Category Archives: Sakura Taisen

Sega announces Shenmue 1&2 HD and a new Sakura Taisen game

read the details online.

I’m surprised this was the first announcement of Megadrive Mini because I could swear I actually saw a Japanese site talk about it some days ago, and it wasn’t on April 1st so I don’t think it was a joke. Article was titled something like “Sega gets back into the hardware business” only to reveal they’re actually talking about a Megadrive Mini. Maybe it was supposed to be a leak, or a joke article which later came true. It had like 10k RTs too.

I actually like most remasters. True, it’s better to see new games, and depending on when they get released it can feel like you “wasted” time playing the original version. If a remaster or port with new content gets released only a few years later, it sucks. I know I’m happy I haven’t played Shining Resonance when I see Shining Resonance Refrain is coming out(Actually I’m happy I never played Shining Resonance period, its a good small budget game but there’s much better games to spend time on.) That’s also why I did a single 100% coop run of P5 and haven’t done a new game +, in case they announce a enhanced version.But remasters are cool. It makes it easier to replay games, and make them discover to kids in your family. Assuming you have the money to buy them.

Anyway, first off about Shenmue. I’m a huge Shenmue fan. It’s the first game we got on Dreamcast along with a demo CD, when I was in last years of elementary. It’s the game that broadened my English knowledge after learning the basics with stuff like Wonder Boy 3, Slayers, Kare Kano, Pokemon, ALTTP or FF6. I used to know every line in the game. When I first played Shenmue 2 in 2002 or so, I already knew there would never be a sequel so I was quite disheartened when I reached the end. I clung to hope over the years but by 2009 or something I completely gave up seeing the end of Shenmue in this lifetime. Last time I replayed Shenmue1&2 was in 2006 or something, I had heard about the duck race/medals subquest and the russian? girl bonus fight etc on the net, something I had never discovered, so decided to redo both games just to do it.
I remember thinking Yu Suzuki should just release a novel & reading an interview where he said he doesn’t want to. When Shenmue 3 actually got announced, I was really happy but at the same time full of doubt. My crave for Shenmue 3 just disappeared over the years. I didn’t back the kickstarter either, though that’s mostly because my favorite game journalists (RIP Nolife) convinced me it was weird. Plus there’s the fact that even this 3rd episode won’t be the end of the story. If 3 doesn’t sell we’ll just get back to square one, and sadly I don’t think it’ll sell.

I’ll probably get Shenmue 1&2 on PC though. At least that way I can replay it without worrying about the PAL dreacmast’s horrible lens dying.

Everyone on the net says Shenmue is a cult game, but once 1&2HD is out I doubt most people will actually buy it. In late 2000 or so when more and more games got out of Japan, I used to think the era of myths from the 90(it was even before too but I was born then) with people assuming a japan only game they saw in a magazine is automatically a masterpiece, would be over. Over the years I think this actually became way worse.  I don’t think most people who praise Shenmue or Sakura Taisen on the net actually played them, and I don’t think most of them will actually spend money to buy these news ones.

Most people won’t buy Shenmue once they see some popular reviewers or streamers call it boring. I myself often call Ryu ga Gotoku the successor of Shenmue, but both series are strongly different. In Yakuza, you always have action and billions of things to do anytime. Shenmue is a slow paced detective like game where you need to question tons of people and do a lot of backtracking in small areas (compared to today’s standards), with most fights being QTE only, and with only a few “free battle” fights where you’ll get to play Virtua Figther. While extremely slow paced and with a lot of time to do side things, your time is also restricted during many arcs of the games, with stuff like the forklift race and work in the 3rd CD of Shenmue 1, or all the part time jobs and later book training every morning during a big part of Shenmue 2. (Book training and sakura petal catching training which I had completely mastered last time I replayed it)

As for Sakura Taisen, I myself am one of those “fake” fans. I’ve known the series since I was a kid. It’s knowledge of Sakura Taisen and Sega AM7/Overworks which made me interested in Eternal Arcadia after seeing its trailer on Ruliweb, and later on Senjou no Valkyria. I watched all the anime versions too. But I actually never played a single game, except Hanagumi Taisen Columns 2. In my opinion very few people on the English side of the net who praise Sakura Taisen actually ever played any of the games, not even 5. Things are better on the french side though, not counting me. Maybe I’m pessimistic but I think the new Sakura Taisen will only sell well in Japan where it has always been popular with stuff like the musicals. ST5 released in 2005 in Japan but they’ve maintained the license since then. They recently did LINE stamps too(which I put as OP pic). Sakura Taisen got many apparitions over the years in tons of stuff. Its characters were in Projet x Zone. In collabs with huge mobage like Grandad Fantasy. It was added to SRW for the first time in 2017, though in the SRW mobage, and they just added Paris Kagekidan on April 2018. There was the Sakura Taisen Kanadegumi spinoff manga too, with a girl being the main character& an all male team. And there was a mobage as well, which the Sakura pic above is from, which closed some time ago.

Even if they release some kind of 1-5 compilation,(which would be a must buy if it’s done well, including stuff like the anime sequences from the saturn version of 1&2) I don’t think it’ll sell outside Japan. I think it’ll be the same problem as Shenmue. And again, most people will say it’s boring, discovering most of the games are like a VN.

If there’s new characters, I’m really looking forward to which seiyuu they’ll pick. And if they’ll restart live shows/musical again.

Maybe I’ll end up getting Shenmue 3 anyway. I hope you’ll be able to transfer your save from Shenmue 1&2 HD. I still have my Dreamcast VMs too.

Edit: Fun fact, late August 2018 I watched an online friend playing through the last parts of Shenmue 2 and all the love I have for the game suddenly came back haha. I’m more hyped than ever for 3.

Sakura Taisen 20th anniversary



1st Sakura Taisen was released on Saturn on 27 September 1996

sakura-taisen-line-stamps-2 sakura-taisen-line-stamps-1

They’re releasing stamps for LINE

Still waiting for the day it gets into SRW

This is probably the game franchise I like the most I actually never played one of the main games of. Only watched the animes, played Hanagumi Taisen Columns and watched siblings play some of 3.
I’ve also always been a big fan of Team Shinobi/AM7/Overwork/Sega Wow ever since I was a kid and probably the first video game development studio I learned of. The team’s staff changed over the decades and I honestly can’t tell who worked on what, but they always made masterpieces. From Alex Kidd&Shinobi&Bare Knuckle to Eternal Aracdia&Senjou no Valkyria.

Still one of the funniest scenes ever.