Bought Sakura Wars 1&2 for PSP from Japanese PSN.
Got interested with the series after playing Project X Zone :p
Read that this is the Dreamcast port instead of the PS2 remake in the case of Sakura Wars 1. Which is fine, as it means I would be playing the original version. Read that the remake is using the battle system from Sakura Wars 3 & 4, which is predecessor to Valkyria Chronicles’ battle system. Interesting, but let’s start from the beginning… ^^;
Of course I would start with Sakura Wars 1. Played the game up to chapter 4. I like the anime episode format; it even has ‘what’s next’ segment at the end of the chapter. Though I’m pretty sure chapter 3’s length is more than one anime episode long… ^^;
You can walk around the base (disguised as a theater) prior to battle and bump into the the heroines and interact with them. A lot of missable events since there might be a limited number of times to visit different areas. A lot of choices to pick during conversations and save points are far from each other. I chose not to follow any guide as it would kill the fun, and just rolled with the wrong choices.
The battle system is relatively basic but not bare-bone. It has interesting elements like covering for allies. Also, each unit gets a status boost if you had good interactions with the pilot prior to battle. Not sure if the status boost are only limited within a chapter or they carry forward (Edit: limited). I hope they are not THAT critical in later chapters and only serve to make the battles tad easier.
The only thing I don't like about the battles is the speed; the robots are moving way too slowly. The 'clank, clank, clank' kinda hit my nerves. And I thought in some of the anime cutscenes I’ve watched I saw them moving roller-blades fast? It's eating up time unnecessarily… The game would've been much more enjoyable otherwise… -_-"
Another thing I don't like is the pre-21st century cheesiness… cheesy bad guys, cheesy bad guy meeting, cheesy battle enter, cheesy bad guy demise, and cheesy victory pose at the end -_-;
Edit: Ah, so you can speed up the units while moving by holding circle button. Much better ^^