hentai is a dirty word that instantly makes veteran gamers run a mile or laugh hysterically. However if you can look past the sex for a second, this is quite an absorbing and touching game experience. It's more interactive fiction than adventure but it has some solid things going for it. For a start, the game has many endings like most games of this ilk. There are 8 "happy" ones and also some bad ones that I don't even want to see. The basic plot of the game is you play a first-year college kid and you develop relationships between the girls in your class. This already warms me to the game because I am roughly this kid's age and I will be in a similar environment to him soon (albeit probably not surrounded by beautiful girls who like you the second you open the door). Refreshingly for a game like this, there is no sex until the very end...almost, and the girls couldn't really be described as loose like most Hentai games. They have the strongest personalities in any H game I've played too (NOT many). This is probably the game's strongest attribute. You're bound to find one girl that you just adore in the course of the game; I know I have, the developers seem to have tapped into my ideal girl, kinda depressing when you know she doesn't exist. I have never cared about characters to this extent in a game before, ever. Some of the characters are very developed, and I don't just mean in the chest. Ruri is a fascinating person, and although the game doesn't let you understand her personality and pain as well as it could have done, it's a welcome break from all the breasts on legs that you get in other Hentai games. A clever addition to Seasons Of Sakura is that even the subtlest use of the interface can affect how the game reacts. For example, if you're walking along a beach, the first girl you think of will be the one who you will gain the most "points" for. Same way that if you're in a group, the girl you talk to first will be the most impressed by you. It's almost subliminal if you don't know what's going on and you may be suprised to find that the girl you liked the most in the course of the game is also the one who likes you the most. The artwork in this game is also nice especially if you're a fan of Anime. Basically; Seasons of Sakura is a mature, touching and fascinating game that is so much more grown-up than True Love. True Love being the only other Hentai game I've played that deserves to be mentioned in the same breath as this one.

The Bad

Of course, this isn't Deus Ex here. This game is longer than most Hentai games yet still very short, it could be completed in hours if you get addicted. It's harder to replay than True Love because of the nightmare interface which requries you to quite frequently look at or talk to everyone you see before it moves on. Thankfully there is a button to skip through text you don't wanna read but it's still slow and monotonous, you'd be wise to save before important events so that you don't have to read long sections again. Your character is a little odd actually, his natural athletic ability is not something I relate to much :-P. Neither is his dislike of the spotlight. It's also a bummer that you can't change his name because that lowers the immersion factor a bit. True Love is more of a game than this is and has obvious qualities that this doesn't, such as the ability to choose your own assets and talents. I can't imagine paying a lot of money for a game like this, but I still enjoy it hugely.

The Bottom Line

Short and sweet, but very sweet. I felt genuine tangs of guilt and affection when playing this game and there is no girl in the world as cute as Mio. Certainly worth replaying and probably buying. Proof that games away from the mainstream can be something special. Just make sure you play it without any prejudices.