In celebration of All Hallows’ Eve, Winged Cloud released a free-to-play title for the Sakura franchise. Is the game worth your time?
Length: Short (1 – 3 hours)
Lewdness: 3/3 (Lewd – Gratuitous Nudity, Explicit Scenes)
Summary: Countess Elizabeth is holding her annual Halloween party and Miyu de Lioncourt has not received an invitation. Convinced that the elderly vampire has merely forgotten, the vain and arrogant Miyu decides to invite herself and ends up running into Sabrina, her old flame. What will happen next after this fateful encounter between witch and vampire?
Before we get started, I would like to go over the meaning of the word, “consent.”
“permission, approval, or agreement; compliance; acquiescence”
Got it? Good.
Because you won’t be getting much of that if you play Sakura Halloween.
I’ve only played some of the newer Sakura games (the oldest I’ve played is Sakura Fantasy – I’ll get to writing a review for that one sooner or later) and I will firmly defend Sakura Space and Sakura Gamer to be decently written despite being a porn game first and foremost. Unfortunately, I can’t say the same about Sakura Halloween. There are a few reasons why I believe the game falls short and has returned to the franchise’s roots (a good friend who is more familiar with Winged Cloud’s older games did not have good words to say about their earlier works. I believe the word she primarily used was “lesbianploitation,” which happens to describe Sakura Halloween quite well).
The first reason that comes to mind is that the game is simply too short, which forces the plot to be simple and rushed. However, the fact that Miyu forces herself on Sabrina repeatedly is the major turn-off for me. I will admit that Winged Cloud seems to not understand the concept of personal space and physical boundaries considering that there’s always one or two touchy-feely characters in their yuri visual novels.
Still, Sabrina was very much insistent on rejecting Miyu, who continuously ignored her protests. And then it turns out Sabrina did indeed miss Miyu yet has qualms about letting Miyu into her life once again for very good reasons (i.e. Miyu’s egomania, single-track-mind, etc made things embarrassing and difficult for Sabrina in the past). That’s another set-up that Winged Cloud is fond of, by the way – the girls who say no actually really want it, apparently. No should mean no, but not in their games! So this sort of development isn’t exactly unexpected, but it still doesn’t justify Miyu’s brutish methods. What happened to just talking things out over a cup of coffee? I guess getting physical does speed things up, but the rape-y vibes are simply too much.
Be that as it may, the game does a decent enough job establishing a Halloween atmosphere. The graphics depict mansions and lights and Jack-o-Lanterns and the music involves several generic (yet serviceable) tunes that really do remind me of Halloween. I also did like how the game talked about how vampires are supposed to be bloodless which explains their pale skin. Vampires are considered to be sex gods and goddesses these days, but imagine getting touched by cold, lifeless hands and a tongue that’s like an icicle. That’s decidedly not sexy in my opinion, and I’m glad that the game brought it up. However, the game also decided to make it sound like it was sexy and I’m not sure I’m convinced. Your mileage may vary.
Which leads me to talking about the erotic scenes – the main draw in any Sakura game. Girls are attractive and the intimate activities could be considered arousing (plus, I really like the song that plays during raunchy moments since it’s rather classy and makes me feel warm. I’m pretty sure it’s the song, at least). That goes doubly so if you’re into candy. However, I have a hard time believing that Sabrina has never been the top. Then again, she apparently was a meek girl back when the two were dating so there was a bit of (off-screen) character development for the witch. Miyu, as Sabrina claims around halfway into the game, is basically incorrigible, but apparently she did feel bad when Sabrina dumped her so there’s that.
I must admit it’s rather difficult finding pictures to use that are actually SFW. But the game does have some funny and/or insightful moments from time to time.
tl;dr – Sakura Halloween is a short game showing Miyu, an arrogant vampire, having her way with Sabrina, her ex-girlfriend who happens to be a witch. None of the typical “Oh, but two girls can’t love each other” remarks, but Miyu is not that far from being a rapist which is quite unpleasant. Sakura Halloween does a decent job evoking Halloween, at least, so if you’re able to stomach Miyu’s forceful “tactics” you could be in for a sweet (due to the candy, mostly, but I will admit the two could be a cute couple despite Miyu’s behavior) time.