There’s really not a lot to say about this one; partly due to its inherent mail-ness (as with all the other unplayable in the traditional sense Sakura Wars spinoffs the case and the spine card both make very clear this is mail software), and partly because it just doesn’t boot past the publisher/developer logos, not even on a real Dreamcast, unless you’re all network setting’d up and ready to mail someone using the power of Sega, twenty years ago.
The good news is the thirty page manual’s on hand to let us know what we could have busied ourselves doing, and to nobody’s surprise that’s sending emails. More specifically, Sakura Wars 2 themed emails via a rather pretty kinematron-style interface (if you’ve not caught a description of those yet elsewhere – they’re the series’ wood-set videophones), optionally written on pretty stationary and decorated with a variety of cute little Flower Division stamps.
There is of course a caveat: Pretty much the first thing you see when you open the manual is a half-page warning – complete with an illustrated diagram – making it very clear that while you can mail anyone using the Hanagumi Mail disc (as well as receive in kind), only other people viewing your message through the same program will actually get to see your Orihime-adorned communications as you intended them to look when you sent them rather than as a plain text message.
It served a function that is now so no longer necessary it doesn’t even really matter that the disc is little more than a coaster for most people these days even when if they did have all the necessary hardware; which sounds all very underwhelming but in reality is no different from any other themed mail program out there at the time, which even on the Dreamcast was definitely more than one. I know I’d have enjoyed using it at any rate.
Also included in the box is a bonus GD-ROM advertising the then-upcoming Sakura Wars 3: There are two options to choose from, one showing the game’s opening FMV sequence, the other a live presentation from Tokyo Joypolis showing off the game and the new cast. I feel a personal obligation to say something more descriptive but in all honesty the sentence above pretty much covers everything you need to know about that.
🌸Sakura Wars 1 and 2
🌸Fan Discs and related frippery
Sakura Wars Hanagumi Tsushin (Saturn)
Sakura Wars Steam Radio Show (Saturn)
Teigeki Graph in Sakura Wars (Saturn)
Sakura Wars Denmaku Club 1 & 2 (Windows)
Ogami Ichiro Funtouki (Dreamcast)
Sakura Wars Online (Dreamcast)
Sakura Wars Kinematron Hanagumi Mail (Dreamcast)
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