More details have emerged about Sega's two upcoming Sakura Wars titles. The latest issue of Famitsu magazine reports that, as with previous games in the series, the heroes of Sakura Wars V have their own theater. The "Little Lip Theater," located on Broadway, has as its trademark a giant lip rising from the ceiling. Part of the theater contains a high rise building.
Unlike previous games in the series, though, the members of the Hoshi-gumi ("Star Branch") do not live in the theater itself, but are instead scattered across Manhattan. This means lots of moving throughout Manhattan during the game. Locations in the borough (including Harlem, Mid Town, Theater, Village and Bay Area) are selected by pointing and clicking on a two-dimensional map; once a location is selected, players are free to walk and run around in full 3D--a first for the series. The city can be explored both by day and by night.
As with previous titles, the members of the Hoshi-gumi have a number of toys to aid them in their fight. The battle mecha for Sakura Wars V are called Star; in addition to the traditional landbound robot form, they are capable of transforming into jets, which will allow for strategy battles in the air. Members are transported to the battlefield by an airship called the Ahab.
In other news, three characters from earlier games in the series--Oogami Ichirou, Shinguji Sakura, and Erika Fontaine--will appear in Sakura Wars V: Episode 0 as part of a large set of secret content being prepared for the title. In order to access these characters, players must clear certain game conditions and enter a password; Oogami, Sakura, and Erika can then be used in the game's action stages in place of heroine Gemini Sunrise, with each character piloting their mech and even riding horseback. Sega has recorded new voices for the three characters using the original staff. Other secret content includes new missions and new routes through the game.