Hiroki is now prepared to settle down and enjoy a quiet life.
Fate, however, has other plans, after Hifumi becomes embroiled with Princess Stephania Sofia Maria Isabella: a noblewoman who hails from the small European country, Astoria.
Stephania asks Hifumi to stay with her in Astoria, so she might teach her about karuta, and share with her stories about Japan. In Astoria, Hiroki meets and befriends both Princess Stephania and her dutiful maid, Elizabeth. As the days pass, both the princess and her maid begin to show an interest in Hiroki.
Could Elizabeth be more than she’s letting on – and what, exactly, is she scheming?
Welcome to Sakura Succubus 5. A visual novel that is most certainly big on the visuals but not so novel on the novel.
What gets me here,is that I thought I would be in a perfect position to review this game. I knew nothing about this series of stories and so nothing about the events that led up to this current story.
Perfectly placed so I thought and so from a totally neutral position I load up the game and trawl through what seems like hours of text dialogue and here’s my review…
The presentation is probably the best part of Sakura Succubus. Nice bright and colourful backgrounds adorn many of the locations in the story. The girl Succubi characters are wonderfully animated and each one has its own character and individual personality, charm and beauty. Even better is the game’s music soundtrack that plays a variety of quirky and upbeat tunes from the main screen and throughout the story.
So let’s cut to the chase and get to the first major problem here.
Sakura Succubus is renowned for his risqué content and undoubtedly popular with readers specifically drawn to its fan service content. Except here in the western world it doesn’t exist! Yes.. chunks of the inevitable physical exploits and outcomes of our main character are cut out altogether through censorship.
If this was blatantly unnecessary then I could understand the reasons for removing it and totally respect the decision. But here in a story that primarily involves your character having relationships with many voluptuous and alluringly scantily clad women and with the realisation that content has been cut, then the very basis of this whole game is totally reliant on purely dialogue and story content and just that alone. That would be fine if it wasn’t so blatantly clear and evident that pieces were missing. An example is one character in the story getting into the bath to scrub your back and after a few exchanges of suggestive dialogue it’s clear where this is all leading and then suddenly as she gets closer… the next morning you wake up and reflect on the events of last night. Well what did happen last night then? You won’t know because it’s been cut out!
And there’s the big issue. Censorship has pretty much cut into the story,interrupted the flow of the story and at times made events seem uncertain and possibly incomprehensible.
So,like I stated earlier I’m a neutral experiencing this game for the first time and I’m quickly picking up scenes that have clearly been cut out but hey! there’s some great story and dialogue to see me through and entertain me. I mean, who needs controversial cutscenes when there’s a good story right? Well..no!
Obviously western censors have made a decision and that means reliance on the already ascertained fan base who already love and know the characters and will enjoy the continuation of their lives and loves in this fifth chapter. But what about outsiders like me jumping in for the first time? Plenty to enjoy and be entertained by?
Quite frankly no!
There’s situations that amused me. Hiroki’s telephone conversation with his mother is a funny episode. The succubi girls often argue and put each other down in often amusing exchanges but for a very large part. The dialogue often left me cold.
If you’re a fan of reality shows and really enjoy the kind of rumour and gossip fuelled conversations that exist on these shows then there’s plenty for you here. The constant repetition and similar themes just never got me interested and by the time I got to the critical multiple choice options and picking which girl I was interested in to branch down that particular story path? I didn’t really care!
Oh and by the way… the skip function is glitched out and doesn’t work. I decided to come out of the game and reload again to see if it fixed the problem. It didn’t and then came the horrible realisation that I thought the game auto saved… and it doesn’t!
So that was restarting the whole game again and because the skip button is non functional..spamming the A button constantly through pages of dialogue to get to the point of the story I last left it at.
Overall, Sakura Succubi 5 is a game for the fans of the franchise and not much else ! It’s shell of its former self might appeal to younger adults but sadly for me it’s..
Succu bye bye !
Thanks to Gamuzumi for the game code.