Monday, 25 May 2015

How to redeem your Sumeragi ID (deadline: 7th June 2015)

Amazon Japan have finally sent out a batch of Sumeragi ID codes to customers who placed their preorder on time, which means I can now create a guide for claiming the 'early reservation' DLC and bonus preorder wallpapers! Fortunately, it's quite simple.


1. Check your email for the unique 'Sumeragi ID' code, which you should receive by 29th May 2015 if you placed your preorder at a participating store. You have to register this code online before 23:59 (Japan time) on 7th June 2015 to qualify for the four special elemental weapons pictured above. If the email is in Japanese, just look for the word 'ID' before a 16-digit code.

2. Visit this page.

3. Enter your full Sumeragi ID code in the large white box. Do not enter the hypens (-) or leave any spaces blank. You will see the code appear in the boxes below as you type.

4. Click on the large black button below to submit your code.


5. Success! You'll be taken to a page which explains the bonus items you should be receiving when the game is released on 23rd July 2015. The Amazon confirmation page looks like this (if you ordered elsewhere, your bonus wallpaper on the right might look different).


6. Scroll down a little further and you can download the standard 'reservation complete' wallpaper in various formats.


7. If you're worried that your Sumeragi ID might be lost or someone else might try to use it, the next part of the page lets you register it to your email address. I think it's a good idea to do this, especially if you ordered through a deputy service where orders might get mixed up.

Enter your email address in the white box, and click the black button at the bottom like before.


8. You'll receive an email with a verification link. If you don't click the link within two hours, it will expire. If that happens just repeat the last step until you can complete the process.

9. After you click the verification link, you'll see a final confirmation screen like the one below. Make sure you click 'Yes' or the registration won't be completed.


That's it, you're done!

Keep your Sumeragi ID safe; you'll need it again to claim your download codes once the game is released.

Note: The 'early reservation' preorder campaign is now over. If you have not already placed an order with a participating store, your best chance to obtain the weapons is to order the Asian PS4 version from Play-Asia as they're claiming that the first press edition will include a DLC code.

Sunday, 24 May 2015

News roundup: Reports from this weekend's events and the lyrics for Heavenly Blue

Gaming websites post their reports from the final Sengoku Basara 4 Sumeragi demo event

Today marked the last of the Sengoku Basara 4 Sumeragi in-store demonstration events held in five gaming shops across Japan. Famitsu, Dengeki and Gamer have all posted their reports from the final event held in Ikebukuro so we finally have some confirmed details (and pictures) explaining what took place there. Famitsu's article was written by reporter Giant Kuroda who has been covering the game regularly in the magazine; I used his version with a few details from the other accounts for this summary.
  • The Ikebukuro event was very popular with fans of all three of the games being demonstrated; KobaP posted a photograph showing that all of the tickets had been reserved within an hour of the doors opening.
  • There were around 100 fans at the talk show with the two producers (Kobayashi 'KobaP' Hiroyuki and Gyakuten Saiban's Kojima Shintarou).
  • The first topic at the talk show was DMC4 Special Edition. Each of these demo events has showcased a short video about a different character. This time, they unveiled a clip where Vergil was dressed in red and moving like Dante, even using similar techniques. KobaP couldn't reveal more details about this (yet). He's planning on sharing the DMC4 Special Edition clips shown at these events prior to the game's release date.
  • Back to Sengoku Basara 4 Sumeragi, they played the same video which was used at the other events to show off the first three sets of crossover costumes. Ieyasu in his T.M.Revolution costume was a big hit and made the audience laugh.
  • KobaP drew attention to Yukimura and Nagamasa with their NJPW tie-in costumes, jokingly reminding their fans that it was the first time they could get a look at the characters' thighs.
  • The new video for the Ikebukuro event was an '(Approximately) 10-second Theatre' clip featuring a cool animated scene where Masamune crosses swords with Mitsunari. It made the large number of female fans in the audience cheer. The Gamer article has the best pictures of the video.
  • KobaP appreciates attending this kind of event because he can watch the live reactions from the fans; it's a different experience to releasing an ad or magazine article and he doesn't often get the chance to speak with the players directly. Apparently the reactions from the fans can vary across regions.
  • The reason this series of regional events took place was because KobaP tried something similar during the promotion for Sengoku Basara 4 and it was well-received. He'd like to be able to organise more relaxed events like this in future.
  • They've created a lot of video clips for Sengoku Basara 4 Sumeragi and they'll be releasing them online from time to time.
  • KobaP apologised to the fans who had travelled to the shops just to watch the special videos but he really wants to share them with everyone else as well. So that those fans don't feel cheated, he's going to start off with newer videos and post the event ones later on - but they're definitely going to be shown eventually.
  • Incidentally, there were four short videos played at the earlier events. So far I've heard that one had a Shingen versus Kenshin theme, one used Sasuke versus Yoshiteru and a third highlighted the Setouchi characters. The other one from last weekend is still a mystery, though it's possible that it was the Masamune versus Yukimura video which Capcom published a few days ago. I personally think it was something else based on KobaP's comments.

Bonus: Lyrics for Ishikawa Chiaki's Sengoku Basara 4 Sumeragi ending theme

I still can't get enough of Ishikawa Chiaki's beautiful Heavenly Blue so I tried transcribing the lyrics from the short version which plays in the game's second trailer. There's no official version of the lyrics yet so it's very likely that I've made some mistakes.

--

Ichirin no asagao no utsukushisa wo omae nara
Dou tatoeru no darou, dou sawaru no darou

Damarikomu utsuwa ni kuchibiru tsukete
Fukunda keshiki wo watashi nara, dou yomu no darou

Heavenly blue... heavenly blue...
Bonpyaku no mono ha kirisutete yuku

Heavenly blue...
Youshanaku furu tetsukuzu no mai
Soko kara yuiitsu no suijin dake wo nokosu
Kyuukyoku no sue

--

I don't usually like to write full translations because it's hard to get the nuances right, but the song has obviously been written especially for the series using Sen No Rikyuu as inspiration and I couldn't find any other attempts. I think some people might find the lyrics interesting, partly because they reveal a little about Sengoku Basara's version of Rikyuu and partly because they fit the visuals in the video wonderfully.

Note: The morning glory or asagao flower is closely associated with the real-life Sen No Rikyuu. The 'heavenly blue' of the title is also the name of a type of morning glory.

--

The beauty of a single morning glory flower
What might you liken it to? How might you touch it?

Falling silent, you place your lips to the vessel
The imagery in your mind, how might I glimpse it?

Heavenly blue... heavenly blue...
To go ahead and cast so many things away

Heavenly blue...
A relentless dance of scrap iron
After which only a lone man of culture remains
The ultimate conclusion

Friday, 22 May 2015

Video: (Approximately) 10-second Theatre: Azure-Crimson Showdown!

This short video showcases an animated scene from one of the new story routes in Sengoku Basara 4 Sumeragi. The animation was created by Production I.G. The video has been published to coincide with the end of the 'early reservation' preorder campaign this weekend.


A different '(Approximately) 10-second Theatre' video is being shown at each of the five gameplay demonstration events across Japan. The final two events will take place this weekend, so perhaps we’ll see the rest of the videos appear online very soon.

(Thank you to AZ Shibakusa for bringing this to my attention!)

Thursday, 21 May 2015

News roundup: Additional details from today's Sengoku Basara 4 Sumeragi website update

I thought there would only be a couple of new details in the website update, but actually there's enough for another mini news post.

The biggest news is the full move list for Kyougoku Maria. I still don't know why Weekly Famitsu only printed a partial list; here are the missing details.

There's a little more information about Maria's Furukuru♪ ('Swinging Spin♪'), the short ranged move where she makes enemies twirl like spinning tops. It's capable of hitting many enemies at the same time.

Maria can also bind enemies with the cloth, putting them in a 'bound' state. Bound enemies cannot move from their position, and after a while they'll explode and hit nearby soldiers.

There are several moves which take advantage of this. Midarauchi♪ ('Indecent Strike♪') is where three pieces of cloth fly out simultaneously and put anyone they hit into this 'bound' state. It's ideal for attacking enemies at long range since it has more reach than Maria's regular attacks.

Then there's Amai Wana♪ ('Sweet Trap♪'), where four pieces of cloth appear in the ground in front of Maria and the enemies within that area become 'bound', unable to move for a short time and visibly distressed. This move can be used to set 'bound' enemies up in specific locations.

Maria freely plays around on the battlefield, toying with her opponents as much as she likes. Iro Nawatobi♪ ('Sexy Skipping Rope♪') is a move where she dashes forwards using her cloth as a skipping rope, defeating any enemies who get caught up in her path.

Her Oshibeshimobe Kuruma♪ ('Stamen Servant Car♪') sleigh move detailed yesterday also unleashes a powerful attack if it hits a player character.

Main Story: While Maria cavorts around as she pleases, making enemies across the land, she pulls her brother Nagamasa and his wife Oichi into the struggle for Hinomoto. What could her most capricious plan be...?

Drama Route Story: Maria leaves Nagamasa and Oichi to go in search of a worthy marriage partner for herself. The self-indulgent hunt for a bridegroom begins. But in the end, the bridegroom Maria finds is really...?

Other minor observations:
  • Kojuurou's black medal costume will have the word Jin ('Humanity') on the back of his coat.
  • Oichi's leopard print costume is also said to incorporate stockings... The site insists that she's still the same familiar Oichi inside despite the outfit.
  • Maria's two-character Giga Basara title is Sengen ('Source of the Hot Spring'). In this case it's probably a reference to her ties to Sengenji.

The Sengoku Basara 4 Sumeragi soundtrack is on the way

The other big announcement today was that the Sengoku Basara 4 Sumeragi Original Soundtracks (sic) will be released on 29th July 2015, priced at ¥3,200 before tax. It will contain one CD with 26 tracks including Sen No Rikyuu's theme. First press copies will include a sticker of Rikyuu.


Incidentally, fans of Ishikawa Chiaki's ending theme Heavenly Blue can pick it up on her next album, Monogatari No Saisho To Saigo Ha Iranai. It's scheduled for release on 16th September 2015 and will include a DVD with videos of two live song performances.

T.M.Revolution's opening theme DOUBLE-DEAL is already available on his album TEN ('HEAVEN') which can be purchased worldwide on CD or through digital media outlets such as iTunes.

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

News roundup: Maria's move list and those Resident Evil crossover costumes

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

Another Thursday in Japan means another new issue of Weekly Famitsu magazine (dated 4th June 2015). We already got a sneak peek at the content thanks to the official preview article yesterday, so let's see what other Sengoku Basara 4 Sumeragi information can be found within its pages.

I'll use the same numbering as the magazine again for consistency.

25. Super-sadistic action which treats enemies like toys!

The main article is a feature on the last of the game's three new playable characters, the 'wicked beauty' Kyougoku Maria. It mentions that the move where she twirls the cloth around and turns her attackers into spinning tops is called Furukuru♪ ('Swinging Spin♪').

Maria's first special (R2) move is Oshibeshimobe Kuruma♪ ('Stamen Servant Car♪'), the infamous move where she wraps enemies up in cloth and makes them pull her around like a sleigh. It's described as an effective way to travel around since it lasts for a long time and lets Maria move very quickly.

Her second special move is called Warawa No Toriko♪ ('My Prisoner♪'). It's a counter where Maria binds the enemy in cloth then appraises them carefully. The outcome might change depending on how much she likes the person she's trapped.

Maria's final special is Ichiya No Himegoto♪ ('One Night Secret♪') where she performs a spellbinding dance with her cloth which attacks every enemy on the screen at once. It's staged in an unusual way so please look out for it! (Raindrops' note: I believe that they mean the way that she also ensnares the camera with her cloth during the dance.)

For some reason they don't describe the rest of her moves so I may have to add them when the official website updates.

26. Discover more about the 'Priceless' outcome in Battle Roulette!

There's a little more information about one of the results from the Battle Roulette. The gold jackpot reward is called Priceless; as well as making a thousand Tenka Medals appear, it also gives the player some additional bonuses:
  • You'll go into Super Fever mode and be able to obtain a lot of coins.
  • Your critical hit chance will go up to 100%.
  • Dashing will blast enemy soldiers away.
It looks difficult to get the gold result from the gameplay demonstrations we've seen so far so I'm not sure how reliable this bonus will be.

27. The latest Tenka Medal reward updates.

Every news update means more medal rewards, so here's the latest batch. A couple of these were already teased in previous screenshots.
  • 16 of 167: Yukimura wearing Shingen's distinctive helmet, the Kai 'Red Bear' Ver.
  • 17 of 167: A black/red outfit for Kojuurou called the Pitch Black Duty Ver.
  • 18 of 167: A costume for Nobunaga (which looks exactly like his Sengoku Basara 3 one) called the Demon King of the Virtuous Heaven Ver.
  • 19 of 167: A strange-looking costume for Oichi called the Leopard Print Ver.
  • 20 of 167: A skill enhancement for Ishida Mitsunari which attacks the ground a short distance in front of Mitsunari with a flash sweep to the side. The enemies hit by the attack can also be pulled towards the player.
  • 21 of 167: A skill enhancement for Shima Sakon. While in his sword stance, Sakon performs a quick slash which leads into a launching attack. If he's in his kick stance, he rolls forward along the ground and kicks the enemy.
  • 22 of 167: A skill enhancement for Gotou Matabee. On the ground, Matabee spreads poisonous mist then immediately takes a step back. In the air, it's a quick attack where he throws his fangblade directly beneath him.
  • 23 of 167: A skill enhancement for Maeda Keiji. If Keiji is on the ground, he performs a single huge sweep, then rises up and launches the enemies into the air. If he's airborne, his scabbard flies around in an arc and draws the enemies in.
I guess Kojuurou's medal costume isn't Tengu Kamen, or does that mean he has two like Yukimura? The screenshots showing the skill revisions have the characters wearing alternate costumes. It's hard to tell whether Matabee's is the one from the Nico Nico Choukaigi 2015 stream from the angle but it looks fantastic. I can't tell whether Keiji is wearing his regular outfit or a recolour because of the lighting.

28. The fourth major collaboration is unveiled: the Biohazard series!

The other big news which was teased yesterday was the fourth of the major DLC costume tie-ins. Four Sengoku Basara characters have been selected to dress up in Biohazard (Resident Evil) costumes.

This was all revealed yesterday when the first pictures were released but the article adds descriptions, action shots and confirms that these outfits will be available as paid DLC.
  • Maeda Keiji is dressed as Chris Redfield with the Biohazard 5 Chris Ver. costume. According to the brief description, the two men have similar muscular builds.
  • Katakura Kojuurou is Leon S. Kennedy. The official name is the Biohazard 4 Leon Ver. costume. It's supposed to make him seem even wilder as he goes around kicking things just like Leon.
  • Matsunaga Hisahide dresses up as Albert Wesker in the Biohazard 5 Wesker Ver. costume. The magazine praises the match-up for being a perfect fit for Hisahide's Hollywood-style explosion scenes.
  • Saika Magoichi is Jill Valentine in the Biohazard 3 Jill Ver. costume. The article notes that using heavy weaponry is a core part of Magoichi - and uh, remarks that you won't be able to tear your eyes away from her sexy bust during action scenes.
(Raindrops' note: I'm afraid that I haven't played a Biohazard game since the original so please forgive any grievous spelling errors. Though most sites reporting this news appear to be using the wrong names for the Sengoku Basara characters so it would be mildly amusing to get the more famous series' names wrong here.)

--

Since I was also suckered into buying last week's magazines, I can also confirm that Dengeki PlayStation had Sengoku Basara 4 Sumeragi ranked in 4th place in their list of upcoming games - a huge jump from its previous position. The voting split was 79.2% PS3 to 20.8% PS4.

The previous Weekly Famitsu had the game in 24th place (PS3) and 28th place (PS4) in the most wanted list. It's in 26th place (PS3) and 38th (PS4) this week.

--

We can expect the official website to update in the morning to confirm all of the new updates as usual. The final demonstration events are taking place this weekend, too, so perhaps we'll get to see the new videos on Monday?

Sengoku Basara 4 Sumeragi features on episode 21 of Capcom TV

Today's episode of Capcom TV featured a gameplay demonstration for Sen No Rikyuu. If you missed it, don't worry - nothing new was shown and it's likely the highlights will find their way online on the Capcom Channel later on. Capcom TV will be covering the game occasionally from now on so it's a good idea to keep watching their announcements if you want to see more footage.

Dengeki PlayStation includes Sengoku Basara in its anniversary celebration

It's got nothing to do with Weekly Famitsu, but a while ago the official Sengoku Basara Twitter account proudly announced that Date Masamune was selected for Dengeki PlayStation's 20th anniversary edition titled Memorial Characters 200. The series was ranked in 18th place for the feature and Masamune shares the list with some illustrious names.


Learn about history and escape from a shopping arcade with Sasuke

The latest real-life tourism collaboration has been announced on the official Sengoku Basara information site. To complement Takeda Shingen's activities promoting Kofu City and Sanada Yukimura's numerous appearances at fairs around Osaka, it's now Sarutobi Sasuke's turn to be the centre of attention in an event titled Osaka: The Mysterious Rebellion ~Escape From Namba's Hidden Castle Town~ (Side Story).



The Sengoku Basara tie-in is part of a larger event in the area to celebrate its previous identity as a bustling castle town during the Siege of Osaka 400 years ago, long before the train stations and modern shops arrived. According to the official description, Sasuke is being dispatched on a 'top secret mission' to the Namba Walk shopping complex. Visitors who join him for the mission and succeed will earn a special Namba One-themed Sengoku Basara card.

There will be various activities available at the Sengoku Basara booth such as a photography corner with standees and a kiosk playing the latest promotional videos. In addition, the food stalls in Namba Walk will be offering special dishes based on Sanada Yukimura and the Sanada Ten Braves.

The event will take place between 11:00 and 20:00 on the 6th, 7th, 24th and 26th of June, the 12th and 13th of September and the 7th and 8th of November 2015. Attendees can visit the Sengoku Basara booth close to the Whale Park area to pick up their 'mystery solving kit' and begin the mission.

New Sengoku Basara 4 Sumeragi merchandise is on the way

The Café Reo website has updated to reveal details of three new merchandise items, though Ieyasu fans are likely to feel disappointed by the limited options.

There will be a choice of four acrylic netsuke straps for ¥600 each. The straps show the silhouettes and four-character titles for Masamune, Yukimura, Mitsunari and Sakon.


A selection of ten different blind-boxed character badges. The badges will be available individually for ¥300 or in a pack of ten priced at ¥3,000. The first four designs use screenshots from the anime scenes created by Production I.G. for the game.


A choice of four soft hand towels for ¥1,000 each. This time the available designs are Masamune, Yukimura, Mitsunari and a selection of kamon crests used by various characters.


The new items will be available from all good merchandise shops in late July 2015.

Cover artwork for the most recent Basara Matsuri DVD recording

The official Basara Matsuri website has posted the cover artwork for the upcoming DVD version of February's Basara Matsuri 2015 ~Fuyu No Jin~ event. It's a good fit for the wintery theme.


REMINDER: The 'early reservation' preorder deadline is 24th May

There are only a few days left now to preorder Sengoku Basara 4 Sumeragi from a participating store to qualify for a Sumeragi ID and those exclusive early reservation weapons. Capcom is advising that the weapons won't be available later so please consider preordering the game if you're worried about missing out.


My code hasn't arrived yet, but I'll be posting a walkthrough for registration as soon as it does next week. Alternatively, if you get stuck please send me some screenshots of the registration screen (don't send me your Sumeragi ID) and I'll translate it from those.

If you read this too late and didn't manage to order the game in time, the mysterious Asian edition may also be offering the special weapons. As far as I know, the method for acquiring the five special weapons in the Asian version hasn't yet been confirmed by a reliable source.

A few tidbits about the designs of the preorder weapons

A recent 'Capcom Legends' blog entry in conjunction with My Capcom had series director YamamotoD explaining a few things about how they developed the preorder exclusive DLC weapons.
  • At first, he was only planning for the weapons to alter the visual effects. He wondered about whether it might change the gameplay and recalled his delight when a water-elemental crocodile turned into a lightning-elemental one in an old card game he once had (Raindrops' note: I don't know what this game was).
  • Date Masamune's Hyouryuu ('Ice Dragon') is themed on the idea of a 'legendary sword held by a hero'. Things like the blue-bronze texture make the swords look old, but also give the impression of a male dragon's face. Gradually freeze your opponent with this 'six-headed dragon'!
  • As for Ishida Mitsunari's Seitou Tomurai ('Sacred Blade: Mourning', there are thorns wrapped around the tsuka and tsuba (i.e. the handle area of the sword). The weapon was designed with the image of its wielder experiencing all kinds of pain as he sends his opponents off to the afterlife. This fits with the new element, 'feeling'; it's an appropriate match for Mitsunari!
  • The concept for Sanada Yukimura's Koukosou ('Light Tiger Claws') was 'claws of a tiger, sparkling gold'. They used six claws for the tigers because of Masamune - however since Yukimura has two spears, this means he actually has twelve claws. The tigers also form cute netsuke decorations at the bottom of each spear.
  • Since Tokugawa Ieyasu is so closely associated with the image of a tanuki already, YamamotoD ran with the idea and put the animals on both of his hands as Mikawadanuki ('Mikawa Tanuki'). The proportions were adjusted repeatedly in order to make them look adorable - and they even blink their eyes.
  • Finally, Ashikaga Yoshiteru's Rinne Genkou ('Light Of Death And Rebirth') is based on a 'clockwork emperor'. They incorporated clocks into the design because Yoshiteru has a move which can stop time, and when it transforms it instils a childlike sense of excitement.

Monday, 11 May 2015

News: Preorder listings appear for the Asian version of Sengoku Basara 4 Sumeragi

There wasn't much revealed at Sunday's in-store demonstration event and the videos still haven't been posted online, but there's one new piece of information I want to share today.

It appears that import stores have now begun listing the Asian version of Sengoku Basara 4 Sumeragi. It's identical to the Japanese edition for all practical purposes but the cost is lower because it's targeted at markets outside Japan. The in-game dialogue and on-screen text will all be in Japanese though there might be Chinese/English text on the packaging.

Here are Play-Asia's listings: PS4 version and PS3 version

The most interesting part is that Play-Asia is listing the five 'early reservation' weapons as part of the PS4 bundle. It's unknown whether buyers will receive the downloadable wallpapers and there's no 21 Costume Hobby Box Edition available, but if you're on a tight budget this is probably the best deal.

Information is scarce at the moment but I'll post as soon as I find an official press release.

Note: If it's true that the 'preorder exclusive' DLC codes are included, you may need to set up an Asian PSN account to activate them. This is very easy to do and doesn't cost anything.

Saturday, 9 May 2015

News roundup: Golden Week events, various updates and plushies

Reports from today's in-store Sengoku Basara 4 Sumeragi event in Sapporo

With the Golden Week holiday in Japan, official announcements have been scarce for the last few days. However, today was the first of the five big in-store demo events where Sengoku Basara 4 Sumeragi will be tested by members of the public across Japan. This one was in a TSUTAYA store in Sapporo; here's what people have been reporting so far.
  • The demo sessions were ten minutes long.
  • Players could choose to try either Sen No Rikyuu or Kyougoku Maria.
  • Their battle partner was always Ashikaga Yoshiteru.
  • The demo stage was the Kawanakajima Intrusion battle we've seen a few times already.
  • KobaP was wandering around watching everyone playing the demo version carefully.
  • Maria feels slow compared to the others, but she's easy to pick up and play.
  • Rikyuu moves slowly but when you use his triangle skill it really speeds things up.
  • Battle Roulette is great fun.
  • The Basara Gauge seems to fill more slowly than it did in Sengoku Basara 4.
  • One person thought they heard confirmation that all characters will be playable from the start (i.e. no unlocking required).
  • The existence of a 'Three-bee' (Hanbee/Kanbee/Matabee) stage was confirmed in the stage presentation.
  • Each of the five events will debut a new promotional video.
  • Sapporo's seems to be a very short 'Kenshin and Shingen' promotional video. It seems the five new event videos are based on specific characters.
  • There's also a new PV showing off the previously-announced DLC costumes. Ieyasu's segment was apparently a highlight. This might have been attached to the end of the other video; I'm not sure.
  • One fan recognised Hoshi Souichirou (Yukimura) playing some of the background soldiers.
KobaP has been posting snapshots on Twitter, too.

There's another demo event tomorrow in Nagoya, which is more centrally located meaning that there should be more reports with the possibility of official coverage from the various gaming news sites. It's likely the new videos will start appearing on the official Sengoku Basara 4 Sumeragi website at any time - possibly as early as Monday.

Highlights from last weekend's Machi★Asobi event

There doesn't seem to have been anything new revealed at last week's event so here are the summaries from Dengeki Online and Famitsu, for those who want to see pictures from the stage presentations and booths on offer. The only actual information reported seems to be:
  • While Sen No Rikyuu seems ridiculous from his general design, his story is serious and the ending might make people cry.
  • Ieyasu was selected for the T.M.Revolution costume because the singer's character in Sengoku Basara Judge End was affiliated with the Tokugawa army.
  • The NJPW collaboration is the first time characters like Yukimura and Nagamasa have worn outfits which exposed their bare thighs. The staff who work on the character modelling at Capcom were worried about getting them right!
Once again, KobaP has shared a bunch of photographs on his Twitter account.

Want the new Keiji and Ieyasu plushies? Preorders are now open!

AmiAmi are now accepting orders for the June Sengoku Basara 4 plushies: Tokugawa Ieyasu and Maeda Keiji. Those who have already been collecting the plushies know that they often sell out well ahead of their release (and sometimes within a matter of hours) so please don't delay if you want one of these two, just in case!


Both have already sold out at the official Gift online shop so distributors are the best chance of securing the plushies now.

The next issue of Sengoku Basara Magazine can now be preordered

Amazon Japan is listing the ninth issue of the official Sengoku Basara Magazine for 29th June 2015.

Sasuke will be featured on the cover, rubber strap and lead article this time and it will be Sakon and Katsuie on the bonus CD. There's also going to be a lot of Sengoku Basara 4 Sumeragi coverage so I can't wait to receive my copy!

New Sengoku Basara Judge End merchandise appears

Another set of listings which have recently appeared on AmiAmi is four acrylic mobile phone stands for Masamune, Yukimura, Ieyasu and Mitsunari. They're priced at ¥2,052 each and scheduled for release in mid-July 2015. This kind of stand is usually made from two flat slabs of acrylic plastic which can be slotted together and used to hold your phone; they're useful for watching videos when you don't want to hold the phone up and you can disassemble them for travel. But mostly, they just look cute.


FUNimation start streaming Sengoku Basara Judge End outside the US

It's only the first two episodes so far, but I was pleased to see that FUNimation have opened up their YouTube stream of Sengoku Basara Judge End (Sengoku Basara - End of Judgement) for fans outside the US. The regions are limited to a scattering of illogically-selected countries so not everyone will be able to watch without using third party tools to avoid the region lock, but this is a great way to support the official release. FUNimation use streaming figures to decide which titles receive dubs, Blu-ray editions and special bonuses and the foreign distributors reuse FUNimation's materials; therefore the more people who can support the official streams the better the chance of a decent home video release later on.

The countries included in YouTube's filter seem to be Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba, Australia, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Cayman Islands, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Denmark, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Finland, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Iceland, Ireland, Jamaica, Martinique, Mexico, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Puerto Rico, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, South Africa, Suriname, Sweden, Trinidad and Tobago, Turks and Caicos Islands, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay, Venezuela, and the Virgin Islands.

A few of those regions were already able to watch the region-locked Viewster stream, but this is my first chance to see the official English subtitles!

More cast members are announced for the next stage play

Capcom have finally revealed the last two main cast members for the Butai Sengoku Basara VS Devil May Cry stage play, which was announced at the recent Nico Nico Choukaigi 2015 event. Lady will be played by Shiba Konona, while the role of Trish has gone to Shinato Ruri.

On the subject of the stage play series, Japanese fans were dismayed to learn that the Butai Sengoku Basara 4 DVD release is still uncertain. Amado sent Capcom a message to ask when it would be released only to receive a rather alarming response indicating that Capcom were also waiting to hear the same thing from their partners. It's been a long time since the official Dais shop went offline; I hope the Butai Sengoku Basara 4 play isn't lost forever.

Update on the Sumeragi ID situation

Capcom keep emphasising that the four special Sengoku Basara 4 Sumeragi early reservation exclusive weapons are not going to be made available for purchase at a later date, so I think it's a good idea to keep talking about them until the early reservation deadline passes.

Customers who placed their preorder through e-Capcom (or a deputy service which is buying from e-Capcom, or import specialists which are offering the towel bundles like Nippon Yasan and NCSX) should be able to claim their Sumeragi ID codes and register for the exclusive weapons the Tuesday after the order is placed with e-Capcom.

Customers who live in Japan or asked a relative to place the order in a shop there will receive the Sumeragi ID with their preorder receipt.

Everyone else has to wait until the shop they used sends out their batches of codes. Amazon Japan has been telling customers that they are sending all of the codes out together on 29th May 2015. HMV haven't given a date yet, but I can personally confirm they haven't sent out any codes so far. They're probably going to use the same schedule as Amazon Japan.

The most important thing is to ensure your deputy service or online store understands that you need the code before the registration deadline, so don't be afraid to ask them if it seems to be taking longer than expected. Good luck, everyone!

Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Today's acquisitions (29th April 2015)

I read Weekly Famitsu magazine as usual this afternoon but there wasn't a single piece of news worth mentioning this time. There's no Weekly Famitsu next week due to the holiday season in Japan, so I guess we have to rely on the weekend events for Sengoku Basara 4 Sumeragi news until the regular updates resume in a fortnight.

This means I have more time free than expected so I'll post a picture of the goodies I've been lucky enough to acquire recently.

I backed the Time Of Eve (Eve No Jikan) Kickstarter a long time ago. So long ago, in fact, that I had forgotten I paid enough to earn two A4 prints and a fully-translated book about the series. The actual Blu-ray disc shipped a while ago so it was a complete surprise when the extras turned up this week. The colour prints were safely protected by an attractive A4 clear file and delivered in the largest shipping box imaginable. My neighbour laughed as he handed over the package, asking whether I'd ordered a box full of air.

The art book is lovely too. It's the kind of thing I'm used to seeing in Japanese but having all of the production notes and interviews translated for English-speaking fans is extremely rare. What a great Kickstarter project that was.

The other big item is the first Blu-ray disc of the brand new Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin series courtesy of UK distributor Anime Limited. The store-exclusive packaging can only be described as ostentatious; the stunningly-illustrated outer box is as large as a vinyl record even though all it contains is a Blu-ray case (in a slipcase, naturally), art cards and a storyboard book. I haven't seen the anime yet so I'm looking forward to checking it out.

It's never going to fit on my shelves.


The final delivery in the picture is NIS America's standard edition rerelease of Ground Control To Psychoelectric Girl (Denpa Onna To Seishun Otoko). It actually arrived a little while ago and I completely forgot to mention it. I already own the limited edition version of the show so this was a vanity purchase for one reason alone.


My review was quoted on the back! This blog was originally set up for anime-related ranting and reviews. I didn't get too far before posting about Sengoku Basara started consuming all of my free time, but it's a great feeling to have my blog's name on the packaging of a show I really loved.

Monday, 27 April 2015

News roundup: That new Sengoku Basara 4 Sumeragi promotional video

Today's update is a quick one to highlight a few official website updates that took place this morning. I also want to note that I added a few clarifications/corrections in my write-ups for the first and second days of the Nico Nico Choukaigi 2015 event after posting them, since I rewatched some of the streams.

The third Sengoku Basara 4 Sumeragi promotional video is now online

The official version of the new video is now available so it can be watched without any risk that it might be taken down unexpectedly.


Just realised that Ishikawa even talks about the morning glory flowers in the lyrics. It's such a beautiful song...

Details of the new zunda-flavoured Country Ma'am biscuits

Fujiya's Country Ma'am chocolate chip cookies received a news bulletin all of their own on the official Sengoku Basara news portal. It seems that there are six different designs available for the wrappers inside the box.


The special edition boxes will be available in souvenir shops across the Touhoku area from mid-May 2015. Each pack will contain eight biscuits and cost ¥363 before tax.

For those who aren't aware, Masamune is closely associated with the Touhoku area and bright green zunda (soybean paste) is one of the region's most well-known flavours. This tie-in is being heralded as part of the ongoing campaign to promote local history for the series' tenth anniversary.

--

The game's official website updated too, as did the Sengoku Basara 10th Anniversary site. I haven't spotted any more new reveals yet so it's likely this Thursday's Weekly Famitsu will bring us the next round of updates.

Sunday, 26 April 2015

News roundup: The second day of the Nico Nico Choukaigi 2015 event

It's Sunday in Japan and that means more Nico Nico Choukaigi coverage! I think that most of today's content will be very similar to what was shown yesterday. Don't forget that you can use Nico Nico's Timeshift feature to reserve and view the live streams even after they've finished. They'll expire on 2nd May 2015.

Just like yesterday, the first panel was the Sengoku Basara 4 Sumeragi 'super' latest information corner on the Sengoku Basara 4 Sumeragi VS DMC4 SE Nico Nico channel.


They opened up with the old PV from Basara Matsuri again but this time YamamotoD provided commentary over the top to introduce the new characters to viewers. He mentioned some kind of drama between the Setouchi characters.

They then went through the new characters with slides. Since it was a repeat of yesterday's information, the tone was much more informal today. KobaP joked that Yoshiteru's time-stop roulette result was like 'The World' from a certain popular shounen manga and later they described Katsuie's new medal outfit as his Turn A Gundam costume. When they got to the returning NPCs KobaP introduced the Uesugi ninja as the 'super-popular Kasuga-chan'.

Other things I picked up were that fans can expect to see an Akechi Mitsuhide costume in the medal rewards and Mitsunari's skill revision lets him cleave the ground.

YamamotoD referred to the scenes of Hideyoshi holding Mitsunari and Ieyasu up with his arms and confirmed it was a reference to the two of them being the Left Arm and Right Arm of the Toyotomi in one of the scenarios. This setting was also used in the last stage play, so I guess those who have seen it might have a few ideas about how the story will develop. I'm not going to spoil it here.

We also got two new video messages from the other NJPW wrestlers who weren't featured yesterday. They both seemed sweet and said they were looking forward to the game.


YamamotoD went into a lot of detail about Sen No Rikyuu's Giga Basara imagery during the discussion about the game's theme songs. The title of Ishikawa Chiaki's ending theme Heavenly Blue can refer to the distinctive colouring of the morning glory (asagao) flowers that Sen No Rikyuu is famously associated with. The plants in his ink artwork are morning glories too and the two infants represent Wabisuke and Sabisuke.

--

The next panel I tuned in for was the gameplay preview session. For some bizarre reason Capcom TV decided to run a Sengoku Basara 4 Sumeragi gameplay preview on their YouTube channel at the exact same time so it was very confusing keeping track of both. The dedicated Nico Nico stream had much better commentary and gameplay.

They showed the character select screen in Free Battle mode. You can see Yoshiteru's new (very pixellated) elemental symbol in his profile.


Gatchman was lucky enough to get the Akatsukimaru transformation in Battle Roulette during his Yoshiteru gameplay session so he demonstrated how quickly it could move; it zoomed through the stage leaving a trail of destruction.

It was shown yesterday too but the four different elemental attacks from Yoshiteru's Senban No Kiwami ('The Lathe's Zenith') R2 special are named after the classical four gods. They are Genbu (a blue ice effect), Byakko (lightning), Suzaku (fire) and Seiryuu (a dragon made of darkness). Missing with this move is what triggers the panels which cover part of the screen. Missing with his main roulette move triggers seals which appear on his body and weaken Yoshiteru; I think they said it locked his Basara for a short time but I'll have to check properly later.

The second character Gatchman demonstrated today was Maria. Her third special where she controls the camera is quite hard to pull off; she can be knocked out of it easily. Her first special seems to be the move where she grabs the enemy's attention by blowing a kiss at them then wraps them up in cloth. Even though all of the demonstrations are on the easiest difficulty - only Normal and Hard were available in the version on display - poor Gatchman was almost wiped out when he rushed to the end to fight Shingen and Kenshin.

The third demonstration was Sen No Rikyuu. His elemental symbol can also be seen on the character select screen.


YamamotoD wanted to show the way that the game randomly picks either Wabisuke or Sabisuke on the battle preparation screen and randomises which character you start as each time you load the level, but for some reason they kept getting Sabisuke no matter how many times they went back to the character select screen. Wabisuke must be camera shy...


Just as the demonstration was getting started, the costume-clad 'Bokesuke' wandered over from the Capcom TV presentation and gatecrashed the broadcast. After some silly banter he sat down and joined in with the gameplay commentary.


Bokesuke is a fictitious third personality who is supposedly signed up to the famous Yoshimoto talent agency (alongside Wabisuke and Sabisuke, of course). He's played by real-life comedian Osada Shouhei of Chocolate Planet. During the Capcom TV stream a little earlier he'd come on stage and introduced himself with the fake announcement that Chocolate Planet was changing its name to Green Tea Planet.


I suppose it makes a change from the usual booth babes!

Once Bokesuke left the players went back to demonstrating the game properly again. They showed a Giga Basara attack with Rikyuu and Yoshiteru and had some fun with tagging, then went ahead and finished the stage.


As a treat they let the viewers see Rikyuu's victory sequence, which switched between both identities then showed Sabisuke blasting of into the sky.


--

The next panel was KobaP's Super Talk Room. His first pair of guests was Yokoyama Masayoshi of Sega Games (series producer for Ryuu Ga Gotoku) and Ichimura Ryuutarou of Square-Enix (series producer for Dragon Quest).


Both men were very talkative and engaged. They introduced their own titles first, then the discussion turned to Sengoku Basara 4 Sumeragi and other Capcom games.
  • Yokoyama thought Yoshiteru was cool and would fit right in with the Ryuu Ga Gotoku (Yakuza) games.
  • He was amused that they'd managed to make a version of Sen No Rikyuu which was completely unlike any other, even though he's been portrayed in numerous ways in the past.
  • He praised KobaP's team for being able to make great female characters like Maria. In comparison, they're not so good at making women for the Ryuu Ga Gotoku series.
  • Ichimura is familiar with both Sengoku Basara and Tales Of Zestiria and thought the characters suited their crossover costumes rather well.
  • Yokoyama joked about having the Ryuu Ga Gotoku characters dressing up like musician Himuro Kyousuke when he saw Ieyasu's T.M.Revolution costume.
  • Ichimura asked KobaP whether he could pose like T.M.Revolution and he was more than happy to give it a try mid-discussion.
  • Ichimura is interested in pro-wrestling so his face lit up when they got to the NJPW tie-in. He thought it was very well done.
  • Yokoyama is pleased to see classics like Devil May Cry 4 returning on current consoles so that people can play them again. He thinks it's a good idea to make older titles available on new systems where they can continue to be enjoyed.
  • Ichimura has various things planned for next year's 30th anniversary celebration of the Dragon Quest series.
  • Speaking of anniversaries, it's the tenth anniversary for Ryuu Ga Gotoku too. The release of Ryuu Ga Gotoku 0 was just one of the activities they have planned.
Once the discussion was over, KobaP was joined by the next set of guests: Matsuyama Hiroshi of CyberConnect2 (company president) and Harada Katsuhiro of Bandai Namco Entertainment (Tekken project leader). Harada was wearing a Pikachu onesie as tribute to Pokken Tournament and he'd decorated it with a blue ribbon - a reference to Hestia from anime DanMachi and a recent meme.


It was difficult to pay attention properly with Harada dressed in such a ridiculous manner and the conversation was even crazier than the last one.
  • Matsuyama got super-excited about Yoshiteru and the guests both agreed he resembled Char Aznable from Mobile Suit Gundam.
  • Matsuyama exclaimed that Rikyuu was the first time he'd ever seen anyone use the foreign loanword 'psychic' to describe someone from the Sengoku era. He calmed down after a while and said it was typically 'Basara-ish'.
  • Harada joked that he wanted to stop this sort of messed-up representation of Japanese culture from spreading worldwide.
  • Matsuyama asked whether Maria's weapon was really cloth - surely a whip?
  • Harada asked why 'Sengoku' was even in the title any more when it had become such a bizarre jumble of nonsense, especially with all of the different tie-ins. All three men were laughing helplessly by this point.
  • With regards to the Tales Of Zestiria collaboration, Matsuyama thought that the fantasy-style hairstyles characters have in Sengoku Basara made the crossover work well.
  • When they got to Ieyasu's T.M.Revolution costume, Harada asked KobaP who this kind of thing was aimed at, exactly, "Who asked for this??"
  • KobaP said that both the fans of the series and T.M.Revolution fans were interested but Harada still seemed skeptical.
  • The NJPW collaboration left both guests speechless for a while, yet they were impressed.
  • Matsuyama finds it fascinating that Harada is so active in marketing his games to a global audience (he's often active on Twitter soliciting feedback from fans in English, even though he gets a lot of trolls).
  • They talked about what kind of game they'd make if their three companies collaborated (there was no real consensus because they kept getting distracted by other topics.
It was another presentation which was deeply funny if you could follow the Japanese but there were no visual aids for anyone who couldn't.

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The last event of the day was the second Challenge Gatchman! Sengoku Basara 4 Sumeragi 'Super★Bomb Soldier Challenge'. The stages were the same as before and since it is a special build of the game it's hard to say whether any conclusions can be drawn from the gameplay that was shown; a lot of the Nico Nico commenters were hoping for lots of enemies on screen at once and complaining about how expensive it was to buy a PlayStation 4.

The second player from the audience was a young man who said Sasuke was his favourite character so while they were chatting YamamotoD confirmed that Sasuke was definitely getting a drama route in Sengoku Basara 4 Sumeragi (it was also mentioned the day before). During the challenge they managed to sprint to the end and clear the entire stage (proving that Sasuke was a sub-boss in the process). Sadly the bomb soldier didn't have his own victory sequence.

Once the challenge session was over, Capcom announced that players at the demonstration area in their booth had managed to earn a total of 173,786 medals today for a total of 373,820 over the weekend! Even if the medal rewards are less common in the actual game than in the trial version, it looks quite easy to acquire them.

--

Bonus: Notes from yesterday's 'Party with KobaP and the developers!' panel.

I didn't cover this at the time as I'd been watching the live streamsall night long and was exhausted, so I watched it today instead. KobaP sat down with directors Itsuno Hideaki (Devil May Cry 4 SE) and Yamamoto Makoto (Sengoku Basara 4 Sumeragi) to discuss various behind-the-scenes trivia now that both of the new games are approaching release.


KobaP had some oversized question cards prepared to help stimulate the discussion. The directors drew the cards at random. I'm not going to translate every word but here are a few points I found interesting:
  • Itsuno suggested that if he had the chance he'd like to work on a new fighting game like Star Gladiator or Shiritsu Justice Gakuen (Rival Schools).
  • YamamotoD had to talk about something that KobaP did which he considered reckless. He chose the pace of release for new Sengoku Basara games, joking that eleven games in ten years was rather unusual.
  • At one point the dramatic conflict between Ieyasu and Mitsunari in Sengoku Basara 3 was compared to an afternoon soap opera, which caused a lot of mirth on Twitter (and in the panel itself).
  • YamamotoD was asked which aspect of the game they put the most effort (i.e. money) into working on. His answer was immediate: the playable characters.
  • They've adjusted the balance in Sengoku Basara 4 Sumeragi as they regretted making some aspects of Sengoku Basara 4 disproportionately difficult. The commenters on Nico Nico were guessing this might relate to improvements to the camera or Yoshiteru's noticeable toughness when compared to other bosses.
  • One of the reasons SCANDAL were chosen to provide the ending song for Sengoku Basara 4 was to give it a youthful feel to match Sakon and Katsuie. But of course the real reason is that YamamotoD happens to be a big SCANDAL fan.
  • It takes about a year to produce a Sengoku Basara or Devil May Cry game. About half of that time is spent on active development.
  • Towards the end of the segment the three creators read the comments from the Nico Nico viewers and responded live to their ideas. Both directors laughed when they were asked about the next major games in their respective series, Sengoku Basara 5 and Devil May Cry 5. YamamotoD protested that they were still working on the current games! A crazy number of suggestions popped up in the comments at this point, with fans clamouring for such varied things as scenes from Yukimura's past, playable Bontenmaru, happiness for Oichi and more about Katsuie's past.
  • There were lots of fanciful crossover ideas suggested such as a Devil May Cry Takarazuka musical, more Gakuen Basara projects, fighting game crossovers, a Sengoku Basara concert; the directors were interested reading what everyone thought.
  • Someone asked whether Sasuke was going to have a drama story and YamamotoD answered that he would.
  • Lots of comments asked when the Butai Sengoku Basara 4 DVD was coming out (yeah, where is it?).
  • My respect goes to the person who asked them to make a Ryuu Ga Gotoku (Yakuza) tie-in costume for Kojuurou. KobaP read out another comment which mentioned wanting a Sasuke figure of some kind.
  • When he plays Sengoku Basara, Itsuno likes to use Kanbee.
  • YamamotoD asked the audience whether they were more interested in Wabisuke or Sabisuke. The response was varied with neither dominating the vote. The fans then suggested a new addition which made everyone laugh: Xavisuke.
  • They talked nostalgically about all of the old characters who aren't included in Sengoku Basara 4 Sumeragi like Ranmaru, Nouhime, Kennyo, Musashi, Ujimasa... they even remembered the Gohon-yari. KobaP joked about introducing a tanned Okinawa-themed version of Itsuki called Satsuki.
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There was also occasional coverage on the Capcom TV YouTube channel which can still be watched now that the event is over. Please note that I have nothing against DMC but I didn't watch those shows because I didn't want to miss any Sengoku Basara coverage.