Developers' Diary

Thing

Sakura Taisen V is over, and it was a worthy addition to the series. I had a lot of skepticism, but for the most part, Red pulled it together and gave us what we’ve come to expect.

I just popped in a couple of games I had around from my last trip to Akihabara, to see what they are like: Dousoukai 2 Again & Refrain, and Elysion. I bought both games because I like the character designers (especially Yokota Mamoru); I didn’t really know much about the games themselves. I realized that while gal-games/visual-novels are (metaphorically, but certainly not literally) a dime a dozen, the kind I really appreciate, the ones with some je-ne-sais-quoi, are quite rare. The only common themes that I can find in the ones I’ve truly enjoyed are some sense of honesty and purity.

Many games might as well say on the box, “If you’ve never had a romantic relationship and you need to simulate one, try this.” I actually don’t think that’s necessarily a bad thing. But that’s not a game for me. I like a game in which there happens to be a love story, and you get some control over how it unfolds. This is how I try to explain gal-games in general to people: If when you play a game, you can guide the main character’s combat, movement, and pursuit of quests to save the world, why shouldn’t you be able to guide the love story as well?

Whatever it is that makes these games so pleasant to play, I hope we can trap it in Soft Landing.

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