Wednesday, 2 October 2013

News roundup: Famitsu magazine welcomes more returning characters to the Sengoku Basara 4 cast

Details from tomorrow's issue of Weekly Famitsu are now being leaked and it seems we have five returning characters appearing in Sengoku Basara 4, though two are said to be NPCs. It's brilliant news for fans of Mitsuhide(!) and Keiji - while fans of the game's strongest couple have had their worst fears realised...


Kobayakawa Hideaki 小早川秀秋
Character image phrase: 無明秋夜 Mumyou Shuuya ('Autumn Night Of Ignorance')
Seiyuu: Fukuyama Jun
Weapon: Nabe pot
Playable: Yes
Description: Hideaki is the supreme commander of the Kobayakawa army. As a lord he's a coward and extremely indecisive, but when it comes to food he's a glutton who gets more fired up and determined than anyone else in the land of Hinomoto. He seems to have built up a strange lord-retainer relationship with Tenkai, the mysterious monk who resides in the Kobayakawa household.

For Kobayakawa, running around and apologising become forms of attack. Contrary to appearances the unique skills which use the pot on his back are very powerful.

Hideaki's true value is in his unique skill 'Mogu Mogu Kingo' ('Munching Kingo'). By eating food, Hideaki's unique skills will be powered up. Try to keep his stomach full!

"Since I'm the 'nabe shogun', I have nothing to do with things like battles..."




Tenkai 天海
Character image phrase: 慈眼傍観 Jigan Boukan ('Spectating Merciful Eye')
Seiyuu: Hayami Shou
Weapon: A pair of 'monk staff' (shakujou) scythes
Playable: Yes
Description: An unidentified Buddhist monk who works with the Kobayakawa army. Due to his skill at advising the indecisive Kobayakawa Hideaki and the way that he can charm people with words, he's earned the admiration of the soldiers. However, nobody knows the background of this person who habours many secrets and often disappears.

By using the unique skill 'Koukotsuteki Kyuushuu' ('Ecstatic Absorption') Tenkai can heal himself and raise his 'ecstasy' level. This increases the efficiency of his normal and unique skills.

"As a reward, I'll tell you! My name...my real name is...! Hehehe...hahahahaha!"

Note: There's a cool picture of Tenkai leaping aggressively towards Nobunaga wielding both of his scythes.


Maeda Keiji 前田慶次
Character image phrase: 絢麗豪壮 Kenrei Gousou ('Gorgeous Splendour')
Seiyuu: Morita Masakazu
Weapon: Choutou-shuyari (Super-sword, scarlet spear)
Playable: Yes
Description: The supreme commander of a reborn Maeda army. While his free-spiritedness as a former vagabond remains, he's starting to gain an awareness of being the head of his clan. Keiji seems to harbour doubts about carrying responsibility for his land on his shoulders, opposing the turbulent era brought about by the 'restoration of power to the heavens'. Meanwhile, as the one who was known as a kabukimono, he can't deny the heated enthusiasm that the people are emitting. On the battlefield he blows numerous enemy soldiers away by brandishing his lengthy 'super-sword'. Keiji's personality can be appreciated for the way it embodies splendid action.

By using Keiji's unique skill 'Koi No Kakehiki' ('Tactics of Love'), his normal skills, unique skills and special moves can be cancelled.

Note: There's a picture of Keiji blocking a frontal attack from Yoshiteru.
Note 2: A kabukimono is a dazzling eccentric.

"For the Maeda clan of Kaga, for those who yearn for love...please take a good look at Maeda Keiji's great eccentricity!"




Maeda Toshiie 前田利家
Character image phrase: 豪放磊落 Gouhou Rairaku ('Open-hearted')
Seiyuu: Tsuboi Tomohiro
Weapon: Three-pronged spear
Playable: No
Description: Maeda Keiji's uncle, and a commander who loves the meals his wife cooks more than anything else. The heroic spear control he demonstrates on the battlefield marks him as 'Mataza of the Spear'. At the same time, he seems very interested in the movements of the lord he used to serve - a certain Oda Nobunaga.

Having handed his role as head of the family over to Keiji, Maeda Toshiie and Matsu battle hard in order to support Keiji. What kind of drama will we see from them?

"With support from Keiji, the strongest couple is even stronger!"




Matsu まつ
Character image phrase: 賢才瞬麗 Kensai Shunrei ('Gifted Sparkle')
Seiyuu: Kaida Yuuko
Weapon: Naginata
Playable: No
Description: The wife of a warrior family who wields her cooking skills in order to support the new Maeda army. She repeats her strict but gentle lectures on a daily basis so that Maeda Keiji will be a respectable head of their clan. On the battlefield, her combination with Toshiie poses a threat.

Whether they're going to a bustling festival or creating a stack of rice, the peaceful atmosphere throughout is one of the Maeda clan's traits. The quips between the married couple of Toshiie and Matsu are a highlight!

"The new Maeda army is full of life, just like fresh vegetables!"

--

This week's gameplay feature concentrates on some of the elements shown off at the Tokyo Game Show 2013, such as level-ups during battle. It's nothing revolutionary but I'll translate it.
  • You gain experience by defeating enemies and enemy camps, which leads to level-ups taking place during the stage.
  • If the level-up unlocks new a technique, it can be used immediately.
  • A picture shows Masamune levelling up and unlocking Crazy Storm with the input L1+Triangle displayed on the screen.
  • You can switch your special move mid-battle, so you can have multiple special moves equipped at the same time.
  • Caption: Change to adapt to the situation! Masamune is shown freely switching between Hell Dragon and War Dance in an instant.
  • The sword clash ('kengeki') mechanic is back when your attack coincides with an enemy commander's strike. As usual, you have to bash the button quickly to be victorious and stagger the enemy.
  • If you use the left stick while guarding just before an enemy attack lands, you'll trigger the desertion mechanic ('mikiri'). It's the fancy dodge move shown in some of the videos and slows the enemy down for a moment.
Then there's a section on enemy camps.
  • Camps are locations which act as bases for the enemy forces. The camps play a critical role: they're close to the barracks, from which enemy soldiers appear in succession, and gates might not open if you haven't destroyed the camp. Furthemore, inside the camps are special enemy units called camp commanders.
  • By defeating the camp commander, it's possible to claim the camp for your own forces.
  • Camps with up to three levels are created through the enhancing abilities of the strategists (note: this is a particular unit type which was described back when the enemy formations were revealed).
  • If that's the case, it's necessary to defeat the camp commanders on all of the floors before you can take the camp.
  • There's also a system called 'camp destruction' which lets you destroy the individual levels of strong bases with a single blow. If a button icon is displayed on-screen when the camp commander goes to attack, calmly press that button with the right timing.
The game has risen another spot in Weekly Famitsu's ranking. It's now in 14th place. Footnotes about the theme songs confirm a few other details:
  • As with the Naotora wedding outfit I mentioned before, there are plans to make the Masamune hakama/wooden sword DLC costume available separately later on for a fee.
  • Count ZERO (the game's opening theme) will include keywords like 'creation' and 'advance towards the enemy' in the lyrics.
  • Meanwhile, Runners high (the ending theme) contains a message along the lines of 'keep on running, don't stop!'.
I was momentarily excited when I saw that the Hyakka Ryouran Tamatebako special edition of the game came with an actual Date Masamune, only to realise it was a misprinted bullet point. Sigh.

--

So, it seems there'll be no opportunity to ride bears in Sengoku Basara 4 and the deer will have to make up for it. I'm reading a lot of negativity about poor Kingo being included which seems really unfair; it's not as though excluding him would represent an opportunity for one of the Maeda couple to be playable. Surely the developers would have chosen the characters they wanted to include before coming up with the final number of playable characters, not the other way around.

Kingo is popular in the stage plays so I'm interested to know what his story will be this time around. I also want to know whether they'll make Mitsuhide play differently to Tenkai this time to justify him having two different spots on the roster.

Thanks to this week's reveal we're now up to 23/40 characters formally announced, with 5 of them being NPCs. The official website (and major Japanese news sites) are likely to update on Thursday to share the details from the magazine.

Japanese Twitter user escarpment19 has uploaded a photograph of Keiji's page and the Maeda couple, while yuhya63 provides a glimpse of Tenkai/Kingo here.

Bonus: CapcomChannel has posted a higher quality version of the Naotora/Matabee gameplay demonstration and presentation from TGS 2013.

Update (23:30): The whole article is now translated above. By the way, everyone looks the same as they did in Utage (though I like Keiji's new render better, Tenkai's looks awesome and Kingo's isn't very flattering).
Update (Thursday morning). The official website has now been updated so I added the profile pictures.
Update (Thursday noon). Pictures are now all over the Japanese press such as Gamer and 4Gamer.

12 comments:

  1. Raindrops, the official BSR4 website updated! The specifics of characters and full portraits will be revealed 10/10.

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    1. Thanks - I like it when they stick to their patterns, it makes things easier to keep track of! :)

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  2. No the Maeda couple!!! At least Im hoping they will be playable in the next one. I must be one of the Hideaki haters, I dont know why he is in there. I mean, I prefer the Maeda, but its ok they are Npc, Hideaki is just useless. Well if they bring back Nohime, Ranmaru and Nagamasa, I could forgive them ;)

    As always,
    Thanks for the news!

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    1. Yeah, I wanna get everyone back together in one game at some point in the future. At least they're still around and have potential for any expansions or future DLC.

      I think I'm one of the handful of people in the world who likes Hideaki (lol). I put him at the top of the article even though Keiji is first in the actual magazine. He sucks as a human being but it's so funny when people bully him, and when he's powered up he seems very easy to use.

      I'm guessing we might get a Setouchi-themed reveal next fortnight (Motochika, Motonari, and maybe Tsuruhime/Magoichi?). That will clear most of the really obvious reveals out of the way, getting us closer to Nagamasa and Oichi (I hope...) which they're probably saving. I'm scared for Ranmaru and Nouhime but I'm hoping they'll appear in some form too; if they don't get to become playable characters this time, then surely we need to see them in the expansion later on.

      Hmm, I suppose there's no reason Capcom couldn't produce entire DLC stages later on to add more characters after the release even if we do run out of slots in the roster. I'd definitely buy them ^^;

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  3. Capcom you weasels! First Mitsuhide is announced as an npc, but here he is now as "Tenkai."
    Does that mean he is going to be leading a double life, part time Oda general and part time Hideaki's advisor?
    It's funny that Hideaki was choosen as a player character over Shingen and the Maeda couple, especially since he hates fighting. I'm not upset though. It's very nice to see all the Maedas back together, playable or not. Their scenes never fail to cheer me up.

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    1. The comment about Tenkai's frequent disappearances is really confusing; it makes it sound as though he's playing both roles at once without paying much attention to the established timeline. It should be interesting if that's the case :D

      From the pictures on the various gaming websites it looks as though the Maeda family are going to have a bigger role than in 3 (where they were pretty much just regional warlords with better designs most of the time...) so I'm looking forward to it. And Keiji getting a big boost in importance will give him a reason to cross paths with both the Oda and Toyotomi factions. He could gain a lot of popularity if the storylines are as memorable as they could be. Good luck, Keiji~!

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  4. That's my impression, they will ignore the stuff in Utage where Mitsuhide got his name stolen and just have him disguise himself and plot to make the Kobayakawa army attack Oda on his freetime or something.

    Yeah it's nice that the Maedas are finally getting more involved in the story here.
    A potential Matsu vs Hideaki food duel even! :D What a wonderful screenshot that was.

    And as always I just think "dlc" or "expansion" when popular characters like them (?) aren't playable.

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    1. what im hoping happens is he does live a double life, until finally he tells hideaki he is mitsuhide and kingo just accepts who he is and then he turns mitsuhide for the rest of the story.

      and the gourmet duo(what I called them while using them together in SB3U) finally getting a relationship/rivalry ohh boyy this is gonna be so great to watch, and since hideaki will interact with maeda's I wonder if toshiie or matsu will notice who tenkai really is.

      KG finally getting a higher role again after his love quarrels with Maggie is also gonna be great to see, and since he will be focusing on hideyoshi and leading the maeda clan, looks like he will have no time for magoichi, so I hope she finally gets her husband/leader in to make her slightly more relevant

      oh man this batch has brought the most speculation in my mind out of all of them.

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    2. It would certainly be cool if the Maeda duo recognise Tenkai, since they must have known him quite well before they parted ways with the Oda army. I'm looking forward to seeing what they do!

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  5. Yay, Keiji! And yay for the Maeda couple too, such pity that they're not playable. Keiji's story sounds interesting so I'm very curious of how it'll be in the actual game. (Just please please don't make him angst about responsibility and whatnot, Yukimura was more than enough in 3. Keiji deserves some happy fun time!)

    I'm also glad that Mitsuhide is playable as Tenkai, more of Hayami Shou being creepy is always a good thing.

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    1. I'm expecting at least a little (justified) angst from Keiji if the sad-looking shots of Hanbee in the second PV are a big part of the plot, but I hope the rest of the time he's in fine form and thrusting the Maeda family right into the heart of the main struggle where they belong. I wonder what the clan will be like working under him ^^;

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