Thursday, 16 April 2015

News roundup: Today's website updates and more about the NJPW tie-in DLC

This is just a catch-up before the big one tomorrow evening, as we're less than 24 hours away from the start of the preorder period for Sengoku Basara 4 Sumeragi and I'm sure I'll be back writing another post then.

The usual official website update on Thursday morning provided some additional information to go with the Weekly Famitsu news yesterday:
  • The page about the wrestling tie-in now has video messages from the four wrestlers who inspired the New Japan Pro-Wrestling DLC costumes, which might be worth checking out if you happen to be a wrestling fan. NJPW's website is also covering the announcement. It makes me want to learn more about the four wrestlers and their storylines.
  • The page about Sen No Rikyuu's gameplay reveals another move. Ukiha ('Floating Leaves') has Wabisuke turning his back on the enemy and blasting them away to avoid confronting them. It can be followed up by using Sabisuke to pull the enemies back towards him.
  • If you press the R2 button again after using his Kaiseki move, he will blast the rocks forwards. Otherwise they float around Rikyuu and attack with him.
  • There are nice pictures of his Basara move too, which involves him switching between both of his personalities.
  • Fan Balder pointed out that the Matabee/Kanbee/Hanbee screenshots look like they're from an alternate version of Sawayama Castle with Matabee's ronin soldiers and a base present, rather than another Intrusion stage.
  • Rikyuu has been confirmed to have both a normal story and a drama route.
  • His normal route will focus on him fleeing from the Toyotomi army after being ordered to commit seppuku following 'that incident' (presumably the attempted assassination of Hideyoshi which was mentioned in his character description).
  • In his drama route, Rikyuu goes to visit Hideyoshi to discuss the matter only to find the Toyotomi army is at war with the Matsunaga forces. An encounter with Hisahide changes Rikyuu's destiny significantly.
In addition, Famitsu has posted the promised interview with Sengoku Basara series director Yamamoto Makoto (hereafter YamamotoD) and wrestling superstar Nakamura Shinsuke. The two men got together to play the game and chat about the collaboration. Here's a summary of Famitsu's write-up; please forgive any errors I make due to my lack of wrestling knowledge.
  • YamamotoD works for Capcom and serves as director for all of the Sengoku Basara games, as well as supervising projects such as the anime, manga and stage play adaptations. As it happens, he's a huge fan of professional wrestling.
  • Nakamura is a wrestler affiliated with New Japan Pro-Wrestling with the nickname 'King of Strong Style'. He uses a fighting style which incorporates kicks.
  • They were asked how the tie-in first came about. Nakamura joked that he only learned about it when he was suddenly told to bring his costume.
  • YamamotoD explained that NJPW chairman Sugabayashi Naoki is a big Takarazuka fan. In a roundabout way, this led to the current collaboration because Sengoku Basara was adapted into a Takarazuka musical a couple of years ago.
  • Apparently Sugabayashi went to see the musical and became interested in the Sengoku Basara series as a result, then suggested if there was ever an opportunity for the two companies to team up for something YamamotoD should let him know.
  • Nakamura wondered whether Sugabayashi simply wanted to meet a Takarasienne performer. YamamotoD said that he wouldn't know, but since he loves wrestling he was grateful for the offer and naturally agreed.
  • YamamotoD has been avidly following wrestling since he was at school in the 80s. When Nakamura said that was the Tiger Mask era, YamamotoD nodded knowingly and said the 90s were about The Three Musketeers. Nakamura was interested in wrestling during the time of The Three Musketeers as well, citing the start of the Tokyo Dome events as a major influence on him.
  • YamamotoD said that wrestling provides a rare environment for fans to come together and get excited. Everyone is united in the drama from the moment the wrestlers enter until the end of the match; it's incredible.
  • Many of the athletes are very particular about their entry scenes. Nakamura explained that these scenes are critical for introducing the wrestlers' individual perspectives to the crowd. The movements they make, the way they act; he considers the whole performance extremely important.
  • YamamotoD praised Nakamura's entrances for being stylish, saying they were very theatrical and fit well with the music.
  • He confessed that a few wrestling moves have been slipped into the Sengoku Basara games too. It's most obvious with Kuroda Kanbee; he uses a dropkick in one move and in another he goes from a German suplex to a rotating piledriver. He can perform the German suplex up to ten times.
  • YamamotoD demonstrated the techniques to Nakamura during the interview by playing as Kanbee. The wrestler was impressed by the motion and attention to detail (and amused by the piledriver, it seems).
  • There were two reasons that Shima Sakon was chosen for Nakamura's costume. Firstly, YamamotoD wanted to incorporate Nakamura's kicks and Sakon uses kicking as part of his moveset. Secondly, he thinks that their asymmetrical hairstyles are similar.
  • Nakamura is just glad that Sakon is a cool character. He was very happy to see him equipped with nunchaku; he's trained to use double nunchaku for a long time.
  • The interviewer said that using kicks and nunchaku makes them think of Kung Fu. YamamotoD replied that Sakon usually uses twin swords to go with his kicks, but since the kicking style is reminiscent of Bruce Lee's Jeet Kune Do they decided to increase the Kung Fu feel by swapping his weapons for nunchaku with this costume.
  • The team put a lot of effort into reproducing Nakamura's coolness with the costume in the game. Since the outfit shows off Nakamura's physique and Sakon is rather lean, they had to bulk up the character's muscles slightly in order for him to be able to wear it. They also had to make some additional changes to represent the glossiness of the costume. Nakamura was pleased when he saw the results of their work.
  • With regards to the actual costume Nakamura wears, the design is important but it has to be practical as well. Wrestling costumes need to be durable and allow for stretching, which often makes it challenging to fit the image the athletes had in mind. Nakamura's costume is designed to represent his image while being functional as well.
  • Nakamura tried playing Sakon in the game while YamamotoD talked him through the moves. He highlighted the Hyakuretsu and Sobat kicks after explaining his stance-switching style.
  • Nakamura likened the stylish motions and skills in the game to the way that wrestlers have to think carefully about their techniques and how to act in between performing each move. Keeping this in mind is something that wrestlers teach their juniors. He found it fun to use the nunchaku too - however, he personally prefers nunchaku with short chains.
  • It was Nakamura's first time playing a Sengoku Basara game but he was having so much fun he almost forgot he was giving an interview. He liked that it's exhilarating while also being easy to pick up and play; there's a good balance.
  • YamamotoD thinks that Okada Kazuchika and Sanada Yukimura both share the character trait of blunt honesty. The wads of banknotes at the ends of Yukimura's spears when he's wearing the costume are based on Okada's nickname of The Rainmaker, 'the man who makes it rain money'.
  • Although Nakamura isn't convinced that stacks of money would be very effective as weapons, he likes that they incorporated that aspect of the character in an interesting way. He was also interested in the design on Yukimura's headband.
  • When YamamotoD saw Tanahashi posing, the only character he could consider for the collaboration was Hideyoshi. Nakamura was initially surprised that Hideyoshi was such a buff, macho guy but he quite likes the contrast of the vivid costume.
  • Nagamasa uses kicks and has a heroic aura which seemed a good match for Ibushi Kouta. The t-shirt amused Nakamura who suggested it could be ripped off. Sadly, YamamotoD confirmed that there won't be any t-shirt destruction in the game.
  • As for theoretical future collaborations, Nakamura suggested a costume based on the upcoming wrestlers known as the Young Lions; black shoes and short black tights.
  • YamamotoD mused that Makabe Tougi might be a good fit for Kuroda Kanbee because of the chains. He had to abandon that idea because they could only make four costumes this time.
  • (Raindrops' note: Whoa, JetKinen called it!)
  • Both men think there are similarities between the game's invigorating atmosphere and the thrills of professional wrestling. YamamotoD urged game fans to try going to a wrestling match and said he'd like to try more collaborations with NJPW in future.
  • The two of them joked about possibly making the NJPW chairman a secret character in the games one day.
  • The pictures show that the stage they were playing was the new Kawanakajima Intrusion again. It seems to be the stage they're using for all of the early demonstrations.
It seems that GAME Watch transcribed the interview too. Their report is slightly different and describes the martial arts discussions in considerably more detail, but the content is based on the same conversation.

--

I've been really enjoying reading all of the reactions from the wrestling fans as they learn about the crossover for the first time. There's been an overwhelming sense of positivity about it all. If I had been asked whether a professional wrestling collaboration was likely a week ago, I'd have said no, but knowing that YamamotoD is such a fan makes a surprising amount of sense given the game's over-the-top atmosphere.

For the benefit of any curious wrestling fans who stumble across this article via a web search in future, Sengoku Basara 4 Sumeragi is unlikely to be released outside Japan as far as we know but there's a very supportive fan community out there if you're wondering about importing it and buying the NJPW DLC costumes. Please consider giving it a try!

3 comments:

  1. First, it feels good to have a shoutout.
    Secondly i would like to say again that this collab is pretty amazing from a wrestler fan point of view.

    Raindrops the first two minutes of this video highlights most of the wrestlers mentioned here including Togi:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ps8iBBLG24Y

    Ibushi doesn't has a fancy intro, but has a match in it.

    Heres a random Ibushi tribute video:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5VcYSqIFzDY

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for the videos, especially since I can see the guys in action in the same outfits as the game now :D

      Ibushi is seriously agile! Very impressive.

      Delete
    2. Indeed he is! Ibushi is a great wrestler

      He is also part of a minor more comedy based fed where one of its top stars is a blowup doll.
      Its pretty amazing

      Here a recent match where Ibushi is defending his title against YOSHIHIKO, the blowup doll

      Delete

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