Saturday, 30 November 2013

News roundup: Gossip from the Osaka Sengoku Basara 4 preorder event

Today was the fourth consecutive weekly in-store Sengoku Basara 4 preorder event with a new video and talk from series producer KobaP. This time, the event was held in Osaka at the Nipponbashi branch of Joshin Denki's Disc Pier.

I'm afraid it's difficult to look things up properly while away from home but here are the comments I've seen on Twitter so far. Please forgive more typos than usual.
  • There were a lot of people at the event this time.
  • For the demo sessions, a lot of people were picking Sakon and Katsuie (Note: there are only six characters in this demo build).
  • KobaP was asked a lot of things about Katsuie which he was unable to answer at this time. He said there would be scenes from Katsuie's past.
  • The video introduces the new enemy warriors (NPCs) this time.
  • Yoshiteru seems to be the strongest.
  • He loves battle and compliments his opponent during his taunt.
  • His strength and fighting style varies depending on the roulette colour of his stage. Red increases the power of his hits, black gives him a homing missile while gold traps the opponent in a force field.
  • Someone said his movement was 'Matsunaga-like'.
  • Maria's normal attacks resemble Spiderman's moves, according to one fan.
  • Maria was shown wrapping Masamune in her cloth and using her kiss attack like in the pictures from her introduction article.
  • She apparently uses the kiss attack on whomever she wants. People were joking about which of the game characters Maria would want to kiss.
  • All of the game's characters should be announced by the end of the year.
  • The total of 32 playable characters was confirmed once again (it was also explicitly stated in the magazine a few days ago).
I hope we will get to see the new video on Monday!

Update 01/12/2013 23:30: Just rounding up a few more rumours from blogs and forums before the video comes out, now that I'm back home...
  • Yoshiteru wasn't seen using any weapon styles other than the previously-mentioned katana, spear and bow attacks.
  • Someone mentioned that when in 'red mode' from the roulette on his stage, Yoshiteru launched his opponent into the air and shot them repeatedly with the bow.
  • (Note: Since we know that Capcom call Yoshiteru's weapon change skill 'Roulette', could it be that when he uses this it spins the colours on his stage at the same time? Could each weapon type be linked to a particular colour and special boss technique?)
  • What I described as his taunt above was referenced by someone else, who thought it might actually be his victory pose. Yoshiteru walks forward and claps while saying "Fantastic!".
  • It seems that the new video has a shot of Hideyoshi being impaled with a spear.
  • Maria can release three or four cloth 'curtains' and hide within them.
  • She can use the long range of her cloth to close distance between herself and the enemy by using it to hold onto them and lift them up.
The fans only got to see the video played once at what sounds as though it was a very crowded event, so it's understandable that they weren't able to pick up every detail. I'll probably be posting again in a few hours with the video link when we can see for ourselves (unless Capcom decide to delay it to Thursday again).

Thursday, 28 November 2013

News roundup: A few minor headlines, and translation guide updated

There hasn't been much solid news today, so this is a very short post. Gyoubu's profile and voice sample went live on the official Sengoku Basara 4 website this morning, so I added his picture to last week's magazine translation post. And again below, because it's too cute to let disappear onto the second page without any fanfare.

Awww...
The other new information was about the weapon system, confirming a few things which weren't entirely clear in the video or Weekly Famitsu article. I've updated my full summary post and since finding the changes might be a challenge, here's an abbreviated summary.
  • Added a table for Inscription combinations now that the news websites have posted extra pictures. Grey-backed Inscriptions can be combined to create the gold-backed ones, and the first two combinations are now known for certain.
  • Added some new Inscription effects to the list.
  • Added pictures of the enhancement materials and different types of Play Books to make it less confusing.
  • Various minor adjustments to make things clearer.
My copy of the magazine will either be delivered tomorrow (when I'm not home) or next week. So Tuesday will be the earliest I can write a review and search for any new details.

Incidentally, I'm away all weekend. I'll try to tweet any juicy rumours I hear about Saturday's new video and presentation in Osaka, but the usual summary in a blog entry will probably have to wait until later on. I don't want my friends to disown me for blogging during an excursion!

In other news...

An amusing snapshot from the Wan-Nyan Sengoku Basara one-shot manga was shared on Twitter. Ieyasu seems to be a dog, which is understandable under the circumstances - but Tadakatsu is a dog house?!

The Sengoku Basara online newsletter Tokusei Kawaraban has posted its fourth play diary from the Sengoku Basara 4 TGS 2013 demo. I didn't spot anything new other than a whole bunch of tigers and evidence of several secret areas in Naotora's Iinoya Castle stage, but those who have made a My Capcom account (instructions here) might want to take a look.

Lastly, these aren't in any way official but they haven't been taken down yet so I may as well link them. T.M.Revolution performed the full version of the Sengoku Basara 4 opening theme song Count ZERO back at Inazuma Rock Fes. 2013 several months ago and someone's uploaded part of the television broadcast to YouTube: Day 1, Day 2. It really whets my appetite for ordering the opening/ending theme CD as soon as the listings go up.

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

News roundup: Sengoku Basara Magazine vol. 3 rumours, and lots of merchandise

Sengoku Basara Magazine Vol. 3 goes on sale

Although the biggest news is, of course, Mouri Motonari's Sengoku Basara 4 debut, that doesn't mean that the rest of the magazine is lacking in information. I'm trying to dig out a few rumours without completely ruining the magazine for myself, so it's a little tough. My copy won't arrive for a while!

Here's what I've seen people talking about so far. I'll add to this list in the morning when I wake up.
  • Amazon removed their picture of the real magazine cover before the magazine was released, trying to preserve the surprise. It was a little too late by that time.
  • Shikanosuke will have an Anime Route in Sengoku Creation Mode as well. (Note: It's starting to look as though all of the completely new characters will.)
  • Someone noted that Nobunaga is looking for Ranmaru and Nouhime in the game - they're missing. (Note: I guess that means they're officially in the storyline, at least, and hopefully appear in cutscenes this time?)
  • He goes to the land of the dead and joins up with the King of Six Demons (Rokuma No Ou).
  • This also has links to Oichi's dark hands. Her ability to use them in this game is due to Nobunaga.
  • Tsuruhime is tricked again.
  • Update: And this time, it's described as an 'amazing' trick. Someone on 2ch wondered whether the voice of 'Himiko' she heard in her story introduction might actually be a ruse by Motonari, while another person suggested it could be the Xavists. (Note: The folks over at Koei Warriors were joking about it being Gyoubu a while ago too.)
  • Update: Due to obeying the voice of 'Himiko', Tsuruhime does some things she wouldn't normally have considered.
  • Motonari is shown in a cutscene with Sourin.
  • The Xavist jokes will be stronger than ever, according to game director Yamamoto.
  • It doesn't seem as though Maria is with the Xavists, though.
  • Motonari is the same as usual with the rintou ringblade as his weapon and Nakahara Shigeru as his seiyuu. He's the same antisocial, distrustful, self-serving and devious guy we know and love. In Sengoku Basara 4, he's working for Ashikaga Yoshiteru behind the scenes in order to establish Aki as the centre of the land of Hinomoto (i.e. Japan).
  • He still has strong ties to Motochika, and he's trying to steal that which is precious to him. (Note: Hahaha, someone on Twitter asked whether this was "his heart?")
  • Update: Courtesy of G in the comments section of this blog, the game will include the usual Xavist references - even the legendary 'tactician', Sunday Mouri, can be expected to join in..!?
  • Update: Sengoku Basara Magazine Vol. 4 will be dated Winter 2014 and feature Ishida Mitsunari in the main article and on the Mame Sengoku Basara rubber strap. The CD will be a continuation of the Yukimura/Sasuke talk from this issue, as expected. There will also be the first chapter of a new manga side story drawn by Yoshihara Motoki called Sengoku Basara 4: Bontenmaru-hen.
  • Update: There's also an ad for a guidebook for the game called Shutsujin No Sho, released on 17th January 2014. It looks like a great buy with game information about all forty characters, gameplay advice, cast/creator interviews, a poster with anime-style artwork of the four leads from Production I.G. and Mame Sengoku Basara badges of Masamune, Sakon, Katsuie and Mitsunari. The same ad mentions that badges of Matabee, Yukimura, Ieyasu and Shikanosuke will be in the March issue of Dengeki Maoh (released 27th January 2014).
  • Finally, some pictures. Motonari's profile page, Motonari's face, the actual magazine, close-up of the Ieyasu rubber strap.
Even more updates below, mostly thanks to the Dokuganryuu -Deutsch Melon- blog...
  • Ieyasu's departure from the Toyotomi army in Sengoku Basara 4 occurs without him attacking Hideyoshi.
  • Maria is only using the name 'Maria' because she feels like it.
  • Maria thinks Nagamasa should move from the Oda faction to the Ashikaga faction.
  • The Ashikaga faction is very powerful and various commanders have aligned themselves there.
  • Nagamasa's relationship with his sister gives insight into why he's always talking about justice.
  • Tsuruhime and Shikanosuke will team up to look for Haru-sama (Amago Haruhisa).
  • Motochika is tying up loose ends in Hinomoto and preparing himself before setting out on his journey. He will team up with someone too - but who? (Note: I suspect the recent video had a clue about this...)
  • Motochika will ride on his Hyakki Fugaku fortress on the march screen.
  • Tadakatsu has an event where he crashes mid-battle as a result of trying too hard, for Ieyasu's sake.
  • The Maeda couple are the same as ever, and concerned about Katsuie's situation. There's a battle between the Toyotomi and Maeda forces.
  • Keiji is someone who sees events through very human eyes. His role in the story is important this time, and this has something to do with it.
  • Kanbee adores Matabee. Matabee considers Kanbee an idiot, but respects Hanbee. Hanbee has nothing to do with Kanbee.
  • There's a sense that the atmosphere in the Toyotomi army has changed, and Gyoubu thinks that Sakon is rather disconcerting. Gyoubu and Hanbee mutually respect one another.
  • Magoichi has a contract with 'a certain army'. After the story begins she makes a contract with someone else, too. She envisions a country led by mercenaries.
  • Shingen's decision to leave his army to Yukimura in the storyline has something to do with Yoshiteru. Shingen has some links to another unannounced character (this could be singular or plural).
  • Hideaki will get along well with Shikanosuke. His relationships with Motonari and Tenkai are the same as ever. He orders hot pot dishes such as miso nabe and soy nabe during battle.
  • Mitsuhide is using the Tenkai persona to hide his identity from the Toyotomi and Ashikaga forces, so he appears in both forms.
  • The person who writes the Deutsch Melon blog said that Motonari will be deceiving Tsuruhime.
  • It's Magoichi's turn for a typo as her name was spelled incorrectly in the magazine.
  • It's confirmed that there will be 32 playable characters. 'Most' of the major characters from Sengoku Basara 3 will have a significant role.
  • Although they can't say anything yet, fans shouldn't get too worried about whether the other ninja (plural) will be appearing.
  • And a few more images. Preview of the next issue, a look at an ominous scene with Katsuie and Oichi, Shikanosuke in an anime cutscene, Motonari with Sourin and (separately) with Shikanosuke.
  • The caption for that ominous Katsuie/Oichi scene states that even though Katsuie dearly loves Oichi, there's a terrible development in the scene that has been shown. It doesn't look as though his feelings will reach her.
I'll post a proper review of the magazine soon. Hopefully next week...

Of course, before then there's going to be another video event this Saturday! Thursday's Weekly Famitsu and Dengeki Playstation magazines reportedly include no new information.

Sengoku Basara 4 soundtrack CD preorder listing spotted

It looks as though the preorder details will be announced in the next few weeks after a listing on Amazon Japan appeared for the new game's soundtrack. According to the listing it will be a two-disc set released on 29th January 2014. The usual theme song single CDs should appear soon as well, so I'll keep checking for more news!


Update: And just a few hours later, this was confirmed by Capcom! The soundtrack will cost ¥3,360.
Update 2: VGM has tracked down some catalogue numbers for a Sengoku Basara 4 EP theme song single too (CD, CD+DVD). Both versions are slated for 12th February 2014.

More previews of the upcoming Sengoku Basara 4 manga serialisation

Manga artist Yoshihara Motoki has become more active on Twitter recently and begun posting rough sketches previewing the artwork which will be used in the official Sengoku Basara 4 manga. Reactions from fans so far seem good, and I personally think that Yoshihara's masculine designs will be a good fit for the series. The manga will begin its run in late December.

You can see Yoshihara's previews so far at these links: Ieyasu, Sasuke/Kanbee, Shikanosuke/Hanbee, Kojuurou/Motochika and Keiji/Yukimura. Preview pictures of Masamune, Katsuie and Sakon were shown before back when the manga was first announced, and this ad (close-up) shows the four leads fully inked.

Vote for Sengoku Basara X in Capcom's special 30th anniversary ranking

From 25th November 2013 until 14th January 2014, Capcom is running a poll to decide which of their arcade games is the most beloved. The lesser-known Sengoku Basara X fighting game is one of the options representing the year 2008.

Unfortunately I don't think that the game stands a chance in this particular poll given some of the illustrious competition. Still, fans of the game can show their support here! Just click the orange text to place your vote. Each person can only vote once per day.

Preorders open for the newest Sengoku Basara stage play DVD

Those who weren't able to attend the recent performances of Butai Sengoku Basara 3 Utage Two: Kyouou Tanjou x Shinen No Utage ('The Birth Of The Dark King x Feast Of The Abyss') will be able to catch up towards the end of March 2014 now that the DVD version has appeared for purchase. As usual, there's a ¥6,500 first press limited edition and a ¥6,000 regular edition as well as a jumbled assortment of leftover merchandise from the show venues. At the moment the listings only exist on the official Dais shop; Yesasia, Ami Ami and other regular import stores should open their preorders soon.


The first press limited editions often tend to sell out extremely quickly and become collectors items, so it's recommended to preorder early. The bonus item this time seems to be a photo booklet.

While I'm on the subject, stage play actor Odai Ryouhei tweeted this incredible picture today. I feel it deserves to be seen.

A mini Sengoku Basara 4 merchandise stall opens for business in Tokyo station

Capcom have announced that Tokyo Station's Character Street will be blessed with a Sengoku Basara 4 presence between 27th November and 11th December 2013 when a street wagon will be set up to sell merchandise relating to the new game. The location of the stall will be in the 'K-Spot' area near the station's Yaesu exit and it will be open daily from 10:00 until 20:30. 200 lucky customers who spend more than ¥2,000 at the stall will be given a special Sengoku Basara 4 postcard.

Update: Here's a snapshot of the wagon from @cr_sho_alp.


More classic Sengoku Basara One Coin Grande trading figures return

As well as the One Coin Grande figure collection Sengoku Basara ~Eiyuu Shuuketsu-hen~ ('~Gathering of Heroes Edition~') next year, Kotobukiya are planning to rerelease two of the older sets in their entirety for the benefit of fans who missed out before. The two they've chosen are the recoloured Sengoku Basara ~'Dyed Costume' Edition~ sets. The first will be released on 30th April 2014 while the second will come out on 30th June 2014. Each collection costs ¥6,300 and features ten mini warriors.


The old sets have been changing hands for ridiculous sums of money in recent months so these rereleases are welcome. Will we get a true fifth collection of figures soon to include the Sengoku Basara 4 cast - as well as the remainder of the missing Sengoku Basara 3 characters?


The rereleased sets can be preordered now from all good figure shops such as Ami Ami (1, 2), CD Japan (1, 2) and Yesasia (1, 2).

Update: Delivery date for the Butai Sengoku Basara Bushou Matsuri 2013 DVD slips

The official shop has announced that preorder customers will receive their copies of the DVD on 10th December 2013, not at the end of November as originally planned. The date for the general release which follows is unchanged.

--

Update 27/11/2013 (07:40): Added a few additional things to the soundtrack and Sengoku Basara Magazine notes.

Monday, 25 November 2013

News roundup: Mouri Motonari will be included in Sengoku Basara 4, and a new video is released

Mouri Motonari is to join the Sengoku Basara 4 roster

Finally! It hasn't even been released yet but the cover artwork for Sengoku Basara Magazine Vol. 3 posted on Amazon Japan received a stealth update today. They changed the line about the number of characters announced since the previous issue's feature:


"Nineteen new commanders have been selected to join the battle!!" was secretly changed to:


"Beginning with Mouri Motonari, nineteen new commanders have been selected to join the battle!!"

We can expect a character profile for Motonari on the 27th November when people receive their copies of the magazine. I don't expect to receive mine until next week so a full translation of any of the new content will have to wait for a while. I'll try to post and tweet any rumours in the meantime.

It seems likely that there will be a formal reveal for Motonari in next week's Weekly Famitsu magazine as well for the benefit of regular gamers who don't collect Sengoku Basara Magazine. If it follows the same pattern as Yukimura's surprise announcement a few months ago, the formal reveal will also include characters with links to Motonari. Is it finally time for the Xavists..?!

(My thanks go to G in the comments section, whose message about this cheered me up when I was stuck at work without proper Internet access this morning!)

A brand new gameplay video introduces Sengoku Creation Mode

The new video which debuted at Fukuoka on Saturday has now been shared on the Capcom Channel. You can watch it on YouTube or below as usual.


Of course, a new video requires some new speculation. Here's what I noticed on my first few viewings.
  • Sasuke's joke weapon seems to be a ramen set, while Yukimura's looks like a 'hot-blooded combat pick' shaped like an ear pick (mimikaki). I anticipate a lot of fan art if that's what it really is...
  • Meanwhile Naotora's joke weapon looks like an ornate Japanese-style gift (fitting in with her ceremonial/wedding theme) and Magoichi's is a trumpet.
  • Motochika's fully realised Hyakki Fugaku fortress is huge.
  • Is Kanbee opening up a Sengoku-era subway system?
  • Now that there are Kawanakajima and Sekigahara stages named, I'm not sure that the subtitled locations are actually stages rather than mid-stage events. I've removed them from my stage list for now. For reference, their names are Kawanakajima: Hachimanpara, Gotou Matabee: Behind The Scenes, Oda Vanguard Troops: Forced Advance From Owari, Honnouji and Sekigahara: Eastern Army Union of Bonds.
I've added the new stages and Play Books to my ongoing lists (please see below for more details).

Sengoku Basara 4 translated information guide created

Since finding the individual posts will be difficult in future, I've rounded up all of the game information I've been posting so far into a summary for players who are worried about the language barrier if they import the Japanese edition of Sengoku Basara 4. I'll try to keep this summary post up to date each time I spot something new.

You can find the compiled information in the post just before this one, or through the Articles menu at the top of this page.

Of course, if Capcom later announce an English language translation themselves, this will have been a waste of time. Nobody will be happier than I am if that turns out to be the case!

Sengoku Basara 4 Reference Materials (Part 2)

This is the second part of my collection of translated Sengoku Basara 4 reference materials after the first grew too large for a single post. You can see the other part here; it contains menu translations, a stage list and weapon enhancement information.

Sengoku Basara 4 Reference Materials

If I have time, I'll gather my Sengoku Basara 4 information here as a reference guide. News and article translations will remain on my main blog; this summary is just for the main menus and system details for the game itself. More detailed explanations of everything in the list can be found on the main blog.

This is currently a work in progress. Unlike my usual posts this one will be updated periodically. Please note that as this blog entry became too long for Blogger I have moved the later chapters to a second post.

The Sengoku Basara 4 Sumeragi additions are in a separate guide here.

Saturday, 23 November 2013

News roundup: Gossip from the Fukuoka Sengoku Basara 4 in-store preorder event and more translations

Rumours from today's Sengoku Basara 4 in-store preorder event

It's Saturday once again, which means that the third of the five weekly Sengoku Basara 4 preorder events has now taken place in Yodobashi Camera, Hakata. There was a presentation by game producer Kobayashi 'KobaP' Hiroyuki and another video was unveiled.

Here is the usual collection of rumours from Twitter, 2ch and other sources. As Hakata is located less centrally it sounds as though there were fewer fans in attendance than there were last week - or fewer fans who use social media networks. It's really tough to separate the rumours from the facts with so few reliable sources.
  • The main thing everyone is talking about is Amago Haruhisa. There are a lot of rumours about him being in the game as an enemy, though nobody seems to know for sure whether he's a full enemy NPC, a cutscene character or some kind of minor boss again.
  • The source seems to be that the name 'Amago' appeared in a timeline shown somewhere in the new video, so it could be a mistake and something to do with Shikanosuke's story. One person thought they saw the phrase 'a world of sand'.
  • The vagueness of the rumour hasn't stopped everyone from speculating wildly about the old regional warlords again...
  • Someone asked whether there would be regional warlords or cutscene-only characters. KobaP couldn't reveal that yet.
  • The fan theory that Shikanosuke's deer is actually Amago was rejected at the event.
  • There's still no news about Motonari even though people asked.
  • KobaP said that Oichi is really cute in Nagamasa's story.
  • It seems that Matabee was in the Toyotomi army at first but departed along with Kanbee. He then became thoroughly disgusted with Kanbee and left him, but it's touching when they reunite in the game. KobaP wouldn't say whether Matabee rejoins the Kuroda army.
  • There aren't many anime endings at all.
  • The new video features Sengoku Creation Mode and the march screen. There was a lot of text again so people can't really describe it.
  • There was some discussion about the way characters move on the march screen (Ieyasu riding on Tadakatsu, Mitsunari running and other characters riding horses as we've seen already).
  • KobaP said something about Aniki (Motochika) moving in a very 'Aniki-like' way on the march screen. One fan speculated that he might be depicted riding on some kind of vehicle.
  • You can apparently rotate the camera to view your character from the front on the march screen.
  • The new video supposedly includes footage of Magoichi as a playable character with Tsuruhime as support.
  • There's a shot of Katsuie and Sakon standing back to back in the new Echizen: Kitanoshou Castle intrusion stage.
  • I've only found a handful of pictures of the event venue so far courtesy of @ito_bsr (2, 3) and @rekkuza96. It was an all-girl crowd when everyone was queueing at the start.
I'll add to the list if I find anything else of interest.

Even though the event information was weak, while I was searching I stumbled upon this new post on the Sony Playstation blog. There's the first in a series of weird videos with KobaP at the bottom.

The Bushou Matsuri 2013 DVD cover art is revealed

The cover artwork for the upcoming Butai Sengoku Basara Bushou Matsuri 2013 event DVD is now available. I still have no idea whether the Dais Shop version is sticking to its 'late November' date now that a general release is on the way. I can't wait to see Ikeda Shuuichi's appearance at last!


With the news out of the way, I'm going to delve back into the most recent gameplay video and translate more of the menu system. You can click on the pictures to see them at full size.

Translations of some more Sengoku Basara 4 content: Character Levelling

We discovered that you could level characters up out of battle a few days ago and the latest video revealed exactly how it works. First, you need to select it from the menu in the Battle Preparation screen. Here's an annotated version.


Next, here's a screenshot of the Character Levelling interface. For an explanation of how the Inrou of Enhancement stores experience, please consult the first of this week's translation posts. I think everything else is self-explanatory.


Translations of some more Sengoku Basara 4 content: Weapon Enhancement

You can access Weapon Enhancement through the Basara-ya Shop using the menu screens I translated in my previous post, or by going to Battle Preparation → Equip Weapon then pressing R1 once to switch screens. You can see which screen you're in by checking the navigation in the top left corner.


This next one looks intimidating but it's just a matter of learning the layout. Square controls the weapon's Rarity level, which affects its maximum stats. Triangle boosts stats by random amounts using your stock of fortune hammers, while the Circle button lets you increase individual stats with your stock of whetstones.


Translations of some more Sengoku Basara 4 content: Play Books

I've mentioned the flat, rectangular items you can receive as rewards or buy from the in-game shop a few times now and they appear to be called Play Books or Game Books. In this case I'm going with the former for my translations since the word 'game' is used a lot elsewhere. I've adjusted the annotations on the march screen in my previous translation post to take this decision into account.

In the bottom left of the main march screen is a section labelled Play Settings which you can access by pressing L1. I believe that this will take you to your Play Books, allowing you to set up to three of them in the slots below. It looks as though they'll work like the accessories did in the previous games.


Here's a list of the books and their effects that I've seen so far. Since the icons all seem to look the same anyway, I'm going to present the translations as a list instead of a picture to make it easier to update over time.

NameTranslation
体力倍増Double hit points
敵体力倍増Double enemy hit points
敵兵治癒Enemy soldier recovery
ばくち打ちGamble
捨て身の覚悟The resolve to risk your life
大将殺しSlayer of generals
会心乱発Random criticals
鋼のからだSteel body
粋早々Quick Style
手数重視Emphasis on hassle
The effect and bonus reward for 'Enemy soldier recovery' is also shown: enemies gradually regain their hit points, and if you win you get a 200% bonus to the money you earned.

Translations of some more Sengoku Basara 4 content: Weapon Fusion

To add Inscriptions to your weapons, you need to use the Weapon Fusion system. It can be found in the same menu as Weapon Enhancement above. First, choose your weapon from the list as usual. The blue label means the weapon is equipped, the yellow label means you're performing the synthesis on that weapon (I'm calling it the 'base weapon'), and the red label is used for the weapon you're using as raw materials for the upgrade. Here's the first Weapon Fusion screen from the video with text annotations in English.


When you've picked the weapon you want to use as your 'raw material', you're taken to the main Weapon Fusion screen. You can move Inscriptions from the 'raw material' weapon to the one you're upgrading.


Selecting a slot which already has an Inscription gives the message 'Discard'. Be careful you don't do this unless you want to reclaim that slot!


Certain types of Inscription can be placed on top of others to boost them. The video shows the 'Extreme' Inscription being added to a basic type, making it stronger.

Once you're done, you can press Triangle to complete the fusion, destroying the 'raw material' weapon in the process. Each upgrade has a cost, and you have to pay the total price when the button is pressed.

Translations of some more Sengoku Basara 4 content: Inscriptions

You can view the table of Inscriptions by pressing R2 when you're in the shop or on the main battle preparation screen, or straight from the Weapon Enhancement menu above.

I've given each individual Inscription a number in this diagram:

Friday, 22 November 2013

News roundup: Some minor news and a few Sengoku Basara 4 screenshot translations

This Saturday, there are going to be a staggering four Sengoku Basara events running in Japan at once. I'm not anticipating any news from the stage play, manga signing or college demonstration, but producer Kobayashi Hiroyuki will be presenting a brand new video again at a branch of Yodobashi Camera in Hakata, Fukuoka and there is bound to be some news to report on after that. Because of this I thought I could hold out until Saturday before writing another news roundup post, however it turns out that I was wrong; there's more to report about than expected!

Basara Magazine Vol. 3 is formally announced for release on 27th November 2013

They really took their time with the official website update to announce the details of this issue. Until this week, all that was there was a simple PDF file and I had to scavenge my information from shop listings.

Anyway, the update means we have the first picture from the new one-shot manga, Wan-Nyan Sengoku Basara, which reimagines the series with the characters as cats and dogs. It sounds interesting.


New manga Sengoku Basara Comic Anthology 'Setouchi Chronicle' now has a firm release date

The magazine's website also confirmed that 21st December 2013 will be the release date for the delayed Sengoku Basara Comic Anthology 'Setouchi Chronicle' manga compilation. The details are as previously reported and while we don't have final cover artwork yet, there's at least a little preview picture to make it feel more as though the book might one day exist.


Perhaps they're planning on unveiling the full details along with Motonari in next week's magazine?

Basara Club prepares for its December launch with a survey

The new Basara Club fan club will be commencing activities at the start of December, and as a warm up they've asked members to start submitting messages and fan art for the first issue of the official newsletter ahead of its January 2014 release date. For those of us with less imagination and talent, there's also a fun survey - hopefully the first of many - which asks fans to vote for their favourite of the following:
  • Date Masamune's famous lines.
  • Weapons you want to use.
  • Costumes you want to wear.
  • Names of moves which you can't help shouting out.
It's not multiple choice so there will probably be some really weird suggestions, though they're trying to keep things sensible by asking people to name the character the weapon/costume/move belongs to and justify each answer. I haven't decided how I will vote yet...

Translations of some more Sengoku Basara 4 content: Menus

Since I had some free time (my Crunchyroll subscription temporarily expired this week...please don't tell me what happened in today's Kakumeiki Valvrave!) I decided to quickly prepare some visuals to attempt to demystify some of the new material we saw in the newest trailer and screenshots. I'm not very good at this kind of thing so please forgive the amateurish presentation.

Firstly, Sengoku Creation Mode's main 'march screen', with annotations. You can click the picture to make it larger.


I've noted that there's a sale running in the Basara-ya shop (indicated by the red ticket over its name). If there's a 'special deal' instead of a sale, the shop icon will look like this:


The shop has various sections you can browse, so this is what the next menu apparently looks like.


Finally, the shop itself. I merged two different pictures together to show how the sale items and special deals appear.


Unsure whether these annotations will actually help anyone... but you never know! The weapon inscription screen will have to wait for another day.

Translations of some more Sengoku Basara 4 content: Stages

Next, here's a list of every confirmed stage in Sengoku Basara 4 so far to the best of my knowledge. To qualify for the list, I must have visually confirmed the name in a screenshot or video. Even though it's obvious who the bosses will be on some of the levels where that data is missing, I only want to include information which is 100% confirmed.

Please note that the punctuation is sometimes inconsistent between screenshots in Japanese so I just picked one version. Some of the names sound more like story encounters than battles...

StageJapanese NameType(s)Enemy Commander
Abrasion: The Beauty of Insufficiency研磨 不足の美Outbreak-
Azuchi-Shiten Gathering安土四天結集Outbreak-
Battle of Sekigahara: Eastern Sun関ヶ原の戦い 東陽OutbreakTokugawa Ieyasu
Bizen: Ujou (Okayama Castle)備前・烏城NormalKobayakawa Hideaki
Echizen: Kitanoshou Castle越前・北ノ庄城NormalShima Sakon, Shibata Katsuie
Fate: One-Eyed Dragon宿命 独眼竜Outbreak-
Incident at Honnouji本能寺の変Normal/OutbreakOda Nobunaga, Akechi Mitsuhide
Investigation: Shikanosuke探索 鹿之介One-on-oneYamanaka Shikanosuke
Izumo: Shiraga Castle出雲・白鹿城NormalYamanaka Shikanosuke
Kaga: Maeda Kabuki-Matsuri加賀・前田花吹祭Outbreak-
Kai: Tsutsujigasaki Yakata甲斐・躑躅ヶ崎館NormalTakeda Shingen
Kawanakajima: Hachimanpara川中島・八幡原--
Mikawa: Komaki-Nagakute三河・小牧長久手NormalTokugawa Ieyasu
Oda: Azuchi Castle織田・安土城NormalOda Nobunaga
Osaka: Toyotomi Hajou大阪・豊臣覇城NormalToyotomi Hideyoshi
Oushuu: Aoba Castle奥州・青葉城NormalDate Masamune
Pirate Fortress: Hyakki Fugaku海賊要塞・百鬼富嶽NormalChousokabe Motochika
Remains of Ounin: Souden応仁の跡 走伝OutbreakAshikaga Yoshiteru
Revenge: The Sword of the God of War復習 軍神の剣Outbreak-
Shizugatake: The Oda Vanguard Advances賤ヶ岳・織田尖兵進行Outbreak-
Takeda Otoko Dojo武田漢道場Outbreak-
Tango: Sengenji 丹後・泉源寺Normal/DerivationKyougoku Maria
Tootoumi: Iinoya Castle遠江・井伊谷城Normal/Omen/DerivationIi Naotora
Toyotomi Reminiscence Struggle豊臣回顧闘争OutbreakToyotomi Hideyoshi

If you're wondering about the 'Type' column, stage types are a new mechanic introduced in this title. I'm not sure whether all stages are available in all five variations, so I thought it would be interesting to make a note of this information too.

Normal stages are the same as usual; fulfil the objectives and win the battle. I think most of the battles you'll fight in the first round of Sengoku Creation Mode will be like this. The newest video shows the rewards for a normal battle as the standard mix of weapons, money and enhancement materials.


Outbreaks have red backgrounds behind their names and suddenly appear depending on the actions taken by the armies in the game. They seem to be just like the special stages which traditionally appear mid-game depending on your performance. The rewards shown in the video looked similar to the normal ones only with some nicer enhancements on the weapons.


Omen battles appear on the map just like Outbreaks, except they have an ominous purple background. Going by the newest video, they reward the player with books and experience points.


If you ignore an Omen battle, it might turn into a Derivation. These have a blue background, and a mixture of rewards.


The fifth and final type of encounter is a One-on-one match; a quick boss fight which is touted as being a good source of weapons. The single screenshot of one of these shows that every single reward tier offers weapons, even the lowest rank.


I'm a little confused about the colour scheme for Omen stages and One-on-one fights, because Investigation: Shikanosuke was specifically used as an example of the latter in several articles yet it seems to have a blue label. The picture shows Shikanosuke fooling around instead of a stage background. Is that the main difference between them?

Anyway, that's the end of today's speculation! I may have misunderstood how this 'stage type' system works and the colours might mean something else (if so, let's blame Weekly Famitsu magazine for the original article rather than my incompetence).

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.

--

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.

--

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.