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08 August 2012 @ 11:39 pm
The return of horribly TL;DR reviews  

Well, I've been obsessed with the Sengoku/Warring States era lately. My obsessions usually involve consuming and comparing lots of media. I'd like to review my favourites properly sometime because I usually don't bother enumerating why I like something if I like it, but first, I think I'll launch into some criticism. There's this popular game/anime series, Sengoku Basara. I wanted to find out what exactly makes it so popular, so I plunged right in some time ago.

Basara is...oh dear. I went into it fully prepared to accept an alternate interpretation, but nothing could have prepared me for what it actually was like. It may seem weird it's me saying that, when I'm usually the person who is all about reinterpretation (it'd be hypocritical to pretend my favourite series of the moment, Samurai Warriors, doesn't involve reinterpretation on some pretty major levels). Why the problem with Basara?

Because they've reinterpreted everything so much there's nothing left. And it is not done in the kind of brilliant way that would make that sort of thing not only workable, but awesome. I was going to write a huge paragraph of examples, but actually...let me just elaborate on the biggest ones and then assure you that there's a lot more where these came from. This is all from the first season of the anime. I'll rephrase that: this is all from twelve episodes, which is probably how I managed to plough through them all. Well, me and the unwitting victim of my suggestion to watch this, Che. I would like to publicly apologize for making her go through all this with me and for being such an annoying bastard about it. (I'd also like to direct you to her own totally awesome review.)

And now. Some of my issues with this series, illustrated:

Exhibit 1: Honda Tadakatsu. He's a giant robot. Yes, I know the height in weaponry at that time was rifles, but Basara routinely shows machineguns and robots. Like, seriously. Our authentic reaction here:

cherrytruck: OK SERIOUSLY
cherrytruck: SERIOUSLY AM I WATCHING FEUDAL JAPAN WITH
oudeteron: ...OKAY THAT'S OOC
cherrytruck: ROCKET ENGINES
oudeteron: LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOL
oudeteron: I LOVE HOW WE'RE LIKE
cherrytruck: WHAT THE
oudeteron: YOU: ROCKET FUCKING ENGINES
                             ME: Well that's OOC

[And a longer one]
cherrytruck: I MEAN COME ON I CAN HANDLE A LOT OF RIDICULOUS, LOOK AT SW
cherrytruck: AND DW
cherrytruck: BUT THIS XD
oudeteron: BUT SW IS LIKE
oudeteron: ACADEMIC COMPARED TO THIS
cherrytruck: FFFFFFFFFFF SORRY I CANNOT GET OVER THE HI TECH TRANSFORMER HONDA XD
cherrytruck: SDFJKSHDFSDF
oudeteron: THAT DRILL
cherrytruck: AHAHA
cherrytruck: AT LEAST IT'S NOT...*THE* DRILL SDFJK

*The Drill from Neon Genesis Evangelion. DON'T ASK.

[...]

oudeteron: IS THAT A FUCKING MACHINE GUN
oudeteron: I MEAN NOT THAT NO [Nouhime] WOULDN'T BE BADASS WIELDING ONE BUT OH GOD
cherrytruck: HAHAHAHA SERIOUSLY
cherrytruck: I'M TORN BETWEEN "WOO BADASS" AND "WHAT THE HECK IS A MACHINE GUN DOING IN FEUDAL JAPAN"
oudeteron: SDJKFGSJKDGSDGJK
oudeteron: MACHINE GUN? HOW ABOUT A FREAKING ROCKET LAUNCHER
cherrytruck: LOL SERIOUSLY
oudeteron: NUKES?!!1
cherrytruck: Also what's with No attacking Ieyasu and Honda, I thought they were like buddies xD
oudeteron: Yeah, I dunno XD
cherrytruck: WELL IN THIS ANIME I DO NOT KNOW ANYTHING
cherrytruck: STILL, I'D TAKE NO WITH A MACHINE GUN OVER TRANSFORMER HONDA
oudeteron: AT LEAST SHE'S STILL HUMAN
cherrytruck: I CAN NEVER GET OVER TRANSFORMER HONDA XD
oudeteron: AND LITERAL DEMON ODA
oudeteron: ACTUALLY THOUGH
oudeteron: LET'S CALL THIS SERIES HONDAM WING

[...]

cherrytruck: IS THIS GONNA DERAIL INTO COMPLETE HISTORICAL INACCURACY? XD
oudeteron: PFFF I MARKED THAT MOMENT WHEN ROCKET ENGINES APPEARED
oudeteron: LOLOL I
cherrytruck: WELL OKAY THAT TOO BUT XD
oudeteron: I DIDN'T REALIZE THEY WERE BEING LITERAL IN THE INTRO
oudeteron: IT SAYS THE COMBUSTION ENGINE ROARS
cherrytruck: LOL
oudeteron: EXCEPT THAT ONE SEEMED NUCLEAR
cherrytruck: THIS IS SOMEHOW MORE RIDICULOUS THAN GUO HUAI CARRYING A MACHINE GUN IN ANCIENT CHINA

[...]

oudeteron: POKEBALLS MAKE MORE SENSE THAN THIS

[...]

oudeteron: THIS GUY IS JESUS
oudeteron: ...THEY'RE ALL JESUS


Back to Honda in this series: how can you take a general so bone-chillingly awesome that he's said to never have sustained a single injury in combat, who had a spear that halved dragonflies for merely sitting on it, turn him into a giant robot, and have the end result be LESS badass than the original? I mean, like, come again??? Being a giant chronologically-impossible robot could have been used to "explain" the fact that he was never injured in battle, but when you blow up that robot twice, then it just serves no purpose to write him that way in the first place, does it? Aside from shooting everyone's suspension of disbelief to the moon.


Exhibit 2: Oda Nobunaga. He is introduced as evil. Then he stays evil. Then the series finishes and he's going on about evil. In-your-face evil, shoot-sister-on-sight evil, mass murder evil, ominous music plays evil (the music isn't that bad by itself), can't-talk-without-an-evil-growling-drawl evil, drinking-from-skulls evil (which IRL he did but some accounts say it was "out of respect", which I admit is pretty idiosyncratic but at least it's not one-dimensional villainy, which is all Basara ever delivers). It's clear the people who made this series thought that driving the point home repeatedly would make it stick and we'd all think "oooh, he's so evil". But, newsflash: it was plain overdone to me. Basing an entire character on how evil he is and simplifying him down to that does one thing: it makes any character development impossible. It makes tension impossible (unless it's the tension of "who he's gonna kill off next"). To a huge extent, to me, it makes giving a crap about the character impossible, because when someone's this flat and boring, it's not engaging at all. He had one funny moment where he punishes Mitsuhide by pouring sake on his head and another where it looks like Mitsuhide's boosting his morale, but those were one-off scenes and that was that. Almost at the end of the season, Yukimura informs us that Oda is pure evil. Dude, you don't say, we didn't notice! It's not like that's the fucking extent of his character here or anything!

cherrytruck: SERIOUSLY IT'S LIKE
cherrytruck: THEY MADE HIM SATAN
oudeteron: LOOOOOL
oudeteron: EXCEPT HE'S FROM HEAVEN
oudeteron: NOW HOW DOES THAT WORK
cherrytruck: LUCIFER?!
oudeteron: ...YEAH XD
oudeteron: WELL BUGGER

[More because seriously][...]

oudeteron: TL;DR THEY'VE MADE HIM BAD
oudeteron: THEY MADE HIM WORSE THAN THE BAD ROMAN EMPERORS SONG

[...]

oudeteron: AH WELL
oudeteron: LET'S RENAME THIS SERIES
oudeteron: TO "SENGOKU DEVIL ODA WEARS PRADA"

[...]


cherrytruck: OUR ODA IS LIKE
cherrytruck: LIU BEI COMPARED TO BASARA!ODA

[...]

oudeteron: BUT REALLY YOU KNOW WHAT I MEANT
oudeteron: IN THIS [Samurai Warriors] THEY CALL ODA A DEMON BECAUSE HE'S SUCH AN ASSHOLE
oudeteron: AND HE REMAINS AN ASSHOLE TO THEM
oudeteron: WHILE ALSO REVEALING HIS HUMANITY
cherrytruck: YEAH XD
oudeteron: THAT'S WHAT MAKES IT POWERFUL ;A;
cherrytruck: PLOT TWIST: ODA'S ALSO HUMAN!1!!1!
oudeteron: XDDDD
oudeteron: OH GEEZ IN BASARA HE'LL PROBABLY BE KILLED WITH A SILVER BULLET ON A PIKE
cherrytruck: IS THAT SO


Exhibit 3: Characterization in general. It's kind of one-size-fits-all. Everyone (or almost) yells. All the time. About everything. Sometimes it's done in a way that works - for example, while I'm not entirely sure about Shingen yelling all the time, at least his friendly shouting-matches with Yukimura are cute. But most of the time, it's gratuitous and just screams laziness instead of giving the characters distinct voices. Let's use a comparison with my fave, SW2, which has pretty cheesy voice acting a lot of the time, but all the characters sound like themselves. You don't confuse them with one another, because they're not all given generic tough guy shouty voices. (You know what happens when you're operating in overdrive non-stop? People forget that it's supposed to be overdrive.) For instance, Kanetsugu is very soft-spoken in SW2, and I think he raises his voice during one fairly late stage in the whole game. That's what makes it stand out, that's how you can tell shit just got real. In Basara, he appears once, generically yells, then displays a flurry of incompetence and disappears. The exact same treatment is given to Kotaro as well. Later on, Yoshihiro just gets killed off in about three seconds, and that's his first appearance. That is a lot of overly-fast doing away with characters who should be interesting, memorable, and competent.


Exhibit 4: Mori Ranmaru. Not only do they make him nonsensically young in the year Honnoji happened, they don't even hint at any sort of relationship between him and Oda ever. Which, you know, I don't particularly want to ponder at that ridiculously young age they gave him, fair enough. The problem is, they shouldn't have made him that young. And another thing? They gave him a freaking Hollywood ending.

oudeteron: IT'S WHAT YOU NEED IF YOU SERVE LORD SKULLDRINKER
cherrytruck: OBVIOUSLY XD
cherrytruck: I'm interested to see how he treats Ranmaru though xD
oudeteron: FFF THAT BOMB XD
oudeteron: And is Ranmaru even in this XD*
oudeteron: ..........
oudeteron: I READ THAT AS "SHIRTLESS"
oudeteron: THE SHIRTLESS ARMOUR OF TAKEDA

*He was, and then we wished he hadn't been.

There are no Hanzo, Sakon, or...well, you get the picture. People who should enter into it sooner or later are inexplicably missing. But on the other hand, Basara invents characters. Oh, how it invents them.


Exhibit 5: Kasuga. Now, I'm not claiming that a character having boobs is bad. Actually, I'm not even going to say fanservice as such is bad. It can shine when it, you know, makes sense for the character. When it's someone who loves showing off their body, like Kaz in MGSPW, it's not even ridiculous when you're taking close-ups of their speedo-clad crotches. Because you can tell the attention is enjoyed. Or to use an anime example, Neon Genesis Evangelion comes to mind where the boob-service is mostly limited to Misato, who is 1) older than the main trio, 2) unfazed by people ogling her, and 3) still a full-fledged character with a personality and so on. But, unsurprisingly, when you make up a character with the sole purpose of 1) pointing out that she has big boobs, 2) accentuating said boobs with a historically-impossible latex suit, 3) literally making her jizz from being talked to every other episode, and 4) giving her a token het romance with the resident god of war, I think it's safe to say you're being supremely fucking lazy.

(There's an awesome thing about Kenshin in this series: they didn't shy away from making him look beautiful, as he supposedly was, instead of macho. They even gave him a fairly androgynous voice, and to be fair he seems like he doesn't uncritically return the Token Het Romance [but then again, we all know not everything has to happen on screen, so moot point]. I love the fact that they actually did use his possible gender nonconformity. This is what got the series the three stars I gave it, and it's a testament to how disappointing the rest of it was that this didn't catapult it to an instant favourite with me.)

Anyway. The audience is hammered with the fact that Kasuga's only purpose in this story is to look like sex on legs repeatedly. Even her sparsely distributed badass moments are immediately countered with moments of comic relief and/or disaster, informing us over and over again that klutzy, high-strung eye candy no one really takes seriously is all her character was created for. She's talking? Look at boobs. Kenshin's talking to her? Look at boobs almost falling out of the physically impossible suit. She's fallen to the ground? Look at boobs/ass. She's crying or actually for once allowed five seconds of introspection? Hey, look at that ass conveniently placed right in focus instead of something boring like her face!

If I were the editor for the writers of this series, I'd take a red pen and write "space out the gratuitous boob/crotch/ass shots and at least make them fucking contextual. Let her do something now and then." Especially with how she's coded as a somewhat shy, too-clumsy-for-a-ninja character, the constant in-your-face fetishization crosses right over to creepy. There's an ever better way to exemplify all that's trainwrecked about this character: all the other ninjas are dressed somewhat like you'd imagine a ninja to be. She's a ninja and you wonder how she can move. The guys wear clothes primarily designed to do shit in; Kasuga wears clothes primarily designed to look at (even though they're historically impossible). Ponder that for a minute.


Exhibit I-lost-count: Takeda Shingen. He's one of the few characters in this who didn't come off as one-dimensional, but that doesn't help much when he had almost no rivalry with Kenshin. Like, seriously, it was barely hinted at, and it should have been important. His relationship with Yukimura was nice, but yeah.

oudeteron: LOL SHINGEN YOU CREEP
cherrytruck: LOL
oudeteron: SAY IT YUKIMURA, SAY IT
cherrytruck: JIHJKHASDFDF


I could've dealt with some of these drawbacks if the story had been genuinely compelling. But as things went, I was just sitting there going "it has to get good now...now...NOW?" and it never did. There are a few bright moments, but that's it. I've even checked out some footage of the game, in case the anime was seriously misinterpreting it and I was looking in the wrong place, but then I saw Mitsunari also yelling and being a murder machine and...yeah. I should stop expecting so much.   

So, I watched Basara to find out why it seems to be more popular than SW. The result of this experiment is...I still don't understand. Most of the characters are more on the side of caricature, but they're too similar to one another for it to be much fun. There are a few moments that stand out to me, e.g. I LOL'd endlessly at that scene where Mitsuhide gets sake poured over his head from a skull. He licks it up gladly; they didn't even play up his abstaining habits. Because that would be characterization. (SW devotes several separate convos to him being a teetotaler and how it makes him interact with characters who drink/ask him to drink, but such petty details are beneath Basara.) I'm sort of glad I watched it for the trainwreck and the lulz, but I don't think I'm even going to follow the second season unless I'm feeling super masochistic. Even then, though, I might as well cover myself in bees if I want to feel pain that bad.

I wanted to include more Sengoku-related reviews here, some of them being of things I actually like, but Che bullied me into posting this one separately, so enjoy this giant grudgepost. On the other hand, we saw this in June or something, so it may be for the best I finally wrote it down. M'BAD. I'll still do the others as well; it might just take some time. [For the curious with preliminary ratings]They're Samurai Warriors 2 (A+), Mirage of Blaze (5/10), Musashi manga (6/10), Sekigahara documentary (7/10), Fuurin Kazan series with GACKT AS KENSHIN (8/10), Shogun: Warlord Edition if I manage to play it without losing all the time, and Tenchijin if I manage to watch more than two episodes soon enough. THEY WON'T ALL BE AS LONG AS THIS POST, I promise.

...I might have forgotten something.

 
 
 
Cherry: Big Boss Naked Camocherrytruck on August 9th, 2012 10:29 am (UTC)
HA HA HA, WHAT A STORYMARK
Cherry: Kazcherrytruck on August 9th, 2012 12:30 pm (UTC)
Okay no here's my real comment

First off, APOLOGY ACCEPTED :3 And lol thanks for the free advertisement

I have aleady expressed my opinions of which I agree with you, so I guess there's no point in me going on about it xD But yeah, I noticed everybody seems to like yelling in the show. Except maybe Oichi, poor thing xD Even if SW2 voices were cheesy and not as professional compared to Basara, I definitely prefer their voices as they're far more unique and at least have character in them.

I have a feeling they gave Ranmaru a happy Hollywood ending because they want to establish he was good-hearted and they felt bad making him go down with Nobunaga, so they decided they should let him off with a happy fate. But it's still disappointing that they don't address why he works for this version of Nobunaga, or even slightly expand on his character.

The sake-pouring scene was epic though. I wish someone put up a video of it on Youtube so that we could watch it over and over again.

HEY NOW, if you posted this review along with others your whole entry would be super long AND MIGHT NOT EVEN FIT TO THE LJ CHARACTER LIMIT.

Your list of things you need to review makes me wonder if I should go review other things like films we've recently watched together xD
See you later, instigator: Peace Walkeroudeteron on August 9th, 2012 03:36 pm (UTC)
YAY :33 And sure thing! You included pictures, I included our terrible liveblogging.

Oichi doesn't yell, true, but does she ever say anything other than "Nagamasa-sama"? I should've mentioned that, come to think of it! And I don't know if Basara sounded more professional...unless of course you mean professional battle cries. In SW, I think the main problem with the voice acting is that sometimes it's overblown for the situation (like all the "LOOK OUT!!11 HERE I COME" proclamations), but that may just be because they recorded it separately without knowing the context it would be put into (just my speculation). In some of the chapter intros, I also notice that the character's catchphrases might be said in markedly different tones from each other, again because they didn't record them as they then appeared in the game, but at least this doesn't happen with everyone or all the time. Aaaagh, sorry for the tl;dr! Even if they were total amateurs, I'd still prefer them because everyone at least sounds different.

You might be on the right track there! Still, it's silly for them to feel "bad" about a historical event to the point that they exchange it for pointless cheese. Come to think of it, I don't even know why he was included in Basara. He didn't seem to do much, and nullifying his relationship with Oda takes away most of his actual importance to this story.

...well, have we tried to search for that scene by itself yet? XD

Ahaha like I said, I won't tl;dr this much about all of them! Basara just had a lot to...address.

OMG PLEASE DO
REVIEW WASABIGACKT
Uesugi Mayumi 上杉繭美shinigami_yumi on September 28th, 2012 05:55 pm (UTC)
I have one salient thing to say on Basara: Play the game and forget the anime ever existed. Not that the characterization is that much better, but at least the game is fun. As for why it's more popular than Musou...well, that's almost like asking why Naruto is more popular than Shinobido, for the lack of a better parallel. I just have my fun with the gameplay and laugh the setting off as intentional crack, which it is. Anyway, some specific reasons why the game is okay and the anime should never have been made:

Hondam is the hardest character to fight in the game. Whopping damage and defense, he's a nightmare in melee, and any long range character needs to make sure s/he doesn't get hit more than twice or thrice. He also has this thing he does on Ieyasu's command that rains lightning bolts on the entire stage until you fulfill the conditions to stop him. So yes, in the game, he lives up to being both Honda and a Gundam.

Nobunaga gets more development in the game. The one that's really off his rockers? Mitsuhide. The relationship with Ranmaru? In the game. Nouhime as more than just decoration? In the game. Kasuga actually being a functional kunoichi? In the game. Yes, she still has an orgasm every time Kenshin talks to her, but she actually does ninja things. Shingen/Kenshin rivalry/matrimony? In the game. Don't know about the murder machine part, but in the game, the only person that really sets Mitsunari off is Ieyasu. Involvement of the Mouri at Sekigahara? Nagamasa/Oichi? Hideyoshi/Hanbei? All in the game. Ootani helping Mitsunari? Mitsuhide becoming a monk? Yes, the game has it too.

So yes, Basara wasn't meant to be taken seriously, but the anime manages to ruin even a completely crack series. And if you ever get the game, get it in Japanese. The localization was so awful they stopped doing it.

Also, I totally stopped by to say hello because I found you on LJ like you said, but then you were talking about Basara here, and I just had to say something fair about the games. XD"
See you later, instigator: Gackt - Tono to Isshooudeteron on September 28th, 2012 11:30 pm (UTC)
All right, I only gave the game a cursory glance on youtube when I already thought the anime was...yeah, so I'm glad to hear from someone who actually played through the whole thing! I'm not opposed to the crack at all, it's just that almost none of it really seemed to WORK in the anime for what it was supposed to be.

See, now if Hondam is hell difficulty in the game, that indeed justifies it to me (even if I could do without fighting any kind of overpowered Honda EVER AGAIN after going through him to unlock Mitsunari's unique weapon in SW2!).

...well honestly damn you, you're making me WANT to get this thing. Does the game really have practically everything I found lacking in the anime? Because if so, yes, that could be fun and interesting to see how it's handled there. Bonus points for including the monk Mitsuhide theory.

If the Japanese voices are subtitled, I'd prefer those. I don't have a problem with localization on principle but if the original is vastly better...

And you're welcome to comment wherever! In fact, thanks for taking the time. :D
Uesugi Mayumi 上杉繭美: zloanshinigami_yumi on September 29th, 2012 04:27 am (UTC)
The whole three games, to be exact. There's Basara 1 - 3. Sadly, no subtitles. The only Sengoku/Sangoku game I know of that has English text with Japanese audio is WO3. And only because it was too expensive to dub the whole game over. As for the anime, I think I watched 3 episodes before deciding I didn't want to see the rest of it.

I think the one that kept killing me in Chaos/Hard mode in Musou was an overpowered peon. XD"

Kind of, yes? I didn't know it was possible to do less with an anime series than with game cutscenes, but Basara kinda succeeds. If you play all 3 games, there really is everything I mentioned above. And in Basara 3, Yoshitsugu is a playable character~ And Basara!Mitsuhide makes for the creepiest monk ever. Hah, yes, I am totally an enabler. XDD
See you later, instigator: Landscape - mirroredoudeteron on October 2nd, 2012 09:47 pm (UTC)
Aaagh, I'm totally down with keeping the original voices but only getting about 25% of what's being said without subs is frustrating ;_; Anyway, the more I think about this, the more guilty I feel for letting the anime run with my judgement. Because the thing is, I KNOW THAT FEEL. I've been in fandoms that had horrible adaptations. So, okay, opinion on hold until I've played the game(s). XD

...freaking generics. XD

Yeah, I see what you're getting at. (Plus, some games are movies. MGS, anyone? XD) I so want to play as Yoshitsugu, or at least NOT have him be a nondescript, but inexplicably fully healthy officer, lol. As for monk Mitsuhide, I actually have no words because I might just end up writing fic for him. I DON'T EVEN.
Uesugi Mayumi 上杉繭美shinigami_yumi on October 4th, 2012 08:38 pm (UTC)
Well, in Basara 1, the localization didn't just do a bad dubbing job; they changed the whole damn thing. It wasn't even...actually, I'm not really sure what it was in the end. The point is that, by the time they were done with it, there wasn't anything you'd want to understand left anyway. It was such a disaster that they didn't localize the second game. I don't think they localized the third either.

And yes, haha, I think in the arena of anime adapting history (or "history"), Basara and Koutetsu pretty much top my list of WTF I CANNOT EVEN THIS.

I think the game I'd name as being an interactive movie is FF13. The first half of the game is basically running from one cutscene to the next. The second half is a blind man's attempt at open world exploration. You have a map that doesn't tell you anything and doesn't update to reflect where you've visited. If it gets any better after that, I wouldn't know because I got so fed up after about 3 hours into the open world part that I quit and never looked back.

Indeed. Yoshitsugu shows up in Basara 3 complete with leprosy and an obsession with Mitsunari. As for Basara's portrayal of Mitsuhide as a monk, let's just say if he were my first introduction to Buddhism, I'd be wholly convinced Buddhism was a BDSM cult.
See you later, instigator: Oda Nobunaga (SW) - rainoudeteron on October 7th, 2012 10:44 pm (UTC)
I hate localizations like that. It's just. Don't they understand that if they take out everything people liked about the original, there won't be anything left to...like? But it's almost funny to think of, if it weren't so tragic at the same time. XD

Ooh, what's Koutetsu about? Because I'm clearly incapable of just googling it OOH BUURN

With FF13, I've talked to people who either absolutely loved it or absolutely hated it for this reason. I guess it's one of those things that just have to tickle one's fancy to be enjoyed at all? XD And well, I said MGS because it has hours upon hours of cutscenes in between gameplay. And somehow makes it work. Seriously, I am such a sucker for that series, but so you've probably figured by now. XD

Well, damn you, now I am forced to conclude Basara has portrayed ONE character better than SW (come on, SW! De-genericize him already to get back in the competition!!).

As for Basara's portrayal of Mitsuhide as a monk, let's just say if he were my first introduction to Buddhism, I'd be wholly convinced Buddhism was a BDSM cult.
fffffff sjkhsfjk XDDDDD
But the question is, WOULD YOU JOIN IT THEN???
Uesugi Mayumi 上杉繭美: raise your glassshinigami_yumi on October 8th, 2012 05:19 am (UTC)
Koutetsu Sangokushi is...too hard to explain in full. Google it, then ask me about the reality once you've gotten the gist of the plot and setting. XP

You know, I didn't especially hate the running from one cutscene to the next. Sure, it defeats the purpose of save points if you can just retry every battle an unlimited number of times AND refresh all the items you used, but hey, who am I to say it's bad to make games easier? Anyway, it was the whole open world attempt fail that really frustrated me. It's like here's the quest. The target is all the way at the other side of the map, and I'm magically supposed to know that this area is northwest instead of due east just by the name I'm given. The target marker only shows up when you're actually in the area, so you basically have to wander around blindly for a while until you stumble upon said area (or use a walkthrough). It's okay if you have just 10 quests like that. But when all 50 are like that...well, I got frustrated after quest number 5 or so.

There are 5 people I like better in Basara (historical accuracy be damned), and they are Masamune, Hanbei, Mitsuhide, Motonari and Yoshitsugu. Masamune is less of a brat; Hanbei is depicted dying of illness (tuberculosis, I think); Mitsuhide is just...well; Motonari is a lovely ice queen who is so married to Motochika; I've already explained Yoshitsugu. Nouhime is about the same in both, but she does have a way better moveset in Basara. Saika Magoichi is a woman in Basara, and her moveset is also way better. I also like that Basara has Sasuke instead of Kunoichi, but I AM CLEARLY BIASED. Also, Masamune has Kojuurou in Basara, so that almost automatically makes the Basara version of Masamune a little better. 8DD

My friend and I are betting they'll make him playable in Musou 4 because of the trend so far. Every installment gives Princess a new boyfriend, so why not have the next one be his historically canon one? XD

Join Buddhism if it were a BDSM cult? Are you kidding? I WOULD INSIST ON BEING INSTALLED AS A PRIESTESS. 8DDD