Sakura Taisen V Release Event Report
07.08.05 - 12:18 PM

With Sakura Taisen V: Saraba Itoshiki Hito yo going on sale in Japan today, series mastermind Ouji Hiroi, director Takaharu Terada, chief producer Akira Nishino and 100 fans gathered at the official Sakura Taisen store in Tokyo's Ikebukuro district to commemorate the PlayStation 2's game release.

Addressing the audience, Hiroi first said that he was pretty nervous. While the game was still in development, he was pretty confident, but that confidence had started to fade away. Now he wondered, whether it was a mistake to make New York the game's stage. He then mused over the fact, that while his field of expertise was creating games for a male audience, this time a female (Satoru Akahori) had written the script.

After Hiroi, Nishino and Terada talked about the development of Sakura Taisen V. The New York Kagekidan featured in Sakura Taisen V first appeared in the heads of the developers when they were still working on Sakura Taisen 3. Ouji Hiroi had originally planned for Sakura Taisen 4 to take place in New York, but at this point company management wanted the game to be released for PlayStation 2, while the developers insisted on a Dreamcast release. Eventually, the game was released for Dreamcast after being in development for only one year. Afterwards, the original plan for Sakura Taisen 4 was revived for Sakura Taisen V. Interestingly enough, this means Hiroi originally had no plans to continue the Teito/Paris Kagekidan storyline after Sakura Taisen 3.

Asked about the characters, Hiroi explained that there was a big difference between former protagonist Ichirou Oogami and his successor Shinjirou Taiga. From the very beginning the former was an elite solider capable of doing whatever he was ordered to do. However, with Shinjirou, he will grow slowly but surely as Sakura Taisen V's story moves forward, until he will eventually face Oda Nobunaga in the game's final showdown.

Since Sagitta Weinberg is a lawyer, it will feel as if there is a seperate court-themed adventure game included in Sakura Taisen V. While the trio again confirmed that there will be an ending sequence for Ratchet Altair, they said it won't be easy to reach it.

Sakura Taisen V: Saraba Itoshiki Hito yo is available for 7,800 yen ($69.55 US). The limited edition Showtime Box retails for 14,000 yen ($124.83 US).

Chris Winkler

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