|Musou ☆ Stars|
|Release Date:||/: March 30, 2017|
|Genre:||Hack and slash|
|Game Modes:||Single player|
Musou ☆ Stars (無双☆スターズ) is a crossover Warriors game that features several IPs owned by Koei and its subsidiaries and one of the projects that celebrates Omega Force's twentieth anniversary. It was first revealed to the public on stage during the 2016 PlayStation Press Conference in Japan.
Masaki Furusawa is the producer. The game was originally going to be another Warriors Orochi game, but the developers decided to create something different to "evolve" the Warriors brand. The general concept is to present "a hero battle starring all the protagonists", so the majority of the playable roster are characters who are fan favorites or starring in one of the company's latest IPs. A keyword for development is "festival" while the action parts are themed to "joint struggle."
Kou Shibusawa remarked that there are no characters from his IPs in this game, although Furusawa considers Nobunyaga and William to be representatives (the latter being "a quasi" one). The team chose a vanilla character roster that they think would have entertaining character interactions with one another and would look visually interesting together. Another goal was to avoid overlaps, meaning that if Nobunyaga is in, Samurai Warriors Nobunaga would not be considered.
The Treasure Box edition includes a visual book, an original soundtrack, two scroll wall posters, and a postcard calendar. Buy the game new to receive downloadable serial codes for Wang Yuanji's Kasumi costume and an early Opoona unlock. Reserve the game from Gamecity or Amazon to receive a code for Arima in Yukimura's costume. Other bonuses are being offered at various outlets.
The story takes place in an alternate world that relies on a miraculous spring to sustain itself. The King, who could control the spring's powers, suddenly perished, leaving the world in turmoil. The Queen tasked her daughter with summoning otherworldly heroes to save their land, but the attempted summoning errs and scatters the heroes to different areas of their world. Other members of the royal family rise to claim the throne and divide the heroes into three warring factions.
The player decides on one character to act as their party leader while the others provide support. A five-man party is the maximum limit. Leaders and party members can be changed any time before battle. There is no character switching during battle, only the rearrangement of the support characters' order.
Each character has a "Hero Skill", a special ability that they use for when they act as support. They have cooldown if used, so a single character cannot be used consecutively. Hero Skills are divided into three types: healing, support, or offensive. Press R1 and the corresponding button assigned to a character to activate their skill; hold R1 to read brief descriptions for the party's skills.
Every character has a fluctuating "Brave" rating for each stage, which can further strengthen their attack and defense power. Brave can be boosted by defeating enemies and completing sub-missions. When Brave is high, characters can use their "Awakened Skill", a stronger Hero Skill, and gain the ability to start "Hero Chain", which has all party members lined up and attacking enemies. Brave can help with the harder parts of a map, but it is not a mandatory requirement for proceeding through stages.
Characters can additionally perform "Combined Skill", a specific crossover attack with another character from another IP. Each duo has their own attack and passive effect unique to them.
"Musou Fever" (R3) involves every party member in a festive Musou limited timed sequence. After the leader starts the sequence with their attack, their support characters will cheer for them as the timer ticks down. The player has to defeat a certain number of foes while the timer ticks down to summon the rest of their party character's party to cheer. In between each character switch, support characters will apply a secondary effect like boosting the leader's strength or increasing the time on the Fever Timer. Longer Musou Fevers can make the leader completely invincible. The sequence can end with all party members performing the finisher. Character quotes change depending on their friendship levels with one another. The higher their friendship level, the stronger their Musou Fever.
Stages contain bases, and are divided into five types:
- Standard - if captured, this base will drop orbs. Collect these orbs to remove the cooldown for Hero Skills.
- Restorative - stores healing items.
- Treasure - grants additional bonus rewards after the player wins the battle.
- Attack - shoots arrows at the opposition.
- Defense - boosts the durability of nearby bases and base soldiers.
Similar to Arslan: The Warriors of Legend, character attributes can be further altered through "Hero Cards" that can be collected by defeating generals in battles or completing sub-missions. These cards can grant elemental buffs, alter a character's base stats, and so on. Cards come with different rankings of rarity; cards can be sold or altered by visiting the Refinery within the Holy Castle, which acts as the player's main hub on the world map screen. Gold and materials collected from battles are needed for alterations; cards can be sold for gold or disassembled for materials. Extra bonuses that are reliant on high friendship ratings are present on select cards. The rarest Hero Cards have special conditions for unlocking and cannot be altered.
The Holy Castle is the place to enjoy various out-of-battle character interactions. The player can wander the castle confines with whoever they have selected as their leader. It can be accessed at any point in the story. Special character conversations often involve groups of characters and have a limited time to initiate before they expire. They include multi-choice answers for the player to select. Like the Neoromance series, it's advised to select a favorable answer to further boost character friendship ratings. Friendship conversations are reliant on the interacting characters' gender, as same sex conversations will not be the same as the different sex ones.
If character friendship ratings reach their highest level and the player has successfully completed a special conversation, a unique hot springs bathing scene will occur as a reward. Mixed gender bathing scenes are available.
Other gameplay traits include:
- To contrast the Warriors Orochi series, all characters have up to C6 for their movesets. Certain characters will have more appending charge attacks to better allude to their original IP.
- Friendship ratings can be additionally boosted by having characters fight alongside one another during battle. Character interactions that increase friendship ratings between a character and the leader are noted by the hearts that pop over a character's portrait.
- Certain characters can afflict a new status ailment on their opponents called "Heart Break" which lowers a character's fighting capabilities. Cards can grant "Love" status to defend against it.
- Dashing attacks no longer force characters to stop their sprint.
- Stages, music, materials, and enemies will be based on varying IPs from Koei, Tecmo or Gust. Original NPCs and stages will be included.
- Music selection for battles is present for certain stages.
Characters are automatically assigned based on their IP to one of the three factions: Tamaki, Setsuna, or Shiki. The available scenarios change depending on the player's starting faction. After the introduction cinematic, the player can select their next course of action through the world map screen. Battles, items, and information events are all marked. Information events are required to unlock further events for their faction's story. The player is free to collect materials and items or proceed with the story at their leisure. Battles that can be repeatedly played with no effects to the main story like challenge battles will be present.
As the player proceeds through their faction's main story, they can unlock additional playable characters by completing "Hero Battles." However, there are instances where recruiting a particular character at a certain part of the main story will restrict conditions for obtaining a specific ending.
The other watershed events are "Key Battles"; completing these events will close off a story branch in favor of another. These battles can be unlocked or missed altogether, depending on the selected route, the player's available party members, or specific key items.
Hero Battle and Key Battle conditions may also fail to trigger if a specific character is not made the leader of a party. Clearing one type of battle over another may cause the unselected battle to disappear for the rest of the playthrough.
Repeated playthoughs are encouraged since it is impossible to see every possible ending in a single playthrough. Fifteen different endings can be unlocked in the vanilla game.
Collects earned movies and character dialogue.
Explains terminology from various continuities. More terms are unlocked from character events.
Downloadable content is so far costumes. Furusawa has stated consideration for a future multiplayer themed update.
Tamaki's Force Edit
- Zhao Yun (Dynasty Warriors)
- Wang Yuanji (Dynasty Warriors)
- Zhou Cang (Dynasty Warriors)
- Lu Bu (Dynasty Warriors)
- Ōka (Toukiden)
- Horō (Toukiden)
- Tokitsugu (Toukiden)
- Opoona (Opoona)
- Sophie Neuenmuller (Atelier)
- Plachta (Atelier)
- Sayo - Unique NPC
Shiki's Force Edit
- Yukimura Sanada (Samurai Warriors)
- Mitsunari Ishida (Samurai Warriors)
- Naotora Ii (Samurai Warriors)
- Hajime Arima (Harukanaru Toki no Naka de)
- Darius (Harukanaru Toki no Naka de)
- William Adams (Nioh)
- Ryu Hayabusa (Ninja Gaiden)
- Ayane (Ninja Gaiden)
Setsuna's Force Edit
- Nobunyaga Oda (Samurai Cats)
- Kasumi (Dead or Alive)
- Marie Rose (Dead or Alive)
- Honoka (Dead or Alive)
- Millennia (Deception)
- Laegrinna (Deception)
- Rio Tachibana (Rio)
- Arnice (Nights of Azure)
- Christophorus (Nights of Azure)
Famitsu held a poll for fans to make character requests until October 16, 2016. Up to five characters will be considered for inclusion; they will appear as downloadable characters with their own stories and endings. PlayStation Japan wants to know players' strongest dream team from the thirty default playable characters so they can post select comments on their blog. Interested participants have until March 20, 2017 to share their thoughts through blog comments or over Twitter.
Four fans who retweeted their favorite character(s) during the game's Twitter campaigns won autographed cards from the voice actors. The most popular character scene voted by fans for the first and second campaigns are fully available for early online viewing, while second and fifth place scenes for the first and second campaigns are compiled into one video.
Furusawa was a guest for the Harukanaru Toki no Naka de 6 Gentou Rondo pre-release live stream; he promoted Musou ☆ Stars's hot springs fanservice using a placard that features the male cast. January 26, 2017 was the date of the first live stream that had Kazutoshi Sekiguchi as a special guest. The second live demonstration happened February 24, 2017 with Nobunyaga. The third live stream occurred on March 10, 2017 with Osamu Mieda present. March 28, 2017 will be the fourth live stream with Masumi Asano (Ouka), Mai Aizawa (Marie Rose), and Yuuka Aisaka (Sophie) as special guests. One viewer who has watched all the live streams can gather keywords at the end of each program for a present.
A press conference to celebrate the game's completion was held March 23, 2017. Ai Nonaka (Honoka), Yuka Iguchi (Plachta), Tomoyo Kurosawa (Christophorus), Kanae Ito (Wang Yuanji), and Yusuke Kobayashi (Opoona) shared their commentary about the game on stage.
Game★Maniax featured a pre-recorded visit to Koei's main company building and an interview with Furusawa about this game for their March 4 broadcast. Three people can potentially win free PS4 copies of the game by entering the show's online giveaway; deadline for entries was March 17, 2017. Famitsu featured gameplay footage from the game during their March 22, 2017 Tokaigi TV segment.
Omega Force's twentieth anniversary website has the original characters for this game star for March in their 2017 online calendar.
Thirty-four Tokyo and Akihabara cafes, restaurants and other outlets are hosting a food campaign for this game March 10~31, 2017. Place mats of the playable cast are offered at each location. The majority of the participating stores are assigned to a single playable character. Customers with 500 yen or more orders from a store's menu will be given a postcard of that store's character. Customers who collect all of the Akihabara postcards can be eligible to receive a postcard exclusive to this campaign.
Baseball team Yokohama DeNA Baystars shall have two collaborations with this game. The first includes three downloadable costumes that will be free from the PlayStation Store. The second includes original collaboration merchandise with illustrations by Katsuki Onda that has the baseball players dressed as characters from the playable cast. Additional merchandise for this collaboration will be sold at YOKOHAMA GIRLS☆FESTIVAL 2017.
Furusawa was a guest on the Taiwanese program Baha Game Crazy for their March 16, 2017 segment. His appearance came with another announcement for a cosplay contest hosted by Koei-Tecmo Taiwan. Cosplayers have until March 29 to share their photos on the official company Facebook. Taiwanese cosplayer DenKa, who is also the special guest for Koei-Tecmo Taiwan's pre-release press conference, will act as a special judge for entries. The top contestant may win a PS4 copy of Musou Stars.
- The soundtrack contains many re-arranged musical motifs that originated from their previous IPs.
- Dynasty Warriors - Arena, Welcome to China, Sacred Ground, Lu Bu's Theme
- Samurai Warriors - Ōsaka Castle, Okehazama, City of Flowers
- Toukiden - Melodies of Nakatsukuni
- Samurai Cats - Neko Bushou Sengoku Emaki
- Haruka - Kokuchou
- Nioh -
- Ninja Gaiden - Ryu's Determination
- Dead or Alive - Hitohira, Tropical Beat
- Deception - To The End of Deception (Millennia)
- Rio - Jackpot
- Rygar -
- Atelier - Yattemiyou!
- Nights of Azure - Lady Crimson
- Official Japanese site, Official Twitter, Official YouTube playlist
- Official Taiwanese site, Official Taiwanese YouTube playlist
- PlayStation Japan Blog posts
- PS4 presents "GO! GO! LINEUP! RAKUGO!" feat. banvox + Ichinosuke Shumputei
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