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



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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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