Project Sakura Wars Gets Tons of New Details from Producer Tetsu Katano, New Screenshots
Everything we learned about Shin Sakura Taisen through the game's demo event.
Sega held on August 31 a hands-on event with a 30 minutes playable demo of Project Sakura Wars. The event was held at Asakusa Hanayashiki, and 100 fans selected from the “Teikoku Kagekidan Ouengumi” fanclub were able to attend. Multiple outlets were present as well.
At the end of the event, Project Sakura Wars Producer Tetsu Katano also answered some questions, revealing new information on the game. This was a group interview, so all Japanese outlets have more or less the same questions and answers. I’ve read all the interviews and wrote a summary with everything we learned through them.
For obvious reasons, I won’t be reposting here every single screen all the different outlets took, and only included PlayStation Blog and Dengeki’s screenshots in the gallery below.
All outlets were only allowed to take offscreen screenshots, and at around the same points of the demo. So on all sites, you’ll mostly find the same scenes of the demo being shown. You can check out the event reports of 4Gamer, Dengeki, Game Watch (part 2), Famitsu, Inside Games, CNet, Gamer, and Game Maniax.
The demo started with a title screen, which is featured above. Producer Tetsu Katano explained how the battle part of the demo was quite difficult because it was the battle from the fourth chapter of the game. The battle also has an unkillable Orochi/giant snake-like monster appearing at some point, making things more difficult. Katano mentioned some stages in the game have particular gimmicks like that. Stage 4 also has more pitfalls and places where it’s easy to fall, but this is an element included since stage 1, so when playing the final game you should be used to avoiding falls by then.
Tetsu Katano also mentioned the girls can get angry with protagonist Seijuro depending on your actions, like peeping on them. When this happens, you won’t be able to talk with them for a while, meaning your trust levels won’t progress. The demo also reconfirmed the Analog LIPS system having instances of moving the camera equaling moving Seijuro’s point of view. The demo has a scene specifically made for it, where Seijuro ends up seeing Sakura Amamiya changing. If you move the camera to peep, she’ll get angry. Seeing it’s a demo, the angry mechanic wasn’t implemented though, so you could still talk with her. The demo also had an Analog LIPS choice to choose whether Seijuro would speak in a big or a low voice.
Next, Katano explained how bosses in the game could be beaten by raw power alone if you’re strong enough, but each boss requires you to use proper strategy to win against them. Certain bosses are weak against certain types of attacks too. They’ll reveal more about these points later.
In chapter 4’s battle, Seijuro starts with Azami, so you can only switch between controlling them. As you progress through the battle, they reunite with the others, so you can switch with more characters, making things easier. At some point in the game, you’ll also get to choose which members to sortie, like in past Sakura Taisen games. In the second half of the game, it seems like you’ll also be able to switch a sortied member with another member in the reserve during battle. Characters with a high trust level will also support you when you’re not controlling them.
As for how big the map during exploration parts is, Katno mentioned basically half of it is made of the Imperial Theater, and the other half is the Imperial City/Ginza. However, there are many places we haven’t seen yet they’ll reveal later.
Lastly, Katano said Project Sakura Wars‘ main story is fully voiced, and most sub-events are voiced too. Basically, all the most interesting parts you’d want to see voiced are voiced.
Sega also asked players at the event to fill a questionnaire for feedback. Tetsu Katano mentioned that was mostly to check their impressions. He added that it’s unlikely, but not impossible, that some of the ideas proposed there end up in the final game, because they’re already nearly finished with the development.
The end of the demo also featured a “next episode preview”. As previously stated in a staff interview we covered, Project Sakura Wars keeps the anime-like “next chapter preview” found in past games, and also includes actual anime scenes, by studio Sanzigen.
Project Sakura Wars had three live streams with live gameplay so far. You can read our summaries of the first stream, the second stream (part 2) and the third stream. The third stream most notably introduced the London Assault Force characters, designed by Sword Art Online‘s artist Abec.
The next streams will be held at Tokyo Game Show 2019 from September 12 to 15 and will reveal the Berlin Assault Force characters and mecha. The same demo will also be playable a TGS 2019.
If you’re behind on the game’s info, you can take a look at our previous stories. Most notably an interview from the staff, comments from the cast, and the unfinished trailer incident, Sakura Taisen creator Oji Hiroi recently spoke about how the franchise influenced Japanese culture in a Famitsu interview.
PS4 exclusive Project Sakura Wars launches in Spring 2020 in the west. Project Sakura Wars is a temporary title. The game is known as Shin Sakura Taisen in Japan and will launch there on December 12.