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Sengoku BASARA Samurai Heroes: Brian Crecente, I’m Calling You Out.

Edit: surprisingly quick responses from Crecente himself prompted a few changes.

Normally I open doors for women, eat all of my dinner and respect my elders. I've got no problems with authority or people that are simply above me for no other apparent reason than experience and effort, and I respect those people for those very reasons. That said, I also have no problem with making sure credit is given where credit is due, and believe in having decent games represented fairly and professionally.

For that reason, I should--no, I must--raise issue with Brian Crecente's coverage of Sengoku Basara: Samurai Heroes. It's completely underwhelming and has given Kotaku's readership a terrible impression of the upcoming game. My issues are not completely trivial, nor am I just needlessly hating on Crecente, nor Kotaku for publicity, click-through traffic or just to whine. I realize that the business of journalism is a business: money gets passed around, favors are pulled, and so on. While I will not make any presumptions as to whether or not that is even remotely relevant to Kotaku's coverage of Sengoku Basara: Samurai Heroes, I believe that games should be represented fairly when they deserve to be, especially on one of the most trusted and most widely-read outlets for video game journalism on the internet.

Basara 1

I've drawn my sword, good sir! Well, okay, one of them.


Sengoku BASARA, or “The Western Market That Could Have Been”

This is the Great Nippon Spirit.

This is the Great Nippon Spirit.

Many of you anime fans who like to keep current with Japan's anime seasons have probably heard of -- or have been watching -- Sengoku Basara. The show just recently ended its first season, with a second season announced by Production I.G. Studios themselves. The entire cast of characters has a rabid Japanese fanbase, primarily female -- a strange paradox, given that the anime is very blatantly a shounen battle series. The original video game franchise has grown from the first game, Sengoku Basara, to a straight-up sequel, a Guilty Gear-esque 2D fighter developed by ArcSys and Sammy, a PSP brawler that quickly took first place in software sales on its release; and a third title in the works for 2010. The anime brought with it a number of incredible product placement opportunities, from cellphone straps and character novelties to a Pizza Hut endorsement, a special rice label deal, a half-dozen different character-specific flavors of energy drink, and, oh, a stage play. Outside of Japan, however, Sengoku Basara (known to the rest of the world as Devil Kings) has almost never been heard of. What happened?