First Sakura Taisen is a rough diamond but second one is definitely a polished one! Just finished my first playthrough of the game and definitely an enjoyable ride! compared to the first one Sakura Taisen 2 get really big improvement on story department and music and characters are still awesome as always. The game introduce two new romantic interest for Ogami which maybe a bit difficult to approach at first but both are well written characters for sure. As always Sakura Taisen 2 still follows the formula of the first game with dating sim in episodic style with mecha battles. For my first playthrough i picked Sakura as the main girl because she is the main heroine after all.
Gameplay wise apart from the adventure gaming part, the battles in Sakura Taisen 2 got plenty of improvement. The stages in the game are more challenging and the final boss is not as pushover as the first one. Nearing the end of the game you will also get 2nd Combination attack with the girl you are closest to which i thought was the addition on the 3rd game and man Ogami is really swag to be able to kill the enemies just by flirting with the girls. Lastly in the Sakura Taisen 2 you will be able to use tactics which is helpful for flexibilitles on certain situations.
After playing two of the main series, i get to understand why Sakura Taisen was really big thing in Japan back in late 90s and early 20s. To be frank Sakura Taisen is what VN will look like if it got really high production value and in that time i would say it was not an easy feat. Main story is nothing special but the Main Heroines are quite memorable along with some really good songs, i think it was really awesome to be a fan of the series at that time. At the moment i won't be playing Sakura Taisen 3 anytime soon since i aim to get Iris and Orihime ending at least before moving on.
and here is the ending sequence of Sakura, the main heroine which is not as awesome as the last time but still heartwarming
Sakura Taisen 2 Sakura Ending