- Released: 03/28/1997 (Japan)
- Developer: Sega
- Publisher: Sega
A mere 6 months after the release of the original Sakura Taisen on the Sega Saturn comes the Sakura Taisen series’ second piece of spin-off software. Whereas the first piece was a somewhat odd digital newsletter, making the second piece a Columns game made all the sense in the world since Columns is also a Sega property. A gut reaction may be that this is going to be a lazily put together game, crossing the two franchises in the most basic ways possible. I would urge anyone who feels this way to suppress this opinion and actually give the game a try though, as it ended up being quite surprisingly good.
The style of play is pretty standard fair to anyone who has ever played a Columns game before, or just about any puzzle game really: Sets of 3 colored jewels fall down from above in columns, and you can switch the order in which the colors are stacked (though not the horizontal or vertical orientation of the piece itself. This is Columns after all, not Tetris!) as the column falls down. If you match three or more of the same colored jewels horizontally, vertically or diagonally those jewels will disappear and you earn points. One new feature that doesn’t appear in basic versions of Columns is the gauge allows you to take special actions. The more blocks you clear, the more your gauge fills up. When it builds up once, you’re given the choice of a few different actions: Attack, Save, or Defend.
|The details found in this game are very nice. Notice Sakura and Iris actually holding controllers and playing the game.||The menu that you see when your gauge fills up.|