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Review of Sakura Nikagetsu

SubjectSakura Nikagetsu
ByVote: 4.4llee1000 on 2020-09-15
ReviewStarts off good, but ends up a huge disappointment by the end, squandering all of its potential that the common route built up in the beginning. It starts off as a comfy and relaxing slice of life VN with a slight fantastical twist. It does have comedic moments, but this is one of the few times that I feel comedy is used effectively in a VN period. Trying to manage all the different personalities is definitely tough and MC has no easy job in front of him, with all the hijinx perfectly displaying that, working together with the story to make sense instead of being there for the sake of being there. Watching all the characters bounce off each other is a joy to read through, as their various dynamics are pretty spot on.

However, in the middle of the common route, the pacing ramps up extremely quickly, as it jumps through a long period of time in a very short time frame. In a VN like this where the character interactions are the main point of enjoyment, skipping all of this is a major negative. Firstly, it doesn’t allow the reader to organically experience the character growth for themselves. Without a long reference to look back to, it sort of feels like nothing really has changed despite the in-game time moving very quickly. Secondly, it sort of feels like it’s rushing itself to reach a certain point instead of just allowing the character breathing room to just talk and interact by jumping ahead in time so quickly.

By the time the character routes play out, everything about this VN becomes sloppy as it loses all its initial charm. Each route is about 2-3k lines in length with about a third to half dedicated to h-scenes and sweet moments. The rest of the route tries to squeeze in some plot in such a short timeframe. All of the “twists” come out of nowhere and try to make the reader feel emotional, but it just doesn’t work. There’s no build up, it comes out of nowhere and stops just as things are about to seemingly ramp up even more. Ultimately, there’s no more reason left to care about what is going on anymore, as the routes shatter all the special charm the beginning of the common route had.

The true end is also too short for its own good, not making it feel satisfying in the grand scheme of things, as it falls into the same pitfalls as the character routes.

At the end of the day, this VN is a quick burn in terms of quality. Starts off pretty good, but falls off a cliff pretty quickly, so it leaves a bitter taste by the time it ends. Something I didn’t really enjoy at all by the time the final credits rolled. It had a lot of potential by selling itself as comfy SoL VN at first, but it all but disappeared by the end.

Comments

#1 by clephas
2020-09-22 at 03:35
< report >This company specializes in nakige with humor, rather than comedy games with feels. While I agree that the bouncy humor of the first part of the game is important, but the fact is that the hints at what was going on were hidden all throughout the common route if you were looking for them, so the paths aren't really as abrupt as they seem.
I do agree the final ending could have used significantly more length, but this is a low-budget company, so what do you expect?
#2 by llee1000
2020-09-22 at 15:02
< report >> but the fact is that the hints at what was going on were hidden all throughout the common route if you were looking for them

Admittedly, I'm not the best at picking up foreshadowing hints, even in other VNs where they are apparently pretty obvious.

>I do agree the final ending could have used significantly more length, but this is a low-budget company, so what do you expect?

I expect everything to be delivered perfectly

Well imo, it would have been more preferable if they found a way to make the final ending longer within their allotted budget since it would have helped the story significantly.