Observations from today's Yukimura-den Nico Nico broadcast
The second episode of the monthly Sengoku Basara: Sanada Yukimura-den prerelease live streams aired earlier today so I caught up after work. Saaya, KobaP and producer Nonaka started the introductions off and shortly afterwards they were joined by stage play actor Matsumura Ryuunosuke (Sanada Yukimura).
After a few minutes of light chit-chat, the team went straight into a gameplay demonstration on the Odawara Castle stage. Masamune immediately grabbed most viewers' attention with his tremendously British-sounding outburst...
Masamune's new permanent Six Claw mode certainly looks cool and very violent with blades flying around everywhere. I fear for the poor actor who has to hold six katana out like that in some future stage play adaptation. Partway through the stage, Gotou Matabee showed up as a boss who had to be defeated in order to open a gate.
The mystery of the little red indicators above boss health bars was solved when Matabee was defeated and came back to life, apparently stronger than before and with a Basara gauge of his own. The screenshot is blurry but I think it captures the savage atmosphere.
Later on, Sen No Rikyuu blocked the way and had to be beaten too (the Nico Nico commenters liked Masamune remarking that it was 'tea time' in English). Like Matabee, Rikyuu powered up after his first health gauge was depleted and gained a Basara bar. After Rikyuu had been subdued, the focus switched to Yukimura arriving in pursuit of Masamune only to be confronted by Hanbee. The demonstration ended immediately after their meeting, to avoid spoiling too much of the stage.
Although they've been making a big deal about the Tegata Missions which might have intimidated people worried about the language barrier, they seem really straightforward. Masamune's goal was always to head towards Hideyoshi, except when a boss appeared and he had to take care of them in order to progress. Yukimura's section had the goal of chasing after Masamune. The missions look easy enough to figure out over the course of play.
By the way, when you go up a Bushin Level you see this very clear and obvious on-screen pop-up message.
The hosts then took a break from the gameplay to discuss the new stage play before Matsumura left and was replaced by Gatchman, a Nico Nico Douga personality who has helped promote the series before.
This was the cue to start the second gameplay demonstration. We got to see the new Sanada Trials 'survival mode' live for the very first time. They selected Sasuke and kindly started with the very first mission to help me add more content to my reference materials post. Hurrah. We have ten trials with bonus objectives translated already and the game isn't even out yet.
The way the Sanada Trials work is straightforward; you advance through the stages with a countdown timer. When you successfully clear a stage, you receive Monsen Coins and some extra time is added to the countdown. So you have to keep an eye on the time as well as your health bar as you progress.
We got to see soldiers carrying Bushin boosts up close in this mode. The Bushin System really does seem important in this game. Furthermore, the Telepathy Spheres which charge up Bushin Denshin mode can be found in deluxe blue tsuzura chests.
One thing I hadn't noticed before was that your Bushin Level can decay when you take damage (I think). You can even level down and lose the benefit of the passive skills you've earned until you raise it back up again.
Sasuke was eventually overwhelmed by the Takeda cavalry on the sixth stage, and Gatchman's first survival challenge came to an end.
Next up was Kasuga, who started out fully powered up at Bushin Level 6 with all of the 'Balance' Bushin Skills fully maxed out. She had a much easier time tearing through the early trial stages and cleared the cavalry without too many problems, only slowing down when the temptation of trying to master her tricky poledance skill proved too much for Gatchman to resist (he did eventually manage it, but he'd lost an awful lot of time on the countdown clock after all of the failures). I smiled at all of the crazed commenters screaming about how sexy both characters were during the fight against Sakon (lol).
The demonstration came to an end after the ninth Trial mission and it was then time for the latest Sengoku Basara news bulletins.
They're really trying to promote the official Sengoku Basara LINE account these days, and manga artist Itou Ryuu has drawn another special illustration for the fans who follow it. A preview was shown in the stream but anyone who already follows it will have received the picture automatically today.
They also fooled around and demonstrated the feature where you can submit a character's name to the LINE account to receive a picture of them, by using pictures of one another.
The Sweets Paradise tie-in is about to end, so there was one final opportunity to show off those pretty stickers and coasters!
One of the bigger announcements was that the UDX building in Akihabara will be showing the second Yukimura-den trailer on its gigantic open air 4k screen between Friday 24th June and Sunday 26th June 2016. The video will be shown between 14:00 and 17:00 each day at 15 minutes and 45 minutes past the hour.
Lastly, it was announced that the Sengoku Basara: Sanada Yukimura-den Original Soundtrack will be released on 31st August 2016 for ¥3,500. Good news.
The broadcast wrapped up with a giveaway where viewers had to answer really difficult questions to try to win Sengoku Basara merchandise. The questions weren't very difficult since they were all covered multiple times earlier in the show:
With Date Masamune's new battle style, how many swords does he start out wielding? (6)
How many characters are playable in Sanada Trials mode? (46)
When is the game's release date? (25th August 2016)
The next broadcast isn't until 21st July so we'll have to rely on the weekly magazine releases for more Sengoku Basara: Sanada Yukimura-den updates in the meantime. The gameplay is looking very slick so I'm feeling happy I preordered!
The Yukimura-den retweet campaign was a success, so everyone gets rewards
A campaign was running on Twitter recently where fans were asked to retweet to spread awareness of the game's release date. A selection of rewards were offered from digital goodies to a lucky dip for physical prizes, and followers managed to smash the original target (24,000 shares) by retweeting the message 36,426 times. This means there are a bunch of official Twitter avatars and smartphone wallpapers now available for fans to download here including a few extras created as a special reward for being so supportive. Some of those wallpapers are reasonably large, so they're worth grabbing if you want relatively clean versions of the promotional artwork!
The Capcom Cafe website reveals its full merchandise and food lineup
For those enjoying the cute Capcom Cafe pictures, since the Sengoku Basara collaboration has officially begun the full menu is now available online (there are separate tabs for food, drinks and desserts). I think my favourite is the Keiji drink because Yumekichi has taken over. Or possibly the Masayuki drink because it looks ridiculous.
The six slices of aubergine being 'wielded' by the little Masamune in the gyuutan (beef tongue) box are a nice touch.
The sweets are great too, with the platter representing five Toyotomi characters being particularly cute. However, the pure insanity of the Devil King Army Choco-Berry Parfait has won my heart, not least because it represents Nouhime with a butterfly cake and Ranmaru with a chocolate banana. The chocolate orange 'scythe' for Mitsuhide confused me until I read the caption.
There's also a phenomenal amount of merchandise in the full list which I'll summarise below. Some of these have already been shown before in previews.