Sakura Taisen Brings LIPS And War To North America

By Spencer . December 22, 2008 . 4:30pm

stw Any news you heard about Sakura Taisen or as its known over here, Sakura Wars, coming out in North America is true. A representative from NIS America confirmed to Siliconera they are localizing at least one game in the series, but aren’t sure when the game will be released.


In the Sakura Wars games players spend one part of the game interacting with characters via the Live Interactive Picture System (aka LIPS) where conversation choices are selected similar to Persona 4 or a dating sim. The combat phase of Sakura Wars should be more familiar since it’s like a strategy RPG. After releasing a string of Sakura Wars games on the PlayStation 2 Sega moved the series briefly to the PSP for a compilation disc. The most recent Sakura Wars game is on the Nintendo DS.


The long running Sakura Wars series has been a project between Sega and Red Entertainment. Since NIS America is taking care of the series here it shows they have a relationship with either Sega, Red Entertainment or, most likely, both companies. Perhaps, we could see NIS America pick up other Sega projects in the future like Hatsune Miku: Project Diva. Nippon Ichi Software worked with the Hatsune Miku license before with Tori no Hoshi: Aerial Planet.


Images courtesy of Sega.

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  • PAL please plz :/
    Nippon Ichi Europe would make SO MUCH MONEY if they existed..

  • Sakura Taisen 3 please!

  • Judo

    Now this is interesting. To be honest, I hope they don’t release one of the later titles in the series, especially if the games are connected story wise(Which I’m not sure about since I’ve only played the PS2 remake of the first game and abit of the PSP 1+2 game).

  • alice

    It took them long enough!

  • Strike Man

    It may be a superficial reson, but I would never turn down a game with characters designed by Fujishima.

    While I’m hoping that Atlus is starting from the beginning of the series, I won’t hold it against them if they bring part 5 to the US first. Hopefully it’ll do well enough among their niche fans to warrant bringing the other titles over.

  • [email protected] I would have never guessed.

  • Mazen

    I vote for ST5.

  • Yoneda

    HOLY SHIT YES!!!!!!

  • Yoneda

    The PS2-remake of the original game (Atsuki Chishio ni) would be the best choice IMO, especially since the United States already got the manga and anime based on that one. The PS2-port of III would be my second choice, but V would still be totally awesome. Heck, even a spin-off would do for now.

    I sure hope NISA does the job, as Atlus USA slowly continues to become more and more annoying and abusive on their niche market. Hahaha, speaking of Atlus USA: I’ve already started PRAYING that there will be no you-know-what, by which I mean an ENGLISH DUB replacing the original one!!! NISA managed to get Disgaea II’s spoken dialogue (quite a lot) in both languages onto one disc, though, so there might be a chance for a similiar compromise, especially as both games are quite similiar in their cutscene presentation. Best resolve IMO would be the YakuzaII-way, i.e. no dub out of respect for the game’s cultural setting (although that trick might not work if they’re really going for V).

    If everything else fails they could at least give us an option to switch ALL voices off. NISA might be able to do that, but Atlus USA has failed even at that so far (e.g: Persona3, Steambot Chronicles). Steambot Chronicles was a total kick in the nuts since they even angrily and condescendingly wrote in their cheap B&W manual that this option was for the ‘purists’ out there who complained about their previous releases. And then it didn’t even work, as if to sadistically torture those sworn enemies of theirs.

    One good thing is that they probably won’t change the title since the anime and manga versions were published in the States under ‘Sakura Taisen’ and ‘Sakura Wars'(which is somewhat of an official English title since it was printed on the first game’s dreamcast release’s box).

  • SomeDude

    “I sure hope NISA does the job, as Atlus USA slowly continues to become more and more annoying and abusive on their niche market.”

    I sure hope NISA actually brings the entire game over this time.

    You know, not like what they did with Rhapsody.

  • PJade

    Glad to see Sakura Taisen finally making it’s way over here in consumer video game form. My personal pick would be the for the NDS version, although I guess we’ll just have to wait and see which title(s) NIS America has actually acquired the rights to.

    One thing to remember though- It’s not like American (and possibly even European) publishers haven’t ever tried to bring any of the ST games out here before. It’s Bernie Stolar’s (then head of Sega of America during the ill-fated Saturn era) fault for declining the series entry over here with his questionable anti-RPG policies, and later SCEA’s fault for rejecting the possibility of English release on the PS2 with their equally-questionable red-light veto power over games which- in 2004- they felt “didn’t show off the power of the PlayStation 2 video game console.”

    I also wonder exactly how protected or complicated of a license, legally speaking, the Sakura Taisen franchise is. Or expensive?

  • jojo2008

    To Yoneda: Sorry but Atlus is the one doing amazing localization. Did you even notice the grammar error in Disgaea 2 or the number of mistranslation from NISA games? The fact is that Sony requires English voice for their game. Just because your personal preference is sub doesnt mean Atlus is doing a poor job with the dubbing.

  • jojo2008

    also forgot to mention how much glitches from NISA games, from the first Altier Iris ending glitch, to lying about including features in Rhapsody and Disgaea DS. Not saying Atlus is prefect (Metal Saga), but Atlus is a much more professional company.

  • SomeDude

    “Did you even notice the grammar error in Disgaea 2 or the number of mistranslation from NISA games?”

    I think you mean “grammar errors” and “the number of mistranslations”.

    The only reason I did this is because I legally obligated to point out your bad grammar when you make a post bashing someone else’s grammar.

    In any case, I agree with you. Putting in the Japanese voices doesn’t make NIS a better localizer. It just means they’re lazier. Instead of spending money on accuracy, they toss in voices.

  • jarrod

    Was the Shade made ST5 ARPG any good? There’s precious little info on the game in english and anything involving ex-Quintet guys always peaks my interest…

  • Yoneda


    Lol, you’re right on that one. It had Japanese vocals, though.

    So although we might be screwed on one end or another either way, I’ll probably still be rooting for NISA. Probably they just took the old translation from the PSX release and didn’t bother to do any further translation. That they didn’t announce the extra content’s absence in their release beforehand and even used it in advertisement is however unforgiveable.

    In a better world there would (at least for PS2) be more fantranslations like that awesome NamcoXCapcom project. No title changes, no dub, patchable, no mean publisher logos all over the box and game intro, applied to the high quality Japanese release, lower chance of going out of print, higher chances of a re-release, and before all else more of the money going to the actual developers…

  • R

    Dual-audio tracks are much less dependent upon publishers wanting to “abuse” people (…lol) and much more dependent upon the size of the game.

    Disgaea 1 could fit on a single CD — with full English dub. Most of NISA’s releases have been relatively low-resource like this, so shoving extra audio on the end is no problem.
    But P3 couldn’t fit on a single DVD with dual-audio. Hell, MGS4 couldn’t do it on freakin’ Blu-Ray!

    I’ll admit, I could care less about any version of Sakura Taisen, but if it is too large for dual audio, the fallout could be…interesting, knowing how many fans it has on the internet. I don’t think NISA has the cash or clout to talk Sony into allowing JP-only audio like Sega did…

  • SomeDude

    “In a better world there would (at least for PS2) be more fantranslations like that awesome NamcoXCapcom project.”

    Oh Lord was that game awful!

    I can’t believe anyone would have the patience to translate all of that. There was SO much talking in that game.

  • jojo2008

    “The only reason I did this is because I legally obligated to point out your bad grammar when you make a post bashing someone else’s grammar.”

    There is a difference between a professional game company and someone posting on a message board. But I agree with you on NxC.

  • Mikael

    To the first poster:
    Nippon Ichi Europe does exist, pretty recently established!
    Sakura Taisen looks interesting

  • EvilAkito

    I probably would have been a hell of a lot more excited about this news five or six years ago, but I guess it’s better late than never. The NDS game is really what interests me the most, mainly because I’d have more fun playing a rogue-like than a strategy RPG. But whatever, I’ll take what I can get.

  • ShindoW

    Its pretty much confirmed that its Sakura Taisen V.

  • Judo

    “Its pretty much confirmed that its Sakura Taisen V.”

    Can you please tell us where you got that information from?

  • Nabe

    There sure is a lot of unwarranted localization hate around here. All this nitpicking about voices and smidgen grammar errors.

    And did someone seriously say they prefer amateur fan translations to those done by professionals? Surely there is a troll among us.

  • Whoa, I had no idea Sakura Taisen was never released here. I always thought the Dreamcast games made it over here. I guess not.

  • Kalvin

    Bad choices, i don’t think Sakura Taisen will sales good at west country.

  • Lu

    @ Judo

    Read the RPGamer article.

    “A little birdie told us that someone was finally getting brave enough to localize a game in the Sakura Wars series, mainly the fifth game in the main series for the PS2. Would that be NIS America, and what can you tell us about the game?”

    that was the question asked, to which the rep answered “it’s in the works by someone”. Put two and two together (or this article with the RPGamer one), and it’s NIS localizing Sakura Taisen V.

    And honestly, V is a good choice to start out with. Being set in the United States, it may grab more attention than a game set in Japan or Paris. Additionally, it’s the latest and most advanced technologically, which is also a good thing to be localized at this stage of the PS2’s life. This game will be a treat for fans of the franchise here longing to see a main entry game brought over and may be a treat for some new people too, which would be great.

    NIS has my undying respect for having the balls to do this. Especially V, which I’ve *always* wanted to play myself. They can rest assured this is a day 1 preorder from me.

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