Sakura Taisen

Original Title
Official Website
Sakura Taisen (sometimes referred to as Sakura Wars) is Sega's long running dating-sim-adventure-game-cum-SRPG; this particular re-release of the first game came out in 2007, eleven years after the game debuted on the Saturn. To distinguish itself from the previous PC release this DVD version comes bundled with the Sakura Taisen desktop accessory program which was originally sold separately. This program has a selection of character themed wallpapers, screensavers and voice clips designed to be used with your PC. Rather than recycled content from the game the voice clips are specially recorded system messages, so you can have Kanna notifying you of new email or Sumire commenting on you emptying the recycle bin.
The game places you in the shoes of Ogami Ichiro, new captain of the all-female Teikoku Kagekidan Hana Gumi. In a nutshell, they pose as a fully functional (and very successful) theatre company but when danger calls (up to and including Satan) they get into steam powered mechanical suits and kick demon backside. Sakura Taisen's addition to the adventure game formula is the LIPS system, which gives you a limited time to react to dialogue choices . Holding off can occasionally be a benefit though – sometimes new and better options open up if you can take the time to assess the situation properly. To further complicate things each member of the Hanagumi will react differently to the decisions you make, for example Maria will be impressed by strong leadership… but that same choice could upset the young and emotional Iris. It is beneficial to cultivate positive reactions from everyone, as these feelings translate into stat bonuses for the SRPG sections. Unlike some adventure/dating games Sakura Taisen features no "bad end" choices that end the game in failure.
The SRPG battle segments are infrequent and designed more as a change of pace than as a "proper" SRPG. There are no equipment or levels to worry about and strategic options are limited to basic concerns of attack/defend/range. Battles are played out on a traditional SRPG grid with each character/enemy having varying movement/attack ranges. These phases can be played out in either order, making it possible to attack and then move if desired. Special attacks are possible when a characters secondary gauge is fully charged up, this fills up either when damage is taken or by taking a turn out to charge it manually.
Completed save data from this can be carried over to Sakura Taisen 2.
A full printable English translation can be found on GameFAQs, however to date there have been no attempts to insert English dialogue into the game itself. Sakura Taisen has seen official translations into Chinese and Russian.