Banpresto planning new samurai game

New 3D action game, called Yoshitsune-ki, will be based on the historical warrior Minamotono Yoshitsune.

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TOKYO--Banpresto is developing a new 3D samurai action game based on the historical warrior Minamotono Yoshitsune, the weekly Jump magazine reports. The game is titled Yoshitsune-ki, and its character designs will be handled by Takeshi Obata, the author of Jump magazine's popular manga series Hikaru No Go and Death Note. It is scheduled for release in spring 2005 in Japan for the PlayStation 2.

Yoshitsune-ki will be the second game based on Minamotono Yoshitsune scheduled for a 2005 release. From Software announced last month that it is also planning to release an action game based on the tragic 12th-century warrior early in the year. The timing of the two releases is not a coincidence; both are trying to cash in on a TV drama series depicting the life of Yoshitsune, which will run on Japanese national public broadcasting next year. As a side note, the actor to play the role of Yoshitsune in the series will be Hideaki Takizawa, who starred in the Japanese commercial for Final Fantasy X.

Jump magazine, which got the first break on Yoshitsune-ki since one of its artists is doing the game's character designs, will release more detailed information on the game later in the month.

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