Project Sakura Wars Famitsu developer interview tidbits, Oji Hiroi and Satoru Akahori comments

New details from the magazine's 16-page feature.

Project Sakura Wars

The latest issue of Weekly Famitsu has new information on the newly announced Project Sakura Wars for PlayStation 4.

Get the roundup below.

System

  • The story progresses by moving to specific areas and speaking to specific characters to trigger events. Locations and characters that trigger special conversations and events are indicated by icons.
  • Players can use a steam-powered portable terminal called a Smatron, an evolution of the Mobile Kinematron, to do things like contact other characters and display the map.

Developer Interview Tidbits

  • Sakura Wars winning first place in the Sega Fan Fes 2016 fan poll was the starting point of Project Sakura Wars.
  • Since it has been more than 10 years since the previous game, the sense of Project Sakura Wars being a reboot is stronger than that of it being a sequel. Additionally, the staff has significantly changed and the platform is PlayStation 4. With all of that lumped together, it could be summarized in the word “New,” thus the title. (The Japanese title of Project Sakura Wars is New Sakura Wars.)
  • Speaking of the main heroines of Sakura Wars, they wear kimono and wield swords. That was the combination that first came to the mind of character designer Tite Kubo. He is not only the character designer, but also the designer of each character’s sword. He has also proposed other ideas.
  • Masashi Kudou, who works on the anime version of Bleach, is responsible for the visual settings when making 3D models. Tite Kubo vouched for him, saying, “If anyone can do it, it’s Masashi Kudou.”
  • Tite Kubo works fast. When I came back to the office after our meeting, he already drew up a rough draft. His speed is incredible.
  • While 10 years have passed since the previous title, the “steam civilization” and “Taisho era romance” settings have not changed. The biggest change from the past is that the Combat Revues, which once existed behind the scenes, are now widely known.
  • The story is a Sakura Wars-esque fantasy.
  • Script writer Takaaki Suzuki, who is known for Girls and Panzer, has offered historical accuracy suggestions.
  • We still have many secret weapons (within the staff).
  • The Great Combat Revue World War is like a global sports festival. In Project Sakura Wars, it is the third one to be held. It is where the Combat Revues from all over the world gather in the Imperial capital and compete in tournament format. However, the tournament that should have been peaceful takes a serious turn…
  • A “Trust Level” exists between you and the members of the Imperial Combat Revue: Floral Division. The fluctuation in Trust Level affects your battle parameters, as well as the enables the use of cooperative skills. There are also individual endings with each member. The basic framework, such as “Next” notices, has not changed.
  • The graphics are full 3D. The entire map was made anew, starting from the Imperial Theater. You can even walk around freely inside buildings.
  • Movement, events, and conversations that occur during adventure parts all happen on the same 3D map.
  • LIPS and Click Mode, the latter of which is also known as “Touch Mode,” return and incorporate elements unique to 3D graphics while also changing form. By linking the analog LIPS with camera control, you can do things like get a good look at something from top to bottom. Click Mode also has new mechanics. We’re doing our best to the point that CERO’s inspection does not have any effects.
  • Protagonist Seijuurou Kamiyama is a flexible character who can become the lover or the comedian depending on the player’s choices. He is an amusing guy. Expect some “scenes” happen in front of the shower room, similar to past titles.
  • Sakura is a little clumsy. Hatsuhou is a different type compared to Kanna. There is a meaning behind Azami’s clothes. Claris has a sharp tongue and sometimes scolds others with phrases like, ‘Please go to hell!’ She is recommended to those want to be scolded by her voice actor Saori Hayami.
  • Each country’s Combat Reveue and the Imperial Theater staff also appear. The casting will surprise everyone.
  • Anime movies produced by Sanzigen that total about 40-plus minutes are being prepared. All other scenes are 3D.
  • Project Sakura Wars is an adjacent work to the previous entries in the series.
  • Mech design is again being handled by Mika Akitaka.
  • There are 70 to 80 songs. We’re aiming for the most songs in the series. We’re preparing a number of songs from those where everyone sings to solos. Whether the Combat Revues of each country have songs is a secret.
  • Development is 40 to 50 percent complete. Basic parts such as character and background modeling, scenario, and music are complete. Voice recording is also nearing the final stages, and after that is the stage where we put it all together as a game.
  • The plan is to keep our winter release (in Japan). We want to share more news as quickly as possible.

Staff

  • Development Director: Tetsuya Ootsubo
  • Producer: Tetsu Kitano
  • Setting and Scenario Summary: Takanobu Terada
  • Main Character Design: Tite Kubo
  • Music: Kouhei Tanaka
  • Story Composition: Jiro Ishii
  • Script: Takaaki Suzuki
  • Character Visual Setting: Masashi Kudou
  • Main Mech Design: Mika Akitaka
  • Original Work: Oji Hiroi
  • Executive Producer: Haruki Satomi

Comments from Oji Hiroi, Satoru Akahori, and Atsushi Morita

  • Oji Hiroi (Sakura Wars creator): “I’m really excited to hear that the work I created over 20 years ago is becoming a completely new Sakura Wars with new staff. Alongside the evolution of technology, the direction of the story and and the times are also changing. I am very much looking forward to this challenge and delivering a new ‘dream sequel’ to the fans.”
  • Satoru Akahori (Sakura Wars I to V writer): “I’m very much looking forward to the latest Sakura Wars. A bizarre story like that of Sakura Wars requires youth to be written as a scenario, and even with previous games I always thought, ‘this is tough on an old guy.’ It can be rough around the edges, that’s fine, I just hope it’s a youthful scenario with momentum. At any rate, I get to enjoy Sakura Wars from a the perspective of a fan for the first time, so I’m happy!”
  • Atsushi Morita (Sony Interactive Entertainment Japan Asia president): “Even though I should have forgotten, that one phrase will pop up in my head when I least expect it. And the memories of those days. That’s the kind of game Sakura Wars is to me. It was an entirely original concept that developed across various media. And after over 10 years, it returns as Project Sakura Wars. I’m very happy. It took first place in the fan poll. Both fans who have been waiting and new fans alike will surely get excited, anxious, laugh, and cry. PlayStation is ready for it. I too am ready to cry.”

Project Sakura Wars is due out for PlayStation 4 this winter in Japan, and in spring 2020 in North America and Europe.

Thanks, Famitsu, Ryokutya2089 (2, 3), and Games Talk.

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