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Mr. Saitou

Laura Shigihara
Mar 23, 2023 - PC
Checkpoint Gaming
7.5 / 10
Hey Poor Player
4 / 5
Rock, Paper, Shotgun
PC Gamer
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Mr. Saitou Official Trailer (a new Rakuen game) thumbnail

Mr. Saitou Official Trailer (a new Rakuen game)

Mr. Saitou Screenshot 1
Mr. Saitou Screenshot 2

Critic Reviews for Mr. Saitou

A heartfelt world without a lot going on that may capture some hearts and leave others disappointed.

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Though Mr. Saitou isn't a long game, it does pack a lot of punch into its three-hour runtime. It takes the life of a miserable, depleted man and shows him the wonders that he could be experiencing if work wasn't his main focus. It's a narrative that seeks to find the light in the darkness of mundane existence when life becomes routine. Mr. Saitou will leave you with a feeling of hope that fun and adventure are around every corner, we've just got to look a little closer to find it.

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Mr. Saitou is a short but sweet romp through the universe of Rakuen, a silly little homecoming to a wonderfully whimsical world. Although it’s not as emotional as the first game, it’s not trying to be; with that being said, I still shed a few tears during the two hours I spent with it. If you listen to Mr. Saitou and set your expectations accordingly, you’ll emotionally relate to the realistic struggles of adult life while feeling healed by the cheerful innocence childhood has to offer. In the very least, Mr. Saitou offers a brief return to the world of Rakuen and the feeling of being hugged by a game.

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Mr. Saitou is a wonderful, short RPG which sees a troubled salaryman rediscover bits of himself, all thanks to a bright kid with a dream of his own. And while there's some serious bits in there, Shigihara cleverly ensures that the overarching theme of Japan's working culture is presented as laughable - because it is. Ultimately, business is weird, so make sure it's your business to give the game a whirl.

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Like a Miyazaki-movie love of food, from the glorious ramen Mr. Saitou slumps next to at an izakaya to the strange confectionery available at a convenience store run by fungus. And the RPG Maker interface that you'll need to hit F11 to force into fullscreen. And a soulful bittersweetness that means it's likely to, cliché as it sounds, make you laugh and make you cry. At least a little bit. It's not the full emotional rollercoaster of Rakuen—it's more of a bite-sized experience, a quick ghost train through a bouncy castle where you can whip to the last stop in a single sitting if you want.

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