First of all, we get to take a deeper look at the newly-revealed characters.
Sumire Kanzaki (totally called it) is the former top star of the old Floral Revue and she took on the task to create a new one. While she retired from the stage, she retains her charisma. She hasn’t lost the aura of the top star, and her presence overshadows everyone around her. After she found out of the abilities of the protagonist, he summons him from the Imperial Navy and makes him the captain of the new Floral Revue. She is committed to its rebirth.
She is voiced by Michie Tomizawa, who reprises her role from the past Sakura Wars games.
Kaoru Rindou is Sumire’s secretary. She is super-smart and very strong with numbers. Her memory is unusually good and she supports her boss in basically everything, including her post at Kanzaki Heavy Industries. She takes care of the administration of the theater, office work, accounting, and even finance. She often squabbles with Ooba Komachi over the budget.
When the Floral Revue is in battle, she provides support to the commander from the airship Shogeimaru. She is voiced by Yui Ishikawa, known for everyone’s favorite 2B in NieR: Automata.
Ooba Komachi is a “super trader” from Osaka. She has a very bright personality and she talks a lot. “Learning” everything she can is also an important thing for her. She handles the shop of the theater selling things like pamphlet and merchandise related to the stars.
She is also in charge of restocking the Floral Revue and she believes she can “have everything in stock.” She also offers support in battle from the airship Shogeimaru. She is voiced by Ryoko Shiraishi, who plays Mila in the Dead or Alive series and Asuka Kazama in the Tekken series, on top of Devola and Popola in NieR: Automata.
Reiji Shiba has known the hero since the times of the military academy. They’re both close friends and rivals. She is the Floral Revue’s chief engineer and he is in charge of development and maintenance. There have been a lot of rumors floating around about his rivalry with the protagonist since their school years.
He also takes care of the props at the theater and is very active behind the scene both during play and battles. He is played by Tomokazu Sugita, who you may know for Yusuke Kitagawa in Persona 5, Chrom in Fire Emblem Awakening, and a metric ton of other relevant roles.
We also get to see some locations of the Imperial Theater, which can be fully explored. Those include the main lobby, the dining room, the theater itself, the courtyard which houses a large spirit crystal, Sumire’s office, the hallway leading to the girls’ rooms, the hero’s room, the baths in the basement, the Koubu bay, and the command center.
Speaking of gameplay, we take a look at the adventure part in-between battles. We can walk around freely to find events, which are displayed with a green exclamation mark. Besides main events that advance the story, we can also find sub-events and items that can be examined.
The map also includes shining spots that mark collectible bromides and clues to proceed in the story. The action required to reach the next main event is displayed on the top right of the screen. At times, there can be events that need to be completed in a limited time. To clear them, you need to talk to the required character within the time limit.
The LIPS dialogue system is also back, prompting the player to select dialogue options which will have effects on the story and on the relationships with characters. It’s important to choose carefully. Running out of time isn’t necessarily a failure, but simply one of the options.
The Analog LIPS feature lets you move a gauge vertically with the analog stick in order to determine the nuance or tone of your answer. The effect will change depending on whether your answer is strong or weak. The camera also moves in relation to your inputs.
You can check out all the screenshots below, alongside the game’s beautiful key art.
If you’d like to learn more about Project Sakura Wars, you can enjoy the original reveal, a lot of additional information directly from the developers, and more comments from Sega CEO Haruki Satomi. You can also check out the previous screenshots including the first glimpse of gameplay, and today’s extensive gameplay reveal.
The game will release in 2019 in Japan, while western fans will have to wait for 2020 for a localization. At the moment, it has been announced only for PlayStation 4.
If you’re unfamiliar with the Sakura Wars series, you should take a look at my dedicated article explaining what it’s all about.