Title Card Captor Sakura
Developer/Publisher Arika
Type Adventure
English Version Not Available
Reviews #1

Review #1 by Jotaru

Card Captor Sakura is currently one of the most popular anime and manga series in Japan, created by CLAMP (X, RG Veda and Tokyo Babylon). To make a game that is based on a popular series like this, it can be a major challenge. Why? As most anime fans know, most video games that based on anime series don't usually turn out so well (ex: Macross VFX-1, The Vision of Escaflowne...etc). Luckily, Card Captor Sakura for Playstation turns out to be a nice game. Don't get me wrong, it's not an exceptional game, but it's definitely good enough to satisfy the fans, especially the younger fans. By the way, this game is developed by Arika, the company who behinds all the Street Fighter EX games for the arcades and Playstation. This is quite a surprise to see Arika who specializing 3D fighting games have licensed Card Captor Sakura and made it as a cute 2D game.

The story is about a young girl named Sakura. One day, while walking through her father's library, she found a book called Clow Book, it's designed to hold cards (Clow Cards). She accidentally did a spell on one of the Clow Cards, so all the Clow Cards have flied outside the house and spread all around the city. Then the Clow Book's guardian, Kerberos appeared and told her that she needs to find all these cards; otherwise, the cards will cause various troubles. Each Clow Card has a spirit living inside, each one has its own special power (ex: wind, water, jump, shadow...etc). In order to capture these Clow Cards, she will need to use her existing cards, helps from friends and certainly, her own confidence to overcome all these obstacles.

Difficulty: One simple word - easy. Like the anime or manga series, this game targets for the kids, especially little girls. So the gameplay is designed for kids in mind. If you're an adult and looking for a challenge game, this one will disappoint you. On the bright side, this game is very cute and appealing to the fans, some adults will probably enjoy it quite a lot. One problem for the foreign fans is that this game has a lot of Japanese text and voices. If you don't know much Japanese language, you will have to play it with trial and error. Fortunately, this game is easy enough that you should not have too much troubles to play through it. If you have watched the anime TV series before, this will certainly help you to play through the game more easily.

Gameplay: Each stage is broken up exactly like the original anime TV series (ex: the first stage is the first episode). In the story mode, you control the main character walking around the screen, like talking with people, interacting with objects and searching for clues. A lot of the times, the computer controls where you go and what you do, this is somewhat a limitation, but I understand the developer wants to make it simple enough for the kids to understand. After through the story mode, you will enter the game mode which it usually has a bit more actions. For example in the first stage, you have to jump up and down to avoid the wind spirit. Or in the third stage, you have to lead the water spirit to break through the door. Once in a while, Sakura's best friend, Tomoyo is also controllable in certain stages. After each stage, you will able to save it into the memory card. In this game, there's also an option for you to use the Pocket Station, but since I don't have this device, I cannot comment about it.

Graphics: The hand-drawn 2D artworks are exceptional. As you see from the pictures, the characters are all designed in SD (Super-Deformed) forms, very cute (kawaii!!). The sprites animate quite well, not using a lot of frames, but decent enough for this type of game. The background environments are drawn in overhead 3/4 perspective views, very nicely drawn. Throughout the games, there are many FMV scenes showing frequently, that's why this game comes with 2 CDs. All the FMV scenes are directly transferred from the original anime TV series. If you have watched the TV series, you should see all of them before. The FMV scenes transferred pretty well, you don't see too much pixelization like the other games.

Music/Sound/Voice: There're tons of voice samples in this game, they're all the same lines that you heard from the TV series. Of course, all the voices are in Japanese. The music and sound effects are pretty well-done, they're mostly from the TV series as well.

Overall, as an anime-based game, this is pretty well-done. And everything in this game can be described in one word, cute. The graphics and voices are so cute that will hook the fans in for the long haul. Like I mentioned earlier, this game is built for kids in mind, so the difficulty is easy for kids to play. If you're looking for a challenging game, you may want to look elsewhere. Card Captor Sakura fans will want to check this game out, it's definitely one of the better anime based games available for Playstation.

Score: Best out of 10