Wednesday, 20 November 2013

News roundup: Weekly Famitsu magazine announces Ootani Yoshitsugu for Sengoku Basara 4

Ootani Yoshitsugu is revealed for Sengoku Basara 4 in Thursday's Weekly Famitsu magazine

In a surprising move, it seems that this week's news from Weekly Famitsu magazine only includes one character announcement for the new game: Ootani Yoshitsugu (Gyoubu). This means that next Wednesday's issue of Sengoku Basara Magazine is likely to reveal at least one additional character as well to reach its promised total. Perhaps it will be Motonari (do I say this every single time)?

BlackKite over at Koei Warriors has posted a translation of the details known so far. I'll add the rest this evening when I have access to the magazine.

Update: I now have the magazine so I've added a news story right at the bottom of this post and will add all of the magazine content there as I translate it this evening. Scroll down for the news!

Kotobukiya previews new Sengoku Basara One Coin Grande trading figures

It's been a while since these were announced and with this week's listings it turns out they won't be released until late May 2014! The price for a box of all twelve trading figures is ¥8,160 while blind single boxes will set you back ¥680 apiece.


The Sengoku Basara ~Eiyuu Shuuketsu-hen~ ('~Gathering of Heroes Edition~') collection will contain reissues of the popular Masamune, Kojuurou, Yukimura, Sasuke, Shingen, Keiji, Motochika, Motonari, Kenshin and Kasuga figures as well as brand new figures of Ishida Mitsunari and the older version of Tokugawa Ieyasu.


The figures can be ordered as a set at CD Japan, AmiAmi, Hobby Search, Otaku Republic, Big In Japan and Amazon Japan.

Yet another Sengoku Basara 4 demo event announced for December

So far, the Sengoku Basara 4 demo has been in hot demand at all of the events where it's appeared with fans turning up early to try to get a chance to play it for themselves. They'll be able to try their luck again soon with the Sengoku Basara 4 x Play.Community premium trial session ~Shinagawa Daigassen~.

This free event will be held on 15th December 2013 in a secret location in Shinagawa, Tokyo, where a total of 120 fans will participate across three separate sessions at 13:00, 15:40 and 18:00. There will be an exclusive demo build of the game as well as a battle between players divided up into 'Western Army' and 'Eastern Army' teams. Attendees can pick up one of the special Sengoku Basara 4 bags and take home an exclusive clear file, and there will also be a presentation by the Sengoku Basara 4 developers.

Fans can apply up until 25th November 2013 using the form on the official Sony Play.Community website. Those of us who can't attend can at least look forward to more juicy information from those who can, since the new demo might contain different characters to the one we've already seen!

The latest Sengoku Basara 4 information from Weekly Famitsu magazine

This week's magazine (dated 5th December 2013) contains a huge amount of new information about Sengoku Basara 4. The game is currently ranked 11th in the top 30. First of all, here's our newest character reveal:


Ootani Yoshitsugu 大谷吉継
Character image phrase: 寥星跋扈 Ryousei Bakko ('Unrestrained Lonely Star')
Seiyuu: Tachiki Fumihiko
Weapon: Prayer beads
Playable: Yes
Description: It's been decided that Ootani Yoshitsugu will join the battle as the commander who serves as Ishida Mitsunari's advisor in the Toyotomi forces - and also his friend! Even though Tokugawa Ieyasu has left their ranks and they gained Shima Sakon as a subordinate, Yoshitsugu continues to counsel Mitsunari just as he did before.

"I occasionally serve as 'Gyoubu'...whatever the punishment, leave it to me."

(Note: The name Gyoubu literally means the old Ministry of Justice. The 'Gyou' kanji is the same as the one used for 'punishment'.)

Ootani is able to freely manipulate the prayer beads which float behind him, striking the enemy with them to attack. He has a long reach (when facing something) and he seems to have a wide range of attack too.

Caption: The prayer beads smash into the enemy trapped by the mark.

Ootani usually moves by riding on his koshi platform. By using the unique ability 'Sekuna Hokoboshi', he's able to move at high speed with the beads acting as wheels.

Caption: A renowned strategist, second only to Takenaka Hanbee.

Note: Poor Gyoubu didn't get a very long description! The pictures show him looming over Sakon with Hideyoshi's awesome kabuto visible in the background - it looks as though it's a huge feature of the stage they're on. Another shot shows him rising into the air clutching Kanbee's weapon with his beads. Poor Kanbee is dangling helplessly below.

Caption: A dramatic scene where he abducts Kuroda Kanbee like a UFO. What on earth is going on here!?

Weekly Famitsu pictures spotted so far: Shima Sakon's 2P alternate costume (based on his real-life historical armour), cool picture of Gyoubu looming, Gyoubu's CG render and stuff about tag level-ups.


With these announcements, we have just four more of the usual fortnightly Weekly Famitsu updates left before the game is released. We also have ten characters left in limbo, including the mystery character who will have some tie to next week's magazine release.

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Characters weren't all that the magazine wanted to reveal about Sengoku Basara 4 this week. Three full pages were devoted to unravelling the new game's system including tag, comrade levelling, weapon enhancement and the Basara shop.

Your battle comrade can level up mid-battle too!

Note: The main picture shows Sakon charging through enemies with some red status updates in the bottom left of the screen. 'Battle comrade: level up!', 'Battle comrade: behaviours expanded!', 'Battle comrade: tag available!' and (in orange) 'Tactical results: obtained!'.

Mitsunari's portrait is shining (perhaps the tag icon just appeared next to it with a flourish?).

Battle comrades can also use the abilities they learn immediately!

Battle comrades are able to use skills they learn mid-battle as they level up, just like the player's character. Show off the moves you've learnt!

Note: The stage that Mitsunari and Sakon are fighting on has a Tadakatsu graphic over the mini-map with a meter for charging a cannon. The map itself looks like exactly the one we've seen in pictures before with a cannon you can control to fire on some Tokugawa carts.

Explaining the system #1: Level up with an 'Inrou of Enhancement'.

Note: An inrou is a traditional box, shown as a floating gold object in the screenshots.

It's possible to pick up an item called an 'Inrou of Enhancement' during battle. By using the Inrou of Enhancement on the battle preparation screen you can increase your experience points. Of course, this applies to the player character - though you can also benefit and level up a battle comrade too. You can use the item on whichever character you choose to help them level up more quickly.


Note: Mitsunari is selected and he has two labels next to his portrait: 'available as a player character' in blue and 'available as a battle comrade' in green. The bottom of the screen displays your money on the left and the experience stored in your inrou near the middle. You can split the experience between characters however you like.

Speculation: The screen shows a total of 32 characters in the list, which might be a clue that there will be 32 playable characters in total when all 40 warriors have been revealed.

Explaining the system #2: A second costume is available for each commander.

It's possible to switch costumes on the battle preparation screen. As with previous games in the series, each character has a second outfit. Heading out to battle wearing a different costume to your usual one is sure to give the game a fresh feel! For now, we'll reveal the second costume for one of the new characters, Shima Sakon. Dressed in this outfit based on the real Shima Sakon's armour instead of his usual tracksuit-like costume, he looks like a true warrior.

Perhaps the orange-coloured kuwagata shape, which decorates Sakon's helmet like a stag beetle's horn, represents his easygoing personality?


You can also get special costumes as DLC! Once you've obtained a costume, you can equip it whenever you like.

Note: Both Sakon and Katsuie have the same yellow swirl as their elemental icon in all of the screenshots.

Explaining the system #3: Tag becomes available as the battle comrade's level is raised.

Increase your battle comrade's level enough and you'll be able to use 'battle comrade tagging' rather than simply relying on issuing orders to control your ally. If you tag mid-combo, you'll immediately unleash an attack and be able to continue your chain; depending on how you go about it, you could start a 'supreme combo'! What if it's combined with a Giga Basara technique...!?

Caption: By pressing the R3 button while playing as Ootani Yoshitsugu, his battle comrade Ishida Mitsunari becomes the main character. The changeover is extremely quick.

Aim for a 'supreme combo' by making use of tag with your battle comrade!

Note: As we thought, when you see the red/blue mark over the battle comrade's health bar it means that tag is available.

Explaining the system #4: A brand new weapon enhancement system.

Up until now, to improve your capabilities you could do things like attaching accessories to your weapon. In Sengoku Basara 4, you can strengthen your weapons in various ways with a new system involving whetstones, fortune hammers, tamahagane steel and inscriptions. This article explains each mechanic in detail.

Note: This section is split across a large number of screenshots showing the enhancement menu system. After going to the battle preparation screen and selecting 'weapon enhancement', a red menu at the top lets you choose between 'equipment', 'enhancement', 'fusion' and 'disassembly'. When you pick 'enhancement' your weapons are displayed on the left with a yellow label for the one you're currently enhancing and a blue label showing which weapon your character has equipped.

'Whetstones' are used to enhance weapons.

When you receive the item called a 'whetstone' during a battle, it can be used to raise the stats of a weapon from the battle preparation screen. The five weapon stats that can be increased are attack, defence, basara gauge, fighting spirit and hit points (moving clockwise from the top of the statistics chart). After selecting the stat you want to increase, decide how many whetstones you want to use and try out the enhancement.

The 'fortune hammer'.

You can use the fortune hammer to enhance one of your weapon's stats at random. There are three tiers: a blessing, a middle blessing or a great blessing. Leave your fortune to the heavens!

Tamahagane steel breaks through a weapon's limits!

Further enhancement is possible! There's a limit to how much you can enhance a weapon. However, by using the item tamahagane steel, you can increase the weapon's rarity - which in turn raises the upper limit.

Combine two weapons!

As well as being able to increase the stats with whetstones, fortune hammers and tamahagane steel, there's a feature called 'inscription' which allows you to attach special abilities to your weapon.

By fusing two weapons together, an inscription is created which can be used in enhancement. The inscription will vary depending on the combination used, and you can check what it will be before you begin the fusion.

It could be said that rushing through the battlefields and collecting weapons to create a perfect inscription is one of the game's highlights.

Note: The pictures show Katsuie's reverse naginata Senpuu (Unsigned) with a two-star rating/level and a gauge beneath it. The blue-and-white text under the picture of the weapon says that there are 10 more pieces of tamahagane steel required until the rarity of the weapon increases. You can press square to use tamahagane steel from your stock. Under this are three slots, of which two are occupied by the abilties 'break stone' and 'crushing blow'. In the bottom left of the screenshot is your total stock of fortune hammers which you can use by pressing triangle. On the top right of the picture is your total number of whetstones, which you can put into the five stats using the circle button.

Speculation: The weapon stat screen is mostly straightforward but in the area where the weapon's individual inscription slots are listed, some slots are marked with a circle in the middle of them which indicates they're maxed out. One of Katsuie's weapons had a unique gold-coloured slot with the text 'six realms'. Is that his personal ability..?

Note: As well as Senpuu and Senpuu (Unsigned), I think Katsuie has a green weapon called Suiran and (this is especially difficult to see) a gag weapon shaped like a pen called Mangamichi.

Explaining the system #5: The Basara-ya shop is still going strong!

You can go to the Basara-ya shop from the march screen and purchase items with the money you've obtained. The weapons you purchase in the shop will also have a few enhancements applied to them if you have enough spare cash. In addition, you can also buy the materials needed to enhance your weapons such as whetstones, tamahagane steel and fortune hammers.

Note: The march screen has options on the left for 'battle preparation', 'select battle comrade', 'Basara-ya shop' and 'settings'. The shop will alert you with text over its name when there are special deals on offer. The options in the shop's main menu seem to be 'buy', 'weapon enhancement', 'weapon fusion', 'weapon disassembly' and 'online Basara-ya shop'. If you pick 'buy' the shop can be sorted into categories such as weapons, enhancement materials, music and dialogue.

Caption: Don't miss the special deals! When the shop is running special deals, it will stock joke weapons with properties you can't see until after you get them in your hands; you might find a really powerful weapon! However, there are a large number of expensive items. Be sure to gather enough money!

Note: The prices in the shop show a lot of items costing 100,000 ryou or more. Whetstones cost 50 ryou, fortune hammers are 2,000 ryou and tamahagane steel is 3,000 ryou. There are apparently 200 items in the list, and the 'special deal' items have green labels. The interface shows three numbers underneath the weapon stats; these are your total number of whetstones, pieces of tamahagane steel and fortune hammers respectively from left to right.

Speculation: I also noticed that the total number of weapons in the bottom corner of the enhancement screen was 6/20. Can each character store 20 different weapons? In addition, the screenshot of the shop showed two separate joke weapons; whether they're a single weapon available with varying statistics or some characters have more than one joke weapon model is unknown. Some weapons have brown/orange backgrounds while others have blue/grey, so there might simply be two types of each - though to make things more complicated, in a picture of the shop some had silver backgrounds and others had gold while the mystery 'special deal' weapons were red.

Capcom updates the official Sengoku Basara 4 website with a new gameplay video

As expected, last Saturday's gameplay video has now made its way to the official Sengoku Basara 4 website. The theme this time is the various ways you can level up in the game. You can watch it on YouTube or below.


Initial observations:
  • We have a few more confirmed stage names with Oushuu: Aoba Castle (Masamune), Bizen: Ujou [Okayama Castle] (Hideaki), Remains of Ounin: Souden (Yoshiteru), Battle of Sekigahara: Touyou (Ieyasu), Toyotomi Reminiscence Struggle (Hideyoshi) and Oda: Azuchi Castle (Nobunaga).
  • I clarified the wording in the Inrou of Enhancement section above after seeing it in action. You can share your experience between characters from a single pool of experience stored in your inrou box. That's good news if you find levelling a particular character a chore.
  • I was wrong about the gold inscriptions being unique character abilities, since the video shows lots of them along with special green ones.
  • Sakon's basic weapons are Odds/Evens. He also has White/Black, Heaven/Earth, Luck/Misfortune, Odds/Evens (Unsigned), Odds/Evens (Gold) and Six/Four - which looks as though it's his joke weapon, except I cannot tell what it is. (Update: According to Japanese fans, it's a guitar and bass, and the numbers are the number of strings on each instrument. This shows how little I know about music..)
  • Mitsunari's joke weapon is a tennis racquet apparently called Garden, though the pronunciation of the name isn't confirmed and it's a deliberate tennis reference.
  • You can receive Inrou of Enhancement items as battle rewards as well as on the battlefield itself.
  • There are many different types of stat bonus items you can receive (the flat sheets which appear as rewards and in the shop). They're referred to as 'play books'.
  • As well as the 'special deals' which can appear in the shop, there's a red icon over the shop's name on the march screen when a discount is in effect. The discounts seem to affect certain categories labelled in red.
  • There is a lot of space available if they decide to add a large number of DLC items later on since they're using very small icons for inactive costumes. I am going to start saving my money...

Fans of Gyoubu will have to wait until 28th November for his character page, but there are updates for the tag system, battle comrade level-ups and Sakon's alternate outfit. Other characters have received new voice samples as well.

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The usual higher resolution pictures are now available courtesy of the Japanese gaming press: 4gamer, Famitsu, Gamer, Dengeki.

Update 21/11/2013 (00:50): Translation complete.
Update 21/11/2013 (01:15): The official website has updated, so I added pictures and the video!
Update 21/11/2013 (07:50): Added the links to various Japanese gaming websites and some extra observations about the video I noticed when I watched it again in bed. This post is now complete and further updates will go into a new one on Saturday.

11 comments:

  1. Thank you for being awesome and posting this stuff, it is really helpful, you rock :D

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  2. how dare you eat dinner before providing us with translations! :D

    ~ robotzombie

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    1. Hahaha, this made me grin when it popped up earlier :D

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    2. glad I could at least repay you with a grin after all the awesome translation work!

      ~ robotzombie

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  3. I know it's already been said, but thank you so very much for translating these things week after week. It's a great help, and I don't think I'd be half as excited for this game, otherwise.

    As to the post at hand, I'm glad they made a point to confirm in-game costumes. I expected them, but I know some people were concerned. The weapon system is looking better than ever, too--a bit daunting to someone like me working with a language barrier, but after reading your explanation and then seeing it in the video, I'm more pumped to play with it than anything else.

    I could probably go on, but suffice it to say I'm growing more and more impatient as the release date draws closer~

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    1. You're very welcome; I'm just glad my rambling is useful! I'm sure we'll be able to break through the language barrier (I'll gladly translate the full list of inscriptions if nobody else does once more of the effects are known, since it will be easier to make a list that way).

      The video is so much easier to follow than the still images. I'm glad they released it at the same time.

      Only a few weeks left to wait now...

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  4. Seriously, I loled so hard when I saw that Mitsunari's joke weapon is Tennis racket. I bet that ieyasu will get boxing glove. <3

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    1. If Masamune has a bat and Mitsunari has a racquet, it's certainly possible we'll see more sports-themed weapons :D

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  5. I really hope that Kanbee will get his Gakuen BASARA car tire for his joke weapon ^^
    Will be hilarious to hit people with it))))
    Thanks for the translation!

    @VegaManX4

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I'm really sorry that I had to switch on authentication for comments. The blog had started to receive dozens of spam comments each week. I hope that this new setting will help!