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Samurai Warriors 4 coming next spring in Japan

This week's issue of Famitsu magazine brings the first word of Sengoku Musou 4, the newest game in Tecmo Koei's Samurai Warriors series and the first numbered title in the franchise to see release since 3's Japan release in late 2009.

The title is announced as Samurai Warriors celebrates its tenth birthday in Japan. "We've challenged ourselves to all sorts of things in previous titles," producer Hisashi Koinuma told Famitsu. "For this game, it's the tenth anniversary, and our aim is to go back to the core of the series and develop a game that takes the high road with the concept. [That means] a story that really follows Japanese history, exciting characters portrayed in a cool way, and of course that Warriors-style exhilarating action. I feel like the mission given to us is to safeguard all these aspects of the series, something only a maker like Tecmo Koei could do."

In addition to the usual wealth of new characters (over 50 will be available, including all the warlords that appeared in previous Samurai Warriors games), Samurai Warriors 4 features a new story mode that starts with regional skirmishes and eventually branches out into a full-on struggle to unite Japan. The story focuses primarily on Sanada Yukimura, a storied samurai for the Toyotomi clan, and his brother Nobuyuki, who fought on the rival Tokugawa side.

Another new feature also allows you to pick two characters and switch between them at will in the midst of battle, similar to Samurai Warriors: Chronicles on the Nintendo 3DS.

Samurai Warriors 4 is slated to hit Japan next spring for the PlayStation 3 and PS Vita. According to Koinuma, the game's launch will kick off a year of celebration. "There's the game, of course, but I think we also want to actively reach other kinds of media, too," he said. "We have plans underway along those lines, and I think you can expect announcements in the future. As a celebratory year for the series, I definitely want to make it an exciting one for the fans."