New Sakura Taisen V Information Revealed
05.15.05 - 8:51 PM

Sega has updated the official website of its highly anticipated PlayStation 2 title Sakura Taisen V: Saraba Itoshiki Hito yo. With this newest installment, the series' ARMS (Active and Realtime Machine System) battle system has undergone several changes. Apart from aerial combat, the following changes or additions have been implemented: A little map called area window now shows players where their units are positioned at any given time during battle. This comes in handy, since the battle maps are divided into various areas.

If protagonist Shinjirou is in trouble during battle, he can call on a party member to come to his rescue by using the "help me" command. This neat feature however can only be used once per battle, though. Another Shinjirou-exclusive, albeit not new command is mission technique. Series veterans will remember this feature as a tool allowing them to change the configuration of the action gauge. The third Shinjirou-exclusive command is "cover". The selected party member will be shielded from damage through this command and the heroine's affection for Shinjirou will also increase. However, similar to "help me", the number of times "cover" can be used per battle is limited.

Combo attacks combining the attack power of two or three party members have also been added. Normally, a combo attack is executed by two party members. However, if three party members with high combination levels are located within a certain area, players can execute a combo attack featuring three characters. Defensive counters also return, as occasionally party members will not only block a foe's attack on a friend, but also cancel his turn.

Series fans can look forward towards a short reunion with the series' previous protagonist Ichirou Oogami and heroine Sakura, as both will make an appearance at the beginning of the game. It was confirmed that the new protagonist Shinjirou is in fact Oogami's nephew.

As previously announced, Sakura Taisen V's main villain will be Oda Nobunaga, who aims to rebuild Azuchi Castle in New York. Nobunaga's sidekicks include Ran Maru, a little girl with rabbit ears, the powerful female warrior Kokuryuu Hime, the evil monk Dokubo Bou, Yume Dono who is capable of controlling bugs and Tsugaru Bi, a beautiful man capable of turning others into stone.

Sakura Taisen V: Saraba Itoshiki Hito yo will be released in Japan on July 7th. The standard version will retail for 7,800 yen ($72.66 US), while the limited edition Showtime Box will carry a price tag of 14,000 yen ($130.42 US).

Chris Winkler