PS4's Sakura Wars Releases In The West This April
Only time will tell if Sega has another Yakuza 0 on its hands.
Though already available in Japan, 2019's Sakura Wars will officially release in the west this year, specifically on April 28. The game is currently only scheduled for PS4, though Sega hasn't made a definitive announcement as to whether Sakura Wars will release for other platforms as well.
Despite its immense popularity in Japan, we're willing to bet there's a chance you haven't heard of the Sakura Wars franchise if you live almost anywhere else. Here's a quick refresher: the Sakura Wars franchise tells the story of the Imperial Combat Revue (specifically the Revue's Flower Division), a group of mecha pilots that fight in a secret war against demons. When not fighting, the Flower Division are performers who put on theatrical productions for the public.
"Localization for the Western release of Sakura Wars was similar to another one of our popular titles, Yakuza 0," Sega of America associate localization producer Andrew Davis said, according to a PlayStation blog post. Sakura Wars will be the sixth game in the Sakura Wars series, taking place 12 years after the events of So Long, My Love.
In Sakura Wars, you play as newly appointed captain Seijuro Kamiyama and are tasked with leading the Flower Division out of the slump they've found themselves. Your interactions with the members of the Flower Division will influence your relationships and the group's dynamics--both while performing and battling demons.
Though Sega hasn't said so, Sakura Wars, for all intents and purposes, feels like the Yakuza 0 of the franchise--an attempt to create a gateway title that could appeal to western audiences looking for a way to jump in. In the aforementioned blog post, Sakura Wars producer Tetsu Katano says that the game is designed so as to also appeal to newcomers.
Long-time fans will find something new in Sakura Wars too. "The previous Sakura Wars used 2D anime-style graphics and a tactical combat system for the battles, which everyone was using back then," Katano said. "However, for this title, 3D has been incorporated to enhance its visual expression, and battles have been changed to action so that users could feel a higher sense of immersion than ever before."
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