The Sengoku Period of Japanese history was rife with intrigue, war, social upheaval and, apparently, sexy samurai.
Capcom's enormously popular Sengoku Basara action video game series has spawned comics, movies, a line of food products, a live-action theatre production and castle tours, but little interest over the years outside of Japan.
The Japanese developer hopes to change that with Sengoku Basara Samurai Heroes, the first in the series to hit North America since the release of the initial game, which was renamed Devil Kings for its 2005 release in the US.
Bound for the PlayStation 3 and Wii this spring, Sengoku Basara Samurai Heroes takes place during Japan's turbulent 16th century when samurai were fighting to take control of the country. The Warring States period, or Sengoku period, ended with the unification of the of Japan under a series of shogun that lasted into the 17th century.
In the game players will take control of one of four famous and very real samurai from the period. While the game's storyline references real events and battles for its stages, it's not meant to be historically accurate.
"The game is based on real history, but it is not a historical game at all," Samurai Heroes producer Hiroyuki Kobayashi told Kotaku in a recent interview. "It is very manga, anime inspired. It is supposed to be crazy and fun."
For instance, Masamune Date has an eye patch, fitted armour and wields six swords in the game. In reality, he didn't.
"Normally (Date) carries one sword (in the game), but based on his attack and what he is doing he can have one, three or six swords out at a time," Kobayashi said. "He has moves where he will take three swords and put them between the knuckles of his hands and do attacks with them."
The game will have a variety of weapons, ranging from swords and spears to guns and bows and will include more than 35 battle fields.
The game plays like a traditional, over-the-top button masher with your character taking on thousands of enemies per a stage. There's also a bit of strategy as you move through the stages. Each time you defeat a stage boss you take over that part of Japan in the fiction of the game. Once a territory is captured you can use the natural resources of that region to upgrade your weapons as well.