Sunday 24 July 2016

Streaming: Summer 2016 anime first impressions

This season is crazy; between Funimation and Crunchyroll viewers in the UK have been utterly spoilt for choice! Even though my money is worth less than it was last season thanks to political upheaval, I feel I'm getting a lot of value for money from my Funimation Now and Crunchyroll subscriptions. The Anime Network and Animax UK haven't really done anything noteworthy but Daisuki have grabbed a few of Funimation's titles on a delay to provide an alternative for those in other regions, and Amazon are showing a single series for those who already have a Prime account or consider one show worth the cost of a subscription. I was in Paris for Japan Expo at the start of the season so it's taken me longer than usual to get caught up on all of the new first episodes.

In addition to the embarrassment of riches provided by the two main streaming services this season, Gyakuten Saiban (Ace Attorney) and JoJo's Bizarre Adventure are both continuing from spring. It was tough to pare the available titles down to a shortlist to fit my schedule and some may still be dropped later on to accommodate the realities of working life.

Here's my slightly belated rundown of the simulcasts available to fans in the UK this summer!

Friday 22 July 2016

News roundup: The third official Sengoku Basara: Sanada Yukimura-den broadcast was today

I was at work when the special hour-long Sengoku Basara: Sanada Yukimura-den broadcast aired earlier today, so I checked out the timeshifted version in the evening.

Host Saaya started the broadcast off by introducing series producer Kobayashi Hiroyuki (KobaP) and series director Yamamoto Makoto (YamamotoD). It's been a really long time since YamamotoD appeared to help promote the series! I've missed him.

After the staff introductions, seiyuu Hoshi Souichirou (Sanada Yukimura) was welcomed into the studio. KobaP kicked things off by wishing the Sengoku Basara series a happy anniversary; the broadcast fell on the eleventh anniversary of the first game's release. Don't miss the tribute illustrations from Sengoku Basara mangaka Itou Ryuu and Yoshihara Motoki.

The first topic of conversation was the brand new promotional video which had been released for Sengoku Basara: Sanada Yukimura-den a few hours earlier.

The video confirmed a bunch of small details about the game which I've added to my guide, but it also confirmed that there are two sets of Six Coin Challenges in each chapter heads: (red) and tails (gold). Here are the challenges from Chapter 5.

Six Coin Challenges (Red):
  1. Reach SUPER FEVER status (??? Monsen Coins)
  2. Defeat 25 mounted soldiers (??? Monsen Coins)
  3. Defeat Hideyoshi before you defeat Mitsunari (??? Monsen Coins)
  4. Defeat Matabee with a Basara technique (??? Monsen Coins)
  5. Defeat 20 enemies while in Bushin Telepathy mode (??? Monsen Coins)
  6. Clear Chapter 5 (??? Monsen Coins)
Six Coin Challenges (Gold):
  1. Raise your Bushin Level to six (??? Monsen Coins)
  2. Reach SUPER FEVER status three times (??? Monsen Coins)
  3. Defeat 20 enemies while in Bushin Telepathy mode (??? Monsen Coins)
  4. Successfully parry bosses seven times (??? Monsen Coins)
  5. Defeat Hideyoshi with a parry (??? Monsen Coins)
  6. Defeat Mitsunari without taking damage (??? Monsen Coins)
Furthermore, Personal Styles are teased for each character (including the non-story characters) and it looks as though the new versions of Yukimura and Masamune have separate Personal Styles to the old versions.

(Raindrops' note: While OneSanitarium crushed my hopeful speculation about the other character costumes being available in modes such as survival mode by pointing out that they could just mean the hidden backstory stages, I choose to remain optimistic as the wording! Furthermore, the scene with Keiji attacking Hideyoshi and Mitsunari around 2:35 in the new video looks a lot like part of Masamune's story from Chapter 5 - and it's definitely not part of the Sanada Trials because the interface is wrong. Some kind of Free Mode? Don't let me down, Capcom!)

KobaP then rapidly summarised the latest updates from Weekly Famitsu.

In any case, they didn't waste any more time before launching straight into the first gameplay demonstration. YamamotoD took control of Masayuki and Nobuyuki on The First Ueda Conflict: Tokugawa Invasion stage while KobaP explained what was going on. Hoshi chipped in with his own reactions periodically. The audio balance made it quite difficult to hear KobaP's commentary over the dialogue from the game, which is a shame as they were saying some interesting things in the background.

The pop-up screen explains that the main objective is to defend the bridge system. There are four large contraptions which look like rollers, and enemy occupation chiefs will rush them. The vertical bar in the centre of the mini map represents the bridge system's current durability; if it runs out the bridges will fall and grant the invaders access to Ueda Castle.

The chapter started off with a powerful cutscene with an aerial Ieyasu challenging the Sanada clan from a position high in the sky atop Tadakatsu. Masayuki and Nobuyuki defended for a while, then the action abruptly shifted to the other 'minigame' where Yukimura has to race towards the castle on horseback.

I'm guessing this is the same way that Sasuke's stage will fit into the The Second Ueda Conflict: The Path To Sekigahara chapter later on; it will cut to show what Sasuke is up to then switch back to the main conflict. I'm going to have to figure out a good way to summarise the objectives in my guide.

The controls are simple with X serving as the Jump button. You can see the little 'speed MAX' symbol in the middle of the screenshot (sorry about the quality). This appears when you gather the 'acceleration carrots'. I don't think the controls will present anyone with any problems even with a language barrier.

Once Yukimura reached his goal, the action switched back to the team of defenders at the castle. YamamotoD put both of the new characters through their paces well and made them look fun, especially Masayuki (who hadn't shown us so much of his gameplay to date).

As usual, they ended the demonstration before the end of the stage and went through some more background details about the game. There are apparently more than ten secret backstory chapters, and both their difficulty and mechanics vary depending on the stage in question. The next gameplay demonstration was Shibata Katsuie's hidden backstory. YamamotoD kindly lost immediately to allow me to translate the Game Over screen...

The reason he lost was that he had a strange combination of Bushin abilities equipped, presumably to make things more challenging and demonstrate some of the options the system offers. He did much better on the second attempt.

It was weird seeing Katsuie all fired up and full of life in this story. I'm much more used to the miserable version.

The next gameplay demonstration was Katakura Kojuurou in Sanada Trials mode. This gives me a good excuse for a gratuitous picture of Kojuurou.

They let Saaya pick some slightly later stages for once instead of running through the first few. A team of Kanbee and Matabee took YamamotoD down on the thirteenth stage. On his next attempt he got past the two 'bee's then lost to Yukimura a couple of stages later. The boss fights seem reasonably punishing and they will probably require players to master the Bushin system if they don't want a hard time.

Hoshi took over the controller after YamamotoD wiped out and chose Yukimura (of course) for a quick run through the very first trial. Hoshi is always great because he's not amazing at the game but clearly really enjoys playing it anyway (like me?)

Here's the current list of Sanada Trial stage objectives from the various demonstrations we've seen so far. More than 30% done! If only all guides were this easy to write.

1第一戦MasayukiSuccessfully perform a 'desertion' dodge300
2第二戦SoldiersSuccessfully perform a 300-hit combo300
3第三戦SoldiersDefeat 15 soldiers using a Basara move300
4第四戦SoldiersWin without taking damage300
5第五戦SoldiersSuccessfully perform a 'desertion' dodge300
6第六戦Soldiers (cavalry)Win without taking damage300
7第七戦SakonSuccessfully perform a parry300
8第八戦Soldiers (formations)Defeat 15 soldiers using a Basara move300
9第九戦SoldiersSuccessfully perform a 300-hit combo300
10第十戦Mitsunari, YoshitsuguDefeat the boss using a Basara move300
11第十一戦SoldiersSuccessfully perform a 300-hit combo300
12第十二戦SoldiersWin without taking damage300
13第十三戦Kanbee, MatabeeSuccessfully perform a parry300
14第十四戦SoldiersSuccessfully perform a 500-hit combo300
15第十五戦YukimuraSuccessfully perform a parry300
16第十六戦SoldiersWin without taking damage300
18第十八戦SoldiersDefeat 15 soldiers using a Basara move300
22第二十二戦SoldiersSuccessfully perform a 500-hit combo300
41第四十一戦SoldiersSuccessfully perform a parry300
49第四十九戦Akatsukimaru (Rising Sun) - 2 versionsWin without taking damage300
52第五十二戦Benmaru, BontenmaruWin without taking damage300
59第五十九戦Takeda ShingenWin without taking damage300
-BonusDaruma dollsEarn bonuses by defeating coloured dolls-
???Masayuki, Nobuyuki, YukimuraSuccessfully perform a 'desertion' dodge300

It was then time to run through a bunch of general Sengoku Basara news announcements, most of which I'd already covered in previous posts on this blog.

The special Capcom TV LINE keywords are now being collected over at the official website here, so you can catch up on any smartphone wallpapers you missed that way. A new LINE picture was released for the broadcast, too; Itou Ryuu has drawn a very summery illustration of Chousokabe Motochika and Mouri Motonari.

After this weekend's in-store preview event in the Sofmap store in central Sendai, there's going to be another on Saturday 30th July 2016 at a GEO store in Nagoya.

The Sengoku Basara: Sanada Yukimura-den Official Complete Guide: Ultimate Tome Of Secrets will be released on 25th August 2016 via Futabasha. It will contain all of the usual spoilers and gameplay information for those who want to blow the game's secrets wide open right after it's released, along with the game's script, CG artwork and design illustrations.

There was a reminder about the special free talk show with KobaP and Hoshi at the Sanada Juuyuushi Garden Place on 30th July 2016.

The final segment was an interactive quiz for the viewers with prizes on the line. The questions were super-easy and referred back to gameplay terms which had already been mentioned during the show. I wish I could have participated; it's the main drawback of watching on a time delay!

And that was all! I am adding the new gameplay information to my reference materials post as usual.

Wednesday 20 July 2016

The latest Sengoku Basara: Sanada Yukimura-den news from Weekly Famitsu magazine

The 4th August 2016 issue of Weekly Famitsu is now out in Japan, and here's a summary of the latest Sengoku Basara: Sanada Yukimura-den information from within its pages.

Story Mode

The article opened up with a summary of the next few chapters of story mode.

Chapter 6 - The Second Ueda Conflict: The Path To Sekigahara
Characters: Yukimura, Masayuki
Objectives: Control both Yukimura and Masayuki, and defend the Sanada water well!
Description: After the death of Toyotomi Hideyoshi, the confrontation between Ishida Mitsunari and Tokugawa Ieyasu divides the whole country in two for the Battle of Sekigahara. While Yukimura and his father Masayuki support the Western Army led by Mitsunari, Nobuyuki stands in their way as a warrior of Ieyasu's Eastern Army. As both sides press on, they ask themselves about the true 'Path of the Sanada'.

Notes on the page explain that you have to use both characters strategically. For the benefit of those who don't already know, the Sanada well is a famous landmark in Ueda Castle which is said to have a secret passage hidden within it.

Characters: Sarutobi Sasuke
Objectives: Take control of Sasuke and intercept the Tokugawa Army!
Description: Right in the middle of battle with Ieyasu's troops, Kuroda Kanbee loses his way on the battlefield...

There's some kind of shooting game mechanic where Sasuke has to fire shuriken and exploding kunai at the invaders to defend the well.

Chapter 7 - Kudoyama Imprisonment
Characters: Yukimura
Objectives: ???
Description: At Kudoyama, Yukimura and Masayuki clash in a life and death battle. But why would Yukimura be confronting his revered father? Furthermore, there's even a scene where the Sanada Clan's dead former lord Takeda Shingen exchanges blows with Yukimura. What's the true nature of this 'Shingen'? The circumstances behind the usual Sengoku Basara punching match are cause for concern.

There isn't much information about this chapter, sorry! I expect the gaming press will fill in the gaps over the next few days.

Moveset Information

Yukimura's moveset gets stronger as he grows up and progresses through the story. We've seen his special move 風林火山 ('Fuurinkazan') in screenshots - I've been calling it his R2 move because that seems likely - and for the first time it's actually referenced in this article, which says it's one of several of these special moves in the game. When Yukimura uses Fuurinkazan he performs a flurry of chained attacks then finishes up with a Shingen-style uppercut.

The information is placed right next to the screenshot of Shingen on the page, so it's possible Yukimura learns the move at a set point in the story. However, he's also shown as already having it equipped in the Chapter 6 screenshots. Perhaps it's entirely based on character level as usual.

Six Coin Challenges

We've seen these popping up in screenshots quite a few times now and they're finally explained in this article. Each stage in the main story mode contains six special optional objectives called Six Coin Challenges, and completing them awards the Monsen Coins you need to power up your characters. Completing all of the challenges also unlocks the ultimate difficulty level.

A screenshot shows the six challenges in Chapter 3 of the story (I'm guessing this screen appears at the end of a stage):

Reach FEVER status (900 Monsen Coins)
Defeat Fuuma Kotarou with a Basara technique (900 Monsen Coins)
Defeat five fake Eiraku Tsuuhou (??? Monsen Coins)
Defeat Eiraku Tsuuhou in Bushin Denshin (Telepathy) mode (??? Monsen Coins)
Collect 1,000 Monsen Coins (??? Monsen Coins)
Clear Chapter 3 (900 Monsen Coins)

In context the Eiraku Tsuuhou refers to the flags you're supposed to capture in this stage since they have coins on them. I'll start recording the challenges in my reference materials post later tonight.

Rainbow Chance

There are special enemy NPCs with large rainbow-coloured fans on their back called the 'Seven Rainbows'. If you attack them, a 'Rainbow Chance' challenge will pop up with a special objective such as getting a certain combo, defeating enemies, dodging attacks or performing parries. If you manage to complete the challenge within the time limit you'll be rewarded with a substantial number of Monsen Coins. It's well worth looking out for the Seven Rainbows when you're trying to gather coins.

Difficulty Levels

The standard difficulty levels you can select are Standard and Hard. However, once you have completed all of the Six Coin Challenges on all of the chapters, you unlock a brand new ultimate difficulty level: Sanzu River. When you select this, enemy attack power increases and their attacks drain your Bushin level - which in turn lowers your combat power.

Save Data Import

If you import your Sengoku Basara 4 Sumeragi save data when you start the game, you'll receive a reward as usual. This time, the reward is pretty simple; simply having a Sumeragi save file will give you a flat bonus of 5,000 Monsen Coins when you start Sanada Yukimura-den for the first time.

Collaboration Costumes

This is sneaky as they promised several collaboration costumes but the article only actually 'reveals' the NJPW Gotou Hirooki Ver outfit for Masamune which was shown earlier in the week. As previously explained, that new costume is going to be paid DLC for Sanada Yukimura-den.

The rest of the section about costumes explains that a bunch of the DLC costumes from Sengoku Basara 4 Sumeragi will be returning for the new game and they'll be included right from the start. The list includes all of the Biohazard (Resident Evil), Street Fighter IV, Devil May Cry and Monster Hunter costumes, Muneshige's Jumbo Xavi-kun outfit and the seven preorder costumes from Sengoku Basara 4.

It was also explained that the costumes will be available in modes such as survival mode (Sanada Trials). Unless they only mean that Yukimura and Masamune can wear their costumes in story mode, this implies to me that there will be additional modes where the old characters can be used too - probably even better news than everything else in the entire article!

News roundup: Capcom TV features Sanada Trials mode, and we'll have a batch of news later today

There's going to be a batch of Sengoku Basara: Sanada Yukimura-den information in tomorrow's Weekly Famitsu as well so I'll be updating a little later with a translation of that. The preview promises that it will include details about the story from Chapter 6 onwards (Sasuke will appear), new gameplay elements will be explained (the 'Six Circle Challenge' and 'Rainbow Bonus' mechanics, plus details of the new highest 'Sanzu River' difficulty level) and there will also be a few tie-in costumes to reveal.

Today's Capcom TV featured some live demonstrations of the Sanada Trials mode

Episode 47 of Capcom TV aired today and it included the coverage of Sanada Trials mode as expected. Like before, they filled the entire show with content about other games so it was a long time before the Sengoku Basara content appeared.

It would seem that NonakaP is busy promoting the game elsewhere in Asia at the moment, so Ashigaru-kun appeared instead and joined the Capcom TV presenters.

I had my reservations about how well 'Ashigaru-kun' was going to be able to play when the mysterious shadowy figure controlling him was handed the controller.

In any case, the demonstration started out with a powered-up Yukimura in his 'Phoenix' outfit, which looked pretty great in action. They ran through the first few stages we've already seen, giving everyone an introduction to the Sanada Trials 'survival' mode.

It was then time to make things more interesting and they switched to Fuuma Kotarou so the various hosts could try out some challenges. They only got up to the sixth stage before dropping out so it was all content we'd seen before, then they repeated with Ashigaru-kun controlling Sanada Nobuyuki. He did a lot better.

Here's the results screen in Sanada Trials mode. It's laid out very similarly to the story mode results screen I translated the other day. The only difference is that the Six Circle Challenges (these don't exist in Sanada Trials mode) have been replaced with bonuses for optional objectives completed on each stage, and a bonus for the total number of consecutive trials you beat in that run.

This week's special keyword for LINE is 2周年 and it unlocks a wallpaper of Masamune with Kojuurou.

I'm expecting that tomorrow's dedicated Sengoku Basara broadcast will be a lot better. I'll be at work so I'll post a catch-up in the evening once I've had a chance to watch the timeshifted version.

As a bonus (and because it doesn't really need its own news article), the official Sengoku Basara Twitter account posted a behind-the-scenes design sketch earlier showing the concepts for his new Hinokaku costume from the game. They were trying to convey the image of a young Yukimura growing up.

The official Twitter and LINE accounts have been quite active recently; it's good to see the information flowing!

Zangeki Sengoku Basara: The Battle Of Sekigahara is announced

Zangeki Sengoku Basara 4 Sumeragi: Honnouji No Hen finished its run at the start of this week and the next play in the series was immediately revealed. The new stage play will run in Tokyo (Tennouzu's The Galaxy Theatre) and Osaka (Umeda Arts Theater: Theater DramaCity) in February 2017, and tickets will cost ¥7,900 each. Further details and cast information will be announced in August.

The announcement was accompanied by a video featuring scenes from the latest play.

The stage play series has already covered Sekigahara from a number of angles but this is the first time that it will receive the more action-packed 'Zangeki' treatment. The actors for Masamune, Mitsunari and Ieyasu have all graduated, so this might offer an interesting new spin on the familiar story. Furthermore, it seems likely that Kingo will return but will he get a new Tenkai? If so, Tenkai will need to be recast as Taniguchi Masashi graduated along with Date Masamune's Shiono Akihisa at the end of Zangeki Sengoku Basara 4 Sumeragi: Honnouji No Hen.

Yorikojun is being credited with composition and production again, with the games’ scenario writer Matsuno Izuru assisting with the story. Sengoku Basara creators KobaP and YamamotoD are credited with planning and supervision as usual.

A CD release is confirmed for the most recent Sengoku Basara radio show

Those of us locked out by the region restriction on the web radio broadcast of Sengoku Basara -Nekketsu! Yose Raji!- ('Sengoku Basara: Hot-blooded! Variety Theatre Radio!') can rejoice as listings (CD Japan) have started appearing for a ¥2,500 DJCD: Sengoku Basara -Nekketsu! Yose Raji- disc release from Frontier Works. The release date will be 24th August 2016 to coincide with the new game. Seiyuu Hoshi Souichirou (Sanada Yukimura) hosts the show, and the featured guests will be Nakai Kazuya (Date Masamune) and Morikawa Toshiyuki (Katakura Kojuurou). Unfortunately, the episodes which were broadcast online don't seem to be receiving a CD release at this time.

Customers who reserve the CD at Animate will be able to enter a draw to buy ¥3,800 tickets to one of two special events at Tokyo's Yamano Hall on 14th August 2016. Hoshi Souichirou will be accompanied by Seki Tomokazu (Ishida Mitsunari) and Okiayu Ryoutarou (Toyotomi Hideyoshi) for the afternoon event, and by Nakahara Shigeru (Mouri Motonari) and Ishino Ryuuzou (Chousokabe Motochika) in the evening.

The special events will even have their own exclusive merchandise: three acrylic key holders for ¥700 each, and a set of badges for ¥1,500.

The movie Sanada Juuyuushi will be promoted alongside the new Sengoku Basara game

It's been announced that there will be a promotional tie-in between Sengoku Basara: Sanada Yukimura-den and the upcoming movie Sanada Juuyuushi ('Sanada Ten Braves'), Tsutsumi Yukihiko's retelling of the story of the ninja team which supposedly worked for Yukimura as the Sanada Ten Braves. The movie isn't out until September so there will be a Twitter campaign over the summer and a collaboration with the huge Pasela Resorts entertainment chain offering themed food and drink. More details will be confirmed at a later date.

Activities are planned in Japanese amusement arcades to celebrate the game's release

We've had replicas of swords based on those wielded by Masamune and Mitsunari, and now it's Yukimura's turn to have his distinctive spears show up as a prize in game centres across Japan. The replica 'Sanada Yukimura Juumonji Spears' will start appearing in participating amusement arcades from mid-August 2016. They're based on Yukimura's main weapon Shura ('Scarlet Carnage') and they're approximately 140cm long!

In addition, Capcom has announced that fourteen winners will be selected from a photo contest which asks participants to find a Sengoku Basara standee panel in one of seven locations, follow the Capcom Amusement, Chara Cap Official and Capcom Cafe accounts on Twitter, then Tweet a picture using the #幸村伝等身大パネル hashtag. The contest runs between 22nd July and 28th August 2016, and participants will be notified by DM if they've won one of the 'Sanada Yukimura Juumonji Spear' prizes.

A second competition is offering scratchcards for customers who visit one of 33 participating arcades across Japan. Spending more than ¥1,000 on tokens earns two scratchcards, while spending ¥500 on prize machines earns one. The scratchcards award prizes such as Twispa drink carbonation machines and umaibou snacks.

Yet another in-store preview event is announced, this time in Sendai

Fans in the Touhoku region aren't being left out in the recent batches of demonstration events as KobaP will be giving a presentation right in the heart of Sendai this coming Saturday (23rd July 2016). Attendees will have the chance to try the game out, and those who preorder while they're in the store will qualify for a special promotional poster.

Fans who try Sengoku Basara: Sanada Yukimura-den will be given some stickers to commemorate the occasion; the rewards are different for those who choose to try Monster Hunter Stories or BIOHAZARD 7 resident evil instead (hey, I have that notepad and pen set...)

The game's opening movie will be played in Japanese game stores from early August, and fans who visit the preview event may get a sneak peek.

Monday 18 July 2016

News roundup: Catching up on Sanada Yukimura-den news, wrestling, regional events and merchandise

Members of the press were invited to try out Sengoku Basara: Sanada Yukimura-den

The special in-store demonstration/talk event in the Shibuya LABI branch of Yamada Denki took place yesterday but the media were given a sneak peak a week early, which means we already have some official reports about the content Capcom were subsequently showing to customers at the event. Here's what I noticed from the summaries of KobaP's presentation at the press event.
  • Between each chapter, Genda Tesshou (Takeda Shingen's voice actor) narrates the story. Even people who don't know much about Japanese history will find it easy to follow what's happening.
  • The dialogue between characters during each stage is new; the recordings haven't been recycled from previous games.
  • We already knew this but just to clarify, the new versions of Sanada Yukimura and Date Masamune are effectively completely new characters with new move sets, remade from the ground up.
  • The opening movie was shown; it was described vaguely as showing off the Sanada clan warriors and Masamune while T.M.Revolution's Committed RED played. The reporters teased that they weren't allowed to give too much away just yet and fans should keep an eye out for the opening for themselves at the Japanese demonstration events.
The demo gameplay all took place on the Tenmokuzan stage (chapter two) which we've seen before. This gave the attendees the opportunity to try Yukimura, Masayuki and Nobuyuki. The 4Gamer report included some helpful screenshots such as the result screen once you clear a chapter which I've gone ahead and translated:

It's possible to view the main story dialogue through this log screen, so even if you get caught up in the combat you can still catch up on what the characters were saying later on. Unfortunately it doesn't look as though there's an option to replay the lines; a feature which is increasingly common in visual novels:

The graphics for the Sword Clash mechanic have been updated to match the rest of the interface changes:

Finally, after the public event the official Sengoku Basara Twitter account posted a picture of one of Benmaru's special weapons from the game called 信州うさぎ ('Shinshuu Rabbit'). Shinshuu is a part of Japan closely tied to the Sanada clan and famous for its delicious apples, and in Japan it's common to see slices of applies carved to resemble cute bunnies to make them appealing to children. Naturally, the spear is shaped like a carved apple slice with its handle a wooden toothpick. While there's no information about how the weapon is obtained, it seems likely that it's either a joke weapon or some kind of bonus item.

There's also an Ashigaru-kun report from the Famitsu Presents Sengoku Basara: Sanada Yukimura-den Summer Early Access Gathering event a couple of weeks ago. No new information, but there are a few pictures which show the venue and given a good experience of the atmosphere.

Masamune is the latest Sengoku Basara character to don a wrestling costume

A new section has appeared on the official Sengoku Basara: Sanada Yukimura-den website to list the game's planned DLC. The first (and so far, only) DLC reveal was announced this week, and it's the costume the Sengoku Basara team originally designed for wrestler Gotou Hirooki, the 'Daredevil Of Chaos'. Date Masamune will be wearing the 'NJPW Gotou Hirooki Ver.' outfit in Yukimura-den as an optional paid extra available through PSN.

The 'Thunder God' costume originally debuted in the real world a year ago during the first New Japan Pro-Wrestling (NJPW) collaboration for Sengoku Basara 4 Sumeragi, and I was half expecting it to appear as paid DLC for that game back at the time. It's good to see it making it back to the game series since the costume looks pretty cool.

An official Gotou Hirooki x Sengoku Basara t-shirt is also available for ¥3,000 to celebrate the collaboration.

And of course, it wouldn't be a Capcom announcement without a little teasing. Gotou has a new crimson 'Red Thunder God' costume designed by the Sengoku Basara team - how long will it be before this one makes it into one of the games? And who will wear it?

A roundup of the latest promotional videos for the new game

A new Sengoku Basara: Sanada Yukimura-den video was released last week showing Benmaru and Bontenmaru in action. It's officially known as the third gameplay clip for those keeping track, since the Sanada Trials clip has a different title.

In addition, fans who follow the official Twitter account and share the recent gameplay clips highlighting the leads' moves and Basara techniques using the #幸村伝アクション動画 hashtag before 25th July will be entered into a prize draw to win Sengoku Basara merchandise.

Next week offers two chances for live clips from the game, with Capcom TV promising a feature about the game on Wednesday 20th July 2016 and the third hour-long official Sengoku Basara: Sanada Yukimura-den broadcast scheduled for Thursday 21st July 2016. Both shows start at 20:00 Japan time on their respective dates.

Capcom TV is going to highlight the Sanada Trials gameplay demonstration it failed to deliver in the previous episode, while the guests for the Thursday broadcast will be Saaya (host), KobaP (series producer), Yamamoto Makoto (series director) and veteran seiyuu Hoshi Souichirou (Sanada Yukimura). It sounds as though it will be a great episode; we haven't heard from YamamotoD in ages so it will be good to see him standing in for NonakaP!

Capcom promotes historical tourism, in the Wakayama region this time

Another regional tie-in event has been announced, this time in Wakayama to tie in with the flurry of interest in the real Sanada Yukimura this year. The Sengoku Basara x Sengoku Wakayama Stamp Rally will run from 1st August until 2nd October 2016 and offers visitors a few fun activities to keep them occupied.

First and foremost is the titular stamp rally, which instruct participants to collect (or print) a pamphlet first so that they can display their progress. They must then travel around various sites in Wakayama to mark their pamphlet with unique stamps which can be found nearby.

When you have collected enough stamps, you can bring your completed stamp sheet to Wakayama Marina City Porto Europe to exchange it for unique Sengoku Basara prizes. The first 1,000 visitors to find all five of the stamps will receive a set of two badges plus a set of three postcards. The first 5,000 participants to find between two and four of the five stamp locations will just receive the postcards.

To make things more fun, standees of Yukimura, Sasuke, Masayuki, Nobuyuki, Masamune, Kojuurou, Ieyasu, Tadakatsu and Magoichi will be placed in train stations and popular locations to invite visitors to take commemorative photographs and mark the occasion.

JR West is offering a special Sengoku Basara Wakayama Free Pass ticket for ¥2,400 (concession price ¥1,200) to give people two consecutive days to explore the region on the JR Wakayama and JR Kishigawa lines, and on Wakayama buses. This offer will run for the full duration of the event.

Yutaka Transport is also getting in on the act by having some of its taxicabs decorated with Sengoku Basara livery from 11th July 2016, to accompany the existing Nankai Electric Railway tie-in which is still running until the end of August. Sanada fans will be spoilt for choice!

More details will be posted on the official Wakayama tourism website here. After translating the page I realised it was also posted on the Capcom Investor Relations page in English already so there's more information there too.

Participation information for Kofu City's summer stamp rally

Meanwhile, Kofu City's successful Sengoku Basara-themed stamp rally is returning between 23rd July and 30th September 2016 and a few more details have been added to the event page. Participants have to scan the QR codes posted at 15 locations around Kofu City in order to collect digital stamps and wallpapers. Three stamps will earn you a KOFU x Sengoku Basara memo pad, eight will award a clear file and twelve stamps is enough to obtain the prize of a lunch tote bag.

The official brochure can be downloaded from the city's tourism website here, or you can find a physical copy at various local government buildings. Visitors will also be able to use their collected stamps to earn special discounts at various local shops and restaurants.

Capcom confirms another batch of Sanada Yukimura-den merchandise

Remember this mysterious merchandise? Sasuke fans can celebrate as the mysterious final design for the acrylic keychains has been confirmed to include him. Even though I was wrong with my guess from the silhouette in that previous post, it's good to see that he wasn't overlooked!

The same is true for the illustration boards; Sasuke has joined the character list.

These items are also joined by two new sets of merchandise. The Sengoku Basara: Sanada Yukimura-den Metal Strap Collection costs ¥5,500 before tax and includes ten different strap designs. The Yukimura and Masamune straps have their 'Phoenix' and 'White Cross' costumes on the larger part with Benmaru and Bontenmaru on the small tags respectively. Everyone else has their clan crest on the smaller tag.

And a new batch of Capcom x B-Side Label stickers will be released on 29th September 2016. The Phoenix, White Cross, Masayuki, Nobuyuki and Childhood designs are ¥400 each before tax, or you can purchase a set of all five for ¥2,000.

Namco post the details of more adorable Sanada Yukimura-den merchandise

Namco's Sengoku Basara: Sanada Yukimura-den x Namco Event Shop 'Chara Pop Store' in Chiba and Osaka's Abeno district (originally mentioned back in June) finally posted the full details of their exclusive merchandise after teasing pictures on Twitter for weeks. Regrettably, the images are quite small.

There are regional-exclusive mini pennants with different designs for the Tokyo and Osaka shops (¥800 each), wooden uchiwa fans (¥750 each), battle flag pen and stand sets (¥1,300 each), magnet and board sets (¥2,400 each), acrylic charms (¥450 each) and wooden charm straps (¥700 each)...

Plus ticket holders (¥1,600 each), 'Chara Pop' stands (¥980 each) and fabric badges (¥550 each).

In addition, the shops will host lucky dips which cost ¥450 to enter. If you're lucky you'll win the top prize of a canvas pouch:

The second place prizes are oversized acrylic key holders:

Next come a range of magnetic clips:

And nobody will go away empty handed, because everyone else wins a collectible Sengoku Basara: Sanada Yukimura-den card.

The next two-in-one novel rerelease is confirmed

The third Kodansha BOX two-in-one edition rerelease, Sengoku Basara 3: Chousokabe Motochika No Shou/Mouri Motonari No Shou ('Chousokabe Motochika Chapter/Mouri Motonari Chapter'), has now been released so we have the full cover artwork.

There are also a couple of preview illustrations to enjoy.

As expected, the fourth and final omnibus rerelease will be Sengoku Basara 3: Ishida Mitsunari No Shou/Tokugawa Ieyasu No Shou ('Ishida Mitsunari Chapter/Tokugawa Ieyasu Chapter') which will finish the series off on 10th August 2016. I hope we get some new novels soon! I imagine that there will be an announcement for the first collected volume of the Sengoku Basara: DOKUGAN manga in the next few weeks since it's already up to chapter six.