Disclosure: This review was written with a copy of the game provided by MangaGamer.
Welcome to the universe of Space Pirate Sara, which takes place in the far future of our very own Milky Way. The galaxy slowly drifts towards anarchy, and the power of those who still keep some order is waning. The little political and military strength these forces have left is being used for their selfish greed and desperate land-grabbing.
Meanwhile, our heroine is out doing what space pirates do best: pillaging, acting cocky, and looking good while doing so.
For a nukige, Space Pirate Sara has a good deal of world-building behind it. It’s clear to see the writers behind the game did try to paint a coherent setting. Adding little dashes of characterization and history to spice up what is usually a very dull and cliché subgenre in that department was a good move.
From current events to the modern technology in the present age of the setting, I was surprised at just how much was fleshed out for this type of game. It’s nothing like an eroge or any of the various hallmarks of the visual novel genre, but they did put effort into the universe. Enough to not take away what we all want out of nukige, and still shows us exactly what kind of world the characters inhabit.
Considering the game’s focus is mind break, Sara’s backstory and motivations being clearly laid out only make her fall from grace that much more entertaining and erotic. It gives the reader a much bigger sense of satisfaction when she finally lets herself go and leaves all of that behind.
One of the more interesting things about Space Pirate Sara is that the reader can choose between three choices for how Sara will be trained each day. Humiliation, transfiguration, or pleasure. (This is justified in the story as Sara herself being allowed to choose, which adds a little bit of kinkiness to the whole mechanic. I found myself imagining her picking the same type of training every day only because she was growing to like it.)
Depending on what the reader decides for her, you’ll be given a scene that suits that choice accordingly. Of course, what you choose for Sara also affects the ending, which is decided by what she was trained in most.
From pure subservience to the burning desire to stuff her new appendage into warm holes, or just pure mind melting bliss, how Sara is broken in for the benefit of the antagonists is up to you.
If you’re a big fan of seeing strong, confident heroines desperately trying to avoid their inevitable fate of giving in to their carnal desires, Space Pirate Sara is one hell of a ride. Black Lilith picked their niche with this title and delivered it well.
The music becomes stale after one playthrough, and every H-scene tends to use the same exact music track. It becomes pretty grating. It’s not enough to ruin or distract any of the writing or art in the scenes, but surely they could have made one or two more tracks for the scenes. Even if they just made three separate tracks, one for each type of training that you can choose from, it would have improved the experience quite a lot.
Another thing I was quite disappointed with was the lack of Sylia’s presence. She shows up only on a particular day and is only present in one of the endings. I felt like they dropped the ball here pretty hard, Sara and Sylia’s backstory dynamic as rivals made their interactions even more sexy. You see them at the start of the story as battle-hardened Knights, perfectly happy to slice each other open. Then later on they’re forced, or sometimes not even forced, to get down and dirty on each other. Honestly, this was one of the hotter things about the story for me. I have to admit that the Sara x Sylia scenes “slowed down” the review process for me the most, on much more than one occasion.
Some of the other characters could have used some additional screen time too, Hans, the Vice-Leader of Sara’s little pirate troop, could have been used to a much better effect. In this kind of story, you would think they would have forced him to watch Sara get violated at the very least, considering he looked after her since she was at a young age. Although they do this to some extent with the Duke in the Humiliation route, the Duke’s dynamic isn’t the same as Hans’, so you don’t get that kind of effect. In fact, a scene with the Duke being the focus would have been nice as well. Seeing Sara submit to a man like that would be the epitome of humiliation, I’m not sure why they didn’t run with that idea. I was hoping they would have added an ending for him at least.
Personally, it ran a bit short for me in terms of story length. While it is a nukige, those additional dynamics being toyed with would have certainly padded out the game more in length. The scenes that are already in the game are pretty fantastic, but something about the loose threads with a few of the characters left me wanting for more than the game delivered by the end of it all.
Even with these flaws though, Space Pirate Sara makes its way into my heart as one of my favorite nukige out there. They had the right mix of characters, and they flowed together perfectly in a way you would expect for a mind break nukige. In my opinion, there isn’t too much to complain about that isn’t a common issue in a lot of other titles like this. It would have benefited the entire experience overall if they had just made a little bit more of a mental leap with some of these characters and their relationships. It would stand out even more if they had done so