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North American box art
|Artist(s)||Makoto Tsuchibayashi (character)
Hirokazu Yonezuka (background)
Hideaki Tanaka (visual effects)
|Release date(s)||PlayStation 2
|Genre(s)||Hack and slash|
Devil Kings, known in Japan as Sengoku Basara (戦国BASARA), is a 2005 video game for PlayStation 2, developed and released by Capcom. The original game's theme song is "Crosswise" by T.M.Revolution. The game was followed by several sequels and an anime series, all of them using the original title and setting of Sengoku Basara only.
Sengoku Basara takes place during the Sengoku period, or Warring States Era, during which Japan was split into many minor states battling over power and land. The game features two historical warlords as the main characters: Sanada Yukimura and Date Masamune.
Devil Kings' main character is the Devil King (Oda Nobunaga in Sengoku Basara).
Some significant gameplay changes were made to the Western versions of the game. Several of the characters were made non-playable and various weapons were removed or added. The difficulty levels were shifted to make the game more difficult (with Easy becoming the Japanese Normal and Normal becoming Japanese Hard). The fighting system was also modified, adding an element called "Priming" (one of the characters special attack was made the priming attack, and used that attack to "Prime" enemies making them more susceptible to damage and allowing for higher combo chains).
- Date Masamune (Azure Dragon): Kazuya Nakai/Kirby Morrow
- Sanada Yukimura (Scorpio): Sōichirō Hoshi/Andrew Francis
- Takeda Shingen (Red Minotaur): Tesshō Genda/Mark Gibbon
- Sarutobi Sasuke (Talon): Takehito Koyasu/David Orth
- Oda Nobunaga (Devil King): Norio Wakamoto/Garry Chalk
- Nōhime (Lady Butterfly): Yurika Hino/Kathleen Barr
- Mori Ranmaru (Hornet): Hiroki Shimowada/Cathy Weseluck
- Akechi Mitsuhide (Reaper): Shō Hayami/Peter Kelamis
- Uesugi Kenshin (Frost): Romi Park/Alessandro Juliani
- Kasuga (Venus): Natsuko Kuwatani/Venus Terzo
- Itsuki (Puff): Tomoko Kawakami/Janyse Jaud
- Xavi (Q-Ball): Kōzō Shioya/Lee Tockar
- Maeda Toshiie (Lark): Tomohiro Tsuboi/Andrew Jackson
- Matsu (Bramble): Yūko Kaida/Tabitha St. Germain
- Shimazu Yoshihiro (Zaan): Kenichi Ogata/Paul Dobson
- Tokugawa Ieyasu (Irdine): Tōru Ōkawa/Jason Michas
- Mōri Motonari (Kahz): Shigeru Nakahara/Sam Vincent
- Chōsokabe Motochika (Arslan): Ryūzō Ishino/Ian James Corlett
- Hōjō Ujimasa (Orwik): Tadashi Miyazawa/Louis Chirillo
- Imagawa Yoshimoto (Muri): Kōzō Shioya/Brian Drummond
- Honda Tadakatsu (Iron Ox)
While releasing Sengoku Basara, Capcom attempted to appeal to the western audience, by removing all Sengoku references in favor of a generic fantasy story vaguely connected with Capcom's hit franchise Devil May Cry (a DMC-type font was even used for the cover title of Devil Kings).
- Kobayashi: In Japan, Devil Kings is called Sengoku Basara, and it focuses on Japanese history in the same sense that Dynasty Warriors focuses on Chinese history. So it's similar in that sense, but with a Capcom style, a Capcom flair to it. We took the concept, and said, "What can we do to differentiate this to make this different from the Dynasty Warriors games?" And we decided the secret maybe lay in some other games Capcom has done. We said, "Let's give the characters a kind of Devil May Cry flair -- some really cool moves, like the kind of things you might see in Devil May Cry. Let's the characters and make them all vastly and distinctly different from one another, like Street Fighter II." That's the Japanese version. Then, we said, "Okay, let's release it in North America -- what can we do to make it different again?" So we said, "Okay, we'll make it dark." Call it Devil Kings. The main character sold his soul to the devil. We'll darken up the background, give more moves, more ability to power your character up, and things like that for the American market.
- IGN: Plus it's not historically accurate?
- Kobayashi: The Japanese version of the game is based on Japanese history. There are some fantasy elements that didn't actually happen, of course, but enough of it is there. With the U.S. version, we've taken that element out entirely. Some of the backgrounds may retain that eastern flair. Many of them don't and are brand new; many of the enemies are brand new; and it's no longer based around the idea of feudal Japan at all. That part of the game has now been changed to be darker, devilish.
These alterations were regarded as unpopular, as the Devil Kings version was a critical and commercial failure, and no more Sengoku Basara games were brought to North America and Europe until the release of Sengoku Basara: Samurai Heroes in the fall of 2010.
The first two sequels, Sengoku Basara 2 and Sengoku Basara Heroes, have been released in Japan for PS2 in 2006-2007, followed by two more spin-off games. The newest game in the series, Sengoku Basara 3, were announced for the Wii and PlayStation 3 and released on July 29, 2010 in Japan. It was released in North America and Europe as Sengoku Basara: Samurai Heroes in October 2010.
- "E3 2005: Hiroyuki Kobayashi Interview - PlayStation 2 Feature at IGN". Uk.ps2.ign.com. Retrieved 2014-02-08.
- "Devil Kings (ps2) reviews at Metacritic.com". Apps.metacritic.com. Retrieved 2014-02-08.
- "Devil Kings for PlayStation 2". GameRankings. 2005-10-12. Retrieved 2014-02-08.
- "Sengoku Basara 3 announced". Capcom. 2009-07-02. Retrieved 2009-07-02.