Review by WGrube

Reviewed: 11/27/00 | Updated: 11/27/00

12 beautiful girls, so little time

A year of delays could not diminish the anticipation of what was to be one of the greatest dating simulator games ever. Sentimental Graffiti 2, the sequel to the original Sentimental Graffiti on the Sega Saturn system of Japan, promised to offer a great deal more depth in game play and of course, superb graphics that only the dreamcast could offer.

2 versions of the game are offered, regular and limited. The regular edition is a 2-disc game in a double CD holder package. The limited edition includes a large laminated sticker poster and a bonus CD. Each bonus CD has a picture of only one of the 12 girls, making the CDs’ collectable. This CD is a huge let down. Instead of having new pictures or nice music files, it is only a picture gallery that was included with the original Sentimental graffiti game for the Sega Saturn. If you viewed the original, this new CD offers very little extra besides some more movie footage of the real actresses. A book is also available with all the pictures titled, ‘Sentimental Graffiti image art works’, which is rather nice to view as all the pictures are quite large.

The story is the heart of a game, and Sentimental Graffiti 2’s story has some major flaws. Watch the opening FMV movie. Was that you that just got run over by a truck? Oh, yes it was. This is one of the lousiest story transitions I have ever heard of. You don’t just suddenly kill off the main character from the original and forget about him. Although this allows for a lot of dramatic tension between all the girls and this new character, it is obvious a bad plot put together in a hurry to meet a deadline.

Each girl has a unique story line, with many girls interacting with one another. It seems that from the prior tragedy, all the girls have become familiar and have formed a bond. A deep plot is involved that gives the game real depth.

Game play is very good. Menus are easy to understand, and the game can be saved almost anywhere. The actual search method has been extremely simplified. Little arrows turn colors to indicate different events. You don’t have to visit places where no one is at, since the arrows mark that no one is there. The whole area I actually tiny compared to the first game. You no longer traverse the entire country of Japan; you are now confined to a small area of a city. This causes plenty of repetition, however, this is quite bearable, and becoming familiar with the different areas seems to be part of enjoying the game.

Music is excellent. Each girl does not really have their own theme song as in the previous game; music is set by event mood and location. The only drawback is that since you spend so much time on the main map, the background music for it gets real repetitive, causing severe boredom at times. There are also various sound effects that are done well.

Graphics are unbelievable. Backgrounds are rendered beautifully in pastel-like colors. Even advanced features are used, such as having the cherry blossoms twirl as they fall. All the girls are also drawn beautifully. The movement of each girls’ lips does not quite match the audio speech timing, but that will not be noticeable after an hour or so.

Overall, this is a great buy, that is, if you like dating simulators. If you cant understand any Japanese, or don’t enjoy listening to speech that cannot be understood, this may not be for you. It is very easy to play with or without knowing Japanese, but the entertainment value may not he there. So far this is the best dating simulator available for the Dreamcast that is unless Konami decides to release future renowned titles.

Rating: 8

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