One of the stigma I don’t like about Visual Novels is they’re games that you just click while reading to see boobs. There are quite a few like that but there are also quite a few all-ages. Sakura Angels is a weird case on the surface, looking like a colourful eroge but it only has a version with no actual nudity (there are scenes with naked characters but they’re always conveniently covered) which seems weird. Someone who likes eroge wouldn’t get it as it doesn’t have any erotic content, but someone like me, who prefers all-ages versions, wouldn’t get it as just looking it seems like story would take a backseat to fan service and since I play for the story, I wouldn’t be interested. I received a review code so I checked it out, now that I’m finished let’s see how it is.
Sakura Angels is a Visual Novel where you follow Kenta who is like any normal high school boy on the surface, with a secret even he doesn’t know that I’m not going to spoil. While he’s walking to school one day he is attacked by a monster and two almost-naked girls rescue him with magic. They claim to be his guardian angels (the title) with the names Sayaka and Hikari. Sayaka is more playful and fights with a bow, Hikari is more serious and uses a sword. They end up enrolling in his school in order to keep a closer watch on him and on the way home get attacked again by Yuzuki, a silver haired girl. They decide it’s best to keep Kenta in the dark about what’s going on, which of course, will back fire on them.
You may have noticed I said Visual Novel earlier opposed to Kinetic Novel. That’s because there actually are choices and they actually do matter. I really wasn’t expecting that going into this game but you do end up with either Sayaka or Hikari as a partner at the end. Instead of using the flag system most galge use it appears to be which ever the girl you got closest too as I experimented around and only either got one or the other, no Yuzuki or bad end.
I found myself liking the story. That’s one of the problems however. I found the fan service to be distracting from the plot, which might have been better than “oh I kind of like this” as a “this is a pretty cool story!”. Of course I’ll never know but I’m wondering if that’s the case. There were some parts I thought it was completely unnecessary while others the fan service fit (see I don’t always hate it! It just needs to fit in well). There were also some funny moments (such as Kenta accidentally walking in on Sayaka and Hikari showering/changing) but, for example, Rewrite had scenes like this (Kotarou walking in on Kotori showering) without going over board on the fan service.
My biggest issues with the game are probably here (no not just because of fan service). Let’s start off with the good. I liked the art style quite a bit. I have no idea who did it but it’s one of my favourite art styles I’ve seen in a VN. There were also quite a few CGs for the length of the game (21 for ~4 hours) and despite most being for fan service, they were all of high quality. Now my issues. There was a distinct lack of both backgrounds and sprites. Check the above pictures out.
They take place at about the same time (we also see Yuzuki in between these scenes with a completely dry shirt) and the second even clearly states “in the pouring rain” yet you can see sun beams. It completely took me out of the immersion and I felt they could have had that sad Yuzuki moment without the rain, they wouldn’t have had to make a new background, but would have lost the wet t shirt fan service. I also notice a couple times the text would cross over the UI.
I also played through multiple times (to try making sure I got all the endings) and there is a CG I saw every time but it never actually unlocked in the gallery. I really hate all these issues I had as I really did like the art style but in VNs you really need immersion and these issues were ruining it for me.
There was a few songs I liked but the rest were kind of meh. I also felt there was a low amount of songs, I would give the exact amount but there is no way to listen to songs outside of playing to the part they play in the game. While not that big of a deal it would have been nice to be able to listen to songs I liked, or count the total amount of tracks. There was also no voice acting, not an issue as quite a few VNs that have been put on Steam don’t have any but I thought I should point it out in case you were wondering.