Wednesday 18 September 2013

News: Weekly Famitsu (19th September 2013) announces Ieyasu and Tadakatsu for Sengoku Basara 4

With the Tokyo Game Show 2013 bringing a wealth of new information over the next few days, tomorrow's Weekly Famitsu information is sparser than usual. In spite of this they still managed to squeeze in two 'new' character announcements for Sengoku Basara 4 according to the sources at 2ch who received their copies early!

Tokugawa Ieyasu 徳川家康
Character image phrase: 東照権現 Toushou Gongen ('Avatar Of The Light of the East')
Seiyuu: Ookawa Tooru
Weapon: None
Playable: Yes
Description: The commander of the Tokugawa forces. This game's setting is the 'Sengoku Creation' but Ieyasu appears in the form of a young man. In order to bring about a world of peace through human bonds, Ieyasu left the Toyotomi army, who advanced by dominating through power, and raised his own flag. He stands on the battlefield armed with just his fists so that he can know the people's pain. However, that doesn't change the fact that Ieyasu still wields great power, and he repeatedly questions himself...

One of Ieyasu's special traits is to increase the power and area of effect of his attacks when the button is held down. Put all of your strength into pulverising the enemy!

"The people are the ones who can change this world... I'll prove it with these hands!"

Honda Tadakatsu 本多忠勝
Character image phrase: 戦国最強 Sengoku Saikyou ('Strongest In The Warring States')
Seiyuu: None
Weapon: Mechanical spear
Playable: Yes
Description: There's no such thing as a person who wouldn't be terrified hearing the name 'Sengoku Saikyou'. Serving Tokugawa since before he worked under the Toyotomi forces, Tadakatsu has always been supporting his lord. For the sake of his master he rose up in battle once more as a commander to wield his spear with fresh resolve. One of his traits are his powerful spear attacks.

Tadakatsu goes along with Ieyasu for the sake of bringing peace to the land. He fights taking advantage of the long reach of his normal attacks. A caption confirms that he can use combinations of his various different modes to defeat the enemy, i.e. defensive form, charge form, artillery form and flight form.



The old Sengoku Drive/Sengoku Boost gauges from the earlier games have been replaced by a 'Stylish Gauge' which allows you to activate your 'Extreme Style' mode when the bar is blazing blue. It's quite literally a stylish mode that will increase the player's attack power, slow down nearby enemies, make it easier to continue your combos and increase the amount of money and experience you receive.

Whether it's used to decimate a large number of enemy soldiers to earn koban coins and experience or saved for a harder encounter is up to the player. The gauge naturally fills as you attack your foes (so probably through taking damage and landing hits as usual, then).

The war comrade ('senyuu') system we saw in this week's new battle system video is also explained for the benefit of the magazine audience.
  • Shireien ('command circle'): As shown in the videos before, the player can summon a command circle to direct their comrade to attack a particular area. You can adjust the location of the target by holding down the button.
  • Kougeki ('joint attack'): When the player or their comrade attacks an enemy, a portion of the damage received will turn the enemy's life gauge yellow. The 'joint attack' will be a success if the other warrior attacks the same enemy at this point. The number of hits will increase and more coins will be awarded.
  • Senyuu Shikou ('war comrade consideration'): The behaviour of your comrade will change according to the enemy's type and status (e.g. in the air or stunned). They'll become smarter as they level up and automatically make decisions based on the current situation.
A few other scattered pieces of information give more clues about the game. There's an introductory caption of "Who will be the one to conquer the land!?" above pictures of Ieyasu, Yoshiteru, Nobunaga and Hideyoshi.

There will be forty characters in total participating in Sengoku Basara 4, hailed as the biggest number yet for the series. This figure probably includes a healthy amount of non-playable enemy commanders, but since we only have one lady announced so far I'd expect a few of the missing female veterans to make up part of that number. We have eighteen at the moment (three of whom are unplayable) so there should be a large number of these fortnightly character announcements to come.

In another section, the magazine's writers remark on the many gimmicks that we'll see as part of the new stages. Yoshiteru's stage is like a game of roulette itself with areas divided into red and black on the mini-map. It looks as though layers of the room rotate... how on earth does it work? Yoshiteru is right at the heart of the stage!

Elsewhere, it's revealed that the player can take control of an enormous gatling gun-style cannon to blast a mysterious Tokugawa crate being wheeled by enemy soldiers.

Mitsunari and Sakon are shown on an elaborate Honnouji stage with the caption "A fight to the death in a blazing hall". They're fighting both Nobunaga (red) and Mitsuhide (orange) as they in turn battle one another. Another picture shows what looks like the same stage only before the boss fight begins. There are a lot of mysterious dead ends which branch off the main route, according to the maze-like mini-map, and the captions urge the player to force their way through the fusuma screens to look for hidden rooms and passages.


We also get a glimpse of Yukimura's Basara-e illustration: it's a tiger with wings and the two-character title 'yokuko' (literally 'winged tiger'). There's actually a saying in Japanese which goes 'tora ni tsubasa' ('wings to a tiger'). It means making something which is already immensely strong even more powerful. It seems to have a very straightforward connection to Yukimura's tiger symbolism and his reputation as a tremendously powerful warrior.

The game has risen one spot to 15th position in Weekly Famitsu's Most Wanted chart. Also, I noticed that the game lists 1-2 players in its information summary now (not that there was any real doubt that the excellent two-player mode would be included again).

Early pictures via Twitter and 2ch: Ieyasu's torso, Tadakatsu, better glimpse of Ieyasu, Yukimura's Giga Basara illustration. In other news, Nine Demons Yoshitaka has diligently translated the new moves from the gameplay videos the other day.

Update 22:20: It seems I spoke too soon about it being a sparse update - it's a full four pages of the magazine even though there are only two character announcements. The summary is now complete. If I've made any dumb mistakes, I apologise. It's impossible to overstate how exhausted I've been from overtime at my job these past few weeks.

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