I have a few simple rules of thumb.
One is a subjective test of movie quality that I call the “Bloodrayne Test”. It compares any given movie to Uwe Boll’s 2005 trainwreck, and a fair few movies actually fail the test.
I have recently added the “Sherlock Test” of personal shame. It consists of “Is admitting to doing X more or less shameful than writing self-insert “Sherlock” slash fic?”
I don’t know why “Sherlock”, in particular, because I’ve never seen the show, but it seems a favorite on Tumblr which is overall a bastion of shame. But, I digress.
Anyway, having “Sakura Spirit” in my Steam Played Games passes the Sherlock Test. Sure, it’s an visual novel, a genre that barely qualifies as a game, and YES it has a story made up of horribly cliched tropes, and oh my god you wouldn’t believe the atrocious English that you need to struggle through to actually read the story, and I say that as a master of the run-on sentence, and YES it’s mostly about blushing moe girls in various stages of not-quite-nudity…
…but it could be worse. I could be writing self-insert “Sherlock” slashfic.
In all seriousness, I kind of liked it, but 10 bucks for a game you click through in 90 minutes or so is a pretty poor bargain. It kind of felt like they’d WANTED to do a full-scale VN, couldn’t wrangle the funds for it, and basically turned out a prologue that will need a sequel to make a full story. With the notoriety factor this has picked up, hopefully they’ll have the funds to flesh it out a bit.
“Flesh it out”, come to think of it, is possibly the MOST appropriate choice of words for any possible sequel.