Wednesday, 4 September 2013

News: Weekly Famitsu (5th September 2013) announces the next round of Sengoku Basara 4 characters

Setting into a rhythm, tomorrow's Weekly Famitsu magazine has revealed the next batch of Sengoku Basara 4 characters - and it's a Takeda reunion along with confirmation of a rumour I posted about before! I'll update this around midnight when I have the full scoop as usual. Until then, here's a collection of the early details coming in from Japan. Early pictures from 2ch of Naotora, Shingen, Sasuke and a pair of combat scenes are available and someone has already made a comparison shot of Shingen with his Sengoku Basara 3 Utage artwork - it's sad that he's joining Mitsuhide as an unplayable veteran of the series...


Ii Naotora 井伊直虎
Character image phrase: 剛潔撫子 Gouketsu Nadeshiko ('Strong And Righteous Carnation')
Seiyuu: Sakamoto Maaya
Weapon: Kyoken ('giant sword'). It's enormous, and shaped more like a classic fantasy sword.
Playable: Yes
Description: The hot-blooded female general of the Ii army burns with animosity towards all of the world's men. Naotora swings her sword for the sake of making a world for maidens, offering relief to the maidens who grieve in war. In the past, her fiance fled due to the war with the Takeda army dragging on for so long. It's because of this that she harbours one-sided hostility towards Takeda Shingen.

When using her unique abilities, Naotora shifts her centre of balance by using other abilities to draw out powerful skills. It's a technical way of fighting. And it's not just about the long reach of her giant sword - Naotora also uses her own fists as weapons. Is she striking with the anger she feels towards the Takeda forces for causing her to miss her chance at marriage!?

Note: The 'carnation' (nadeshiko) in her four-character image phrase can also simply mean an adorable girl, and gouketsu written with different kanji can be a great hero. It's a powerful title but there's so much implicit meaning that it's hard to write it simply in English.

I think she'll be interesting, especially hating men in a world where so many of the other characters are male. I wonder if we'll see her mysterious ex-fiance..?

"This is to be an era where maidens will live strong! Men of this world, prepare yourselves!"


Sanada Yukimura 真田幸村
Character image phrase: 天覇絶槍 Ten Ha Zessou ('Spears Reigning Supreme In The Heavens')
Seiyuu: Hoshi Souichirou
Weapon: Dual spears
Playable: Yes
Description: The Takeda army's young commander, with a heart which burns like flames. Having been given charge of troops by supreme commander Takeda Shingen, he fights hard to see 'Fuurinkazan' for himself even as he looks towards claiming the land. The mutual acknowledgement of strength he shares with Oushuu's Date Masamune makes them fine rivals.

Note: It turns out that they're really using his CG render from the cover of Sengoku Basara Magazine issue 2. So we'll see a fresh-faced, young-looking Yukimura in Sengoku Basara 4.

"Let's go, Sasuke! I'll throw down a challenge to Oyakata-sama...no, to Takeda Shingen!"




Sarutobi Sasuke 猿飛佐助
Character image phrase: 蒼天疾駆 Souten Shikku ('Swiftly Riding The Azure Sky')
Seiyuu: Koyasu Takehito
Weapon: Shuriken
Playable: Yes
Description: Sasuke is a capable shinobi who carries out Takeda Shingen's orders. His role is support Sanada Yukimura. Though he usually has a carefree attitude in spite of the atmosphere, his true military power and care for his master are beyond doubt. Sasuke also has a callous, ninjalike side; this coldheartedness can be glimpsed depending on which enemy he's facing. With the gigantic shuriken he uses as weapons, he takes full advantage of his agility on the battlefield to toy with the enemy forces.

Note: His section is really short so I'll translate the quotes too even though I don't usually do that out of fear of messing up the tone of the original dialogue.

"Uh oh, didn't I say? I'm actually... rather strong."


Takeda Shingen 武田信玄
Character image phrase: 戦神覇王 Senjin Haou ('God Of Battle, Supreme Lord')
Seiyuu: Genda Tesshou
Weapon: Gunbai axe (an axe which resembles a warlord's fan)
Playable: No
Description: The supreme commander of the Takeda forces with the nickname 'Tiger of Kai'. Thinking of the people suffering from the war, Takeda Shingen's blazing heart turns towards unifying the land to bring the turbulent age to an end. Leaving command of the army to the young general Sanada Yukimura, Shingen himself goes out onto the battlefield to inspire his soldiers. In this game, Takeda Shingen is an enemy commander (i.e. an unplayable character) who impedes the other warriors.

Shingen is full of fighting spirit, leaving the Takeda army to Yukimura. It seems there's a scene where he comes to blows with Naotora, whose destiny is linked to his. Shingen swings his fist without holding back even though she's a girl. What's the outcome of the fight..?

"Yukimuraaa! I entrust the fate of the Kai Takeda to you..! Take command and try to unify the land!"

--

The article states that when the shogun Yoshiteru gives the order to restore power to the heavens, a scroll is released. That scroll then becomes the character selection screen. The picture is cropped so you can't see how many names are on the scroll other than the characters already announced.

This issue's gameplay information concentrates on the 'Sengoku Creation Mode'.

Everything progresses dramatically in Sengoku Creation Mode.
On your way to the battleground, you might see things like "Shibata Katsuie marches as the Oda army's advance guard!" or "Yamanaka Shikanosuke is performing a search of the whole country for Amago Haruhisa!?" as the tactical situation at each location is relayed. In turbulent times with a large number of commanders aiming to unify the country, there's a dramatic feeling as they busily go about their military affairs. Check each army's movements and try to decide how to proceed!

Note: The screenshot shows the outcome of the third battle with the Ii and Takeda factions displayed prominently on the map above. There's a scroll which says 'drama route occurrences' and a list of events:

The Takeda forces crush the Ii forces at Kai: Tsutsujigasaki Yakata.
The Ashikaga forces crush the Gotou rounin-shuu at the Remains of Ounin.
The Toyotomi forces crush the Amago forces at Osaka: Toyotomi Hajou.
(With a blood-spattered background) The fires of war spread to the incident at Honnouji.
(With a blood-spattered background) An outbreak! Takeda Otoko Dojo.
(With a blood-spattered background) An outbreak! Shizugatake: the Oda advance guard progresses.
(With an inky background) There are signs Ishida Mitsunari is going to go on the attack.

Note: Hajou means the castle of a conquering ruler. Hideyoshi is the 'Haou' and his castle is the 'Hajou'.


Customise the battle freely!
After selecting your character from the scroll, you'll be taken to the 'march screen' from which each commander's story will progress. You can receive tactical reports on each of the regions, and it also serves as the configuration screen where the player can set the BGM, difficulty level, rewards etc. It even transitions seamlessly into the battle preparation screen showing your 'acquired skills' and 'character growth'.

Note: There are two screenshots in this section. One shows a stage selection accompanied by the shot of Masamune on horseback which we originally thought might be a quick time event of some kind. There are some statistics about the level currently highlighted on the right side of the screen and I can see the options they talked about. Then below, there's a shot of the familiar character customisation screen. It looks as though there's space for six accessory slots on the weapon (the basic Kagehide sword in the picture just has two) and Masamune is shown with space for five skills along with three specials. Kojuurou is set as his comrade. There's a lot more space for costumes underneath, interestingly. It's a nice, spacious interface.

--

There's also a section in the article advertising that the game will be playable at the upcoming Tokyo Game Show 2013, as we already knew. Six characters will be available in Sengoku Creation mode: Masamune, Mitsunari, Sakon, Katsuie, Naotora and Yukimura. Attendees will be able to experience giving orders to their battle comrade, the 'Giga Basara' techniques and the enemy soldiers' combined formations!

In other news, Sony confirmed they'll be showing Sengoku Basara 4 off at their booth at TGS too, and the game is now in 16th position in Weekly Famitsu's Most Wanted chart. I think we can expect a new video soon showcasing all of the new announcements.

--

My initial impression upon reading the news was that the loss of Shingen as a playable character (again) was major disappointment. Over the course of the day, my view has mellowed and I've come to accept the fact that I enjoy watching Oyakata-sama far more than actually playing him - I'm not that great at games and his move set is probably my least favourite (with Ujimasa's coming a close second). It felt as though Shingen needed the most work of the six unfinished Sengoku Basara 3 Utage characters, and I guess it's not his time. Being an unplayable enemy commander is definitely preferable to spending most of the game sick in bed, as he did in Sengoku Basara 3. It sucks for the people who loved playing as Shingen, though.

Update 04/09/2013 (evening): I'll finish the translation in the next few hours, but I had a long day at work. Please be patient :)
Update 04/09/2013 (night): All done. Pictures will come when the official website updates later in the week.
Update 05/09/2013: Added the pictures as the official website updated its character page overnight and fixed a minor-yet-dumb error. The new character pages will open on the 12th September. Any further updates will be included in new posts as this one is now complete.

20 comments:

  1. Naotora? finally!

    She looks better here. She covered her chest but some parts of her legs and hands are still open. I can't wait to know her role in SB4. I hope she'll be a strong girl, not a shy. (tena)

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    1. Yes, her costume is quite sexy in a subtle way. It sounds as though she's very strong-willed indeed so far!

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  2. Shingen's an NPC? Oh, man... I am very disappointed, I love Shingen. :( I wish Capcom could stop with the NPCs trend...

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    1. Maybe he'll lead the future expansion this time. Sengoku Basara 4 ~Gloriously Manly Takeda Revival~ could be a big hit :)

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  3. I'm also very disappointed over Shingen being NPC. :/ Does this mean that Kenshin will be NPC as well? What about Kasuga?! At least Sasuke is still playable, and his hair looks better than in 3/Utage. (I wonder why the Takeda info wasn't included in the magazine, though...)

    Naotora sounds like a fun character, and I very much approve of her seiyuu. But her character design is so boring, even though with a character like her there are so many things you could take and run with.

    About Yukimura's design, well... at least he's not as puffed up as in 3? ^^;;

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    1. I rather like cute, idol-style Yukimura, though I fear that is entirely my personal biases towards attractive men. Some friends of mine asked whether he was being pushed in the same direction as his decidedly cute old stage play actor ^^;

      Kenshin came off better than Shingen in 3, so if Shingen is at least present Kenshin has every chance to be playable. I hope. There's no excuse about there being too many people in his army, at least, especially since it would make more sense to let Keiji run around on his own and tangle with the Toyotomi faction this time instead of tying him closely to Kenshin.

      It's a selfish thought, but if it had to be one or the other I'm glad we get Sasuke rather than Shingen as I'm much better at playing as the former ^^;

      I want there to be a shocking revelation that Naotora's ex-fiance was someone else in the cast (haha).

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    2. I don't mind his new design too much, but I prefer a "manlier" look for him. I think with this sweet, smooth look he might end up looking silly when he screams and such. But I definitely prefer this to his design in 3, he looked so puffed up there.

      About Shingen vs Sasuke, frankly I'd prefer both, but that's just me being greedy. ^^;;

      As for Naotora's fiance, if it's one of the newcomers then my bet is on Sakon, if only to connect her story to a main character. But with her being so fixated on Shingen, I think they might be setting her up to get involved with Yukimura (since Shingen is an NPC)... I'm not sure I'd like that, tough.

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    3. Or the man from Naotora's past could be Katsuie just to have him potentially entangled with two of the female cast members in unfortunate ways. Even though I don't think he's that kind of character, I'd find it funny for him to have a complicated romantic history since he's so serious-looking ^^;

      I can't decide whether Yukimura will be aghast that she's going around punching his beloved lord or impressed (I doubt Shingen will take it too badly himself). Most of the cast treat females no differently to men, but I can certainly see Yukimura getting flustered by her attitude. He should concentrate on fighting and taking Masamune down, though!

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    4. What if her ex is Keiji!

      To each their own, but I also think Yukimura paradoxically looks way cuter when he is more detailed and masculine-looking. Like in the first game and first anime season.

      I bet he feels left out if someone else punches Oyakata-sama. Perhaps it will be all good if Naotora has a punching session with him too while yelling Yukimura!!! Then Sasuke can truly despair at how the behaviour is spreading.

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    5. The problem with it being Keiji is that he might whimsically decide to reconcile with her at any point if he gets the idea into his head that she loved him...

      (Of course it's bound to be some faceless NPC soldier and not a real character now we're imagining all of these scenarios!)

      The punching comment made me laugh a lot :D

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    6. If it's Katsuie it would be fun to see his reaction to an ex-fiancée coming after him in a roaring rampage of man-hating revenge... Keiji is a good idea, too, he and Naotora could have fun interactions. And if Naotora doesn't end up being a tsundere she may actually end up scaring Keiji away the second time. (He already has a strong, commanding female presence in his life, I'm not sure he wants another.)

      (Now I kind of want to see Yukimura being jelaous over Shingen letting someone else punch him...)

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  4. Naotora sounds awesome! You know what, if they add also Ginchiyo, that'd be great! 2 new Female Warlords in a same game? That'd be marvelous. And for some reason, I can see her into an argument with Magoichi. :P

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    1. I want to see Muneshige appear so he can compare her ex-fiance's situation with his own (as someone who didn't run away...and ended up with a wife he seems intimidated by, haha). The way Magoichi treats men and women as equals would definitely clash with Naotora's way of life. That would be a fun fight :D

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  5. So the rumour was true and we got our first female character, excellent!! Because I'm really liking Naotora just by looking at her design. She's got some old-school anime hero vibe going on with the cape and the huge sword. Feminine but intimidating! I'm looking forward to play as a hot-blooded woman and punch people in the face. Out of everyone newly introdeced, I think I'm most interested in seeing her and Mr Ferocious Dinosaur in action. Really looking forward to a new video!

    Yep I knew that was gonna be Yukimura's SB4 cg. That cg artist loves white, undetailed faces. I also think Shingen works just fine as an NPC, being a mentor for Yukimura and so on, so I'm not disappointed by this news.

    Oh and as always, thanks for translating this stuff on your blog Raindrops. Do you understand what's going on in the pic where Masamune is riding? Is that the way for him and others to go between battle locations...? That would make Japan tiny if that's the case.





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    1. Yeah the stage selection is all rolled into this 'Sengoku Creation' idea, so Masamune rides between the locations while you choose your next location and set up the music/difficulty. I hope the characters each get their own special sequences, like Ieyasu riding on Tadakatsu between each stage :D

      And it's my pleasure to translate stuff, especially when it means I get to talk to other fans! I'm looking forward to what this weekend will bring...

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    2. at first I thought it would be cool if everyone rode horses but after mentioning ieyasu riding hondam, I think it would be better if everyone got their own special sequences someone else on the boards said matabei can have his death note be his thing so they could find a way to animate his targets and describe why he wants to kill them.

      heres some im hoping happen, hideyoshi could have a war council with all the toyotomi generals conversating, hanbei's could be just him and hideyoshi planning before war council, sasuke's could be ninja running through the tree's or on buildings, and naotora's can be her beating up a shingen shaped punching bag.

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    3. Ooh, the ninja characters rushing through forests would definitely look fantastic. Poor Shingen (lol).

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    4. Oh okay neat, and since everyone usually have unique everything else (horseriding style comes to mind) it almost certainly will be different for everyone.
      It sems this game will be more "advanced" which could make it more difficult to import and understand. I'm really hoping they (miraculously) do add english subtitle option...

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    5. Don't worry, the folks at Koei Warriors seem keep on getting all of the material translated if Capcom decide not to try English subtitles this time. The screen looks quite text-heavy at first but a lot of the options are mundane (background music etc). I'm sure once everyone is screaming and punching one another it will all come together :D

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  6. I wonder if we'll see Amago Haruhisa, given Shika's story... It'd be great to have him with a new, and more unique design + weapon (they should keep the sand theme though, I really loved it!)

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