Wednesday 8 January 2014

News roundup: Weekly Famitsu magazine confirms Sengoku Basara 4 PSN preorder details

I'm on the road at the moment so please forgive this very abbreviated summary of today's Weekly Famitsu magazine (dated 23rd January 2014).

On the Kobayashi 'KobaP' Hiroyuki interview I mentioned previously (not a full and literal translation as I don't have time):
  • He said that the team working on the Sengoku Basara series team is very small but they just about get by.
  • Sega's Yokoyama Masayoshi (Ryuu Ga Gotoku: Ishin) mentioned picking up the first Sengoku Basara back in the day and talked about how he enjoys historical settings. KobaP then brought up his experiences with the first Ryuu Ga Gotoku game; it's funny reading about staff from rival companies playing (and enjoying) one another's games.
  • KobaP was anxious during the development of Sengoku Basara 4 because the previous game had sold quite well, and he felt it would be difficult to follow it up now the series had got to its fourth main game. He noted that with Ryuu Ga Gotoku 4 they'd done a good job of increasing the scale of the game by spreading the story across the main characters.
  • They also talked about historical settings in games and the continuing appeal they seem to have for the Japanese audience. KobaP remarked on the many subtle nods to real-life history which crop up throughout the series (in between the crazy parts).
  • Yokoyama said that the Sengoku Basara characters make you want to know the story behind them.
  • Most of the interview repeated things that KobaP has already brought up in previous articles (or the benefit of new readers.
(Note: The Ryuu Ga Gotoku series is known as Yakuza in English-speaking regions.)

Another article mentioned next week's issue of Weekly Famitsu (dated 30th January 2014) will include some kind of Sengoku Basara 4 DLC in its special 'lucky bag' offer. There were no clues about what this DLC might be, though Masamune and Mitsunari were pictured next to the announcement which might be a clue. I'll report back when it goes on sale next Thursday; chances are details will leak a day or two early from Japanese sources.

The main Sengoku Basara 4 article talked about split-screen co-op, showing the interface. It looks the same as it did in Sengoku Basara 3 except the combo/money counts are shown separately for each player and the minimap has moved down to overlap with both halves of the screen. Perhaps it will make it easier to keep track of things in the heat of battle. The text emphasises the way you can combine your attacks with those of your ally.

Next came short introductions for the four main characters to help ease people into the game before its release. It was all old information, just presented in a more friendly way. A few stage introductions followed, covering Oushuu: Aoba Castle, Mikawa: Komaki-Nagakute, Kai: Tsutsujigasaki Yakata, Hinomoto Tunnels: Josui Line and Kaga Onsen: Gathering of Maidens. Again, fans who have been following the news for a while won't find much of interest in most of the descriptions, though the Kaga Onsen part had a few little snippets of information. The four 'maidens' who are gathered there for a 'suggestive' girls-only chat are Maria, Naotora, Tsuruhime and Magoichi. The male soldiers are shown being overwhelmed by Maria's 'sex appeal' and the stage introduction promises to have a sexy scene where you can see her bathing. Sadly, it also describes the setting as 'a hot springs paradise, only for maidens', which rather dashes my hopes of a comedic alternate version with the male characters.

(It would make good DLC, I guess.)

The final page of the article introduced more of the stages. Iyokouno Ship: Tsurunomaru has a number of bells you have to ring (the magazine speculates that doing so will allow you to meet the oracle). Kingo's stage Bizen: Ujou (Okayama Castle) has traps like giant rolling turnips and a nabe pot deep within the compound.

Other stages mentioned were Kaga: Maeda Kabuki Matsuri, Kaga Border: Shizugatake, Kawanakajima: Takeda Battle Formation, Azuchi-Shiten Gathering, Battle of Sekigahara: Eastern Sun, Osaka: Dragon-Tiger Formation, Takeda Otoko Dojo and Floating Fortress: Heavenly Sun. There wasn't much more than a small picture for each.

Last but not least there were details of the upcoming Playstation Network offerings for Sengoku Basara 4.

The preorder period for those wishing to buy the digital version of the game is now beginning and it will run up until 20th January 2014 on Japanese PSN. As a bonus for those who preorder, they'll receive the Date Masamune hakama/wooden sword DLC costume as well as a 'Creation Starter Pack' containing some items for weapon fusion (30 pieces of tamahagane steel and 3,000 whetstones), 250,000 ryou in cash and 150,000 experience in your Inrou.

All 32 playable characters will have PS3 avatars available on the Japanese PSN store from 9th January 2014. The avatars will cost ¥100 each or ¥800 if you want the full set. Between 9th January and 29th January 2014, there's a special campaign running which will allow you to purchase the individual avatars for just ¥50 apiece.

Playstation Plus subscribers have another bonus to look forwards to; they can try out the full version of the game from its release date on 23rd January 2014 as part of their service.

There will also be special PSN cards available in Japan with Sengoku Basara 4 designs: one with the four leads, one with Kasuga and another with Naotora, Oichi, Tsuruhime and Magoichi grouped together.

Update: It seems that these cards are being given away to limited numbers of customers who preorder the game (and in the case of the Kasuga card, subscribe to Playstation Plus) on PSN during the campaign period. Bah.

Sengoku Basara 4 is currently in 4th place in Weekly Famitsu's chart of upcoming games, up two positions from 6th place in the previous issue.

In other news...

Guest announced for today's Sengoku Basara 4 broadcast on Nico Nico Live

The official page for this fortnight's broadcast has been updated and it seems that the next seiyuu guest will be Ookawa Tooru (Tokugawa Ieyasu)! He'll be performing some lines in character and trying out the game, just as Seki and Okiayu did in previous episodes. At the time I'm writing, there hasn't yet been any word on whether any of the game staff will be joining the hosts.

The broadcast will take place on Thursday 9th January 2014 at 10pm (Japan time).


  1. I may have misunderstood something so could anyone help ?
    If I download the game tomorrow from Japanese PSN store, the game will only be a trial not the full version ?
    Do I have to be a playstation@plus subscriber to get the full game ?

    1. Hello! Anyone can preorder the game on PSN so long as they have a Japanese PSN account and some way of paying (you can buy prepaid cards online for Japanese PSN so it's not that difficult). You will get the game the same day as the physical release (23rd January 2014) but you won't have to wait for shipping, or pay customs fees if you're in a country which imposes them on game imports.

      If you're a (Japanese PSN) PS+ subscriber and you haven't preordered the game, you can still download it on the 23rd as a trial. Both PS+ subscribers and normal users have to pay the same if they want the full game.

      This might help (see the part about 'Full Game Trials'):

  2. \(^0^)/ Basara PSN cards?? Perfect, I'll get it to buy Basara DLCs lol (the 4 leads one of course heehee). I see you are advocating for the male onsen (don't worry I'm too!! we will get it someday!), I'm hoping we get it. I'm hoping we get more fan service in this game since it has DLC. When someone leaked that Mitsunari's DLC was Vergil costume, I was hoping that he would have the same all-back hair style ;_;. Since that wish didn't come true, I'm hoping that Capcom will release western-military clothes! I hope mame Basara will continue to run somewhere else...the drawing style is really cute!

    Where do you buy your Famitsu magazines??

    (continuing from the comment of the other article)
    I think the lack of popularity of Gintama in the west is the foundation of the gags. Tsukkomi and bokke are kind of unique in the Japanese gags and Gintama makes a lot of reference to Japanese Pop culture, which may also become unfunny if someone is unfamiliar or they need to use a translation note for every single one. Kind of a shame really, considering how I really like this series. From what I heard, I think the movie did well in Japan so at least the TV series may come back soon! (I actually like the fillers too ^^;; I think Sunrise used good scenarios) Yeah, somethings like the US BD, we need to give up and import. (but JP BDs are so expensive ;_; at least they look really nice. I hate it when BDs have exclusive bonuses lol!)

    Amnesia is with the UtaPri of the games on my backlog. I'm happy that a lot of otome games are moving into remasters in Vita! I never really like the limitations on the PSP, so all the visuals and sounds will look and sound great in HD (especially with all the dummy-head mic getting incorporated into otome games)! I can never play mobile otome games since the screen is too small for me to read walls of text lol. But I understand your pain of waiting for ports that may never even come ;_;. Who is your favorite Amnesia? Is it Ukyo? From what I saw majority of the people seems to love him the best, despite the fact that he didn't win first place in the popularity poll. Maybe his fans are really vocal around me? lol

    No, you deserve my thanks! I'm really sure that you are helping a bunch of people out (since much more people lurk that post). I wish I had someone like you blogging when I started to like Basara way back in the ancient days (lol). The pain of not understanding anything and no one knowing it in the western fandom was quite bitter.

    1. I just topped my PSN account up the morning before I read the announcement - so I guess I'll just buy even more PSN credit! I'll probably get the Kasuga card first as it's really pretty...

      Your idea of western military clothes would definitely get my vote! It seems like a popular combo in fan art and on Nico Nico Douga, so there is a market there :D

      I have a variety of complex arrangements for Famitsu but if you have an iOS device you can buy it through their Newsstand magazine subscription service now wherever you are in the world, so long as you can top up a Japanese iTunes account with payment cards from time to time. That's probably the easiest way if you have access to a device which can run the app.

      Ahh, UtaPri...I really want to play the games for that but I'll never have the time. My favourite guy in Amnesia is Kent; I can't resist Ishida Akira at the best of times and grumpy, analytical Ishida is the best.


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