Project Sakura Wars: Let’s Play the Japanese Demo

Project Sakura Wars: Let’s Play the Japanese Demo

Here's our playthrough of the Project Sakura Wars demo with live commentary as we wait for the full game to launch.

PS4 exclusive Project Sakura Wars, named Shin Sakura Taisen in Japan,  is the first game in the Sakura Taisen series in over fifteen years. If you don’t know the series, it’s basically a huge mix between a dating simulator with cute girls, cool mecha, fantasy elements, and steampunk. The story, in a nutshell, is about how Combat Revues, squads mostly made of women, act like a normal theater troupe at day and pilot mecha to fight demons at night. The dating sim aspect might make it seem like a male otaku thing, but the Sakura Taisen series has its share of fans from all horizons because of how innovative and awesome it is. Sakura Taisen is also a huge part of Japanese culture with how it greatly influenced anime and games, most notably by democratizing “media mixing” through its musicals, which are still continuing today.

Sega launched a Project Sakura Wars demo in late November so players could try out the game before its Japanese launch on December 12. We did just that, with a playthrough video of the whole demo that includes an exploration part and a battle part. While the events in the demo will be featured differently in the final game, it’s still a great way to try out Project Sakura Wars and gives a good first impression overall.

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The adventure part includes chatting with the various characters and picking dialogue choices under a time limit. This is Sakura Taisen‘s iconic LIPS system. Project Sakura Wars is also the first fully 3D game in the series, as the exploration part was done on a 2D map in past games. Only a small portion of the Imperial Theater is explorable in this demo, but we’ll have a whole city to explore in the full game.

As for the battle part, the game is an action RPG. It might look like a Musou game at first glance, but it’s actually completely different. It’s a bit hard to judge the battle system’s worth with the demo, as the battle part is pretty short. However, it’s full of gimmicks and interesting ideas. As for the lack of a lock-on function, I don’t find it a problem seeing the camera does a great job and is easily controllable. It’s definitely not the first time an action game purposefully doesn’t include a lock-on system too. Titles like Monster Hunter World come to mind so I don’t think it’s a bad design choice, for now.

Our playthrough of the Project Sakura Wars demo can be found below. Soon after Project Sakura Wars‘ Japanese release on December 12, we’ll be doing a similar playthrough video for the first part of the game, so stay tuned on DualShockers. Meanwhile, you can also read more on Project Sakura Wars with our previous coverage. The full game will be coming westward in Spring 2020.