Guess which game this screenshot is from:
It took around 7 straight hours of playing (mostly because the ending was full of battles and I had to restart once because I lost Maria) but I finally finished Sakura Taisen 2, and got Sakura’s ending. It was actually pretty touching. I got to go on a date with Sakura and watch her fall off a penny farthing. Ho Ho Ho. Particularly impressive was the step the developers took in the 13th chapter: effectively a ‘next episode’ thing for Sakura Taisen 3, the development team of which also appears in the credits. One month after that penny-farthing incident, Ohgami is told to get his ass to Paris with a week’s notice, along with a promotion to spur him on the way (I guess Sumire won’t be calling Ohgami Shou’i from now on, my how time changes things), and that obviously has profound effects on everybody, even people I spurned in favour of Sakura (sorry, but she rocks! Just a bit more). The credits are nice: they actually play a full version of Yume no Tsuzuki in it. I like the song. In fact, I like most Sakura Taisen songs. Since I had heard Yume no Tsuzuki from the Complete Song Box before, I was singing along with the credits… makes for a very nice, brainless, happy ending. Most Sakura Taisen elements aren’t especially brainy… you just gotta figure out that some girls like some sentences more than others.
I had to interrupt my battle halfway in that flying fortress Musashi (the Floating Continent from Final Fantasy VI beats that, actually, almost everything except specific songs and characters beat Sakura Taisen) to get some dinner. Cheeseburger with fries. Meh, not that great, you say? Well, Sakura Taisen 2+food=bliss. Until I got thirsty. There was no cure for that, and the Cranberry juice had gotten a little too sour for my taste.
In any case, I was really impressed when the developers said flat out ST3 would be set in Paris and feature no more Hanagumi. I mean, quite a bit of risk, but it probably shows how big the series had become by then (1998 I think).
Sakura Taisen 3 has a really fucking awesome battle system. Seriously. Awesome. The most I’ll play through ST1 and ST2 again is probably just to get Sumire or Orihime’s endings (because you know they’re pretty hot, although if Kaede was an option, I’d choose her, hands down, even over Sakura) because after having played that battle system, there’s no way I’m going back to that travesty that was Sakura Taisen strategy mode. Oh, the final stages were thankfully more like final stages, with bosses that deal out an alarming amount of damage, but really, for most of the game all the enemies you fight are excuses for you to show off to the girls (or conveniently placed, easily defeated things to get the story moving, like in Orihime’s chapter with her dad).
I was supposed to hear Haru ga Kuru somewhere in there, but nothing came up, just the title screen again. Well, it’s playing now, and I like Yume no Tsuzuki a bit more so I don’t mind. I wonder what I unlocked in a Long Day mode already.
I could rant about how they should have made it so you could court Fujieda Kaede (Ayame’s taken) but it’s not right to do that when I’ve just finished Sakura’s ending, in which she wrote a really touching letter. It gives me a rather funny feeling when they say ‘let’s meet again’ in the hopes that everything will be the way it is, when what’s going to happen is that Ohgami’s going to come back… with the whole Paris Kagekidan in tow… good luck then Sakura! And what the hell… having got Sakura’s ending, I’d expect their relationship to go on… instead of Ohgami putting the hots on Erica instead. The fact is nothing is ever going to be the same again, and ST2 will be the last true Teikoku Kagekidan Hanagumi chapter. Whether it’s a sad fact or a happy fact remains to be seen, but it’s pretty sure that the future isn’t going to be what Sakura wished for in her letter.
Okay, let’s work hard too. Math exam next Thursday….