The first time I heard about this game developed by Winged Cloud, I said to myself, “Goddamnit, it’s Winged Cloud again!” Well, let’s just say that the eroge developer’s previous lewd visual novels don’t really fit well into my standards. Yes, the Sakura visual novel series have some pretty commendable art, but I just couldn’t take the bland writing (insert Sakura Swim Club here).
So, my expectations for Sakura Dungeon were not that high. I dismissed it as another cheap candy hawked by an adult game developer who has a reputation for concealing amateurish storyline with fucking nice-looking art and scantily clad female characters. As I clicked play, I was ready to be greeted with hopeless gameplay and tired scenes and dialogues.
But then, as I played the game, I realized that my expectations were wrong. The fucking old dog Winged Cloud just redeemed itself by releasing this dungeon crawler with dope gameplay and high standard production values. The game design, level of combat, characterization, and challenges are fucking amazing.
If you want to learn more about this game, check out below my comprehensive, no-bullshit review of Sakura Dungeon.
The storyline of Sakura Dungeon is pretty clear and straightforward. Although the story narrative is better compared to those other Sakura series, the writers could have polished it a little bit more. But it’s good to go, anyway.
Well, the game starts with a young adventurer named Ceri accidentally waking the former dungeon lord and ancient fox spirit, Yomi. A band of adventurers sealed Yomi in a deep sleep for hundreds of years. During that time, the ancient fox spirit was stripped of her magical powers after some unknown Usurper gained control of her dungeon.
The fucking hot vixen spirit then decided to team up with Ceri (who also has a fucking busty body that will get you an instant boner) to find out all the shit that befell her. Ceri agreed (or voodooed by the ancient fox spirit to agreeing) to help Yomi reclaim her dungeon.
Ceri’s first mission is to raid the dungeon and try to defeat the lord who usurped it while Yomi’s in deep slumber. This is no fucking easy task as the busty young adventurer Ceri have to fight dozens of female monsters as she ventures deep into the scary shithole of a dungeon and helps Yomi get back her dearly missed domain. The scenes and dialogues are pretty confined into this story concept of dungeon crawling. As you go through the game, you will know the mission of Ceri and how and why Yomi was put into a fucking long and deep sleep.
The plot development and setting need to get worked out a little bit. But, overall, the writing has a professional quality to it — excellent choice of words, smooth flow of sentences, and spot-on descriptions. You also don’t see any typos that you often notice in low-quality, sorry-ass adult video games.
Characterization and Interaction is Fucking Well Done
Although there is a need to develop more, the setting and plot development, characterization, and interaction between characters and monsters deserved to get a thumbs-up. The conversational exchanges between the characters are well-written. The voluptuous girls have a great deal of playful and naughty banter with each other, a thing that spices up this game (after all, Sakura Dungeon is an adult video game).
It’s not only Yomi and Ceri who have something to say as the dungeon crawling progresses. The monsters and characters they met and captured along the way also have lines in the dungeon events. The cute girl monsters represent the typical role-playing game enemies. There are boars, witches, slimes, pandas, bunnies, tigers, and many more.
The remarks from each of the characters will often get responses from your party members. Of course, this is something to highlight as you don’t often see this commendable shit in eroges with a large cast of characters. This remarkable dogged characterization results in a great deal of optional text on the screen. It also leads to some gamers developing an attachment to the side characters.
The dialogues in certain dungeon events will depend on the characters you have chosen in your team. So, that’s a fucking awesome twist to the game that will not let you in a deep slumber like the main character Yomi. This feature also provides the Sakura Dungeon a lot of replay value.
Pretty Decent Gameplay
As you can expect from turn-based dungeon crawling games, you have to spend fucking 20 hours and more scouring the dungeon and fighting the foes you’ll meet along the way in this game. There are different mechanics, layout, visual, and audio effects as you get on every level.
You have to go through a total of 28 levels, and six different types of levels, every one of them has a piece of unique ambient music. There are hidden doors and treasures to discover that open up to another different layout. Do you want to make the exploration exciting? Well, some levers allow you to open a particular door and to close another, buttons that unlock another entryway, magical portals, or teleport fields that make your disappear and appear in a specific place. With all that magic and shit, this game is indeed interesting.
Your team consists of six units: three fighting at the front and three backups. Characters on the frontline accumulate normal XP, while the ones in reserve get only a fraction of XP. Depending on their resilience stat, every unit can recover HP gradually during battle or in every two steps. Of course, you have to switch units to get some HP boost.
Each member of your team has base stats, battle skills, and passive skills. If you want to check how effective your fucking character in using the three attack types (spells, ranged, melee), resisting damage, and evading attacks, you have to see your base stats and buff it up as you wish.
There are up to six various battle skills that every unit can acquire. The game gives you the option to specialize in one or more attack types to penetrate enemy defenses. Unlike the battle skills and stats, passive abilities can’t be customized as they are innate to the character. However, some units can get extra passive abilities via events. Passive abilities make your units sturdy, evasive, and accurate.
Most battles in this game are quite random, but there are enemy markers in some levels that get you into a fight when you step on them. Also, you have to defeat a boss before you can enter the next level.
One tip for newbies out there is to manage action points (AP) wisely to increase your chances of winning your battles. Aside from picking the ideal set of battle skills, the AP of your unit also increases its critical resistance and evasion. If your unit has full AP, it will be sturdy as fuck, hard to hit, and nearly impossible to get critically hit. Utilize your low damage skills when confronting an enemy with high AP as these skills are highly accurate. If your opponent’s AP is low, use high damage skills.
Concentration power (CP) is essential later in the game. You can increase your CP by scoring hits and beating your enemies. It is consumed when your unit utilizes a powerful skill or takes a critical hit. Use your CP to make your unit enter a flow state or increase its critical rate, evasion, and hit rate.
Lack of Sexual Stuff
I think Sakura Dungeon is not for hardcore gamers who want to play an adult video game with hardcore sexual content. For one, there is no male character who can fuck the cute, busty bitches with his knob. In other words, fucking perverts will find the game a bit boring in terms of the lack of sexual stuff.
But don’t be mistaken, though. Sakura Dungeon still has hot erotic scenes between the female characters. For instance, aside from the already scant clothes worn by the main characters and monsters, compromising positions and torn clothing are an arousing highlight, especially when monsters are defeated or captured. But I read a comment from some motherfucker who has played the game, telling that there should be a defeat rape to make the game more sexually appealing. Genius idea, isn’t it?
Moreover, the body types of the characters are pretty much the same, which indeed failed to address the sexual preferences of different sexually twisted minds out there. Almost all the 53 characters have the same size of boobs, only different in the colors of hair and face types. Also, the erotic scenes often deviate from the context of the narrative, which is definitely a thumbs-down for me.
Talking about the storyline, characterization, gameplay, and level of combat, Sakura Dungeon deserves your playtime. But if you’re looking for hardcore sexual content in the game, I think you’ll only be disappointed. Overall, this adult video game has some merits to be called the best eroge developed by Winged Cloud due to its high-standard production values.