Sakura Wars: So Long, My Love Scrutinized By The ESRB

By Spencer . January 22, 2010 . 10:48am


Sakura Wars: So Long, My Love went through the usual poking and prodding by the ESRB staff before they rated it “T” for teen and outlined the game’s “references to the female anatomy.”


Not many spoilers follow so you can read the description, which explains the downside of being a peeping tom in Sakura Wars: So Long, My Love without worries.


In this role-playing game, set in a fantastical version of New York City (circa 1925), players fight to protect the city from attacks by evil spirits summoned from medieval Japan. The game revolves around the adventures of Shinjiro Taiga, a young military cadet from Japan, and his team of five female "mech" pilots. During the strategic mech battles, players fight opposing enemy robots and demons by using an assortment of blasters, laser whips/chains, and blades. Damage is indicated by mechs breaking apart, hit points floating on screen, and a cascade of shimmering lights—overtly fantastical violence. Stylized animated cutscenes may depict a character getting impaled (in red-and-black silhouette) or a mech getting destroyed by a swinging scythe. During the course of the game, players may hear some profanity (e.g., "sh*t," "bullsh*t," and "b*tch")—a factor for the Teen rating.


[The following provides more in-depth details, relevant factors and reasons for the rating assignment]


The game also receives a Teen rating for its sexual themes. Bizarre dialogue includes references to the female anatomy and beyond; for example, "You’ve got dynamite knockers," "Isn’t Sis way hotter?," "You got the prettiest butt around," and "I was just patrolling the museum, when the thing started shaking!" Some of these phrases are as random as they sound (uncommon idioms, jolting non sequiturs); other comments have a more direct/directed context: a woman asks players which body part they find most attractive; players move their cursor over the woman’s chest to trigger the response "Well your breasts, of course." Though all visual depictions are minimal (e.g., anime-style still images of fully clothed females), players do have the ability to zoom-in on body parts, snap photos, say things like "Can I touch ’em?," and peek-in on female characters about to remove their shirts. In this last mentioned instance, players face the consequences of their peeping, losing "trust points" with the female mech pilots, receiving a mild rebuke (e.g., "I’m trying to get dressed in here! Scram, would ya?!" and "Get your scrawny a*s outta here before I call the police!").

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  • “…players move their cursor over the woman’s chest to trigger the response “Well your breasts, of course.”

    This deserves a headline of its own. ESRB biased toward boobs over ass!

    (Nick, how much of this was your doing?)

    • I filed all the ESRB stuff, but the text was all the previous editor’s. The funny thing is, in the situation you described, that’s actually the -correct- response. You get trust points from everybody. It’s hilarious and strange.

      • Sigh. Japan, Japan, Japan. I will never understand some things about you. Why are boobs the correct response when it’s scientifically proven that the rear is superior?

      • It would be hilarious if the game reset without warning if you poke anyone’s vag.

    • nyoron

      This may actually be a Sega/Red bias, not be the ESRB. I played through 1 and 2 and I don’t think I ever had the option to put the cursor on anyone’s ass. Maybe the series has evolved to full body lechery by this game though.

      • One must always aspire to greatness, nyoron-san.

  • Nekobo


  • Want. Now.

  • Well, hell, I was only mildly interested before. Now this is virtually a must-buy! :P

    (Oh, who am I kidding, I was looking forward to this before.)

  • pressstart

    I’m mildly appalled for the use of “sh*t,” “bullsh*t,” “b*tch,” and “a*s.” For some reason, I never expected it to appear in a Sakura Wars game.

    Whatever, I had it preordered when it was available for preorder.

  • cj_iwakura

    Whoever the guy is who does this, he must love his job.

    • I wonder if he goes absolutely crazy on games he knows no one will look up.

  • nyoron

    “I was just patrolling the museum, when the thing started shaking!”

    Wait, are they claiming there’s some kind sexual reference there? Really?

    • Pichi

      Depends on the context on the story(did the person talk about the museum or talking about the other kind.). Could be innocent or sneaky metaphor.

      • nyoron

        So “patrolling the museum” is a euphemism for some kind of sex act? Huh, never heard that one before. Maybe it sounds naughtier in context, but it just seems to me like an odd sentence for the ESRB to single out. Even though my mind is generally in the gutter I didn’t even flinch at that line.

        *edit* Or wait are we talking about “the thing” here? That’s like, 1st grader level innuendo!

        • Pichi

          Yep, “the thing” is most likely what the ESRB is targeting. Do they really have to lay out alot of this stuff on their site?? Sheesh, they make it sound dirtier than probably what it really is.

  • A ha ha ha ha ha!

  • StealthKnight

    I hope the game is not too sexual otherwise I will have to play after my family goes to bed or on the weekends when they work. They don’t handle such things well along with swearing like the f-word

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