Sakura Nova is a Visual Novel that has us play as Mikage, an aspiring knight on his way to meet his two new squad members. As it turns out, his two new comrades are big breasted women, and he immediately walks into them undressing in the changing room. Here is where we are given our first choice to make, one can either choose to keep staring at them or quickly avert your eyes like in every anime ever. A simple seemingly pointless decision to make, but one that will ultimately send you spiraling towards one of the three routes available in this game. We barely have a grasp as to what the premise of the title is about and don’t so much as know the names of the girls the teammates which we are already ogling. It is a fanservice game first and foremost with anything else such as pacing or character development being neigh nonexistent.
After that little misunderstanding is cleared and our equally well-proportioned instructor saves us from the unwarranted wrath of our new murder happy comrades, we are given a mission to hunt down some slimes and familiarize ourselves with our partners. The first is Kaguya, a purple-haired no nonsense and no humor type of character alongside her polar opposite Arisa, a carefree, shockingly straightforward blonde. It is cliché, yes, and they never grow to be anything unique, though they are serviceable characters that are certainly better than our own “perfect” protagonist. It has a military-style setting with world threatening events no doubt on the horizon but do not go into this title expecting good action, villains or anything of the sort. This is first and foremost a fan service filled Slice of Life type of ordeal as is soon evidenced by the previously stated hunt down slimes mission.
As soon as we arrive into the vast training dungeon located under the academy one of our partners are soon captured and her clothes dissolved from the slime’s acidic like effects. This is a constant theme with any battle, that as soon as we engage, one or both of our comrades are molested by whatever creature we are facing before our dual katana wielding hero, Mikage saves them. Well saves them after he gets to watch said molestation occur that the girls are all too happy to indulge in. One can’t help but wonder if that is their fetish, as they may as well be lugging around handcuffs and gags instead of weapons for all the good those does them. It really is as non-inspired as that old “then the pool boy walks into the house to receive his extra tip” you’d expect from an adult rated film. I’m not knocking it as it works, I just need to get the point across that this is solely a hentai game with nothing else going for it.
Its story has the prospect of being slightly interesting though that is ruined by a combination of our overpowered protagonist, lack of any action as it immediately goes into H mode and unmemorable generic characters. I was literally shocked when I saw Mikage’s dad, an equally overpowered famous knight that dresses in pure black and is named Zero. The guy is something you’d expect out of a stock character of an RPGMaker game. Sakura Nova’s best moments is when nothing in particular is going on, and you are just hanging out with your partners that decided that a good way to improve their teamwork is to live together. Both are entertaining at the very least and are the moments when you can turn your brain off instead of critiquing some half-baked string of events that lead to the next lewd scene.
Yes, both main female characters are once again pretty cliché though what ultimately damns them, and everyone else is the pacing of the game. It is far, far too rushed to in any way feel natural or things are occurring of their own volition instead of the writer’s will. All of it feels forced or staged, to once again remind you that sex is the only motive and they may as well get to it at the expense of anything else you’d expect from a visual novel. With that in mind, I can’t imagine someone buying this not installing the free uncensor patch to actually add in the sex scenes as there is little point in playing this otherwise. Near everyone except for Mikage are fully voice acted in Japanese with the subtitles being in English. The translation job is very well done with only a few errors I’ve spotted in the dialogue on the rare occasion.
In multiple situations around the story, we will have a few choices to pick from that don’t really affect the main course of thing though do determine which of your two partners you’ll end up with. You will learn a tad more about whoever you end up with and may even have both at once if you pick your choices right. The real star of the show has to be the fantastic artwork, particularly the CGs that are as colorful as they are detailed and nearly all lewd due to the nature of this title. It took me a bit over five hours to go through and see all the three routes it had to offer. Sakura Nova honestly comes off as a game you should only truly consider purchasing if you really love yourself some fanservice as it has that in spades. For everyone else expecting more from their visual novels, stay far away, but for those that live for all things lewd, while this isn’t an exceptional title in any way it is serviceable and one you may want to consider.