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SummaryCall me crazy but I want porn in my porn
The GoodSeasons of Sakura is somewhat known in the shady, murky underworld of hentai gaming fandom as one of the most well-known games of it's ilk. The reason escapes me really, but for what it's worth the game does have it's appealing features: Extensive character development forms the core of Seasons of Sakura, and it's actually pretty well done. Basically you are an average teenager and the game chronicles your life among the various school-related social activities, from summer vacations to after hour partys, etc. It's a laid-back form of storytelling that doesn't really go anywhere, but instead aims to showcase the various characters that surround your virtual life.
The good news is that if you enjoy that kind of slow paced game this is one of the best examples of it. With long winded talks while walking a beach, dates, and the occasional adventure such as being stranded in a forest and stuff like that (always with some female companionship, of course).
The BadThe bad news comes if you don't like that sort of crap. Specially in, you know, an interactive videogame; and a hentai one on top of that! Basically the game boils down to sitting down through a sophomore version of "Little Women", with about as much interaction as reading the novel. You do nothing but scroll on an on through the reams of text that the characters spout as you learn about their likes, dislikes, pasts, traumas and whatever the developers could pull out from your average Teen People issue.
The game uses the standard text-menu japanese adventure interface, which is as dull as ever, though to be fair (and as another reviewer noted) it does use some sort of "subliminal" approach in order to add some interactivity to things. For instance, if you are supposed to make a list about what girls would you like in your team at a particular forest expedition, whoever you place first is gonna approach you later in the game, etc. etc.
But speaking of the characters, they are the most sickeningly detailed versions of the typical teenage animé stereotypes this side of a Square/Enix rpg, all distorted in some typical hentai way in order to cater to your specific fetishes, be them tomboys, lonely, somber girls, hyperactive teens or "mature" women (aka The Teacher, as every hentai game out there has taught us). However unlike your average Square/Enix rpg there are almost no male characters and you get to bang each and every one of the girls. Well.... sort of.... Actually what you get to do is listen and talk with them for ages, fall "in love" and eventually by the endgame go to bed with one lucky lady for a couple of screens worth of hentai fun.
I ask thee: Is that what you want from your hentai games?? Seasons of Sakura is the ancient predecessor of that ultra-gay new breed of hentai games like "Kana Little Sister" that have pretty much no sex, and are all about reading the innane happenings and melodramas of the assorted cast of characters.... groan. You might think that I'm some sort of perverted freak that wants nothing but hentai, but if I'm gonna have porn then dammit it better have some porn in it! Not some fruity teenage drama queen horsecrap! It's as if an fps had no guns!! And besides this game has no gut-wrenching "Bamby"-like melodramas like Kana, it's all Dawson's Creek-like crap... And if I wanted that in a game I'd fire up Final Fantasy 8, which at least doubles as a Maya showcase.
The Bottom LineIt just occurred to me that this game might have been designed for a female demographic really, as it is really a classically female version of porn rather than a male one. Complete with fluffy pillows, romantic walks around beaches and stuff like that. The fact that it stars a man and all the nudity is female puzzles me, but I'm willing to bet it's a concession made to lesbian markets.
Regardless of that, Seasons of Sakura is the original Dawson's Creek of hentai gaming, if that's your thing then go for it. But I have better things to do.