Word is in from English eroge localization brand G-Collections that their latest title, Snow Sakura, is in stock and shipping now! This is the English text, uncensored version of D.O.‘s 2003-released Yukizakura (Erogamescape), and having recently nursed it through development I can personally vouch for its entertainment value, and recommend it highly. If you would like to support HD you can purchase the game at J-List, though it’s available elsewhere as well – the bottom line is that you should get this game, regardless of source. Read on for why:

Top 10 reasons to play Snow Sakura


Heisei Democracy [ERO] Game News: G-Collections' Snow Sakura now shipping!

10. Sex, sex, sex.

Let’s get this out of the way first: this is an eroge. It has sex. Like sex in other media (novels, movies, TV shows, etc.) the sex in most eroge is simply a part of the story, and Snow Sakura falls into this category; it’s not a sex sim or a wet dream fantasy, it’s a story that, like many other stories about human life, contains erotic elements. I happen to think the balance between story and ero is particularly good here, but if you’re buying the game purely as a masturbation aid you’ll probably be disappointed.


Heisei Democracy [ERO] Game News: G-Collections' Snow Sakura now shipping!

9. Romance.

Snow Sakura offers a lot of great romantic scenarios later in the game as you choose to pursue one of the game’s five female protagonists. From dates out on the town to huddled conversations in your own private snow fort to trysts beneath the blooming snow sakura tree, the warmth and humanity of the characters feels strong throughout the game, and the romantic love is fiercely believable.


Heisei Democracy [ERO] Game News: G-Collections' Snow Sakura now shipping!

8. Humor!

Snow Sakura is a tremendously funny game. It’s not a comedy, but it relishes in the moments of humor in everyday life in the way you do when you’re with your best friends, people with whom you can play off of naturally. Ordinary situations are rendered comical by the clever writing of Kitagawa Samui (whose name itself is a pun meaning “the north side is cold”), and the lighthearted tone of much of the game works very effectively to contrast with moments of drama and tension that inevitably arise.


Heisei Democracy [ERO] Game News: G-Collections' Snow Sakura now shipping!

7. Culture.

From the loving portrayal of small town life in snowbound Hokkaido to obscure Japanese historical figures to the subtleties of mah jong, Snow Sakura exudes ambiance like a Thomas Kinkade painting (only it’s actually good). If you’re looking for a gaming experience that immerses you in the culture and setting of a lovely and little-explored niche of Japanese life, this is the game for you.


Heisei Democracy [ERO] Game News: G-Collections' Snow Sakura now shipping!

6. Friendship.

Friendship is the central theme of Snow Sakura and is conceptually the game’s strongest suit. You begin the game as an outsider, but are readily adopted into a group of oddball companions who you soon come to care for deeply. In this respect the game is quite simply fun, and it provides a foundation for both the humor and the dramatic moments that unfold as your tightly knit group encounters obstacles in the pursuit of happiness that must be overcome. Warm camaraderie wins the day!


Heisei Democracy [ERO] Game News: G-Collections' Snow Sakura now shipping!

5. ‘Tis the season!

Snow Sakura is a “fuyuge” (冬ゲー), or “winter game”, in the finest tradition of titles that use the season for dramatic effect. The cold environment of Hokkaido is as much a character in the game as the human cast, and provides a beautiful backdrop for the warmth of human feeling that grows throughout the game. The fact that it’s winter right now (in the northern hemisphere; apologies to Aussies, New Zealanders, South Africans, Brazilians, Argentinians, and Chileans everywhere) adds to the lovely timing of this release – there really isn’t a better time to enjoy a game like this than now, with a warm cup of cocoa by your side.


Heisei Democracy [ERO] Game News: G-Collections' Snow Sakura now shipping!

4. Rei.

Rei is one year your senior at the “academy” where you study. She loves mah jong, lives at a Shinto shrin, works part time as a miko priestess, and smokes cigarettes. She’s the textbook definition of a “kuu-dere” character, an offshoot of the tsundere archetype that is alternately “cool” and “dere” (lovey-dovey), and she’s one of my favorite characters in the game – the contrast between her cool, sardonic and slightly detached side and her tender romantic side is positively delicious. Did I mention that she’s the game’s token glasses-wearing girl?


Heisei Democracy [ERO] Game News: G-Collections' Snow Sakura now shipping!

3. Saki.

Saki is your cousin who you find yourself living with at the beginning of the game. She’s also my favorite character, primarily because she’s so down-to-earth and spunky – she likes what she likes (tormenting you), hates what she hates (studying), and she doesn’t put up with nonsense. She could be called tsundere, but I think she’s subtly different – if you choose to pursue her you’ll find that she goes after you with the same wholehearted zeal she uses in her daily attempts to wake you up (watch out for the flying drop kick, it’s brutal). Saki is my favorite of the game’s five heroines.


Heisei Democracy [ERO] Game News: G-Collections' Snow Sakura now shipping!

2. We want you!

As an American Secretary of Defense once said, “you go to war with the army you have.” Right now that army is Snow Sakura, and the battle is for the hearts and minds of English language gamers everywhere. If you think this is a battle that eroge should win, you can show your support by funding the effort – even if Snow Sakura isn’t exactly the game you want, your purchase now sends a critical message to forces of erotic gaming in an ever more cluttered entertainment landscape. The fate of English language eroge lies in our hands, my friends, and I believe it’s a battle worth winning.


Heisei Democracy [ERO] Game News: G-Collections' Snow Sakura now shipping!

1. NAKED UNCLE TAKEAKI.

Along with your self-proclaimed best friend Sumiyoshi, your uncle Takeaki provides the manly GAR factor necessary to remind you that Hokkaido is no place for pansies… and Snow Sakura is no game to miss. When it comes down to it it doesn’t matter where or how you get it, but if you have any affinity for eroge whatsoever you should play this game – you’ll be glad you did.