New Sakura Taisen 3 Artwork & Info!
For those not familiar with the first storyline-tidbits of Sakura Taisen 3 ~ Paris wa moeteiru ka (which translates to Sakura Wars 3: Is Paris burning?), Ichirou Oogami, the main character of the series, has been sent to France at the end of Sakura Taisen 2, to help with the creation of a new Assault Group, the Paris Kagekidan. Five new girls are introduced. Developed on the Dreamcast, Red Company's upcoming hit is already one of the 3 most expected games this year in Japan.
One new thing in this installment is the possibility of walking around the streets. In the previous Sakura Taisen games, you could only roam around the theater, while in Sakura Taisen 3, Oogami will also be able to explore the streets of Paris! There will be more events occurring in the streets, which will be in 3D, while the characters will have the usual hand-drawn anime look.
As for the staff, the scenario is, as always, written by Satoru Akahori, music is composed by Kouhei Tanaka, and the mecha-design is by Mika Akitaka. And of course Ooji Hiroi is directing the game.
Like we previously said, the recent Hanagumi Preview campaign has revealed more info on ST3, with various speeches and interviews of the staffers. When asked whether the members of the former Flower Section would make an appearance, Ooji Hiroi replied "Of course they will show up!" (check our interview for more details). "The Imperial Hanagumi will perform 3 new songs", he adds. Where or how those songs will be performed is yet unknown, and the Imperial Hanagumi (as opposed to the Paris Hanagumi) will supposedly appear only as guests. As previously said, the ST1/2 Hanagumi members will be able to communicate with Ichirou through either letters or through the Kinematron (a video telephone invented by Hanagumi member Kohran). The girls from the Japanese Teigeki will supposedly come to Paris for the summer holiday, too.
Mr Kouhei Tanaka, the composer, who was also one of the guests of the Hanagumi Preview, talked about the new opening song. That's right, Geki! Teikoku Kagekidan will no longer be the opening song. The newly-made song's title is Mihata no moto ni (Beneath the Flag), and not much is known about its style or lyrics. The performers are of course the girls from the Paris Kagekidan (namely Erica/Noriko Hidaka, Glycine/Saeko Shimazu, Coquelicot/Etsuko Kozakura, Lobelia/Kikuko Inoue, and Hanabi/Yoshino Takamori). Will the new song have as much impact as its predecessor? Mihata no moto ni will supposedly premiere on the Internet -- great news for us online Sakura Taisen fans!
Another new feature of Sakura Taisen 3 is the meal time talks: the characters will be able to chat while having dinner, for example. Oogami will not be lodging in the Theater like he used to -- he will have an appartment instead. What about the traditional evening round, you wonder? Well, maybe the meal talks will replace them in a way. The new Kagekidan's five new girls are also actresses/singers as "alibi" jobs! They will perform in the cabaret-looking Chattes Noires theater. The Koubu (the group's mechs) will now be operated directly with the controller, without having to give instructions as in ST1 & 2. Also, the LIPS (Live Interaction Picture System) now has analog support! And you will be able to use data from the DC remakes of Sakura Taisen 1 & 2 in Sakura Taisen 3.
Sakura Taisen 3: Is Paris burning? is scheduled for a late Autumn release. Until then, we have five new character faces' artwork available here!