To drive home the message that Samurai & Dragons is free-to-play on the PS Vita, publisher Sega has enlisted the help of gravure idol Ai Shinozaki, seen cosplaying here as a mage in a new promotional video that was released today.
The five-minute long PV has Shonozaki wandering around nature listlessly, seemingly waiting for her Samurai & Dragons play pal – a creepy ninja who’s lurking in some of the scenes – to come online.
If you don’t recognise the character Shinozaki is cosplaying as, that’s because it’s based on an original design by manga artist Yokusaru Shibata (of Air Master fame) for Samurai & Dragons:
Some stills from the PV:
Samurai & Dragons is a multi-genre, free-to-play online title produced by Masayoshi Kikuchi, previously the director on Jet Set Radio Future. Kikuchi has also worked on the Yakuza or Ryu ga Gotoku series.
The game itself hat has four main parts: action, card battles, simulation (SimCity style), and RPG. Players pick from one of five professions – Swordsman, Ranger, Mage, Ninja, Samurai – and simultaneously begin to plan and construct an Edo period Japanese city as its lord. Then, players raise a squad of monsters, and wage war against neighbouring cities for territory and war spoils.
Like Diablo 3, there is no offline mode to Samurai & Dragons; you have to stay connected even during solo play. Thankfully, the game supports both 3G and Wi-Fi.
In multiplayer, you can explore dungeons in the RPG part with other players in a party, or join forces with friends in the simulation part to defend your cities from enemy invasions.
Japanese Sony Entertainment Network account holders can download the game from the PlayStation Store for free and start playing right away (Sega makes money from optional DLC).
For folks who prefer to own a physical copy of the game (or if you don’t use a Japanese SEN account on your PS Vita), there is also a 3,990 yen retail package of Samurai & Dragons that includes a number of exclusive in-game items not offered elsewhere.
Both the retail and digital versions of Samurai & Dragon have already been released.