Overview – developed by Winged Cloud and published by Gamuzumi, Sakura Angels is the latest Visual Novel from the Sakura series to hit the Nintendo Switch platform. Engage in a story about magical girls protecting a guy from an evil that wants to take them. This version of the game has no explicit content like the PC counterpart, a link to the game will be at the bottom of this review.
Disclaimer: before I get into the review, I would like to thank Gamuzumi for providing the copy of Sakura Angels used for this piece. The provision of this software has not influenced the contents of this review, all thoughts and opinions contained within are my own.
With the introductions out of the way, let’s get into the review, starting with the story.
Story – Kenta, a young man who has been plagued by nightmares and headaches, encounters a monster on his way to school only to be saved by two magical girls. These girls Sayaka and Hikari, are his guardian angels and must now protect him from the evil that is stalking him, enrolling in his school and becoming a part of his everyday life. Can these angels save Kenta, or will the mysterious evil entity get what it desires?
Gameplay – the gameplay for this release follows the traditional visual novel system, with the plotline playing out via the perspective of the protagonist Kenta. The events that occur during the experience, will change depending on the choices that the player makes at key points, with each decision pushing the story in a different possible direction. This means that the different choices can alter the outcome of the story route.
Much like the other titles in the VN genre on the Nintendo Switch, there are special CG arts that can occur during different events sometimes altered by the dialogue choices made. It is possible for these CG art scenes to be missed in a single route, altering story scenes if specific choices were made. This means that the player must go through the narrative several times to see all of the scenes, getting each of the different endings.
This is a fairly short experience, with the few romance plots and endings that are available for the player to experience. It is a quick story that can be gone through in a couple of hours each time, providing straight forward narrative threads that can the player enjoy casually. Since this is a console port of a PC title, there are no explicit scenes that would be in other releases of this release, however the fanservice elements are still present.
Presentation – the art style in this title have a nice look to them, with the characters having a vibrant design to them, with expressive character faces that portray the characters well. The backgrounds are a little sparse with little in terms of presence, which unfortunately take away some of the impact of the scenes. The CG scenes are drawn beautifully, with highly detailed pieces that are very pleasing to the eye.
Unfortunately the sound design for this release is a little hit and miss at times in different areas. The music for this title is enjoyable, with music that fits the settings well for the most part, but some pieces don’t work as well. There is a dubbed voice track for this title, with a Japanese voiceover for the female characters that will play for their lines. However, the sound balance is a little off at times, with the voice lines being lower that the music making it harder to listen to without altering the volume settings.
Final Thoughts – I had a pleasant experience with this release, with a story that was easy to follow along and characters that distinct from each other. There are some minor inconsistencies to this title, like the occasional typos, sound balance issues and relatively short time of the narrative routes. However, this is a good budget visual novel, perfect for those who are looking for a simple romance VN with fanservice elements.
In the end, I give Sakura Angels a final score of 3.5/5. This is a decent budget visual with an easy to follow story, pleasing character designs and fanservice scenes that work well with the anime aesthetic. If you want to check this title out for yourself, a link to the game will be below.
Link to Nintendo Switch version (HERE)