Tuesday, 31 March 2015

News roundup: Sengoku Basara 4 Sumeragi release details

At last! Some solid information, even if I had to work late and couldn't post until now.

The latest Sengoku Basara 4 Sumeragi updates

The Famitsu website posted a preview of the magazine's next issue this morning, and the headline explains that they will be featuring four different Capcom titles: Sengoku Basara 4 Sumeragi, Dragon's Dogma Online, Dai Gyakuten Saiban and Devil May Cry 4 Special Edition.

The tremendously exciting preview teases some great new information already, such as the fact that Sengoku Basara 4 Sumeragi will be released on 23rd July 2015. That's as close to the series' tenth anniversary as they can get while sticking to their rule of releasing each game on a Thursday. The PS4 edition will cost ¥6,990 before tax while PS3 owners will be paying ¥5,990.

They also tease some screenshots of Ieyasu dressed in T.M.Revolution's famous 'nostalgic' costume from his eighth single HOT LIMIT. The writers simply describe it as "What's this? Tokugawa Ieyasu is collaborating with T.M.Revolution!?" so I guess we'll have to wait to discover how far this tie-in extends.

(Raindrops' note: The Sengoku Basara staff are so cruel to T.M.Revolution singer Nishikawa! He's talked about wanting to appear in the games so many times, and despite coming close with his 'King of UTAGE' original character and Sakai Tadatsugu in Sengoku Basara Judge End, his signature costume has now made it into the game before him. Maybe one day his dream will come true...)

The next issue of Weekly Famitsu will be released on Thursday 2nd April 2015, so hopefully there will be some more details to look forward to tomorrow evening. They've promised 25 pages of coverage and interviews split between the four games; there should be some interesting details buried in there somewhere!

Livestream details for April's Nico Nico Choukaigi 2015 event

Even though the date for announcing the full schedule is still next Friday, Capcom have gone ahead and published their Nico Nico livestream links in advance ready for the Nico Nico Choukaigi 2015 entertainment event being held on the 25th and 26th of April. Fans who already have a Nico Nico account can register for the timeshift recordings in case they won't be available to watch the event live.

The site update reveals that Capcom plan to exhibit six titles at their booth: Dai Gyakuten Saiban, Sengoku Basara 4 Sumeragi, Devil May Cry 4 Special Edition, Biohazard Revelations 2, Monster Hunter 4G and Ultra Street Fighter IV/Street Fighter V. There will also be four different channels on offer, of which two sound worth following.

First up is the Capcom TV! Nico Nico Choukaigi 2015 Special Show, which features America Zarigani's 'Amezari' Hirai Yoshiyuki as host, Ikeda Chocolat as assistant and Hashimoto Kenichi as Capcom's publicity guy. This channel is probably going to be quite silly (like Capcom TV in general) but it will occasionally be broadcasting Sengoku Basara 4 Sumeragi coverage with assistance from the oddly-dressed Bana-taichou, so it's probably worth watching. There will be opportunities to see in-game footage and a Sengoku Basara 4 Sumeragi stage presentation is planned.

Nico Nico links:

Saturday 25th April
Sunday 26th April

The second channel I'm interested in is, of course, the Sengoku Basara 4 Sumeragi VS DMC4 SE stream with Kobayashi 'KobaP' Hiroyuki (he's executive producer of DMC4 SE as well as series producer of Sengoku Basara) and Internet personality Gatchman as hosts. They'll be joined by director Yamamoto Makoto as well as DMC4 SE staffers Fujii Takashi (producer) and Itsuno Hideaki (director). The channel promises to feature rounds of the Sengoku Basara 4 Sumeragi 'Super-Special Bomb Soldier Challenge Corner' and discussions with as-yet unannounced special guests.

Nico Nico links:

Saturday 25th April
Sunday 26th April

All of the broadcasts start at 9:30am Japan time.

Since this is a Nico Nico event I'm not sure whether Capcom's usual YouTube and Twitch streams will be taking place. It might be a good idea to set up a free Nico Nico account if you don't already have one, just in case.

The upcoming Saitama museum collaboration is officially confirmed

I mentioned this event just the other day and now Capcom have obliged with official press releases and further details about the Sengoku Zukan -Cool Basara Style- ('Sengoku Reference Book -Cool Basara Style-) museum exhibition. The scope of the event is as previously described, though the new articles also confirm that the mounted Date Masamune statue will be present at the museum along with a Sengoku Basara sumi-e artwork display.

It's interesting that they specifically single out Takeda Shingen and Uesugi Kenshin as characters whose real-life armour will feature in the museum displays for the event. Obviously the pair of them are household names in Japan and their territories weren't too far away from the region, but seeing them both headlining Sengoku Basara news again these days is a good feeling.

Friday, 27 March 2015

News roundup: Ratings, hints and even more events

The latest Sengoku Basara 4 Sumeragi news, speculation and comments

As well as updating the official Sengoku Basara 4 Sumeragi website with the third in the ongoing series of comical pictures of Sen No Rikyuu serving various people tea, Capcom have updated their event website to give a little more information about the activities on offer at the Nico Nico Choukaigi 2015 event in late April. The special gameplay segment I'll be most interested in is the Sengoku Basara 4 Sumeragi 'Super-Special Bomb Soldier Challenge Corner'. It's described as a deadly version of the game titled Sengoku Basara 4 Sumeragi 'Super-Special★Bomb Soldier Challenge Version' which can only be played at the event. In addition, the Sengoku Basara 4 Sumeragi VS DMC4 SE channel will feature KobaP and Gatchman along with some mysterious special guests.

Further details about the stage presentations and live streaming schedule will be published on 10th April.

Another piece of information on the same website revealed that Sengoku Basara 4 Sumeragi will be rated CERO B (12+) when it's released. While the rating itself isn't all that interesting, it shows that the game is on track and we can probably expect to learn more about the release date soon - at last.

The official Computer Entertainment Rating Organization website has yet to publish the rating in its database so there are no hints about the game's content to be found. For the curious, all of the previous games in the series have been rated the equivalent of CERO B aside from Sengoku Basara 3 Utage, which received an upgraded CERO C (15+) rating for its violent content. Sengoku Basara 4 was the first game to receive a specific warning for strong language. Both Sengoku Basara 2 Eiyuu Gaiden (HEROES) and Sengoku Basara 4 were given warnings for crime.

It's funny how ratings boards work across the world; I still don't entirely understand why Sengoku Basara 3 was rated 12+ in Japan, 13+ in the US and then 16+ in Europe due to its "realistic-looking violence".

Capcom launches a major Sengoku Basara collaboration with the city of Kofu

The biggest news story this week has been the announcement that the government of Kofu City approached Capcom and signed an agreement to use the Sengoku Basara characters - in particular Takeda Shingen, who had strong historical ties to the region - to promote local tourism as part of the city's quincentenary celebrations four years from now. While the series has been involved in a large number of regional tie-ins before, it's a great honour to be part of something so respectable and it looks as though Capcom is taking it very seriously, declaring it the first time that such a comprehensive partnership has ever been set up between a local governing body and a gaming company.

You can read the full press release in professionally-translated English on Capcom's Investor Relations page (or in Japanese, if you prefer).

In between the official commemorative photo shoots to mark the agreement with city mayor Higuchi Yuuichi, KobaP shared some pictures of the Shingen-kou Matsuri posters on display in the city hall. He commented about his sadness at not being able to attend the festival this year due to scheduling conflicts in a detailed Famitsu report. KobaP also mentioned his fondness for Takeda Shingen and then calmly gave the first formal confirmation that Takeda Shingen will be playable again in Sengoku Basara 4 Sumeragi. He added that Shingen's hair gave them a lot of trouble back when the first game came out on PlayStation 2.

When the reporter challenged him on the announcement he just made, KobaP went on to say that the game is nearing completion and it has a fun atmosphere like that of a festival. The three new playable characters are unlike any of the characters who have come before them and they've given older characters from the whole ten-year history of the series various boosts this time around.

(Raindrops' note: If they're going to be promoting this tie-in for the next four years, I think it sounds like a good opportunity to make Shingen more important in the game series again. Sorry for burying the 'announcement' in this story but I wanted to do it the same way KobaP did!)

Capcom will also collaborate with historical events this summer

A local government press release was published yesterday with details of some summer events at the Saitama Prefectural Museum of History and Folklore. Among the plans are details of a special exhibition between 18th July and 30th August 2015 titled Sengoku Zukan -Cool Basara Style- ('Sengoku Reference Book -Cool Basara Style-). It turns out that this is being hosted by a team formed by the succinctly-named Association for the Research and Preservation of Japanese Helmets and Armor and Capcom. The plan is to feature historical materials along with characters from the game to teach visitors about the links that the era's famous warriors had to Saitama Prefecture.

None of this has been formally revealed on either the Capcom or museum websites as far as I know, so further details will probably become available later on when the events are announced to the public.

A Sengoku Basara apron goes on sale

It's been a while since the voting last year but the haraKIRI x My Capcom maekake aprons are now on sale exclusively at the e-Capcom online store! The Sengoku Basara design costs ¥5,800 before tax and goes on sale on 18th June 2015.

Preview for the latest volume of Gakuen Basara

The eighth volume of the Gakuen Basara manga, titled Gakuen Basara: Gakusai Rantou-hen ('School Festival Brawl'), was released today in Japan. Dengeki have published a blog post to draw attention to the release with samples of four of the ten short manga which will feature. They also promise that it will include three illustrations. I can't wait to read it!

Sengoku Basara Seishi is apparently delayed by five months

The upcoming Sengoku Basara Seishi ("The Official History of Sengoku Basara") book was scheduled for mid-April but Amazon Japan delisted it yesterday and emailed me to advise that it had been delayed until early September 2015. This is the second time I've ordered this book and had the details completely change. I wonder whether it will ever actually be released.

Animedia Deluxe will feature Sengoku Basara Judge End

April's issue of Animedia Deluxe Vol. 7 went on sale earlier this week and it apparently included some Sengoku Basara Judge End content. I don't have the full details yet but if you're interested in collecting magazines about the series it might be best to pick up a copy soon.

Trivia: Someone at Sony has good taste in historical figures

This has absolutely nothing to do with Sengoku Basara but I thought it was cool. The recent PlayStation 4 2.50 software update bore the codename Yukimura, which is especially apt given that the 2.00 update was called Masamune. Hmm! I wonder what version 3.00 will be called?

Monday, 23 March 2015

News roundup: Yet another event, and more plushies are on the way

Sengoku Basara 4 Sumeragi will feature at Machi★Asobi in May

Lending further weight to the theory that we'll finally start seeing some Sengoku Basara 4 Sumeragi information in the next few weeks, Capcom have announced that they will have a presence at the Machi★Asobi event again this year. The event runs between the 3rd and 5th of May 2015 in the Tokushima area. The games they plan to promote there are Sengoku Basara 4 Sumeragi, Dai Gyakuten Saiban and Devil May Cry 4 Special Edition, and since previous years have included stage presentations with guest appearances from Capcom staff and voice actors it's likely that there will be some news to report by that time.

I can't wait until they finally start posting regular news about the game!

Gift tease another two Sengoku Basara 4 plushies

The popular line of Sengoku Basara 4 plushies released by Gift x Algernon in Japan will receive two new additions soon, according to this tweet from the AnimeJapan 2015 exhibition. The tweet explains that visitors weren't allowed to take photographs so the only pictures available are the snapshots they've attached showing the characters' feet and placards.

Tokugawa Ieyasu and Maeda Keiji are the next two characters selected for release and they'll cost ¥3,200 when they go on sale this summer. This is great; they both deserve to be part of the plushie line and hopefully even more characters will follow later on.

The Sengoku Basara Jubilee is looking for fans to pay tribute to the series

The tenth anniversary of Sengoku Basara isn't just for fans in Japan! There's a Sengoku Basara Jubilee project running on Tumblr which aims to bring creative people together to create fanfiction and illustrations to celebrate their love for the series. And if you aren't creative yourself, you can still help by mentioning the project so that other people discover it and sign up. I recommend checking it out and giving the introduction post a read if you're interested in participating.

Thursday, 19 March 2015

News roundup: Events, exclusive goods and general Sengoku Basara news

Capcom will promote Sengoku Basara 4 Sumeragi at an event next month

A news bulletin was posted this morning to announce that Sengoku Basara 4 Sumeragi will be one of Capcom's featured games at the Nico Nico Choukaigi 2015 event on the 25th and 26th April 2015. There will be live streams from the event including an interestingly-named Sengoku Basara 4 Sumeragi VS DMC4 SE channel. Further details will be revealed next week.

It's still a month away, but could this be the first sign that the promotion for the game is beginning outside of dedicated Sengoku Basara events?

The Basara Club Fan Meeting 2015 Spring events begin soon

April will also feature six fan club events spread across three consecutive Saturdays. I posted the details back when they were first announced but the fan club website updated this week to confirm that exclusive merchandise will be available for attendees, too.

A set of 30 senjafuda-style stickers for ¥1,000:

A pass case with spiral cord for ¥1,700:

A memo stand (with adhesive notes) for ¥700:

A tenth anniversary shopping bag for ¥700:

Sixteen different 'favourite warrior' badges for ¥900 each. The selection of designs has been changed:

Ten event-exclusive 'Basaragacha' pins for ¥400 each:

A selection of six different mini cushions for ¥2,200 each. These will be available in extremely limited quantities:

A stationery set comprising two mini-notelets, two sheets of stickers and a pair of clear files for ¥1,400:

A towel set (face towel and hand towel) for ¥1,400:

The stationery set and towels are already available from the official fan club shop online. For the rest, leftover stock will probably appear in the shop shortly after the event except where they've specifically indicated that an item is event-exclusive.

Celebrate the life of Sanada Yukimura with a Sengoku Basara collaboration

Yukimura is the star of yet another Osaka-based historical exhibition next month as the Sengoku Warrior Chronicle Fair Chapter 1 "The Mystery of Sanada Yukimura" exhibition runs in Namba Marui between the 3rd and 26th of April 2015. Capcom are supporting the event with a Sengoku Basara 4 Sumeragi booth which will play the game's promotional video for the crowds and offer merchandise and photo spots. I wonder whether the series' cute Yukimura-kun mascot character will also make an appearance? He's shown up in Osaka a few times now.

Sengoku Basara 4 character cards appear in Sengoku Enbu -Kizna- once again

The previous tie-in last summer must have been a success since the folks at Sumzap have partnered up with Capcom once again for a second Sengoku Enbu -Kizna- x Sengoku Basara 4 collaboration event! It was titled Sengoku Basara 4 Kensen Ranbu and it ran from 9th March until 18th March 2015.

Those who don't play the game can get an idea of what's involved in this event report from Inside Games. Samples of the previous in-game collaboration cards can be viewed here.

Sengoku Basara Art Works returns with a new title

The listings for the mysterious upcoming book Sengoku Basara Art Works were recently updated to give it a fascinating new title: Sengoku Basara Seishi ("The Official History of Sengoku Basara"). Still scheduled for release on 15th April 2015, the description has now completely changed to explain that it's a book which delves into the actual history behind the game. Topics it will cover include comparing the real historical figures with the in-game versions, events such as the Battle of Sekigahara and actual military tactics. An art book would have been nice but this sounds quite interesting too!

T.M.Revolution's upcoming album will include DOUBLE-DEAL

Fans of T.M.Revolution can get an early start on the Sengoku Basara 4 Sumeragi content when his latest album, Ten ("Heaven") goes on sale on 13th May 2015. It will mark the anniversary of his debut nineteen years ago. The game's theme song, DOUBLE-DEAL, is planned for inclusion on the album as one of the brand new tracks, and two special CD+DVD editions of the album will each include different live footage from T.M.Revolution concerts last year.

The CD is available for preorder at all good import stores and it's very likely that the song will be put up on iTunes internationally, since Nishikawa is well aware of his non-Japanese fans.

While researching this post, I also discovered that there's a remix called Count ZERO (Re:boot) on last year's Phantom Pain EP. You can hear samples of it via iTunes or Amazon Japan. It's probably old news to big T.M.Revolution fans but I thought it was neat!

Friday, 6 March 2015

Magazine review: Sengoku Basara Magazine issue 8

I can't believe that it's already time for another issue of Sengoku Basara Magazine! Shibata Katsuie graces the cover and exclusive Mame Sengoku Basara rubber strap to mark the winter issue and indeed, it's a highly recommended purchase for his fans. A selection of preview images can be seen in this official blog post.

Sengoku Basara Magazine vol. 8 was released a week later than it's usual month end slot in the schedule, on 2nd March 2015. Priced at ¥2,500, it can be purchased from all good Japanese bookstores which offer international shipping such as Amazon Japan, HMV, Yesasia, CD Japan and Manga Oh. The anime-style cover artwork from character designer Ookubo Tooru seems to have worked its magic once again as the book has reached the top of Amazon's gaming magazine charts several times in the last few days.

The bonus CD is Showgeki Basara Talk! Chousokabe & Mouri No Maki Vol. 2 with seiyuu Ishino Ryuuzou and Nakahara Shigeru. I missed their team antics at Basara Matsuri so it's good to hear from them again.

The pair start off by reading their fan mail (several people submitted questions about Sengoku Basara Judge End) then launch into the newest 'Basara Challenge' skit. The task this time is that Motochika and Motonari have to conduct an interrogation - except that they're too busy arguing and undermining one another to get anything productive done. The bad situation gets even worse when Motonari points out that a pirate isn't really in any position to look down on a criminal and the task is eventually abandoned in favour of a battle between the two warriors.

Lastly comes the 'Bonds Game' where they have to answer weird questions and compare their answers. Ishino and Nakahara seem to have a lot in common!