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For reasons that I do not understand, the visual novel porn genre has been taking off like wildfire in recent years, with games that inevitably manage to cram tons of Japanese hentai tropes into them. These games are great and all, but seeing as how there are so many of them and they’re all successful I’m forced to ask, who the hell is buying these things? They’re not free. Is there like an army of weebs out there who work tirelessly around the clock in order to afford every single hentai visual novel in existence?
That must be the case, because Sakura MMO has a huge following and boasts mostly positive reviews on Steam. Oh, right, Steam, I almost forgot. This is one of those genius porn games that is hosted on a platform that notoriously doesn’t allow proper hentai scenes, but the developer has released an external patch that can mod the sex back into the game. It’s a perfectly functional system, and I have absolutely issues with it. What I do have an issue with is that this game is one of many installments in Winged Cloud’s long-running series of visual novels, and it brings literally nothing new to the table. This game is literally only good for a speedrun to get to the smut scenes, then never play this game again.
Shallow, Hollow, Uninspired
I’m the guy who always says that visual novels aren’t my thing because they’re all about the story. But, this game’s story is so lackluster that it doesn’t fucking matter. All visual novels are story-less to me, because I don’t care. But, when the fans start complaining, you know that something’s wrong. These weebs take their hentai visual novels very seriously, so when they start huffing and puffing at a developer that they’ve been supporting for years, you know something’s rotten in the state of Weebmark.
The story to this game is very reminiscent to other Winged Cloud titles, if you were to take some of their best work and hold it under some running water for an hour. All of the quality writing that has come up in other Winged Cloud titles is magically gone. I’ll talk about the story of this game, but the story itself isn’t the problem. The story is fine. It has a great setup with a ton of potential. The problem lies in the actual writing chops of whoever strung it together. Now, I’m not the best writer in the world; I know that. I’m just a porn reviewer. But, if I personally manage to find a thousand and one mistakes across your game’s writing, and your game is literally three-quarters writing, then you know you’ve got a problem.
Typos and Oopsies
Visual novels have two parts. Art and text. That’s it. They sometimes also have voice acting, but you’ll have no such luck with Sakura MMO. More on that later. So, when the writing, which is also the core of the story and the core of the fucking gameplay is shit, you have a huge turd on your hands. This game’s writing comes across as the uninspired ramblings of a second rate keyboard jockey who’s trying to fill a quota. Think I’m being too harsh? Well, consider this. Every single character in this game is described by the protagonist as “very cute”. What, you’re not livid yet? What if I tell you that this isn’t a one-off? What if I tell you that the protagonist constantly calls everyone she meets “very cute”? What if I tell you that this happens hundreds of times across the entire fucking game? Crack open a thesaurus and look up and adjective, it’s not that hard.
And the typo-train doesn’t stop there. One out of 50 lines or so features a typo. How? How is this fucking possible? The software you type the lines in tells you when you’ve made a typo. This isn’t like mistaking fuck for duck or a chick’s asshole for her pussy. These are the kind of mistakes that no-one has any excuse for making. Entire fucking words are butchered. It’s bizarre.
Voice Acting Controversy
Just to be clear, again, this game has no voice acting. And, I’m pretty sure I know why. Winged Cloud fell into some hot water a couple of years back when they insulted the voice-over team that worked on their previous game, Guardian’s Spell, essentially accusing them for that game’s demise. The voice actors’ lead then took to Twitter, accusing them of … being dicks, essentially. She requested a public apology, nothing more, nothing less. This happened almost a year before the release of Sakura MMO, so I’d wager to bet all this hub bub is the reason this game shipped with no voice acting.
I personally have no idea who did what, behind the scenes. I do not know these people. What I do know is that this game could have really used some voice acting, and unfortunately, you’ll have to settle for less. At the very least, you get some chill vibe tunes in standard anime style, with a lot of bells and synth. It’s a very soothing soundtrack, but it doesn’t get me horny. It gets me relaxed. When I relax, my dick relaxes. That’s not conducive to good fapping sessions.
All right, with most of the criticism out of the way, let’s talk about the actual story to this game. I have a few gripes to share here as well, but I’ll try to contain myself. No promises. You play as Kotone, an average woman who happens to be a lawyer. She also happens to be very boring and not at all memorable. She’s the kind of chick you pass on the street, and you don’t even turn around to check out the goods when she’s past you. I like these kinds of protagonists because they encourage you to actually care about your character. I mean, before you get her to bend over, that is.
Aside from being a boring windbag of a woman, she also plays an MMO, called Asaph Online. Yes, by the way, that’s why there’s MMO in the title. This game is just a visual novel; it has no multiplayer whatsoever. In this MMO world, she role-plays as a rough and tough BDSM gimp… sorry. I mean, she’s a powerful mage bitch who enjoys stepping on people with her heel and treating them like shit—what a lovely human being. When I play MMOs, I always roleplay as a sweetheart. I simply walk up to all the women and offer them my cock. That’s because I’m a sunny, lovable person.
Anyways, a “mysterious force” sucks you into the world of the video game. This reminds me a lot of Sword Art Online. In fact, there’s obviously a lot of inspiration taken from that anime. So, now you have to basically live out your life within the MMO, but living as the chick’s avatar.
One thing Winged Cloud haven’t managed to fuck up or dip in quality is the art. This game, like the rest of their compendium, is of extremely high quality, and the sex scenes will send you for a fucking loop. With the nude patch, which you have to get from the developers’ Patreon, the game goes from a 9 to a 10 really quickly. All the sex scenes are fucking amazing, and I loved jacking off to them. Yes, I could have done without all the pointless rambling that came before, but you know I’m not a fan of visual novels, so, don’t take me too seriously.
As for the actual characters doing the fucking, they’re all chicks. That’s one thing that I really loved about this game. You play as a hot bitch; you fuck hot bitches. It’s a dream come true for me. I’m not saying I’d like to be a hot bitch; I’m saying I like multiple hot bitches naked together at a time. It works for me.
I don’t know if I can recommend Sakura MMO to you guys, as Winged Angel has a ton of better games. Maybe if you’ve played all the other ones, you can come back to this one, but until then I just can’t in good conscience suggest that you play this game. It doesn’t have voice acting, the writing is god-awful, and the smut scenes are just not worth the playthrough. They’re top-notch, but are you really willing to play a game for hours in order to jack off? It’s up to you. The game is up on Steam, and it’s rather cheap, so by all means, give it a whirl.
- Art style
- Uncensored sex scenes
- Chill music
- No voice acting
- Bad writing