Sunday 30 August 2015

News roundup: A new Sengoku Basara stage play is announced

The Butai Sengoku Basara vs Devil May Cry stage play successfully completed its run today, and as it drew to a close a new announcement was made: Butai Sengoku Basara 4 Sumeragi is coming a few months from now! I was so excited when the fan club email arrived by email.

A new website is already up and running so a few details have been confirmed. Ujigawa Masanari will be handling the composition and direction, while KobaP and YamamotoD are credited with planning and supervising. The game series' scenario writer Matsuno Izuru will be assisting with the story. The cast will be announced on Monday 7th September 2015.

The Butai Sengoku Basara 4 Sumeragi Tokyo performances will run between Thursday 21st January and Sunday 31st January 2016 at the Zepp Blue Theater Roppongi, after which the show will move to Osaka's Sankei Hall Breeze for five shows between Friday 5th February and Sunday 7th February 2016. There will be special talk show sessions after the performances on 22nd January (19:00), 25th January (19:00), 26th January (19:00), 27th January (14:00) 28th January (19:00) and 5th February (19:00) with some of the as-yet-unannounced actors.

Tickets cost ¥7,800 and the fan club ticket lottery for the best seats will start on 16th September 2015. General sales commence from 22nd November 2015 at 10:00am.

It makes sense that Masamune and Yukimura are back in the spotlight as their current actors have quite a few shows under their belts now, presuming that they haven't been changed, whereas Mitsunari and Ieyasu will probably be played by newcomers - if they're going to be in this play at all. They might choose to base this play on a small number of characters and expand the story in future instalments like the old Butai Sengoku Basara 3 series. Even then, the Toyotomi characters are quite important to Rikyuu...

I wonder whether there will be two different actors for Rikyuu or whether one person will cover both of his personalities? It's tough to be patient and wait for more information!

The official website has also confirmed that the Butai Sengoku Basara vs Devil May Cry DVD which attendees have been able to preorder at the live shows will be available in 'autumn', so I think we can expect preorder listings for its general release to appear in the next few weeks.

Preview of the cover artwork for Sengoku Basara Magazine vol. 10

I stumbled upon this preview last night but only mentioned it on social media. Manga Oh recently updated their listing for Sengoku Basara Magazine vol. 10 in anticipation of its release tomorrow, and the small preview image shows that Kojuurou has been given a brand new CG illustration for the cover artwork. Larger versions should be available very soon as fans in Japan receive their copies.

I'm so happy; his official Sengoku Basara 4 illustration has never appealed much to me but this one is much better, highlighting his sword and looking pretty cool. I wonder who is going to be honoured on the cover of the eleventh volume? News from the magazine should start leaking out over the next few days.

Friday 28 August 2015

News roundup: Plushies, a PSN sale on old games and a few other updates

With the newest issue of Sengoku Basara Magazine just a few days away from release and the current stage play ending its run this weekend, it seems like a good time for small-scale projects to be announced. There have been a lot of great previews of the magazine courtesy of the various contributors and staff members. I liked this glimpse of Sen No Rikyuu in dog form from the Wan-Nyan Sengoku Basara manga, as well as the previews of the artwork from the Rikyuu scenario novel such as this one. I haven't been around much lately but I'll be summarising the magazine as usual once my copy arrives as usual.

New plushies are on the way for Masamune and Katsuie

We're getting another pair of Sengoku Basara 4 plushies courtesy of Gift x Algernon soon, as Shibata Katsuie and Date Masamune (Hakama & Wooden Sword Ver.) are scheduled for release this autumn for ¥3,300 and ¥3,200 respectively. You can see previews of the plushies themselves at this link.

Thanks go to Kaoru for bringing this to my attention!

The old Sengoku Basara games are discounted on PSN for a limited time

If you have been considering some of the older games and have a little spare yen on your Japanese PSN account, you may be interested in picking up some of the older games in the series. They're currently on sale at a 55% discount until 8th September 2015 as part of a promotion that Capcom has been running over the summer.

The games included in the offer are Sengoku Basara Chronicle Heroes (¥900) and Sengoku Basara Battle Heroes (¥315) for PSP and PS Vita, Sengoku Basara (¥370), Sengoku Basara 2 (¥370) and Sengoku Basara 2 Eiyuu Gaiden (HEROES) (¥370) for PlayStation 3 (as PS2 Archive games). The amount of fun you can have with some of the older games makes them well worth the low cost of entry.

Cover art for the upcoming Sengoku Basara 4 & 4 Sumeragi game script book

The upcoming Sengoku Basara 4 & 4 Sumeragi Script Collection book now has cover art courtesy of its updated Amazon listing. It uses existing artwork but rearranges it in a colourful way.

Capcom TV #27 reports on the latest Sengoku Basara event news

Fans outside Japan usually have to get by with brief reports and their imaginations when it comes to the various Sengoku Basara tie-in events, so it was good to see that Capcom TV covered KobaP's visit to Nikko Edomura (Edo Wonderland) with a video. If you want to get an idea of what the historical 'theme park' is like, it gives a reasonably good idea of what to expect. There is also a little coverage of the recent tie-in exhibition in Saitama and some merchandise updates later on in the clip.

Tip for fans who have bought the magazine DLC and can't find it

Several people have asked me about how to find their codes now so I thought I'd add a quick note in case anyone else is struggling but too shy to ask. If you purchased a physical copy of Dengeki PlayStation, Weekly Famitsu or V-Jump and can't find your DLC code for the special Sengoku Basara 4 Sumeragi weapon, you need to look for a small paper packet inside the magazine. Once you unseal the packet (you can cut or tear it carefully) you'll find a list of DLC codes, including the PSN code for your special weapon. The Dengeki PlayStation code is hidden in a pink ‘envelope’ between pages 164 and 165 while the one in V-Jump can be found in the large blue section between pages 194 and 199.

For some reason it was bothering me that Katsuie's was still outstanding so I'm really happy to have the full set of weapons now.

Monday 24 August 2015

News roundup: The latest stage play updates and plenty of difficult-to-obtain merchandise

The Sengoku Basara vs Devil May Cry stage play has started its run

Promotion for the Butai Sengoku Basara vs Devil May Cry stage play is in full swing now that it has begun its short run and the gaming press websites have obligingly posted details for attendees.

Fifteen luck fans who see the play between the 24th and 28th August 2015 will be given commemorative tote bags. Each bag will have the date of the performance and the picture printed on it will vary depending on the day, making it a truly rare collectible for hardcore fans.

There will be special themed food and drink at the theatre's adjoining cafe like 'half-human, half-demon pizza' and various cocktails, and attendees can preorder the DVD version of the play. The DVD will go on sale in the autumn; thank goodness they're planning one this time!

The stage play will also feature the debut of a 10th anniversary theme song for the Sengoku Basara series. Titled Toki Wo Koete ('Beyond Time'), the song is performed by SOLIDEMO with lyrics and music by Miyakoda Kazushi. KobaP is credited with co-writing the lyrics.

The dress rehearsal for the play took place this week and this has led to a flurry of official reports. You can see the pictures at 4Gamer, Anime Anime, Dengeki, Famitsu and Gamer and a short video at Theaterclip. There are also the usual goofy pictures on Twitter for those following any of the actors.

Limited time offer: The Devil May Cry costume DLC is currently discounted on PSN

To tie in with the launch of the stage play, the two Devil May Cry DLC costumes from Sengoku Basara 4 Sumeragi will be available at a special discount. The Date Masamune/Ishida Mitsunari Special Costume Set (DMC Dante & Virgil) is a bundle which includes both outfits for just ¥300. It will be available until 31st August 2015. This offer is exclusive to users with the PS3 version of the game.

Attention Spanish speakers: A localised Sengoku Basara 4 Sumeragi guide is now available

Lacters has been working hard on a Spanish translation guide for Sengoku Basara 4 Sumeragi and the first parts are now ready for viewing! You can view the guide here; further updates will be added over time.

They're also running a special giveaway for Spanish speaking fans which you can check out at this link.

Further details about the Sengoku Basara x Taka No Tsume Collaboration Exhibition

This was originally announced during the tenth anniversary live stream but now we have more details of the Taka No Tsumedan No SHIROZEME ('Eagle Talon Squad's Castle Invasion') event planned for 14th November 2015. This event simulates an attack on Shimane Prefecture's Matsue Castle and sounds like a brilliant way to increase interest in historical warfare strategies.

It's also the inspiration behind a collaboration between Frogman's Himitsu Kessha Taka No Tsume (Secret Society Eagle Talon) series and Sengoku Basara. This will take the form of a free exhibition in the Shibuya Parco Part 1 basement between 3rd September and 28th September 2015. The official name is Sengoku Basara x Himitsu Kessha Taka No Tsume: ~Sengoku Heroes And Castle Invasion~ and it will involve displays featuring crossover artwork, photo spots for visitors to take pictures with their favourite characters, displays showing the plans for the main Castle Invasion later in the year, displays of armour, weapons and a diorama of Matsue Castle, and an opportunity to dress up in traditional armour and have your picture taken for a fee.

Special crossover merchandise will be available including seven different hand towels (¥734 each), two types of acrylic mobile phone stands (¥1,620 each), seven different rubber straps (¥734 each) and sheets of senjafuda stickers (¥734).

Visitors who spend more than ¥2,000 on merchandise in a single transaction will be given one of ten randomly-packed commemorative coasters as a gift.

Exclusive merchandise is announced for the temporary Minoo Onsen Capcom Shop

A summary of the attractions at the Capcom Shop in Oedo Onsen Monogatari: Minoo Onsen Spa Garden event is showing off the event-exclusive goods which can be purchased.

Sengoku Basara 4 Sumeragi notelets for ¥750:

And a Sengoku Basara 4 Sumeragi tenugui towel for ¥400:

Fans, which are obtained through a roulette game which costs ¥500 to enter:

And tote bags, which come from a stamp rally game at the venue:

The official fan club announces more event-exclusive goodies

Different (yet equally exclusive) new merchandise will be available for fan club members who attend the Fan Meeting events this September. Nine new 'favourite warrior' badges will be released to help fill in some of the gaps for people whose favourite character wasn't represented before - Yoshihiro gets to appear on some merchandise for once!

It's the first time that uchiwa fans have been available for the fan club, even though they're popular merchandise items at most gatherings. Eight designs will debut at the events.

Pricing and availability details - as well as a few more items - will be posted at a later date.

The elusive Sengoku Basara Seishi book is really being released - probably

The ongoing saga continues as the preorder listing for Takarajimasha's upcoming book Sengoku Basara Seishi ("The Official History of Sengoku Basara") has returned to some online stores such as Manga Oh. Strangely, in between me drafting this post and finishing it off the title changed once again, so it's now being listed as Sengoku Basara: Shijitsu De Wakaru Sengoku Basara No Sekai ('Discovering The World Of Sengoku Basara Through Actual History'). The release date is listed as 18th September 2015 so perhaps it's actually coming out this time - it's been a long wait since the first solicitations back in January!

A look back at the Sengoku Basara design process with the Capcom Legends blog

The MyCapcom website runs a Capcom Legends blog series and the most recent entry is all about how they created Keiji and some of the series' classic antagonists. The early design pictures have featured in art books before but for some fans this might be the first chance to see them.

The last of the (Approximately) 10-second Theatre video updates

The final video in the scheduled series of Sengoku Basara 4 Sumeragi promotional clips was posted on Wednesday as promised. (Approximately) 10-second Theatre: The Quickest was one we had glimpsed in photographs from a live event early on in the game's advertising campaigns.

With all of the Sengoku Basara 4 Sumeragi campaigning gradually coming to an end, I guess that it won't be long now before we start hearing information of the next Sengoku Basara projects on the horizon. I doubt they'll have anything about a new game for a while since most fans are still getting to grips with the current one (the series isn't mentioned on their Tokyo Game Show schedule at all aside from in a note about the merchandise stand). Perhaps there are some other treats planned?

Tuesday 18 August 2015

News roundup: Books, videos and an update about that pesky PS3 audio problem

A script collection book will be published for the last two Sengoku Basara games

Listings have appeared on Manga Oh and Amazon Japan for a new book from Futabasha tentatively titled Sengoku Basara 4 & 4 Sumeragi Script Collection, scheduled for release in mid-September 2015 priced at ¥3,024 including taxes. It's been a while since the last script collection was released and this should make answering questions about the game's dialogue easier whenever it's necessary to check details without playing through the whole thing again. Hurrah.

Another new Sengoku Basara book is announced - and Dengeki is running a survey

The Dengeki Online website is asking Sengoku Basara fans to think back over the last ten years and respond to a few questions for an upcoming book. Tentatively titled the Sengoku Basara 10th Anniversary Eiyuu Taizen: Kiwami ('Hero Encyclopaedia: Extreme'), it's scheduled for release in late October 2015 as a follow-up to the old Sengoku Basara 5th Anniversary Eiyuu Taizen.

The book is going to include illustrations, CG artwork and setting materials relating to fifty characters from the series, as well as comments from KobaP and YamamotoD. Cast messages, interviews and commemorative autographs from the seiyuu will ensure there's plenty of content for fans to enjoy.

The survey is quite quick, so even though it specifically mentions that it's supposed to be for Japanese fans I thought some overseas fans might also be interested in sharing their opinions. The questions are as follows.

Q1. Which of the characters from Sengoku Basara is your favourite?
Q2: Please tell us the reason you picked that character. If you picked the final option in the list ('other'), please also name the character you chose.
Q3: Please tell us which scene from the Sengoku Basara series left the greatest impression on you.
Q4: Please select two or three characters from the list below who you consider a famous team or rivalry from the Sengoku Basara series.
Q5: Please provide the reason for the characters you chose in the previous question. If you picked the final option in the list ('other'), please also name the character(s) you chose.

The final question asks for some simple demographic information, namely your Nickname, Email address, Gender (male, female), Age and Occupation (primary school student, middle school student, high school student, university student or graduate, preparatory school student or ronin, vocational school student, company worker or self-employed, part-time worker, unemployed, housewife, other).

Respondents who live in Japan are entered into a draw to win one of ten ¥1,000 QUO cards, but as foreigners all we will have is the satisfaction of sharing our thoughts. Simple Japanese is best if possible since the best comments are going to be printed in the finished book!

The deadline for participating in the survey is 4th September 2015.

Previews of four difficult-to-obtain exclusive Sengoku Basara stickers

The summer Sengoku Basara collaboration event at Nikko Edomura (Edo Wonderland) is still running and Capcom's social media team have been highlighting four exclusive ¥300 stickers you can obtain when you visit the venue. The staff are hoping that the designs will make fans of the series grin knowingly.

Reports from the weekend's live event at a Saitama museum

Several news sites have been covering a recent appearance by Nishimoto Yu-ki, the artist who created the stunning ink illustrations used for Giga Basara attacks in Sengoku Basara 4 and Sumeragi. Nishimoto's paintings are currently on display as part of the Sengoku Zukan -Cool Basara Style- ('Sengoku Reference Book -Cool Basara Style-) tie-in event at the Saitama Prefectural Museum of History and Folklore, and on 16th August he visited the museum in person to demonstrate live ink painting and talk about his work. The photographs in the Famitsu and 4Gamer reports give a good idea of what it must have been like to watch Nishimoto's dramatic performance.

From what the reports describe, it sounds as though Nishimoto works quite quickly once he has decided how the finished artwork should look but some of the Sengoku Basara illustrations took quite a long time to visualise when he was working from scratch. It sounds as though it would have been a very interesting presentation to attend.

The latest Sengoku Basara 4 Sumeragi videos from the Capcom Channel

Wednesday's special video was (Approximately) 10-second Theatre: The Three 'Bee's.

Friday's new video was (Approximately) 10-second Theatre: Setouchi Conclusion.

And yesterday's was (Approximately) 10-second Theatre: Solitude.

Wednesday's upcoming video should be the last one in this series, so once that's available it's up to Capcom to inform us about any further promotion. I'm still hoping for some more DLC!

Waiting for Heavenly Blue? Try listening to the album preview for now

I'm seeing that a lot of fans are anxious about the continuing wait for Ishikawa Chiaki's upcoming CD with the hauntingly beautiful Sengoku Basara 4 Sumeragi ending theme, Heavenly Blue. The preview trailer for the album might help in the meantime as you can also hear what the new versions of her older Sengoku Basara songs sound like towards the end.

An update on the problem with muffled sound in Sengoku Basara 4 Sumeragi

Thank you very much to everyone who shared their experiences about the reported sound problems with Sengoku Basara 4 Sumeragi. The reports were all extremely detailed so it was easy to see the similarities between what everyone was describing. So far, it seems that:
  • The sound problems are only in the PS3 version of the game.
  • Most of the sound is fine, but there are certain clips which sound muffled, grainy or just plain strange.
  • It's most noticeable during battle, so characters who talk a lot in combat (Kanetsugu/Musashi) and the new characters are affected. In addition, the sounds relating to performing a Giga Basara attack, transforming in the roulette, picking up an item and hitting an enemy are all affected.
  • In Sengoku Basara 4, parrying an attack and nullifying an attack with certain special shield abilities made the same sound. In Sengoku Basara 4 Sumeragi, the normal parry sound effect is muffled while the noise which occurs in those other situations still sounds normal.
  • Where it affects clips which were also used in the original Sengoku Basara 4, they sound worse than before - so people who have played the previous game are more likely to notice the problem.
  • One fan commented that there were a few muffled lines in Sengoku Basara 4 with the lines which play right before the screen fades out after changing your settings in Sengoku Creation mode.
  • This isn't a region locking issue as the same problem can be found on copies played on Japanese PS3s while logged into a Japanese PSN account.
  • I was sent a link to an Amazon review which described the exact same symptoms.
  • So far, most people mentioned having the physical disc version of the game so I'm not sure whether the PSN download version is similarly affected.
  • Edit: It's been confirmed that the problem also exists in the downloaded version of the game.
All of the feedback has convinced me that it's a widespread problem given that there are relatively few importers yet many have noticed the issue. It affects all of the PS3 copies but the individual speaker setup probably affects how noticeable it is. The good news is that the PS4 version seems fine, so presumably there are no problems with the original game assets.

One of the people who contacted me said that someone has asked Capcom for assistance already, so I checked and they have posted a FAQ on their support site which acknowledges the problem and states that they had to reduce the audio quality for PS3 due to memory limitations. That seems a bit weak so I might send them a list of these complaints too so they realise that they need to do something about it.

If you want to complain, please use this link then press the red button to access the form. Pick the top option in the list ('glitch') then the fourth checkbox ('other'), then 'PlayStation 3', then the top option if you bought the game new on disc (if you bought it from PSN, it's the third option).

Next comes the game title (it makes no difference so you can just write 戦国BASARA4 皇 通常版 BLJM-61248) and date of purchase. Pick the first three options to confirm that it happens every time then skip the small text box as there is no error code.

The huge text box is for describing the problem, so go ahead and do that. They will only respond in Japanese but they will probably read English complaints as well (or you can just post the link to the Amazon review and say something simple like "bad audio like this!"). Pick the second option at the bottom of the text box, as the top one is for people with a damaged disc.

Finally, add your personal details. The first four boxes are for your name in kanji then kana, then it asks for your age. You can skip everything else other than the boxes for your email address at the bottom.

Capcom will probably just apologise and say there is nothing they can do, but they're advertising the game as having good quality sound so I think it's fine to complain if you're not happy with the muffled audio. Even if they really did have to compress the sound more for the PS3, it's clearly being compressed too much if it's disrupting the game for a number of users. Good luck!

Sunday 16 August 2015

Anime news: Viewster's subscription service is coming

I've been talking about Swiss-based video service Viewster in my anime posts for a while now. As the only worthwhile rival to Crunchyroll in the field of legal anime streaming which serves the UK, I've been very interested in seeing them gradually increasing their support for anime fans.

There's a lot about Viewster I like. They have a bunch of FUNimation titles which will never appear on Crunchyroll at all for political reasons, they are responsive to customer feedback, they understand the simple concept of people being multilingual and don't lock the language of their subtitles according to the viewer's country, and they have a strong European focus - instead of treating us as a bunch of foreign pirates like most of the US-centric services.

It's been great watching all of these FUNimation and Anime Limited titles for free in recent seasons while still supporting the industry but I've often lamented how irritating the ads are. I don't have television so to have my viewing interrupted isn't an experience to which I have ever become accustomed, and one of the strengths of Crunchyroll has always been that you can choose to pay a small fee if you want to watch in 'premium' quality without the interruptions.

Well, it turns out that Viewster have been listening and they've recently announced that they are going to be offering a paid subscription service for users who want to watch in higher definition and without advertisements. It appears that the new 'OMAKASE' service will experiment with a few premium bonuses such as boxes of goodies for those in a select number of countries. I suspect this will be a short term scheme to try to make their offering stand out from the competitors, even if I'd personally prefer they focused on the streaming side and kept it international.

While the free ad-supported service will still be available, those who choose to subscribe can start signing up to try out the premium service while it's in its early stages. The best part is that they're not asking for any money or commitment at the moment.

If anyone wants to give the service a try, my sign-up link is here - if I can get 20 people to sign up they'll give me something (I have no illusions about being popular enough to actually achieve that). Still, I'd genuinely like more people to give Viewster a try in the hope that Europe can finally have a proper unified streaming service one day. Dividing the region up into smaller groups of countries which can't support anime releases at all has left most of us lagging far behind the US.

(Maybe one day, the Sengoku Basara Judge End anime will even stream in full to my country. I've still never seen it with its official translation, despite being one of the minority of fans who openly enjoyed it.)

Tuesday 11 August 2015

New roundup: A surprising number of updates about various Sengoku Basara projects

The latest Butai Sengoku Basara vs Devil May Cry stage play updates

The Butai Sengoku Basara vs Devil May Cry stage play is going to start its run just over a week from now, so the official site has been posting a large number of updates recently to get fans in the mood for some time-travelling, demon-fighting action. Shots of the cast in costume have been added along with short video messages from each actor introducing themselves.

It's strange seeing Yoshida Tomokazu, the actor who played Kojuurou for years in Butai Sengoku Basara, elaborately dressed up as the 'black knight' (previously billed as Prototype Nelo Angelo). I'm curious about how this stage play is going to turn out.

Of course, fans lucky enough to visit the theatre will be able to commemorate this strange crossover with a wide range of special merchandise as usual.

An official 32-page colour pamphlet (programme) laid out to feature both series for ¥2,500. It will include an interview with KobaP and the play's director Ujigawa Masanari:

A pair of hand towels for ¥1,000:

A set of two A4 clear files patterned on both sides for ¥1,000:

A large uchiwa fan with Masamune on one side, Dante on the other for ¥1,000:

Eleven different sets of five cast photographs for ¥1,000 per set:

And a selection of 12 randomly-packed 57mm can badges for ¥300 each:

The warriors of Sengoku Basara are to urge gamers to donate to charity

I know I must have been writing about Sengoku Basara news for a while as this is the third year in a row that I've reported that the series will be teaming up with the Akai Hane Kyoudou Bokin ('Red Feather Community Chest') national charity drive.

Brand new Sengoku Basara 4 Sumeragi posters will be used to promote the campaign across 29 prefectures and (hopefully) raise awareness of the need to donate starting from October 2015. This year, Yukimura is joining Masamune on the main poster artwork for the first time.

A sample of some of the tasty Sengoku Basara food and drink on sale in Japan at the moment

The Pasela chain has updated its website to show off the special Sengoku Basara food and drink available at its various entertainment locations. There's the Capcom Bar's new limited edition Sengoku Basara 4 Sumeragi menu, as well as the Pasela karaoke menu and the food/drink menus from its two themed cafes. Some of the drink designs are incredible, like the Tadakatsu cocoa, the scary-looking Hisahide drink with hot peppers and the probably-difficult-to-drink Kanbee cocktail complete with iron ball.

I can't believe that even Musashi and 'Poem' Amago have themed drinks available...

Capcom announces a limited price reduction for old costume DLC - on PS3

A new campaign has been launched, during which all seven of the 'former DLC' costumes originally for Sengoku Basara 4 will be available in a ¥1,500 set for PS3 Sengoku Basara 4 Sumeragi owners. The offer will run from today until 31st August 2015, so if you happen to meet the requirements and don't already have those costumes it's probably a good idea to hurry to the PlayStation store. They're usually only available individually for Sengoku Basara 4 Sumeragi.

The costumes included in the bundle are those shown above: Date Masamune (hakama/wooden sword version), Sanada Yukimura (azure dragon version), Ishida Mitsunari (DMC Vergil version), Tokugawa Ieyasu (Gakuen Basara version), Shibata Katsuie (absolute justice version), Shima Sakon (twin sword kung fu version) and Ii Naotora (wedding version).

Listings begin to appear for the Sengoku Basara: Bontenmaru-hen manga

I know a few fans have been waiting for this. A Manga Oh listing has appeared this week to confirm that Yoshihara Motoki's Sengoku Basara: Bontenmaru-hen manga from Sengoku Basara Magazine is soon going to be available as a standalone book. The price has yet to be confirmed but the manga will be published under the Dengeki Comics NEXT line on 26th September 2015. If you're one of the fans who have been wanting to read the story without buying all of the individual magazines, this will be a great chance to catch up and read the story of Masamune's past. I expect that the book will collect the entire story since it doesn't have a volume number.

The cover artwork for the series' next drama CD is previewed

The final cover art for the Sengoku Basara 4: Sanbee Souran ~Oushuu Ni Teru Hikari~ ('Three '-bee' Mayhem ~The Future Which Shines On Oushuu~ drama CD has now been posted on the Dengekiya shop.

There are also previews for the bonus illustrations which come with the first press edition.

Yokota Mamoru's artwork looks amazing. I'm looking forward to listening to this CD!

Catching up on the latest Sengoku Basara 4 Sumeragi promotional videos

Friday's new video was one we have already seen before, but now it's possible to watch (Approximately) 10-second Theatre: Flame Shingen, Ice Kenshin at any time as a standalone clip.

Monday's was (Approximately) 10-second Theatre: Let's Have Tea.

Information wanted: Does your copy of Sengoku Basara 4 Sumeragi have muffled audio?

A couple of people have sent me messages about their copies of Sengoku Basara 4 Sumeragi having some kind of issue with muffled sounds. I haven't experienced this at all myself and I haven't heard any Japanese fans talking about it, but I'd like to help if I can.

Out of curiosity, have any other readers experienced audio problems with the game? If you can confirm the symptoms, version (PS3/PS4, disc or download) and any other information you have, I'll try to investigate this further when I have some time.

Thursday 6 August 2015

News roundup: It's time to take a break from playing and update this blog!

I've been a little busy recently so this is a bumper update summarising lots of different news. Since my final 'launch' items arrived I'm going to tweet KobaP today saying that I bought the game; I hope some other foreign fans have been doing the same thing!

By the way, I happen to have an extra set of preorder weapon codes (Yoshiteru/Masamune/Yukimura/Masamune/Ieyasu) which came with my PS3 edition. If you have bought the game, didn't manage to preorder the weapons and play on a Japanese PSN account, please let me know and the codes are yours. There's only one set so it will have to be first come, first served.

Edit: The codes have now been claimed, thank you!

I tested and all of the weapons are recognised across platforms; in fact, since I preordered the game on PSN and then redeemed my PS4 weapon codes on PS4 as well, I actually have two copies of Yoshiteru's element-changing weapon stored on my PS3 save now plus the spare code. So for the purpose of this giveaway it doesn't matter whether you're going to use the PS3 or PS4 version so long as you're using a Japanese account.

Celebrate the Sengoku Basara series' tenth anniversary with more commemorative goods

Two new items have been announced for fans who don't have enough Sengoku Basara merchandise in their life.

The first is a commemorative 2016 calendar which features a different warrior on each page and looks back at the selected characters over the course of the last ten years. It's priced at ¥2,000 before tax and will be widely available from the start of October 2015.

The second new item is a luxury 10th anniversary fountain pen from Sailor. It's based on the Pro Colour 500 model and features a lot of small details which pay tribute to the series. Three different designs are available to suit fans of Masamune, Yukimura or Mitsunari.

The pens don't come cheap at ¥14,800 before tax apiece. They'll go on sale in late November 2015 and the Entersis Factory website is already accepting preorders.

There's not much to report in this week's gaming magazines

I didn't post a magazine summary yesterday because Dengeki PlayStation isn't coming out until next week and Weekly Famitsu had barely any coverage at all. Interestingly Sengoku Basara 4 Sumeragi picked up a recommendation in the editorial team's internal ranking for the week where it came in sixth place and was singled out as a particularly noteworthy title. There was no update on the game's website either; hopefully some of the staff are taking a well-earned rest!

KobaP, however, doesn't seem to be resting at all. The Famitsu website has posted a report where he guides readers through the Sengoku Basara collaboration event which is currently running at Nikko Edomura (Edo Wonderland). It looks really fun.

Preview for the next issue of Sengoku Basara Magazine

Now that the tenth issue of Sengoku Basara Magazine has been listed on the e-Capcom store, we have a few more details about what it will include along with a glimpse at the rubber strap and cover - though I anticipate that the cover artwork will be changed at the last minute as usual.

The lead 18-page article is all about the 32 new stories in Sengoku Basara 4 Sumeragi, including an interview with KobaP and YamamotoD all about how they were created. The Katakura Kojuurou coverage will span 17 pages and incorporate an interview with seiyuu Morikawa Toshiyuki as well as the usual detailed character information.

The new 17-page scenario novel about Sen No Rikyuu now has an official title: Sengoku Basara 4 Sumeragi: Riten Daisanoe ('The Grand Tea Ceremony Cast Out From Heaven'). It tells the story of the events which caused Rikyuu to leave the Toyotomi army from his point of view, and there will be appearances by Mitsunari, Ieyasu, Sakon and Keiji. The illustrations will be provided by Ashika Nozomu once again.

It's also been confirmed separately that the upcoming chapter of the Sengoku Basara 4: Bontenmaru-hen manga is to be the finale, as I was expecting from the general direction of the story. I wonder whether they'll really go ahead and replace it with Benmaru-hen as some of the staff have been hinting?

New merchandise is revealed - exclusively for visitors to specific Marui stores this month

The Sengoku Basara series is returning to the Marui building in Kitasenju, Tokyo with a pop-up shop which opened for business this week. It closes on 18th August 2015. There will also be a similar pop-up store in Shizuoka's Marui building between 12th August and 23rd August 2015. Fans will have to be quick; as well as activities and merchandise from other Capcom titles, some special limited edition goodies will be available.

Canvas artwork of Date Masamune (¥6,000):

Four different Sengoku Basara felt mascot keychains (¥700 each):

Four different Sengoku Basara 4 Sumeragi clear files themed around the Touhoku, Kantou/Chuubu, Kinki/Chuugoku and Shikoku/Kyuushuu regions (¥400 each):

Four different Sengoku Basara playing card hand towels (¥1,200 each):

A set of four Sengoku Basara postcards (¥700):

There's also a special 'Date & Sanada' canvas illustration which is among various prizes on offer at the stores. Visitors who spend more than ¥3,000 using an Epos card will be entered into a prize draw, so it's likely to become a highly coveted item.

Reminder: This month's V Jump magazine can now be preordered

If, like me, you're one of those people waiting to complete their collection of element-changing weapon DLC for Sengoku Basara 4 Sumeragi, it looks as though the upcoming October issue of V-Jump can now be preordered on sites such as Amazon Japan ahead of its release in a few weeks. This is the volume which is slated to come with a DLC code for Shibata Katsuie's dark-elemental weapon.

A chat show event is planned for fans in the Kitakyuushuu area

The next real-life event related to Sengoku Basara has been announced. Sengoku Basara ga YATTEKURU ('Sengoku Basara is COMING') is a live talk show which will be held on Saturday 5th September 2015 at the Aru Aru YY Theatre in the Aru Aru City complex in Kokura, Fukuoka Prefecture. The guests scheduled to attend are Hoshi Souichirou (Sanada Yukimura), Miki Shinichirou (Gotou Matabee) and series producer Kobayashi 'KobaP' Hiroyuki. Advance tickets go on sale on 8th August 2015 for ¥3,500 (plus an extra mandatory ¥500 drink) each.

The latest Sengoku Basara 4 Sumeragi videos

The game may be out now but we still have another two weeks of Sengoku Basara 4 Sumeragi video clips planned for the official website. Monday's was a Sasuke cutscene clip titled (Approximately) 10-second Theatre: Monkey Show.

And yesterday's new video was (Approximately) 10-second Theatre: Get Costumes With Tenka Medals!