Famitsu has published a new interview regarding Shin Sakura Taisen (New Sakura Wars) with producer Katano Tetsu, Sakura Wars series director Terada Takaharu, and development director Ootsubo Tetsuya, which is purported to contain all of the information currently available regarding the game.
The other members of the Combat Revue are discussed next, starting with main heroine Amamiya Sakura. Amamiya Sakura is a girl who joined the Imperial Combat Revue due to her admiration for Shinguuji Sakura of the previous games, and Terada says that this part of her character can be seen in her clothes, such as her use of a ribbon, and says that that her not having the same hairstyle may be due to a lack of self-confidence. Ootsubo says that as she is the main heroine, they spent more time creating her than any other character; Though Tite Kubo’s design was completed at an early stage, building up from there took a lot of effort. Katano chips in on her personality, saying that it shares much in common with previous series heroines (Shinguuji) Sakura, Erica and Gemini, but is also cheerful and somewhat boyish, and also slightly clumsy. He also comments on how they chose her voice actress to match this personality, and coincidentally ended up with one also named Sakura (Ayane). Shinonome Hatsuho is an Edokko and shrine maiden, whom Ootsubo says may be a very Tite Kubo-esque character in a different way from Sakura. He says that while she may remind fans of Kanna from the previous games, she is a completely different sort of character, and that while other new characters may similarly seem like past heroines, they all have entirely different personalities. Terada says that characters end up strange when they try to have them not have similarities with previous ones at all, and that instead of focusing on that, they concentrated on adding more unique elements. Mochizuki Azami, the ninja character is discussed next, and Ootsubo says that while her colourful (bright yellow) clothes may seem unfitting for a ninja, there are reasons for that in the story. Her character is tied to her village’s “108 rules”, which Terada says also tie in to the main story, and results in an incident happening. Ootsubo adds that while the screenshots released make her look quiet and sullen, she actually speaks quite a lot, and is sometimes cute. Anastasia Palma is a top star from Europe, and Ootsubo says that he absolutely wanted to include a girl with brown skin and silver hair. She seems cool, but is usually gentle, and strong at the core. She also plays male parts in theatre. Clarice is the sort of character that Terada wanted to add, a girl of high upbringing. She likes books but also carries some emotional baggage regarding them, which ties in to the main story. Terada says that her tongue is sharper than her face lets on, and that he recommends her to people with “special tastes” who want to be verbally abused by (Clarice’s voice actress) Hayami Saori. He says that she also has her legs showing to make up for the general lack of exposed skin in the characters’ designs this time round.
Katano says that while they are not yet ready to reveal them yet, many other characters such as the members of Combat Revues from other countries or the staff of the Imperial Theatre will also appear, and that some of the cast may be a surprise. The interviewer also asks what happened of the characters from Sakura Taisen 1-5, and Katano says while they are not ready to say yet, he would like to make it clear that Shin Sakura Taisen is a continuation of the series.
The interviewer next asks about the modelling of the characters, and Katano says that they especially put effort into the texture of the eyes, cloth, and skin. From a technical standpoint, the game is a culmination of all of Sega’s efforts, using the Sonic series’ Hedgehog Engine, and knowhow from the Yakuza series in cutscenes, and Terada says that on the other hand, they are constantly under pressure from Sakura Taisen fans in the company who are not on the development team to make a good game. Ootsubo says that he is sure that people will be able to see the effort put into the game once they see it in motion, and hopes that they will be able to show it off soon.
When asked about combat, Katano says that they aimed to make the game easier to play out of consideration for new players, and says to wait for further information.
Ootsubo talks about the Koubu mechs, saying that designs are again by Akitaka Mika, and that a new generation of them is being used, with the new generation abandoning the previous term “Spirit Armour” and being called “Spirit Fighters”. He says that while they are mass produced, this is only for the Flower Division, meaning that there will not be hundreds of them appearing. The names of Kamiyama Seijuurou and Amamiya Sakura’s mechs are also revealed, Kamiyama’s white mech being the Spirit Fighter “Mugen”, and Amamiya’s pink one being an older Spirit Armour, the Type 3 “Koubu”.
The return of the minigames is also confirmed, but Katano says that they are saving details on them for later.
Regarding music in the game, Terada says that there are 70-80 tracks altogether, and that there are more vocal songs this time than ever before, with Ootsubo adding that there are both solo and group songs. They also discuss the new version of the theme song, Geki! Teikoku Kagekidan <Shinshou>, Terada saying that the version used in the trailer cuts the song in an odd manner, as they wanted to include parts that would surprise fans, and Katano says that the full version will be revealed soon.
The interviewer asks if the other revues from around the world will have their own theme songs, and Terada only reiterates that Shin has more vocal songs than ever before. It is mentioned that the real-life revues and concerts are something many fans enjoy about the Sakura Taisen series, and Katano says that while they would like to hold such events, whether or not they can will be up to the fans.
Ootsubo gauges development to be at 40-50%, with the modelling of characters and environments, script, and music completed, and recording of voice acting almost done, and he says that they intend to release it this winter as planned. Terada concludes the interview saying that they hope to be able to release new information as soon as possible, and that as it is a project only made possible by the fans, they will continue to do their best so as to not betray expectations.
Shin Sakura Taisen will be released for the Playstation 4 in Japan in winter 2019, and in the west in spring 2020.