Saturday, 18 April 2015

Getting all five 'early reservation' DLC weapons for Sengoku Basara 4 Sumeragi when you live outside Japan

I'm making a special post for the importers out there who are anxious about how difficult it seems to be to guarantee that they'll receive the five special weapons which aren't planned for release on PSN later. If you preorder before 24th May 2015 you'll be able to qualify for all five weapons - but only if you order from specific stores, and very few of them are supporting people who live outside Japan.


Up-to-date direct links to all of the listings are provided here if you need help finding the right one.

Shops which promise to provide the weapons

Amazon Japan
Amazon Japan is easy to use and the checkout can be switched to English, making it a good choice for importers who want to buy directly from a Japanese store. The catch is that they won't ship games outside Japan, so you'll have to sign up with a forwarding company and pay some extra shipping to actually receive your copy of the game. Still, I think it's a better option than using a proxy service if all you want is the DLC codes and the game; they'll send you the Sumeragi ID directly by email so you don't have to worry about a proxy company losing your code.

e-Capcom
You will definitely need to use a proxy service for this as e-Capcom doesn't accept foreign credit cards. However, you can also use e-Capcom to obtain the special bath towel bundles! Just make sure your proxy company understands they have to forward you the Sumeragi ID code when e-Capcom has processed the reservation.

HMV Japan
HMV Japan is promising to provide the preorder DLC on the Japanese pages for the game (standard PS3, standard PS4, hobby box PS3, hobby box PS4) but if you visit the English pages the DLC code information is missing. However, they offer international shipping via EMS and accept foreign credit cards! I've placed an order with HMV in Japanese as a test so I'll report back if they send me the code, since that would make HMV the best solution for many people outside Japan. Their EMS shipping to the UK is ¥1,900 if you want to compare that with the cost of using Amazon and a forwarding company.

Rakuten
A number of sellers on the Japanese version of Rakuten's marketplace are listing the game with the codes. At the moment one of the sellers is AmiAmi, so they might not be able to help, but the other is Furuhon Ichiba so you'll also qualify for a special wallpaper if you order from their listings. Rakuten supports international orders and it's the seller's choice whether or not they accept them, so it's worth trying your order with a few different sellers if the first one doesn't work out until you find one which will ship to your country. Just make sure they mention the early reservation bonus (早期予約特典) in the listing or you might order from someone who doesn't supply it.

Don't even bother with the English version of Rakuten - there's nothing there right now.

Shops which have confirmed they won't be providing the weapons

AmiAmi
I had high hopes for AmiAmi as their Japanese site lists the game with the preorder DLC, but when I contacted them to check their customer service team (very quickly) confirmed that orders through the English version of AmiAmi won't include the codes.

Shops which haven't confirmed either way

If you aren't happy with any of the options, I recommend contacting your preferred import store and pressuring them to confirm whether they will be able to offer the game with the 'early reservation' code. AmiAmi is the only shop which has replied to my enquiries at the moment so please let me know if you hear anything which may help other fans!

There's also the possibility that an Asian version of the game will be solicited and they might issue the codes in a different way, as suggested by wodash. With Sengoku Basara 4, the Asian version only included one of the possible store-exclusive bundles but it was much easier for foreigners to buy it that way than to place an order with the right Japanese store. The only risk is that by waiting to see if this happens you might miss the preorder deadline for the Japanese version.

I hope everyone manages to get the exact version they want. Even if it doesn't work out, perhaps Capcom will eventually change their mind about the exclusivity and offer the codes as paid DLC for people who really, really want to equip Ieyasu with tanuki gloves.

Friday, 17 April 2015

News: Preorders are now open for Sengoku Basara 4 Sumeragi! How to register for the preorder DLC

It's time to preorder! Many Japanese stores are now listing the game with confirmation that they'll offer the 'early reservation' exclusive DLC weapons, so we should see import stores clarifying their listings over the next few days.

Known preorder bonuses:
  • Towels as part of a special bundle: e-Capcom only.
  • A first press bonus weapon for Ashikaga Yoshiteru: available everywhere in limited quantities (if you qualify for the 'early reservation' weapons you should definitely receive this too).
  • Four 'early reservation' exclusive DLC weapons which change a character's element: selected stores only.
  • A 'registration complete' smartphone/PC wallpaper of the game's box art: selected stores only.
  • A store-specific smartphone/PC wallpaper: selected stores only.
I'll be keeping an up-to-date list of stores in my Sengoku Basara 4 Sumeragi master post so please check there if you need the latest information.

How to register for the early reservation DLC weapons before the deadline:

Once you've placed your order and received your Sumeragi ID registration code from the seller, visit this special link to register it on Capcom's site.

Remember, the deadline for qualifying for a Sumeragi ID is 24th May 2015 and you need to register it on Capcom's website by 7th June 2015 if you want to receive the rewards.

I've started writing a simple walkthrough here and I'll add more details when I've registered a code myself (or been sent screenshots) since I don't know what happens next!

Important notes:
  • Keep your Sumeragi ID somewhere safe; you'll need it again later to access your DLC codes when the game is released. Capcom will not replace lost codes.
  • If you don't receive your Sumeragi ID after preordering, please contact your place of purchase as quickly as possible and show them this page. If they aren't able to send you the Sumeragi ID on time and you really want those DLC weapons or wallpapers, you should cancel and reorder at a store which is confirmed to be providing the codes.
  • Even if you register your Sumeragi ID too late to qualify for the 'early reservation' weapons or store-specific wallpaper, you'll still be able to download the standard 'reservation complete' bonus wallpaper if you register it online before 23:59 on 22nd July 2015.

News: Try Sengoku Basara 4 Sumeragi in five cities across Japan this May

Capcom has planned a series of events at five gaming stores across Japan from 9th May 2015 in order to let fans try out Sengoku Basara 4 Sumeragi, Dai Gyakuten Saiban -Naruhodou Ryuunosuke no Bouken- and Devil May Cry 4 Special Edition ahead of their release dates. There will be talk shows at each store hosted by Sengoku Basara and Devil May Cry executive producer Kobayashi 'KobaP' Hiroyuki and Gyakuten Saiban producer Kojima Shintarou, and they'll also be signing goods and meeting the fans face to face if they've reserved one of the three games at the same store. The talk shows promise to feature the latest news about the games and a different video will be debuted in each venue.

Gamers who reserve one of the three titles at the store will earn a promotional B2 poster for that game while stocks last:


Those who actually manage to try the games will also earn special rewards:


The dates and locations as follows:

Venue: TSUTAYA (Kotoni branch, Sapporo)
Date: Saturday 9th May 2015

Venue: Bic Camera (Nagoya station west)
Date: Sunday 10th May 2015

Venue: Yodobashi Camera Multimedia (Hakata)
Date: Saturday 16th May 2015

Venue: Joshin Denki Disc Pier (Nipponbashi branch, Osaka)
Date: Saturday 23rd May 2015

Venue: Yamada Denki (LABI 1 Ikebukuro Mobile Dream Building, Tokyo)
Date: Sunday 24th May 2015

The talk shows will start at 12:00 and last for half an hour, then there will be signings until 13:00 and gameplay trials for the participants until the events close at 17:00. Tickets will be handed out from 11:00 on the day of each event on a first come, first served basis.

You can see the original article on the Famitsu and 4Gamer websites.

From my experiences at similar events I'd guess that the demonstrations will be strictly supervised so there won't be any filming or story spoilers. However, we might still hear a few new rumours about the gameplay once the first event has taken place since fans are being encouraged to tweet their impressions live from the venue to earn a smartphone wallpaper. The videos are likely to appear online a few days after each event.

Thursday, 16 April 2015

News roundup: Today's website updates and more about the NJPW tie-in DLC

This is just a catch-up before the big one tomorrow evening, as we're less than 24 hours away from the start of the preorder period for Sengoku Basara 4 Sumeragi and I'm sure I'll be back writing another post then.

The usual official website update on Thursday morning provided some additional information to go with the Weekly Famitsu news yesterday:
  • The page about the wrestling tie-in now has video messages from the four wrestlers who inspired the New Japan Pro-Wrestling DLC costumes, which might be worth checking out if you happen to be a wrestling fan. NJPW's website is also covering the announcement. It makes me want to learn more about the four wrestlers and their storylines.
  • The page about Sen No Rikyuu's gameplay reveals another move. Ukiha ('Floating Leaves') has Wabisuke turning his back on the enemy and blasting them away to avoid confronting them. It can be followed up by using Sabisuke to pull the enemies back towards him.
  • If you press the R2 button again after using his Kaiseki move, he will blast the rocks forwards. Otherwise they float around Rikyuu and attack with him.
  • There are nice pictures of his Basara move too, which involves him switching between both of his personalities.
  • Fan Balder pointed out that the Matabee/Kanbee/Hanbee screenshots look like they're from an alternate version of Sawayama Castle with Matabee's ronin soldiers and a base present, rather than another Intrusion stage.
  • Rikyuu has been confirmed to have both a normal story and a drama route.
  • His normal route will focus on him fleeing from the Toyotomi army after being ordered to commit seppuku following 'that incident' (presumably the attempted assassination of Hideyoshi which was mentioned in his character description).
  • In his drama route, Rikyuu goes to visit Hideyoshi to discuss the matter only to find the Toyotomi army is at war with the Matsunaga forces. An encounter with Hisahide changes Rikyuu's destiny significantly.
In addition, Famitsu has posted the promised interview with Sengoku Basara series director Yamamoto Makoto (hereafter YamamotoD) and wrestling superstar Nakamura Shinsuke. The two men got together to play the game and chat about the collaboration. Here's a summary of Famitsu's write-up; please forgive any errors I make due to my lack of wrestling knowledge.
  • YamamotoD works for Capcom and serves as director for all of the Sengoku Basara games, as well as supervising projects such as the anime, manga and stage play adaptations. As it happens, he's a huge fan of professional wrestling.
  • Nakamura is a wrestler affiliated with New Japan Pro-Wrestling with the nickname 'King of Strong Style'. He uses a fighting style which incorporates kicks.
  • They were asked how the tie-in first came about. Nakamura joked that he only learned about it when he was suddenly told to bring his costume.
  • YamamotoD explained that NJPW chairman Sugabayashi Naoki is a big Takarazuka fan. In a roundabout way, this led to the current collaboration because Sengoku Basara was adapted into a Takarazuka musical a couple of years ago.
  • Apparently Sugabayashi went to see the musical and became interested in the Sengoku Basara series as a result, then suggested if there was ever an opportunity for the two companies to team up for something YamamotoD should let him know.
  • Nakamura wondered whether Sugabayashi simply wanted to meet a Takarasienne performer. YamamotoD said that he wouldn't know, but since he loves wrestling he was grateful for the offer and naturally agreed.
  • YamamotoD has been avidly following wrestling since he was at school in the 80s. When Nakamura said that was the Tiger Mask era, YamamotoD nodded knowingly and said the 90s were about The Three Musketeers. Nakamura was interested in wrestling during the time of The Three Musketeers as well, citing the start of the Tokyo Dome events as a major influence on him.
  • YamamotoD said that wrestling provides a rare environment for fans to come together and get excited. Everyone is united in the drama from the moment the wrestlers enter until the end of the match; it's incredible.
  • Many of the athletes are very particular about their entry scenes. Nakamura explained that these scenes are critical for introducing the wrestlers' individual perspectives to the crowd. The movements they make, the way they act; he considers the whole performance extremely important.
  • YamamotoD praised Nakamura's entrances for being stylish, saying they were very theatrical and fit well with the music.
  • He confessed that a few wrestling moves have been slipped into the Sengoku Basara games too. It's most obvious with Kuroda Kanbee; he uses a dropkick in one move and in another he goes from a German suplex to a rotating piledriver. He can perform the German suplex up to ten times.
  • YamamotoD demonstrated the techniques to Nakamura during the interview by playing as Kanbee. The wrestler was impressed by the motion and attention to detail (and amused by the piledriver, it seems).
  • There were two reasons that Shima Sakon was chosen for Nakamura's costume. Firstly, YamamotoD wanted to incorporate Nakamura's kicks and Sakon uses kicking as part of his moveset. Secondly, he thinks that their asymmetrical hairstyles are similar.
  • Nakamura is just glad that Sakon is a cool character. He was very happy to see him equipped with nunchaku; he's trained to use double nunchaku for a long time.
  • The interviewer said that using kicks and nunchaku makes them think of Kung Fu. YamamotoD replied that Sakon usually uses twin swords to go with his kicks, but since the kicking style is reminiscent of Bruce Lee's Jeet Kune Do they decided to increase the Kung Fu feel by swapping his weapons for nunchaku with this costume.
  • The team put a lot of effort into reproducing Nakamura's coolness with the costume in the game. Since the outfit shows off Nakamura's physique and Sakon is rather lean, they had to bulk up the character's muscles slightly in order for him to be able to wear it. They also had to make some additional changes to represent the glossiness of the costume. Nakamura was pleased when he saw the results of their work.
  • With regards to the actual costume Nakamura wears, the design is important but it has to be practical as well. Wrestling costumes need to be durable and allow for stretching, which often makes it challenging to fit the image the athletes had in mind. Nakamura's costume is designed to represent his image while being functional as well.
  • Nakamura tried playing Sakon in the game while YamamotoD talked him through the moves. He highlighted the Hyakuretsu and Sobat kicks after explaining his stance-switching style.
  • Nakamura likened the stylish motions and skills in the game to the way that wrestlers have to think carefully about their techniques and how to act in between performing each move. Keeping this in mind is something that wrestlers teach their juniors. He found it fun to use the nunchaku too - however, he personally prefers nunchaku with short chains.
  • It was Nakamura's first time playing a Sengoku Basara game but he was having so much fun he almost forgot he was giving an interview. He liked that it's exhilarating while also being easy to pick up and play; there's a good balance.
  • YamamotoD thinks that Okada Kazuchika and Sanada Yukimura both share the character trait of blunt honesty. The wads of banknotes at the ends of Yukimura's spears when he's wearing the costume are based on Okada's nickname of The Rainmaker, 'the man who makes it rain money'.
  • Although Nakamura isn't convinced that stacks of money would be very effective as weapons, he likes that they incorporated that aspect of the character in an interesting way. He was also interested in the design on Yukimura's headband.
  • When YamamotoD saw Tanahashi posing, the only character he could consider for the collaboration was Hideyoshi. Nakamura was initially surprised that Hideyoshi was such a buff, macho guy but he quite likes the contrast of the vivid costume.
  • Nagamasa uses kicks and has a heroic aura which seemed a good match for Ibushi Kouta. The t-shirt amused Nakamura who suggested it could be ripped off. Sadly, YamamotoD confirmed that there won't be any t-shirt destruction in the game.
  • As for theoretical future collaborations, Nakamura suggested a costume based on the upcoming wrestlers known as the Young Lions; black shoes and short black tights.
  • YamamotoD mused that Makabe Tougi might be a good fit for Kuroda Kanbee because of the chains. He had to abandon that idea because they could only make four costumes this time.
  • (Raindrops' note: Whoa, JetKinen called it!)
  • Both men think there are similarities between the game's invigorating atmosphere and the thrills of professional wrestling. YamamotoD urged game fans to try going to a wrestling match and said he'd like to try more collaborations with NJPW in future.
  • The two of them joked about possibly making the NJPW chairman a secret character in the games one day.
  • The pictures show that the stage they were playing was the new Kawanakajima Intrusion again. It seems to be the stage they're using for all of the early demonstrations.
It seems that GAME Watch transcribed the interview too. Their report is slightly different and describes the martial arts discussions in considerably more detail, but the content is based on the same conversation.

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I've been really enjoying reading all of the reactions from the wrestling fans as they learn about the crossover for the first time. There's been an overwhelming sense of positivity about it all. If I had been asked whether a professional wrestling collaboration was likely a week ago, I'd have said no, but knowing that YamamotoD is such a fan makes a surprising amount of sense given the game's over-the-top atmosphere.

For the benefit of any curious wrestling fans who stumble across this article via a web search in future, Sengoku Basara 4 Sumeragi is unlikely to be released outside Japan as far as we know but there's a very supportive fan community out there if you're wondering about importing it and buying the NJPW DLC costumes. Please consider giving it a try!

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

News: Sengoku Basara 4 Sumeragi information from Weekly Famitsu (30th April 2015)

It's that time again! Fans in Japan are starting to receive their copies of Weekly Famitsu magazine and that means more Sengoku Basara 4 Sumeragi news for everyone else. Like before, we can expect the official website to update in a few hours to add the information revealed in the magazine.

Once again, I'm keeping the numbering system listed in the magazine to make it easier for people to navigate the website once it updates.

19. Details of Sen No Rikyuu's psychic moveset!

The article opens by describing Rikyuu's moves with pictures. To help those who find it hard to remember which is which, Wabisuke is the gentle personality and Sabisuke is the more aggressive one.

With Kuchikiri ('First Tea'), Sabisuke spreads his arms as though he's dancing and rushes the enemies holding fans in both hands. It can either be used to start a chain or to follow on from another move.

Ooyose ('Great Gathering') draws the enemies in front of Wabisuke together then lets him lock on to the group of them. He can either control the clump of soldiers for a set time or hit them with a follow-up attack.

Chachakuru ('Spinning Disruption') is another Sabisuke move described as a unique attack where he performs a wild dance as fans appear around him. It isn't pictured in the article.

(Raindrops' note: The name of this move is actually a multi-layered pun which was clearly chosen because 'cha' means tea. I'm not smart enough to come up with a better English equivalent.)

Rikyuu's first special (R2) move is called Sen Sensu ('A Thousand Fans'), an obvious reference to his name. A vast number of folding fans come flying out from his sleeve in a straight line to attack the enemy. The player can control the direction of the blast.

His second special is Nodate ('Outdoor Tea Ceremony'), the tea party move that we've seen in plenty of screenshots before. The enemy takes damage according to the number of times Rikyuu swirls the tool around his tea cup. His own health also regenerates during the ceremony.

The third special move is Kaiseki ('Tea Ceremony Repast'). Rikyuu uses his psychic power to scrape huge rocks out of the ground around him. These automatically attack the enemies in front of Rikyuu then blast them away.

The screenshots tease a scene where Sabisuke is being impaled by Hisahide's sword as flames rise around the two men.

Gaming journalist 'Giant Kuroda' added a few comments about Rikyuu. The moves which control enemy soldiers give his gameplay a very fresh feel but the best part is the way he flies around in the air relaxedly courtesy of his 'mysterious powers'. Using Kuchikiri or Chachakuru after taking control of the enemies with Ooyose makes it easy to pull off tricky combo attacks.

20. The game's ending theme will be performed by Ishikawa Chiaki.

This was already rumoured thanks to the fans who have seen the most recent promotional video (which is still an event-exclusive at the moment). Ishikawa has already performed songs for Sengoku Basara 3, the anime adaptations and the stage play series, so it's good to see her returning for Sengoku Basara 4 Sumeragi. The game's ending theme will be titled Heavenly Blue.

21. The player can transform into a bomb soldier or the Akatsukimaru in Battle Roulette.

We already knew this...

Anyway, the article goes into more detail about both of the 'newly-announced' transformations this time. They're numbered so it looks as though future articles will include descriptions of additional transformations later on.

The bomb soldier is exactly as he looks, one of the generic bomb-carrying enemies. He has a few special moves ready now that he's semi-playable, the first of which is the ability to use different kinds of bomb. The examples listed in the article are red bombs which cause pillars of flames to flare up while golden bombs produce enormous explosions. The soldier can also place bombs on the ground and turn the battlefield into a sea of fire through chained explosions.

The Akatsukimaru is Motochika's gigantic mechanical weapon which was called the Rising Sun in the English version of the game. It can fire a laser from its mouth to blast enemies in front and use a stomping attack.

According to another comment from 'Giant Kuroda', he's tried the new Battle Roulette out and finds it absolutely hilarious.

22. More Tenka Medal rewards are revealed.

Next comes the usual batch of screenshots showing off the new medal rewards.

12 of 167: A black and red biker-style costume for Shima Sakon called the Rider Suit Ver.
13 of 167: A new military-style green, black and red outfit for Takenaka Hanbee called the Commanding Officer Ver.
14 of 167: A new costume with Sarutobi Sasuke wearing his so-called mysterious friend's mask from the Takeda Dojo story: Tenko Kamen Ver.
15 of 167: A skill enhancement for Yamanaka Shikanosuke. The picture shows Oyassan kicking him into the distance and the description says it's a rush move which sweeps up the soldiers in Shikanosuke's path and opens them up for an aerial combo if you get the timing right.

I think I can guess what Kojuurou's Tenka Medal costume is going to be!

23. The 'War Buddy' system from Sengoku Basara 4 has been improved

KobaP already announced this elsewhere but the article formally confirms that you can now tag right from the start; there's no need to level characters up first.

24. The third batch of collaboration DLC is revealed.

As promised, the magazine revealed the third of the six major tie-ins as well as giving the first confirmations of the final three. The third collaboration DLC will be a crossover with the New Japan Pro-Wrestling group which I'm pretty sure nobody could have predicted, while the final three have been confirmed as Biohazard (Resident Evil), Street Fighter IV and Monster Hunter.

Going back to the wrestling, there's a two-page spread showing the new costumes in action. The characters who will receive wrestling-themed DLC costumes are Hideyoshi, Yukimura, Sakon and Nagamasa and each costume is based on a different famous wrestler.
  • Sakon's costume is the NJPW Nakamura Shinsuke Ver. and it's a flashy red jacket with tight black pants. Sakon's weapons will change to scarlet nunchaku to match the outfit when it's equipped.
  • Yukimura has the NJPW Okada Kazuchika Ver. which is a decorative orange/gold coat and shorts based on the wrestler known as the 'Rainmaker'. In order to 'make Tenka Medals fall like rain', Yukimura's spears will be changed to have stacks of banknotes at the end when he's wearing this costume.
  • Nagamasa is wearing a blue and white costume called the NJPW Ibushi Kouta Ver., apparently based on a wrestler with a heartthrob image. The costume will change Nagamasa's weapon into a microphone and gong combination.
  • Hideyoshi's costume is called the NJPW Tanahashi Hiroshi Ver. and it's a 'wild' outfit in white, black and red with glitter. His weapon doesn't need any major changes but he'll be using his bare fists without gloves whenever he wears the costume.
(Raindrops' note: I'm abbreviating New Japan Pro-Wrestling to NJPW for the costume names to stop them being too long.)

I don't know much about professional wrestling myself so this is rather surreal. Sakon and Hideyoshi look amazing while the other two are still growing on me. Several commenters on Japanese forums have been asking why Kanbee was left out of the wrestling collaboration.

It seems that series director YamamotoD will be appearing in an article on the Famitsu website very soon in a chat with wrestler Nakamura Shinsuke to discuss the costumes they chose and what led to this collaboration. I look forward to reading it later.

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Miscellaneous observations from the footnotes and other parts of the magazine:
  • Sen No Rikyuu's two-character Giga Basara title is revealed to be 茶聖 ('Tea Saint').
  • The sample picture for Rikyuu's second super move shows Hanbee and Kanbee seated at the tea ceremony with Matabee in the floating bubble behind them; is this from a new intrusion stage?
  • There will be a playable demo of the game available at next month's Machi★Asobi event and in selected Japanese gaming stores from May onwards.
  • The PlayStation 3 version of Sengoku Basara 4 Sumeragi is still at 23rd place in the list of most wanted upcoming games. The PlayStation 4 version has slipped down to 39th position.
--

While I'm sure I'll be posting another news roundup on Friday when the game's preorder listings are available, here's an update I forgot to include last time.

News: The Sengoku Basara 4 x Capcom Challenge Park event has been extended

The special exhibition which has been running since January in Okazaki will now be open until 10th May 2015 (it was originally scheduled to close at the end of April). They've added a bonus too; fans who visit in the final 30 days of the exhibition will be able to use a special sticker machine which prints pictures with Sengoku Basara 4 frames.


Samples of the frames were also provided.

Buying from Japan: Proxy services and forwarding companies

I've been asked to make a list of the proxy and forwarding services I use before, and with the preorders for Sengoku Basara 4 Sumeragi about to open I thought it would be helpful to put together a master list I can link to from my guide. A lot of people have been anxious about how to get the exact version of the game they want.

It's a sad reality that most specialist Japanese gaming shops will only ship to Japanese addresses. At the same time, there are often exclusive bonus items you can only guarantee you'll be able to buy if you preorder directly from a specific store.

There are two different ways that people outside Japan can get around this problem and purchase rare items without having to watch auction sites for months.

Note: These methods aren't free to use and you'll have to pay shipping twice (the items are shipped from the shop to your buying service, then shipped internationally to your home country). Read each site's terms and conditions carefully and ask them for a cost estimate if you're not sure how much you will have to pay.

I'll list the services I have personally used before in each section. Some sites only ship to certain countries due to bad experiences with customers in the past, so please read each company's website carefully for their terms and conditions before making any purchases!

Method 1: Proxy buying services

Proxy services are ideal for people who don't speak Japanese, or for those who want to order from a website which doesn't accept non-Japanese credit cards. You will always pay slightly more with a proxy service, but you have the benefit of knowing they can help with any problems and contact the seller in Japanese for you. Here's a list of the ones I know.

Shopping Mall Japan
This site specialises in auctions but you can also use it to order from online shops. They'll even send an employee out to buy things from a physical shop in Akihabara if you want something rare. Their website is strange and the rules are quite strict, however, I've always found their service flawless and their staff are very polite. They offer a wide range of international shipping options and can accommodate all kinds of weird special requests. One interesting feature they offer is shopping in Taiwan and the USA too, so people who live outside those regions might find them useful for purchasing store-exclusives across several countries.

Otaku Republic
An online shop which also offers a request service. Their staff are very friendly and they'll try extra-hard to take care of any special orders. They including shipping in their website prices which makes everything seem quite expensive, but the advantage is that the price you see is the price you pay; you'll never be surprised by the shipping costs later on.

CD Japan
Many people use CD Japan for their regular game/book/music purchases but they also offer a proxy buying service. It's not the cheapest option, but CD Japan is a well-known, reliable company and they'll be able to help purchase all kinds of things. You can also combine your purchase with regular items on their website and once they've added a special request item to their catalogue, other customers can buy it too.

Takara Japan
I've only used their LINE sticker purchase service but they also offer general proxy buying upon request. From my experience with their LINE service, they purchase Japan-only stickers for foreigners on their behalf and transfer them instantly as a gift. It's a simple way to buy the animated Sengoku Basara stickers if you use LINE and don't have another way around the region locking.

Big In Japan
I've never used their proxy service but I can confirm that their forwarding facility is reliable, so I can vouch that they're trustworthy.

Buyee
I have never used Buyee. They're related to the forwarding company Tenso, though, so if you trust Tenso's service it might be worth trying Buyee as well.

Celga
I don't completely recommend Celga. I stopped using them myself after they sent one of my orders to the wrong person! I received it in the end but I had to wait a very long time, and nobody ever apologised for the mistake. However, they're one of the most experienced proxy services around with a lot of knowledge about the industry, so please check their site and judge for yourself.

FDJP
Expensive but very experienced, FDJP specialise in difficult-to-obtain items like tickets, and they're able to check physical ticket stores which people outside Japan can't visit. It's best if you understand some Japanese if you want to use them, since they don't offer much assistance with researching items.

Rinkya
I have never used Rinkya. They're another of the older services with an established reputation, so check them out if you want to compare pricing. They might offer a good deal depending on where you live.

Method 2: Using a forwarding service

This option is for people who feel confident buying directly from Japanese websites. Forwarders don't offer any help with Japanese sellers; all they do is accept your parcels and ship them onwards to your home address. One of the major advantages of using forwarding is that you buy things in your own name and you'll earn loyalty points on many Japanese websites.

The way forwarding works is that you open a free account on the forwarding company's website and copy down the special Japanese address they give you. You then go ahead and buy your items on any shopping website you like, using your real name and the special forwarding address as the delivery address. Once the package is delivered, the forwarder notifies you and requests payment of their forwarding fees and shipping costs. Finally, they ship the item to you internationally.

Tenso
The kings of the forwarding business. Tenso's service is reliable and they've improved their fees a lot over the years, finally offering cheaper shipping for customers who don't want an express service. They process large numbers of orders and have built up relationships with several Japanese stores. They recently started offering a proxy service too (see above).

Big In Japan
Another company I have used several times and they've always performed very well. Their system is less advanced than Tenso's automated checkout but they have never made a single mistake. They also offer a separate proxy service.

Japan To Door
I've never used this company but I've heard positive reviews from others.

White Rabbit
Another company I have never used.

--

For the specific example of ordering Sengoku Basara 4 Sumeragi - since it's the original reason I wrote this list - please make very sure you give your chosen proxy service the following special instructions to make sure you get the exact version you want:
  • Whether you want the PS3 or PS4 version of the game.
  • Whether you want the standard version, the 21-costume hobby box, the limited edition (standard version + towel) or the complete edition (21-costume hobby box + towel).
  • Send them a link to the exact listing you want to buy (I'll list these here when they're available so copy, paste and check the link carefully).
  • If you're buying one of the e-Capcom exclusive towel bundles, make sure you tell the proxy service which character you want on the towel. If you want extra towels, request those at the same time and link them to this page with the instructions.
  • If you're ordering before the early reservation deadline on 24th May 2015, tell the company that you need them to order immediately and send you the 'Sumeragi ID' code they'll receive after placing the order. They need to send you the link as quickly as possible so you don't miss the registration period. Show them this link so they can read the full details about how the Sumeragi ID system works.

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

News roundup: e-Capcom share details of their Sengoku Basara 4 Sumeragi preorder campaign

A quick news post today as official store e-Capcom posted a major update outlining their Sengoku Basara 4 Sumeragi preorder campaign.

e-Capcom will be releasing special bundles they've calling the Sengoku Basara 4 Sumeragi Limited Edition and Complete Edition, which include the game and an 'approximately life-sized' 60cm x 180cm microfiber bath towel of the buyer's favourite character.

There will be 41 different designs for the bath towel, each patterned after a different character from the series - that's almost every character playable in Sengoku Basara 4 Sumeragi with separate designs for Wabisuke and Sabisuke along with Akechi Mitsuhide and Tenkai. The only character missing is Tadakatsu (more on him later).


Those who preorder one of the bundles also earn the right to purchase up to 40 additional towels for ¥7,222 each before tax. Purchasing duplicates of the same towel isn't allowed, so those who dream of owning 41 matching Oichi towels will have to purchase the game multiple times instead (this is presumably to discourage people from buying to resell).

As for the other bonuses, all five previously-announced early reservation preorder weapons will be included if you order by the deadline along with the Welcome To The Wabi-Sabi Tea Party wallpaper. Here's a summary of each of the four versions e-Capcom is offering:

Sengoku Basara 4 Sumeragi Complete Edition set
  • Sengoku Basara 4 Sumeragi 21 Costume Hobby Box edition of the game
  • An 'approximately life-sized' bath towel
  • Ashikaga Yoshiteru's preorder DLC weapon Rinne Genkou
  • All four early preorder bonus weapons (if preordered before 24th May)
  • The wallpaper of the game's box art (if preordered before 24th May)
  • The Welcome To The Wabi-Sabi Tea Party wallpaper (if preordered before 24th May)
This version will cost ¥17,990 (PS4) or ¥16,990 (PS3).

If you don't want the 21 DLC costume codes from the 21 Costume Hobby Box version, you can order the standard version instead and still receive the bonuses:

Sengoku Basara 4 Sumeragi Limited Edition set
  • Sengoku Basara 4 Sumeragi standard edition of the game
  • An 'approximately life-sized' bath towel
  • Ashikaga Yoshiteru's preorder DLC weapon Rinne Genkou
  • All four early preorder bonus weapons (if preordered before 24th May)
  • The wallpaper of the game's box art (if preordered before 24th May)
  • The Welcome To The Wabi-Sabi Tea Party wallpaper (if preordered before 24th May)
This version will cost ¥12,990 (PS4) or ¥11,990 (PS3).

To sweeten the deal further, one lucky buyer will be randomly selected to receive a 300cm x 300cm 'extraordinary Honda Tadakatsu towel' as a bonus prize.


The special bundles will be made to order so if you want any of those towels, you will have to place a preorder. The early preorder period for the bonus weapons and wallpaper ends on 24th May and after that the bundle listings will only remain available until 5th June 2015 at 23:59 Japan time.

e-Capcom will also be selling the game without the towel, so make sure the listing you choose says it's the 'Limited' or 'Complete' edition before buying. I'll add the direct links on Friday.

Note: e-Capcom does not ship outside Japan, however it's possible to order from them using a proxy or forwarding service.

Since the preorder period commences on Friday this week, those of us in western countries can probably expect to see listings appearing elsewhere on Thursday evening. It's possible that other specialist stores will be offering their own exclusive Sengoku Basara merchandise as a preorder incentive too.

This week's Weekly Famitsu magazine will include an article about the new game

The latest preview of Thursday's issue of Weekly Famitsu has also gone online today and once again Sengoku Basara 4 Sumeragi is going to be highlighted in a 6-page feature. The article will include information about Sen No Rikyuu's gameplay, the Battle Roulette system and the remaining major tie-in DLC costumes.

Thursday, 9 April 2015

News roundup: A few more updates and the Nico Nico event schedule

I posted the last news roundup before bed and as soon as I woke up there was a little more news. The pace of updates is impressive lately!

The Famitsu website posts a gameplay article for Ashikaga Yoshiteru

Most of this is already confirmed anyway but there are a couple of screenshots I hadn't seen before. You can check the full article here.

Update: The same pictures are also available at 4Gamer now. Thanks to Balder for the link!

The cover art is revealed for the second volume of Mame Sengoku Basara 4

The official e-Capcom store has revealed that Mitsunari and Sakon will have the honour of adorning the cover of the second book in Sumeragi's cute manga adaptation when it goes on sale at the end of this month. It's a very busy, colourful cover once again! There are some small sample pages at the link as well for those who haven't been keeping up with Mame Sengoku Basara 4.


More details for the upcoming Nico Nico Choukaigi 2015 event

Capcom added another news post earlier today with more information about their offerings at the Nico Nico Choukaigi 2015 subculture event on the 25th and 26th April.

Attendees will be able to play the special event-exclusive demo version of the game called Sengoku Basara 4 Sumeragi 'Super-Special★Bomb Soldier Challenge Version', which has been described as a game mode where the nameless, invincible bomb soldier has to gather as many Tenka Medals as possible. A footnote adds that there will be demos available for the normal version of the game in some stores as early as May.

Fans who visit the booth to play the bomb soldier demo will receive a Sengoku Basara 4 Sumeragi folding fan.


The schedule for the Sengoku Basara 4 Sumeragi VS DMC4 SE streaming channel has also been confirmed; all timing quoted is based on Japan's time zone. Hosts KobaP and Gatchman will be present throughout the day.

Saturday 25th April 2015

10:00 Opening
10:15 Sengoku Basara 4 Sumeragi 'super' latest information corner (guest: director Yamamoto)
11:00 DMC4 Special Edition 'super' latest information corner (guests: director Itsuno, producer Fujii)
12:00 Premiere of the new Sengoku Basara 4 Sumeragi characters' gameplay with live commentary (guest: director Yamamoto)
13:00 Premiere of Vergil in DMC4 Special Edition with live commentary (guests: director Itsuno, producer Fujii)
14:00 KobaP's Super Talk Room (guests: entertainers Saaya, Kuboki Kaho, Kuraoka Kinatsu)
15:00 Challenge Gatchman! Sengoku Basara 4 Sumeragi 'Super★Bomb Soldier Challenge'
16:00 Party with KobaP and the developers! (guests: director Itsuno, director Yamamoto)
17:00 Challenge Gatchman! DMC4 Special Edition 'Bloody Palace Challenge' (guest: director Itsuno)
17:45 Ending

Sunday 26th April 2015

10:00 Opening
10:15 Sengoku Basara 4 Sumeragi 'super' latest information corner (guest: director Yamamoto)
11:00 DMC4 Special Edition 'super' latest information corner (guests: director Itsuno, producer Fujii)
12:00 Premiere of the new Sengoku Basara 4 Sumeragi characters' gameplay with live commentary (guest: director Yamamoto)
13:00 Premiere of Vergil in DMC4 Special Edition with live commentary (guests: director Itsuno, producer Fujii)
14:00 KobaP's Super Talk Room (guests: Yokoyama Masayoshi of Sega Games, Ichimura Ryuutarou of Square-Enix, Matsuyama Hiroshi of CyberConnect2, Harada Katsuhiro of Bandai Namco Entertainment)
15:00 Challenge Gatchman! Sengoku Basara 4 Sumeragi 'Super★Bomb Soldier Challenge'
16:00 Challenge Gatchman! DMC4 Special Edition 'Bloody Palace Challenge' (guest: director Itsuno)
16:45 Ending

There are some very interesting guests in KobaP's talk room on the Sunday. Please see this previous post if you need more information about the event and the planned live streams.

Wednesday, 8 April 2015

News roundup: This week's Sengoku Basara 4 Sumeragi magazine coverage

This week's Sengoku Basara 4 Sumeragi news from Japanese gaming magazines

Weekly Famitsu magazine (issue dated 23rd April 2015) was just released in Japan but unfortunately the Capcom coverage is lousy this week after we were spoilt last time around. Hopefully the next issue will be better. The only thing I can report is that the PlayStation 3 version of Sengoku Basara 4 Sumeragi has jumped up to 23rd place in Weekly Famitsu's list of most wanted upcoming games. The PlayStation 4 version is now in 36th place too; it looks as though last week's big news update had a positive effect.

The blow was softened a little as this fortnight's issue of Dengeki PlayStation (issue 588) recapped all of the announcements from last Thursday and added a few new screenshots. The shot which seems to depict Masamune and Yukimura teaming up against Yoshiteru for the latter's drama route (bottom of this page) is accompanied by a new one of Yoshiteru's foot in the foreground of a blazing encounter between Masamune, Yukimura and Nobunaga. His drama storyline apparently involves his search for someone worthy to be his rival, so how this might fit with the screenshots is anyone's guess.

Series director Yamamoto Makoto added a few comments about Yoshiteru for Dengeki PlayStation's article.
  • To put it plainly, Yoshiteru is the 'strongest player' in the entire series. He can be quick, strong and he can even use various elements in addition to his brand new one (quake).
  • In his drama route, the Emperor who wields all of that power descends to being the same level as a regular citizen - that's a big problem for the land of Hinomoto (Japan).
  • Being aware of the relationship that Shingen and Kenshin have as rivals is one of the things which spurs the isolated Yoshiteru onwards. Please take a look and see where the Emperor's journey takes him.
A few other miscellaneous points from the article, some of which are already mentioned on the website too except I forgot to add them to my last news post:
  • If you mess up and don't press the buttons in time for Yoshiteru's first R2 special Inochi No Kagiroi ('Blaze Of Life'), it will heal the enemies and damage the player instead.
  • It's hinted that if you import your save data from Sengoku Basara 4 you'll be able to unlock the skill revisions for a few characters right from the start (I guess that indicates how many medals you might expect to receive as a conversion bonus).
  • Katakura Kojuurou will have a drama route. The magazine writers wonder how the bond between Masamune and Kojuurou will be depicted this time.
  • Matsu will have a drama route (!). That's where the website's shots of the cooking contest to determine the greatest flavour in the land come from.
The game is currently sitting in 9th place in Dengeki PlayStation's ranking of upcoming games (the voting split is 11.7% PS4, 88.3% PS3).

There's one other new picture of Kanetsugu and it shows him flying into the air weirdly. Expect the new pictures to turn up on various gaming websites in the next few hours now the magazine has gone on sale.

Sample images for the preorder-exclusive Sengoku Basara 4 Sumeragi wallpapers

The official website updated a few days ago to add samples of the additional wallpaper buyers will be offered if they preorder the game early enough to qualify for Yoshiteru's weapon, depending on which shop you use for your preorder. The options are pictured here (descriptions below):


  • Comic SUMERAGI comes from Amazon Japan.
  • Azure-Crimson Duel Ink Painting Illustration is from GEO.
  • Piko Piko Masamune-kun ~Setouchi Monogatari~ (the one which looks like a classic handheld game) is from Game TSUTAYA.
  • Basara Girls Seven is from Furuhon Ichiba.
  • Welcome To The Wabi-Sabi Tea Party is from all other shops participating in the campaign.
It's likely most import stores will be offering the final one (if any) but I'll confirm once we know the full preorder details on 18th April. If the new video doesn't appear online in a site update tonight, I guess it will follow on or around the 18th April too to help promote the preorder campaign.

Bonus: Yamamoto Makoto's BASARA Sengoku HERO articles for Nobunaga, Nouhime and Ranmaru

Monthly magazine Dengeki Maoh has been running extra instalments of Sengoku Basara series director YamamotoD's BASARA Sengoku HERO column from Sengoku Basara Magazine recently. It's the ongoing column where he discusses how each character was created using actual historical anecdotes as inspiration. This is great as it means they can cover characters at a quicker rate but since it's not really advertised well I had to order the issues I missed! Here are the three columns I've found so far.

Dengeki Maoh March 2015 (Oda Nobunaga):
  • The column begins by looking back at the time of the first game, to when they were picking out the characters. YamamotoD said that when you simply cannot discuss the Sengoku period without Oda Nobunaga; there's nobody more famous than him amongst the historical warriors of that period. So since they obviously had to include Nobunaga, they started the design process by creating a version of him wearing western-style silver armour.
  • They also knew right from the beginning that his image colour would be black like the historical Nobunaga. There's actually no real-life documentation which states that Nobunaga especially liked black; it's simply that his image as the 'Demon King' and his association with tea master Sen No Rikyuu (who famously favoured black over other colours) has led to him being firmly associated with the colour.
  • The writers noted that since Rikyuu was going to be in Sengoku Basara 4 Sumeragi, fans will probably be looking forward to seeing whether there are any references to his relationship with Nobunaga.
  • YamamotoD's favourite anecdote about the real Nobunaga is the story about how he tossed incense at his father's memorial tablet. The tales about him and Saitou Dousan have an appealing kind of chivalry about them too. There are lots of stories about the actual historical figure which leave the impression that he was very good at promoting himself.
  • The Nobunaga of Sengoku Basara is depicted as being absolute evil, a reference to his 'Demon King' side. But he's actually been gradually transforming over the course of the series. In the first game, much of his dialogue was surprisingly humane. If Nouhime or Ranmaru fell in battle his lines would be full of regret.
  • This began to change in Sengoku Basara 2 when Toyotomi Hideyoshi showed up. Like Hideyoshi, Nobunaga had the role of 'final boss' and he seemed to be a warrior who had cast his human emotions aside.
  • One of Nobunaga's distinguishing features is the way he gradually loses his humanity as the series progresses. His self-centredness remains the same, but the changes are particularly noticeable in the way he speaks.
  • In Sengoku Basara Battle Heroes, Matsunaga Hisahide asks Nobunaga whether what he wants isn't just 'chaos', but 'nothingness'. The interviewer asked whether nihilism is Nobunaga's ultimate goal, to which YamamotoD responded that what he's really looking for is 'conquest'. However, if conquering repeatedly for its own sake leads to 'nothingness', it probably doesn't bother him.
  • In the ending of Nobunaga's Sengoku Creation route in Sengoku Basara 4, he went to conquer another world. This was a reference to the overseas conquest the real-life Nobunaga wasn't able to achieve.
  • He recognises Nouhime as his wife, but having her at his side brings out more of 'Nobunaga's humanity'. So that's been making it harder for her to appear in the series recently.
  • The interviewer asked why Nobunaga forgave Katsuie after the latter's rebellion in his Sengoku Basara 4 drama route. Nobunaga is a tolerant man and he acknowledges Katsuie's purity of spirit.
  • Changing the subject slightly, Nobunaga is also fond of Ranmaru and YamamotoD suspects that Ranmaru's purity appeals to him.
  • Yet Mitsuhide's scheming enrages him. Nobunaga understands that Mitsuhide wants to kill him but keeps him as a retainer anyway because of his tolerant spirit. In his eyes, Mitsuhide lives with him and freeloads (haha). The reason that his predictable uprisings make Nobunaga angry is because Mitsuhide is so brilliant at annoying people. In other words, Mitsuhide is probably the natural enemy of a person like Nobunaga.
Dengeki Maoh April 2015 (Nouhime):
  • The introduction describes Nouhime as the series' foremost beauty in Japanese-style clothing, and begs fans not to forget about her even though she hasn't been around much recently.
  • Back when they were creating the first Sengoku Basara game, they wanted to portray the Oda Army as a tremendously powerful enemy. Nouhime was Nobunaga's legal wife so of course she had to be there.
  • Since he wanted to include a voluptuous female character who wore her kimono in a casual style, that mental image ended up being a perfect match.
  • The interviewer said Nouhime was the first character they picked in the original Sengoku Basara, and to this day they remember the surprise of discovering her unique play style based on gun action.
  • YamamotoD explained that Nouhime's movements are based on 'dance'; she twirls around and fires all over the place. Frankly speaking, her style is rather like Gun Kata. Though Nouhime is often compared to Saika Magoichi, who also wields dual pistols, if Nouhime's key phrase is 'dance' then Magoichi's would be 'modern-day mercenaries'.
  • Speaking of Magoichi, the interviewer asked whether the reason Nouhime hasn't been featured in the game series recently is because they wanted to avoid having another gun user in the roster. YamamotoD said that this wasn't the case because the two characters play completely differently to one another. The similarities between their weapons doesn't bother the team at all. A bigger factor is that Nobunaga has been presented as more of an inhuman 'Demon King' lately, as he mentioned in the Nobunaga article above.
  • The next question was about the changes they'd make to Nouhime if they reintroduced her now, after the gameplay improvements which were made for Sengoku Basara 3. YamamotoD confirmed that they'd have to rebuild her for the current games since everyone else's power has increased so much. He'd like to make the 'completed' Nouhime pretty strong - with more power, and more stylish Gun Kata.
  • YamamotoD's image of the real Nouhime is of a 'manly' woman who chose Nobunaga over her father. His answer refers to a famous anecdote where Nouhime's father, Saitou Dousan, was sending her off to the Oda family as a bride. He supposedly gave his daughter a dagger and told her to kill Nobunaga with it if he turned out to be a fool (as was rumoured). Nouhime's response was to say that if Nobunaga wasn't a fool, the blade may well end up stabbing Dousan instead. This answer apparently pleased her father, who said "As expected of the Viper of Mino's daughter!" and sent her off with a laugh.
  • The interviewer asked about the way Nouhime appears to alternate between showing and hiding her sympathy towards Oichi. He responded that she does what she has to do; even if part of her feels sympathetic, she's battling for Nobunaga's ideals and won't show her enemies any mercy.
  • Part of what Nouhime loves about Nobunaga is that he doesn't waver. Even though she doesn't always think Nobunaga's methods are right, she's made the decision to go along with them.
  • Nouhime's maternal side is the reason she seems so stern towards her enemies while being gentle inside. We see glimpses of her kind, motherly side in her interactions with Ranmaru and the smile during her ending in Sengoku Basara 2.
  • In the world of Sengoku Basara 4, she'd probably view Katsuie as a pitiable child. Nouhime wouldn't usually reach out to help a traitor but she'd realise Yoshiteru incited the rebellion and aim her fury at him instead. Although she only appeared in Katsuie's anime ending, if things had turned out differently the two of them would probably have had a good relationship with one another.
  • When asked about what he'd like to do with Nouhime in future, YamamotoD responded that first she'd need to become playable again. If he gets the chance to update her gameplay to match the more recent titles, he thinks she'd be really powerful and fun to control. He also wants to find out what will happen if she ever gets to meet Kyougoku Maria...
Dengeki Maoh May 2015 (Mori Ranmaru):
  • The 'mischievous boy' of the Oda Army family is a lively lad who admires stylish heroes.
  • Before working on his design, YamamotoD's favourite anecdote about the real-life Mori Ranmaru wasn't actually something he did himself. Oda Nobunaga was said to be especially proud of three of his possessions. The first of these was his white-flecked falcon, the second was a bluebird and the third was Ranmaru. It's as though Ranmaru was treated like a pet...
  • Nobunaga's love of falconry was well known. A group of daimyou from other regions once presented him with the birds as a gift. The one which Nobunaga liked most was a white-flecked falcon from Oushuu.
  • Though the real Ranmaru is usually associated with the image of a beautiful young man, Sengoku Basara portrays him as an unruly brat. YamamotoD had envisaged him as a spunky boy right from the very beginning of the design process.
  • As they continued to work on his physical appearance, Tsuchibayashi Makoto, who was in charge of design, developed Ranmaru's 'naughty brat' look further. His face gradually became increasingly impish; he became more mischievous with every change they made.
  • The interviewer remarked that Sengoku Basara's Nobunaga seemed very fond of this naughty brat. Since Nobunaga, Nouhime and Ranmaru almost seem like a family of three, could Nobunaga have fatherly feeling towards Ranmaru?
  • YamamotoD answered that although it seems as though Nobunaga is acting in a fatherly way, there's another possibility which comes from that historical anecdote he mentioned before - Nobunaga could be thinking of Ranmaru as a beloved pet rather than a human being. As he said in the previous article, Nobunaga hasn't been portrayed as displaying many human emotions recently and Ranmaru hasn't appeared much recently either.
  • As for Ranmaru, his feelings towards Nobunaga are much simpler; he's attracted to how 'cool' Nobunaga is! He's a kid and he loves powerful, stylish things. It doesn't matter whether a person is a hero or an antihero. The meeting between the two of them was depicted in Ranmaru's Sengoku Basara 2 opening movie.
  • Ranmaru gets along well with Nouhime; they have a pure mother-child dynamic. She cares about Ranmaru in a maternal way and he's attached to her as well.
  • In contrast, his relationship with Akechi Mitsuhide is terrible. They squabble like the characters from Tom and Jerry. To Mitsuhide, Ranmaru is an annoying brat - while Ranmaru considers Mitsuhide one of his underlings.
  • Ranmaru's fighting style is different to (fellow bow-user) Tsuruhime in that he throws himself into his attacks and fights at point-blank range. Tsuruhime was created to be someone who makes an opening and fires her bow at a distance. Even though they both use bows, their play styles are completely different.
  • The interviewer asked what would happen if Ranmaru ever met Tsuruhime, since in a way they're both pure children. YamamotoD laughed and said that the two of them are on completely different wavelengths. If Tsuruhime was the head of the student council at school, Ranmaru would be the idiotic boy running around the classroom. He'd probably call her stupid and refuse to listen to a single word she said.
  • The interviewer asked what YamamotoD would like to do with Ranmaru in future. He answered that just like Nouhime, Ranmaru would have to be revived as a playable character first of all! Since the pair of them have been imprisoned by Mitsuhide in the world of Sengoku Basara 4, YamamotoD would like to show how the two of them escape behind the scenes one day.

Monday, 6 April 2015

Today's acquisitions (6th April 2015)

I haven't taken a picture of any of my new deliveries in ages. It's time for a catch-up to distract me from the disappointment that the new Sumeragi video hasn't gone online yet (hehe).

First up is Diabolik Lovers Dark Fate for PlayStation Vita. I preordered the Animate pack which meant I received the special edition version of the game, the new exclusive anime episode on DVD, a large clear file, rubber straps of Carla and Shin, a bromide and four exclusive drama CDs (one's a double pack). That's a lot of extras for a single game purchase!


Moving on, I picked up the latest issues of Animedia Deluxe and Dengeki Maoh for their Sengoku Basara content. Animedia Deluxe wasn't a good buy as I already had all of the Judge End illustrations from previous magazines, but Dengeki Maoh had a column written by YamamotoD that I want to translate. Expect it to appear here in the next couple of weeks when the previous issue has also been delivered. The latest Gakuen Basara arrived too so I'm looking forward to reading it soon.

The books are accompanied by CDs with the opening themes for Akatsuki No Yona, Death Parade and Binan Koukou Chikyuu Boueibu LOVE! as well as Showgeki Basara Talk! Chousokabe & Mouri No Maki Special-ban and the final Jooubachi No Mitsunaru Chouai CD, which included a bonus disc for buying all three episodes from Stellaworth. The Boueibu CD came with a character card (mine was Yufuin En) and Dengeki Maoh included a bonus rubber strap of Heiwajima Shizuo from the MiniDura manga.


The last set of goodies are the six prize figures from this year's Ichiban Kuji Sengoku Basara ~Sengoku Sousei~ lottery which I bought from resellers since you can't enter the draw from overseas.


A slightly closer view of the two 'real figure' Masamune prizes. I like them both. It's not shown in the pictures but the stands have his Giga Basara dragon on them - the dragon is black on a transparent grey background for the regular version, and gold on black for the white figure.


As much as I love the others, I think my favourite is actually the Katsuie figure. You can remove his helmet and they've used a sparkly metallic green paint for the armour (like the special 'Last One' prize versions of Masamune, Yukimura, Mitsunari and Sakon). So cute!

Saturday, 4 April 2015

News roundup: Today's Basara Club Fan Meeting events and pictures of the new plushies

A new Sengoku Basara 4 Sumeragi video is coming soon

The first two small scale Basara Club Fan Meeting 2015 Spring events took place in Tokyo today and according to a handful of reports from the people lucky enough to attend, there was a live dialogue reading from a newly-revealed Setouchi (Motochika and Motonari) route of some kind which will feature in Sengoku Basara 4 Sumeragi. It was apparently comical but there was no specific mention about whether it was a Motonari or Motochika route. It might have been the anime route which was hinted at in the game's first promotional video.

Even more excitingly, a new Sumeragi promotional video debuted at the event which revealed that series veteran Ishikawa Chiaki will be performing the game's ending theme! Motonari's seiyuu reportedly commented that the video was packed with ridiculous moments.

Another event taking place at the moment is the Sengoku Warrior Chronicle Fair Chapter 1 "The Mystery of Sanada Yukimura" fair in Osaka. Japanese fan @yukimurabo attended today and reported that the new promotional video was on display at the Sengoku Basara 4 Sumeragi booth too (there's a photo at the Twitter link). I'm guessing that the new video and ending theme song confirmation will appear online on Monday unless they decide to keep the news event-exclusive until the final Fan Meeting event on 18th April.

Update 05/04/2015: A couple of additional shots from the video have now been posted too. Now I think about it, the 18th April is when the preorders open so they might hold the video back until then. I hope not!

Speaking of Yukimura-themed events in Osaka, it's also been confirmed that Capcom (and Koei-Tecmo) will be attending the Tennouji Sanada Yukimura Fair "Akazonae No Shou" again on 10th May 2015.

First pictures of the upcoming Ieyasu and Keiji plushies

The two new plushies (Ieyasu and Keiji) which were revealed a little while ago have now been spotted on the official Algernon Product website. While they'll go on general release in June 2015, visitors to the Super Comic City 24 doujin event can pick them up at the Gift booth on the first weekend in May.


I've started work on a Sengoku Basara 4 Sumeragi reference guide

I compiled all of the confirmed information about Sengoku Basara 4 Sumeragi into a single post yesterday to make it easier to keep track of things. Though I'll keep blogging new information whenever it's announced as usual, if you're not sure about anything that post is the best place to check first since I'll try to keep it up to date.

A fellow fan recently emailed me asking for skill and weapon translations for the Utage characters who weren't playable in Sengoku Basara 4. I'll add the skill names for all of the new characters to that master post when I have time (and when they're all revealed) but since Ujimasa isn't in the game this time, here are his details from Sengoku Basara 3 Utage.

Houjou Ujimasa 北条氏政
Character image phrase: 老成剛毅 Rousei Gouki ('Mature Fortitude')
Seiyuu: Miyazawa Tadashi
Element: Ice
Weapon type: Houjou Eikou-Yari ('Houjou Spear Of Glory')
Weapon names: Rokutouyari Tsunahiro (Deer-blade Spear "Tsunahiro") - they all have the same name and model in Utage

And his moves...

Hold Square: Houojouke Tenka Hitohineri (Houjou Clan: Shaping The Nation)
Triangle: Houjouke Saikoukyuu (Houjou Clan: Ultimate Moxibustion)
Forward+Triangle: Houjouke Shikou Senpuu (Houjou Clan: Supreme Whirlwind)
R1: Houjouke Hisou Tengai (Houjou Clan: Spear Flying Beyond The Heavens)
L1+Triangle: Houjouke Hyouketsu Ougi (Houjou Clan: Freezing Secret Art)
R2: Houjouke Eikoseisui (Houjou Clan: The Glorious Rise And Fall)