Foreword: Right, one more review before I dissolve into the shadows since Final Exams are coming up! Another game by Onomatope*, I warn readers ahead of time that this game is similar to Oreaka, in many senses. Some are good, but some are very bad. In general, I would rate this with considerably higher ratings, but the reader can see it did far worse than that.
Release Date: May 25, 2012
VNDB Link: http://vndb.org/v9637
Summary: Ichigo, when he was young, moved from a small island due to the fact that he needed to be with his father, as his father earned money for Minto, who was in the hospital. He said goodbye to his friends, believing he would never see them again.
However, the gears of fate smiled on him, and selected him as one of the transfer students to return to the island’s high school. Here, he meets the grown-up version of his group of friends, the Peace Kids, and start to enjoy their school life once again.
Eating lunch together! As a side note, this game seems to have a lot of “screenshots” for each lunchbox, and even has a recipe page for these lunchboxes on their homepage!
Story Length: Moderate (20 hours)
Complete Story Clearing Difficulty: Moderate
Comments: There are three “decisions” to make, each corresponding with the respective heroine. I’m sure I won’t have to explain how to capture each heroine, right?
Character Design Rating: 6/10
Story Rating: 3/10
Game Quality: Low
Overall Rating: 4/10
Rating Comments: Each character has a slightly obvious problem, that the reader can detect in the beginning of the game, and their decision to cope with this problem in their own style will make the reader sympathize with these characters, raising his affection for them. This is the main point-earner for the Character Design rating. Despite this positive characteristic, Sakura no Reply, as with other Onomatope* games, seemed incomplete: the character routes, no matter how they ended, seemed rushed and lacked a definite conclusion. This factor made each route vague and lack impact. The Story Rating comments will be posted below, since I may derail.
Ichigo’s little sister, Minto! She’s really, really cute :D
Sexual Content: Moderately high
Comments: Right, so the story rating… One of my complaints about Onomatope* games is that the characters rarely show negative emotions. These negative emotions can be genuine sadness or anger, and if they are used, 95% of the time, it is used in a comical sense and do not contribute to the drama of the story. When such negative emotions are used as plot, it is generally towards the climax of the story, which doesn’t even seem like a climax at all. This trait is unrealistic and possibly annoying to students of psychology like myself.
In a sense, the above trait seemed a lot like Hoshizora, where characters rarely show negative emotions used in context with the story. This element creates a light-hearted game that many players will argue as “shallow”. As an example, this game contains an element of blood-related sibling incest, but this factor is not pressed by any of the characters AT ALL. WTF?! It’s also possible to see other characters being “dissolved into the background” once you’ve reached a heroine’s route as well.
One of the elements of this game is writing stuff on your hands, like what a little child does.
Believe it or not, dear reader, that onomatope* games HAS been classified as nukige previously. This is probably due to the “seemingly” lacking plot, when it’s just the company that’s inexperienced with scenario writing. Now that I’ve experienced two games from onomatope*, unless they suddenly come up with a great game, they will be dropped from my “watched companies” list.
Lastly, sakura (or “cherry blossoms”) had very little role in this story besides being a theme. The setting is that sakura cannot bloom on this island, and the Peace Kids try to prove the myths wrong, but that really never happens except in one route, where it is simply implied.
Though not surprisingly, Minto claims first place in popularity rankings TWICE
Affection for the Characters: Moderately high
CG Quality: Moderate
Music Quality: Moderately low
Addictiveness: Very low
Conclusion: Another typical onomatope* game that was unfavorable in my eyes. Cute character design and funny small stories, but shallow characters with even less “real plot” makes this game rather dull and two-dimensional (not that it already is)
A Neat Collaboration with Sakura no Reply and Strawberry Nauts