Sengoku Basara 3: Samurai Heroes Vs. Okami

2035 words - 8 pages

Japanese video games are a popular cultural phenomenon both inside and outside of Japan. This success can be attributed to Japanese companies’ ability to successfully market and invest in their products whether they arise from a manga, anime, or popular icon. Mia Consalvo, Associate Professor at Ohio University, attributes the Japanese video game industry’s success to Japan’s “historical tendencies [of a self-sufficient economy], Japanese game companies have found a ready market at home, with little fear of outside competition.” Video games offer a diverse array of themes and concepts for developers to consider in their design; on the other side of the industry are its consumers, who have many different experiences to gain from playing the plethora of games available to them. Of course anything goes when developing games as long as it is rated justly, however one of the most recurrent ideas in developing games are those based on interesting periods in history. Although a commendable venture, many video game companies find it difficult to maintain historical accuracy while making the game entertaining and enjoyable for the audience. Sengoku Basara and Okami are examples of such games that are based on some aspect of Japanese history; both have been successful in localizing in the US, however both have accomplished this differently.
Sengoku Basara, a series developed by Capcom, is a loosely based historical fantasy game about the Sengoku era in feudal Japan. Sengoku Basara 3: Samurai Heroes is the third game of the series; it was released in 2010 in Japan, North America, and Europe. In order to understand the historical basis of the game one must first know some background information on the era of the Shogunate Empire in Japan and what had preceded it. The Sengoku dynasty in Japan preceded that of the more well-known Tokugawa era which rose to power when Tokugawa Ieyasu, founder of the Tokugawa shogunate, won the battle at Sekigahara and accepted the title of shogun in 1603. Previous to the Tokugawa era, Japan’s government consisted of many half-century reigns of different dynasties including the Fujiwara, Minamoto, Kamikura, and Ashigaka clans. The Sengoku period was a feudal era in the 1500s that consisted of the ruling daimyō (lords) and their vassals. The feudal era had been turbulent, filled with territorial warfare between the daimyō, thus it is also referred to as Japan’s “Warring States” period. In the late 1500s out of the warring-states period, three unifiers: Oda Nobunaga, Toyotomi Hideyoshi, and Tokugawa Ieyasu came to power. Nobunaga’s rule had been more similar to that of the shogun, which was further developed in the Tokugawa era, following him had been Hideyoshi, who had ruled his and Nobunaga’s territories without claiming the title of “shogun.” The battle of Sekigahara came to be when Ieyasu, a powerful subordinate of Hideyoshi, separated from Hideyoshi and capitalized on the battle eventually winning over Hideyoshi’s...

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