Sakura Wars: So Long, My Love is the fifth main entry in the Sakura Taisen series of video games. First released in Japan on July 7, 2005 on the Playstation 2; it was the first game in the series to be released in North America.
Sakura Wars V is the part of the Sakura Taisen World Project along with its prequel, Sakura Taisen V: Episode 0. There is also a sequel in the form of a six-part OVA, Sakura Taisen: New York NY, released in Japan in 2007.
|Sagiitta Weinberg (also known as Cheiron Archer)|
|Rikaritta Aries (also known as
Lachette Altair (also known as Ratchet Altair')
Prior to the game's release, a prequel was released in 2004. It was entitled Sakura Taisen V Episode 0 ~Kouya no Samurai Musume~, which translates to "Sakura Wars V Episode 0 ~Samurai Girl from the Wild West~" and revolves around the character Gemini Sunrise.
In 2009, NIS America announced that Sakura Wars: So Long, My Love would be published in North America on both the PlayStation 2 and Wii. The North American PS2 version is a two disc premium edition that includes the English and original Japanese voice tracks as well as a collector’s item art cover. The Wii version is a single-disc release with English-only voice-overs. On December 11, 2009, NIS America announced that the game would be released on March 23, 2010 for North America, however NIS delayed the game for one week and the game was released on March 30, 2010.
|So Long My Love|
Prior to the game's release, the prequel Sakura Taisen V Episode 0: Kouya no Samurai Musume sold 71,807 units in Japan during 2004. In 2005, the original PlayStation 2 version of Sakura Taisen V: Saraba, Itoshiki Hito yo sold 144,668 units in Japan, making it the 91st best selling game in the country that year. Combined, both Sakura Taisen V and its prequel sold 216,475 units for the PlayStation 2 in Japan by the end of 2005. Upon its 2005 release in Japan, Famitsu's panel of four reviewers gave Sakura Taisen V ratings of 10, 8, 10 and 9 out of 10, adding up to an overall score of 37 out of 40. This is the highest score that a Sakura Taisen game has received from Famitsu. It was also one of Famitsu's thirteen highest-scoring games of 2005.
Upon its overseas release in 2010, Sakura Wars: So Long, My Love also received positive reviews. IGN's Sam Bishop gave the game an "Amazing" score of 9 out of 10, stating that it is "safe to say this is probably one of the most re-playable games of its kind" with hundreds "of dialogue choices, exploration and the odd bit of conversation" that "will keep you coming back." He gave it ratings of 8.5 for presentation, 8 for graphics, 8 for sound, 9 for gameplay, and 10 for lasting appeal. The game was given the "Editor's Choice" Award by IGN. RPGFan's Patrick Gann gave it a 90% score, including 70% for graphics, 97% for sound, 92% for gameplay, 90% for control, and 90% for story. He praised the gameplay and script, and the quick time event dialogue choice system as "a lot of fun," but criticized the game for not being as good as its predecessors, nevertheless concluding that it is "a great game in its own right" and that "BioWare, with its strong emphasis on dialogue trees and "choice," could learn a thing or two from Sakura Wars." 1UP's Andrew Fitch gave the game a B+ rating. He praised the "multiple-choice responses" that demand "a response within five seconds", comparing them to the more recent Heavy Rain and noting they "affect relationships with teammates, influence battle prowess, and ultimately alter the game's ending." He criticized the "silly, slapstick anime" plot, but overall recommended the "mix of real-time, visual-novel storytelling and giant-mech strategy".
Mikel Tidwell of RPGamer gives it "good" a 3.5 out of 5. He highlights that the game has great animation, characters and a story, but believes the gameplay suffers with the slow-paced battles and lack of save points and "free time" in between. Tidwell closes saying this game should have come out five years ago when in North America where the market was not as competitive as he believes people no longer have the time and patience to play through the game multiple times to get all the endings. Destructoid's Josh Tolentino, however, states that despite being five years old, "its experience is quite unlike anything else out there." He praised the LIPS system for taking "the dialog tree several steps further, placing your choices on a timer (ala Alpha Protocol, though Sakura Wars did it first)", and the turn-based tactical battles which are enhanced by the "relationship-building", but criticized the dated "mid-generation PS2" graphics, giving it an 8 out of 10 overall. Wiiloveit.com described it as a "strong RPG that's worth sinking your teeth into" that adopts a "very unique gameplay system". Gamespot gave 7/10 saying "This amusing strategy RPG is as close as you're likely to get to starring in your own anime." It praises on dialogue choice and anime portraits but suffers from slow, buggy combat and crude graphics.
- ↑ Sakura Wars Premium Package Unveiled (8 July 2009).
- ↑ NIS America (2010-03-02). "DATE CHANGE: SAKURA WARS COMING MARCH 30, 2010". Press release. http://www.nisamerica.com/images/email/Sakura%20PressRelease100302_support.pdf. Retrieved 2010-03-02.
- ↑ http://www.gamerankings.com/ps2/561890-sakura-wars-so-long-my-love/index.html
- ↑ Sakura Wars: So Long, My Love. Metacritic. Retrieved on 2011-03-30.
- ↑ http://segaretro.org/Sakura_Wars:_So_Long,_My_Love
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 Sakura Taisen, Garaph
- ↑ Top selling games japan consoles. the-magicbox.com (2008). Retrieved on 17 December 2013.
- ↑ Famitsu Hall of Fame. Geimin. Retrieved on 7 February 2012.
- ↑ http://uk.ps2.ign.com:80/articles/108/1080744p4.html
- ↑ http://ps2.ign.com/articles/108/1080744p1.html
- ↑ http://www.rpgfan.com/reviews/Sakura_Wars_PS2/
- ↑ https://web.archive.org/web/20110605043353/http://www.1up.com/reviews/sakura-wars-long-love-review
- ↑ http://www.rpgamer.com/games/sakura/sakura5/reviews/sakura5strev1.html
- ↑ http://www.destructoid.com/review-sakura-wars-so-long-my-love-173330.phtml
- ↑ Wiiloveit.com: Sakura Wars SLML Review
- ↑ Stella, Shiva. Sakura Wars: So Long, My Love Review. GameSpot.com. Retrieved on 2014-01-28.