Come one, come all, gather around and here a story as old as time. A Japanese developer makes a series of video games that prove to be cult hits in the Western markets. Due to this status, iffy sales numbers, and other factors, the series grounds to a halt around the mid-2000s, doomed to not make another appearance until years later when we've all grown up a lot more and remember the good ol' days playing these games on our couches until the wee hours of the night. That description could be slapped onto a lot of different series, but in this case, we're talking about Sakura Wars. Sakura Wars is a long-running series of video games developed and published by the folks at Sega. They've been spinning out these games since the mid-90s in collaboration with developer Red Entertainment. The games follow groups of young adults fighting off demons with the use of powered, mechanized suits. They're also set in an interesting period of time: the Taish? period of Japan. The games are renowned for their bizarre mixture of visual novel elements, dating sims, and tactical RPGs.

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Nowadays, though, the face of Sakura Wars has changed quite a bit. We got a steady slew of Sakura Wars games between 1996-2010, with a total of 5 mainline games releasing in that timespan. There hasn't been another game since though, and the one that came out in 2010 for us released in 2005 for Japan, so they've been waiting even longer. As luck would have it, a new game has been in development and is now close to release. This time around, though, Red Entertainment is gone in favor of Sega taking up the development helm; a series first. The project, which is going by a temporary name of "Project Sakura Wars" (New Sakura Taisen in Japan), was shown off just the other day in a scheduled live stream hosted by Sega themselves. The live stream showed off just about everything you could want to see from the new title but also reveals that it's going a different route with the gameplay.

Past Sakura Wars games were much more of a tactical occasion. Project Sakura Wars is instead switching gears to be a 3D action game, one with full real-time control over your mech suit. The daily-life and visual novel elements that populate the series can still be found here, however, making the game feel both new and familiar all at the same time. Project Sakura Wars also features a brand new cast of characters, all of whom are given some time in the spotlight during the live stream, showing off their personalities and colorful mechas. The main character, Seijuro Kamiyama, is a naval captain who gets transferred to Tokyo to help lead the Combat Revue stationed there. If you're curious about all of this for yourself, make sure to watch the beautiful trailer down below. It's the best Sakura Wars has ever looked, and we don't have to wait too much longer for it.

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As announced during the stream, Project Sakura Wars is getting a Spring 2020 release window for the rest of the world. Japan, meanwhile, will be receiving the title on December 12th at the end of this year. To say this has been a long time coming would be a massive understatement. The last mainline Sakura Wars title, Sakura Wars: So Long, My Love, initially released in 2005. And as mentioned up above, Western localization for that title took ages. It's thanks to fan passion and excitement that Sega brought the series to a return. Thankfully, Project Sakura Wars also has some notable series veterans under the hood working on the game, including composer Kohei Tanaka and character designer Tite Kubo (known for his famous manga series 'Bleach'). Once the game does release, it will be available exclusively on PlayStation 4. Don't miss out on this one!

Tanner
Tanner

Tanner is a freelance writer. He enjoys all things video games, particularly the weirder ones, and can often be found drinking coffee and trying to get through his backlog.

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