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Sakura Taisen World Project: 7 New Sakura Taisen Games Announced

Today Sega and Red Entertainment held a conference about the future of their series Sakura Taisen in the Akasaka Prince Hotel in Tokyo. And the series is nowhere near ending, despite ST4's 'final' feel: a new project, Sakura Taisen World Project, has been launched. The purpose of the project is to broaden the time, space and way of expressions of the Sakura Taisen universe - which is also a hint at plans to release the series outside Asia. No less than seven related games are planned for the series, six of which are for the PlayStation 2 - it had been announced a year ago that the series would be ported to the PS2. Except for Atsuki chishio ni, all 7 seven games have a TBA release dates, but series' executive producer Hiroi Ouji commented that it should take 3 or 4 years to develop the 7 games.

In other rejoicing news, Sakura Taisen has officially been announced for release in the US and Europe, and under this title! Although it's not known yet what titles are concerned by this announcement or the localization details, it would seem logical that Atsuki Chishio ni could be released too; also Hiroi commented on ST5/ST5 Action's North American release, which means this one is also concerned. The Western logo has also been shown:

Here are the details about each of the seven games:

  • First the Overworks developed PS2 game, Sakura Taisen: Atsuki Chishio ni, to release in Spring 2003. The game is actually a remake of the original Sakura Taisen, which was released in 1996 on the Saturn, to be later ported PC and Dreamcast. The game will however be updated in many ways: it will make use of ST3 and 4's 3D updated battle system for instance, and the 2D graphics and anime cutscenes will be remade to a level "even better than ST4's". One new episode, new endings and special attacks animations will also be added. The story follows the deeds of lieutenant Oogami Ichirou as he is assigned to leadership of a female-only theater/demon-fighting assault group, in a neo-retro fictive 1920s Tokyo. Atsuki chishio ni will also feature related iMode content based on the ST mini-games. For example, Maria's cooking mini game will be playable on the cell phone using this service. The service will start on July 15th. The first screen shots of Sakura Taisen: Atsuki chishio ni can be seen here.

  • Next... Sakura Taisen 5! Sakura Taisen 5: Saraba itoshiki hito yo (ST5: Farewell, Loved Ones) is being developed for the PS2 as well and should be released around 2004. This new installment will take a new departure from the rest of the series and its main character Oogami Ichirou, as it will follow the New York kagekidan: Hoshigumi introduced in the movie... Yes, the game will take place in New York! Using "Broadway, Charleston, Jazz, Al Capone, and the prohibition time" as a background, the game will feature 5 new characters, and the playable character will no longer be Oogami. It seems very likely that the American character introduced in the movie, Ratchet Altair, will play a part in this installment.

  • Although this game may not fall in our coverage in the future, Sakura Taisen 5 Action (tentative title) for PS2 is an action game based on ST5. It follows the storyline of ST5 from a different angle. The nature of the "action" content remains unclear, but the game could be close to ST3's action mini-game Koubu Knuckle. Hiroi Ouji commented that this game would be released after ST5 in Japan, but that the order may be reversed for the American release, as an action-based title could appeal more to an American audience.

  • Sakura Taisen Monogatari - Teito-hen & Paris-hen (Sakura Taisen Story: Imperial Capital Version - Paris Version) will be the first true adventure game in the series, and will focus on the characters of the series. More exactly, on the characters' background stories, which weren't always entirely developed in the previous games. The fans' unanswered questions will thus probably be answered in this new game, that will come in two versions: one will be about the Tokyo characters and the other one will be about the Paris characters.

  • Kouma (tentative) - meaning 'Fallen demons', the enemies in the series - will be another side story to the main series. A prologue to the storyline of ST1-4, Kouma will tell the story of the Anti-Kouma Battle Squadron and the Kouma war. The Kouma war took place a few years before ST1's timeline; four army officers (Yoneda, the director, Ayame, the commander, Kazuma Shinguuji, Sakura's father, and Yamazaki) struggled to fight in the first-ever demon attack in Tokyo. This pre-story is referred to many times in the later games, and the characters involved in it also make appearances in the ST1-4.

  • Sakurahime nishiki emaki (tentative) is a game that will "symbolize the Sakura Taisen World Project's purpose of broadening the time and space of the series". Not much is known about the game, other that it's labelled as a "psycho slip action" game (?) and that it will take place in Sengoku Jidai (Japanese civil war era; 1467-1568).

  • Last, a PC port of Sakura Taisen 3: Is Paris burning? is planned. This a,nouncement doesn't come as a surprise as the two previous ST games had been ported to the PC (and ST4 will probably follow one of these days). The new thing is that Sega is aiming at a global Asian release, as a Chinese version will be released at the same time as the Japanese version.

    In other related Sakura Taisen news, a Sakura Taisen manga has been announced. It will be published from July 26th in Magazine Z (it will not be by Kousuke Fujishima, though). Also, a third OAV series has been announced for December 2002. Its first episode will be a Sumire special, and the other 3 episodes, dubbed "Sakura Taisen: Ecole de Paris" (Paris School), will be ST3 side stories featuring the Paris cast and what they were doing before ST3's timeline. Hiroi Ouji also mentioned more TV series and movie(s) are in project. It was announced the series has now sold over 3,000,000 games. Lastly, the next New Year live show will be playing in Osaka as well.

    Pictures are courtesy of GameWatch, Gpara, GameSpot Japan and Famitsu.com.

    Staff and voice actors Hiroi Ouji ST World Project: Launch ST5: Farewell Loved Ones ST Story Kouma




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  • Updated:
    07.01.02 - 11:16 AM
    Eve C.





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