Wednesday, 10 July 2013

News: Dengeki Playstation vol. 546 (11th July 2013) features a Sengoku Basara 4 cover

Tomorrow's issue of Dengeki Playstation magazine in Japan has been blessed with a Sengoku Basara 4 cover showing all four of the currently-revealed playable characters in action.

As the magazine is not technically available yet at the time of this post, this preliminary information comes straight from Twitter user mariko_zero.

Naturally, there's an article about the game inside the magazine billed as an introduction to the game system. Most of the information repeats what we were shown in last week's Famitsu but there are additional details in the form of an interview with series director Yamamoto Makoto (YamamotoD) and producer Kobayashi Hiroyuki (KobaP).

Again, please note that this is my preliminary interpretation of a summary written by someone else. Until the actual magazine arrives this summary should be viewed as incomplete.
  • Sakon has a youthful design which evokes frivolity (the word they use is charai which has various additional connotations). Since he has this frivolous image, his clothing exposes his skin. Please look out for the dice he carries too.
  • Katsuie's themes are his stiff, inflexible image and 'rotation'. The shape of his kabuto helmet resembles ears. He evokes a strong image of geometry, incorporating squares and Buddhist mandala designs. You'll be able to get a good look at his bobbed haircut in the story.
  • Sakon and Katsuie have a different relationship to Masamune and Yukimura, or Ieyasu and Mitsunari. While they're linked by being from a younger generation, there's a contrast between the cheerful guy and the dispirited one.
  • Playing Sengoku Basara 4 and making decisions will greatly affect the lives of the characters. For example, even Masamune has more than one (potential) future. There'll also be relationships like, say, both Masamune and Mitsunari respectively guiding the young pair. There are some futures you can lead them to and some you cannot.
  • They'll be taking a different approach to Sengoku Basara 3's Sengoku Emaki story mode. However, the story will unfold in various ways (this is implying that there will be multiple routes).
  • Since so much of Sengoku Basara 3 was 'lonely and harsh', in Sengoku Basara 4 they've included a lot of fun content.
  • There will be quite a few characters. These won't just be playable warriors; there'll be enemy NPCs as well. Of course, there'll even be characters who previously appeared in the series - but not all of them. Please keep watching to see who will join the crowd of people with new traits.
  • 'Assessing the situation' will be one of the themes of the action in Sengoku Basara 4. Players will want to make it their priority to assess the situation and make decisions. Those who have played the previous games will recognise some of the elements which have been incorporated.
  • YamamotoD mentioned that people can expect some content set in the past. The example he gave was a scene set back when Masamune was called Bontenmaru - he teased that it would include the voice of a younger Masamune(!).
  • YamamotoD wants to make another anime adaptation for the series. 
  • KobaP would like to make a live action movie. 
The pictures used inside the magazine are reportedly mostly the same as Famitsu's from last week.


My copy of the magazine will be arriving a little late so expect gradual updates to this post as I confirm more details.

The next details about the new game should start appearing over the weekend when the Butai Sengoku Basara Busho Matsuri 2013 stage event takes place. I'm also expecting preorders to open for the second issue of Basara Magazine very soon, along with a formal announcement of the next wave of new manga and goods (the new Takedagun Chronicle manga anthology is still technically unannounced even though it will ship in less than three weeks!).

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Update 17/07/2013: My copy of Dengeki Playstation arrived! Here's a summary of some additional snippets of information I gleaned from the full article.
  • KobaP unambiguously stated that for Sengoku Basara 4, Masamune and Mitsunari are the main characters. 
  • However, the way they're both portrayed will be different to what we've seen of them up until now - though not to the extent that they'll seem like completely different characters.
  • The 'Sengoku Creation' theme means the game will be going right to the beginning of the Sengoku period and creating it all over again from start to finish. The scale will be much greater than it was in Sengoku Basara 3.
  • There'll be a lot of variety in the stories; some will be comical, some will be serious.
  • Outside of the main game series they've tried a lot of different things in the eight years since Sengoku Basara began, with manga adaptations, anime, stage plays, a television drama, a Takarazuka musical, tours, popularity votes etc. KobaP never thought that the series would reach the fourth game back at the start. To give some context for the earlier reports that they wanted to make another anime adaptation or live action movie, KobaP and YamamotoP were simply responding to a hypothetical question about what kind of project they'd personally like to try next.
  • The magazine speculated about the new enemy formations we've seen on the official website. It said that part of the charm of the Sengoku Basara series is the exhilaration of being one person versus countless others, or ikkitousen ('one who can beat a thousand'). This time, even the regular soldiers seem to be tougher, using all their power to block the player from reaching the centre of the castle. It looks as though strategy might be more important in Sengoku Basara 4.
Additional notes about the designs of the characters...
  • Ashikaga Yoshiteru's theme is 'the emperor of the Muromachi'; KobaP said that was the atmosphere back in those days. 
  • YamamotoD added that they wanted Yoshiteru to look visibly 'emperor-like'. He needed to have a hint of the Roman Empire about him, yet they also wanted it to be obvious at a glance that this was someone from the Muromachi era so they dressed him in ooyoroi armour. The idea was to make him seem different from the other warriors, like an emperor from an earlier age.
  • The interviewer asked if Yoshiteru will become playable if you meet certain requirements in the game. KobaP simply said no, he's an enemy warlord.
  • YamamotoD noted that Sakon is the only character to use kick techniques as a major part of his move set.
  • As a few people have noticed, Sakon's knee guards are based on the design of the historical Shima Sakon's kabuto. YamamotoD is particular about incorporating that kind of detail, so please take a good look.
  • KobaP thinks the Sengoku Basara version of Katsuie is pretty unique: normally when you hear Shibata Katsuie's name, you imagine a great swordsman with a beard. YamamotoD had the idea of making him a somewhat hopeless, despairing character after looking into his history.
  • Katsuie's skirt-like armour design is meant to be part of his 'rotation' theme.
  • The phonetic reading of Katsuie's technique which I've been translating as 'shear plane' has been confirmed as 'sessou', described as his unique 'battle system'. I'm going to call it sessou from now on as it's easier.
  • With the two new playable characters, KobaP wanted there to be a sense of young people experiencing the way the battlefield feels during their very first war.
  • KobaP thinks that the Masamune in Sengoku Basara 4 has become quite different from the one in the previous game, emerging from the past to cleave his way towards being named the Dragon King. 
  • YamamotoD confirmed there would be a scene from back when Masamune was known as Bontenmaru, as per the rumours above. He said that Sengoku Basara 4 would have a focus on the parts of the story which had never been told in the series so far (i.e. it's possible we could see stories from the pasts of other returning characters for the first time).
  • They wanted to portray Mitsunari back when he was playing an active part in the Toyotomi forces. Toyotomi Hideyoshi is still alive during Sengoku Basara 4, so KobaP begged fans to think of it as a completely different world to that of Sengoku Basara 3, where he was dead.
  • They've been able to include many additional elements as a result of the parallel world setting and Sakon not having been part of the Toyotomi forces back in Sengoku Basara 3. The staff think that this new Mitsunari is quite different to before. 
  • KobaP laughed and mused that with the flirty Sakon joining the serious Toyotomi group in Sengoku Basara 4, there might be a chance that Mitsunari will just kill that 'frivolous guy'!
We also got to see a colour preview image of the exclusive mame-style Yukimura rubber strap which will be included with next month's issue of Sengoku Basara Magazine.

15 comments:

  1. Wow thanks! As always Im here!A new anime serie would be awsome!!!I have the two with the movie ^-^ Live action movie can be great, but sometime they are just awful. I realy want to know who will be in the game, I'm realy scare if my character will make it. At least I will play masamune ;)The 3 iss not my fav, so i'm happy if its not the same. I'm surprise Oda Nobunaga is not more important.
    Will wait for next<(^-^<)

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    1. I hope that if they do a live action movie, it's more like the stage plays and not so much like the television show ^^;

      Which character(s) are you worried about? I'll help you cheer for them, hehe. I want there to be as many characters as possible because I love them all!

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  2. all this info ahhhhh thanks raindrops, I cant wait to decapitate shima-san(lol idk)as mitsunari, it has to be an ending in one of his routes It just has too!! and is it possible for you to scan the skills of sakon and katsuie some look different from what ive seen in the low quality scan they look cooler for some reason.

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    1. Haha, a 'bad end' with Mitsunari :D

      I don't have a scanner (Yukimura was a mobile phone photograph), but I'll see what they release tonight in the site update as I'm expecting a few of the Japanese news sites to post stories. If we're still missing anything important I'll see if I can dig a picture out from Twitter.

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  3. "KobaP unambiguously stated that with Sengoku Basara 4, Masamune and Mitsunari are the main characters."

    Do you mean "in Sengoku Basara 4 they are the main characters," or "from now on they are the main characters"? Please tell me it's not the latter...

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    1. The first one (perhaps I should change "with" to "for" to make it clear). The main characters in the next stage play will be Mitsunari and Kojuurou/Sasuke so anything can happen with new projects :)

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  4. Thanks for clearing that up! At least there's still hope that my boy Yukimura can make a comeback. I'm not hoping for Ieyasu, though, seeing how they seem to be promoting the hell out of Mitsunari but not him. (Mitsunari is the main in an Utage based stage show, but Ieyasu is apparently AWOL...)

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    1. That stage play is weird, since they also show Hanbee on the promotional poster and he's not listed as a cast member either. Mitsunari has always served right next to Ieyasu in the stage play version of the Toyotomi years, so unless the entire play is some weird dream sequence full of fights with the Miyoshi trio I'm not sure what's going on with it.

      I think there'll be a new popularity vote with the release of Sengoku Basara 4, so hopefully the fans will unite.

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    2. Maybe they made the poster beforea last minute revision to the story... but anyway it's almost as weird to see Mitsunari without Ieyasu as Masamune without Yukimura. I hope KobaP & co. will reconsider whatever they're trying to do wirh Basara.

      I don't have faith in popularity polls, though (but then what should I put my faith in? Heh). Unless the "fallen" characters get extremely good stories and moves, they'll just continue to fall behind due to the fresh blood and their own lack of exposure. I'm calling it now: if there's a poll the top 3 will be Masa, Mitsunari and Sakon.

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    3. Even though I've had a pretty positive outlook throughout, I feel a bit more comfortable about Ieyasu being in the game now since Mitsunari took the time to hiss at him in the trailer. While he's certainly got a habit of shouting at people who aren't there, it would confuse new players if Ieyasu wasn't going to be depicted serving the Toyotomi alongside him...I think? I may be clutching at straws. It might be cool to see Ieyasu and Yukimura arrive side by side in the next announcement, perhaps linked by their dual pasts with Shingen? That plot thread could certainly use more fleshing out in the game story.

      Things look good for Keiji too if he's kicking off the new CD series (especially as it's themed around his background rather than being a general talk show). I don't know if it's because Keiji's fans have similar personalities to the man himself, but the ones I've spoken to have been really relaxed and hopeful about his chances.

      I just can't help feel the first round of announcements was all seriousness and gloom (even affecting Sakon to some extent). We need to have a bunch of brighter personalities revealed soon to keep the balance. Although Yukimura's a special case (adding Masamune without him is unprecedented!), it's a testament to the greatness of the supporting cast that my timeline is full of people voicing worries about Ieyasu, Keiji, Nagamasa, Hanbee, Nobunaga, Motonari and more; there are so many devoted fans desperately hoping for their favourite to appear in the next batch.

      Having said that, you're probably right about the outcome of the eventual voting, but I still think Yukimura has a chance to rally if he gets a more powerful story this time. And there's always a chance that Katsuie's 'moe' appeal will prove more compelling than Sakon's charm in the long run...

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  5. Yes, it's a bit comforting about Ieyasu, though I never expected him to not be in the game. Whether he's PC or NPC, though... Same with Keiji, although yes, the CD is a very good sign. (I always wondered why Yukimura never got a Travelogue CD, it's not like they can't make a small tour of Nagano & area... maybe because there's no Takeda connection there? anyway, hopefully he'll get one now.) I hope that if Keiji gets a story it won't be a dark and angsty one, the guy really needs some happiness. And Basara in general needs more fun stories, it's been too serious lately and the characters too dark. Bring back Zabi! Or at least Sourin.

    As for Yukimura, he's a special case indeed, both Keiji and Ieyasu got kicked off from main character rank after one "main" game but Yukimura has been main character and poster boy since the first game. I keep hoping, but to be honest despite all my hope I'm among those who are not very optimistic about KobaP's intentions with him, which may or may not be reflected in his story. I really hope I'm wrong, though, and that he'll be able to make a comeback.

    But if there's two characters about whom I have no doubts or fears at all, it's the Setouchi duo. ^^;; They seem to form their own little world that is almost completely unrelated to anything else that may happen in the rest of the game.

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    1. Haha, Motochika and Motonari certainly exist in their own universe, as much hearing that would probably disgust the latter!

      Yukimura did have a travel navi CD, though - specifically for Ueda :)

      http://www.amazon.co.jp/TVアニメーション「戦国BASARA弐」戦国トラベルナビ%7E上田編%7E-保志総一朗/dp/B003WMI6OU/

      It's weird that his is the only solitary one. It would have been better if they'd had Genda or Koyasu accompany him to add some more natural conversation; is scheduling time for them to spend a day out together really that tough?!

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    2. I'm sorry for replying so late, for some reason I never saw this comment. Anyway, thanks for the link - I have no idea how I managed to miss that CD. I hope it'll still be there the next time I have some money...

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  6. "Things look good for Keiji too if he's kicking off the new CD series"

    What CD series? :D

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    1. The details are halfway down in this post :)

      http://www.raindropsanddaydreams.co.uk/2013/07/news-roundup-first-sengoku-basara-4.html

      Hopefully we'll get some more information about it soon! Morikawa posted about it on his blog and seemed excited (haha).

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