Yakuza 4

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Yakuza 4
Yakuza 4 cover.jpg
Western boxart
Developer(s) Sega
Publisher(s) Sega
Producer(s) Toshihiro Nagoshi
Composer(s) See Soundtrack
Series Yakuza
Platform(s) PlayStation 3
Release date(s)
  • NA March 15, 2011[2]
  • EU March 18, 2011
Genre(s) Action-adventure
Mode(s) Single-player
Distribution Blu-ray Disc

Yakuza 4 (龍が如く4 伝説を継ぐもの "Ryū ga Gotoku 4: Densetsu o Tsugumono"?, lit. "Like a Dragon 4: Successor of the Legend"), is a video game developed and published by Sega exclusively for the PlayStation 3.[3] The game was announced on July 24, 2009.[4] A promotion video was presented at the 2009 Tokyo Game Show[5] and a preview presenting the main story was released on January 13, 2010.[6] The game is the sequel to Yakuza 3 and was released on March 18, 2010 in Japan. A playable demo was released to the Japanese PlayStation Store on March 5, 2010.[7] The game was released in Europe and North America in March 2011.[8][9]

The game received an Award for Excellence from the Japan Game Awards 2010,[10] and received a score of 38/40 from Famitsu.[11] It currently holds a rating of 80% on GameRankings based on 39 reviews,[12] and 78 out of 100 on Metacritic based on 59 publications.[13]

Plot[edit]

Story[edit]

The game begins with Shun Akiyama, a loan shark infamous for giving out interest-free loans with no collateral, going to collect several debts. He is sidetracked at one point and is involved in a quarrel at a bar, where he beats a medium ranking member of the Ueno Seiwa Clan, Ihara. Shun is then met by Arai, a high ranking yakuza member, and Kido, a friend who works at a rival loan office. Ihara, intent on revenge, attempts to hold up the group with a gun, and ends up grazing Arai, and escapes, being chased by Kido. Akiyama is ordered to go back to his loan office by Arai, and on his way there, gets a call from his secretary, Hana, who informs him of an armed man fighting with another man outside there office. Rushing back, Akiyama discovers Arai standing in front of the corpse of Ihara, having shot him moments before. Knowing that this will trigger a war, Arai flees, and Akiyama is confronted by an unnaturally relaxed detective named Tanimura, and is taken into custody on suspicion of murdering Ihara. After being released due to Hana covering for him, Shun heads back to his office, and during a flashback, it is revealed he was homeless, and is seen catching money from the explosion of the Millennium Tower (an event occurring in the original game). A woman comes into his office, who he recognizes as being eerily similar to a photograph of a former lover of his. The woman, revealed to be named Lily, asks for ¥100,000,000, which Akiyama agrees to, but tells her she must go through a test of character and willpower before he gives her the yen. Akiyama sets her up to work at a hostess club, where she must earn the club ¥3,000,000 in three days. Akiyama meets with Kido during this time, where he reveals that his boss was killed, seemingly by a woman, due to having his shirt off and finding lipstick near his body, and Akiyama sends him to find Arai, who's killing of Ihara has caused the Ueno Sewai to make giant demands that Daigo Dojima must agree to in order to avoid a gang war. Following several events, Akiyama discovers the bar where Lily previously stated she worked, but discovers it is an all transsexual oriented bar, and inside, discovers the corpse of the bar owner, as well as a stand of lighters missing one, with the lighters resembling the one Lily used. Confronting Lily, who has passed his test, he tells her he knows about her killing the bar owner, and he implies that she killed Kido's boss. Lily, angered at this, does not give a reasoning for the murders, and leaves. Afterwards, Akiyama is informed his hostess club is being harassed by Yakuza looking for Lily. Going to the club, he beats the Yakuza, and meets with Goro Majima, who begins to tell him why they are looking for Lily.

Taiga Saejima is shown to be a yakuza member in the mid-1980s, and is friends with Goro Maejima, who regularly visits him and his sister. Saejima and Maejima are tasked with killing the head of the Ueno Family and anyone who gets in the way. Waiting outside the building where the target is in, Saejima attempts to contact Maejima, who has not shown up yet. After several minutes of waiting, Saejima goes alone, and proceed to kill all members in the building, despite being briefly stopped by a bodyguard, the target is killed and Saejima escapes, later revealed to have been captured. Skipping forward 25 years, Saejima is taken to another prison, being shuffled around as his execution is approaching. Meeting Goh Hamazaki, who was put into prison for his attempted murder of Kiryu in the last game, the two plan an escape together. As their plan is set into motion, the two deal with an implacable prison guard, and after defeating him several times and reaching their escape, he comes back again and shoots Hamazaki, who then dives over the prison walls into the ocean with the guard. Saejima follows, but is lost from him and passes out. Coming to on a beach, it is revealed Taiga is at Sunshine Orphanage, and has a tense meeting with Haruka, and eventually placates Kazuma Kiryu into letting him stay after a brutal brawl between them. While Kiryu is out, Saejima travels to Kamurucho to confront Majima for betraying him on the day of the shooting. Along the way he gets involved with the homeless of Kamurucho, helping them establish a haven underground, and the mafia that supports the homeless, who he uses to track Majima and his sister Yasuko. Taiga tracks down Mejima, who sends his entire army of Yakuza footmen to defeat him, which he defeats, and makes his way into a center for batting practice, where Majima fights him one on one. The two fight each other brutally with baseball bats, and after an extended fistfight, Taiga bests Goro. The two former friends yield to each other, and Majima explains why he did not show up to the assassination. He was kidnapped by Katsuragi, a Ueno Family lieutenant who wanted to guarantee Majima could not help Taiga, as he would have risked his attempt to usurp the position of the head of Ueno Family, and that now Katsuragi wants to kill Taiga to tie up loose ends.

After each character's stories end, they all meet together to confront each of their antagonists at the Millennium Tower, where Akiyama has put all of his remaining money on top of to lure them there. At the helipad of the tower, each member separates to fight their own enemy, with Akiyama taking Arai, Saejima taking Kido, Kiryu fighting Daigo, and Tanimura fighting the police chief and a large squad of their specialized SWAT members. After they are all defeated, the chief, who has been presented a newspaper already released to the public that reveals his crimes, takes out a gun and shoots Akiyama, killing him. After the remaining three restrain him, they go to Akiyama's body, which stirs, and it is revealed that the bullet was stopped by his last stack of money in his coat pocket, saving his life. The chief, who the three had again forgotten to remove his sidearm, takes his gun. The camera pulls away as he shoots. It is later shown in a newspaper that Munakata commits suicide.

The epilogue, which takes place a few months after the final battle, shows the character's situations after. Akiyama, still working in his loan office, is greeted by an unknown woman, which he recognizes soon after to be Hana, who has lost a large amount of weight following the game's events. Saejima is living through life as a free man and now a yakuza member again, and has gotten over Lily's death, and will go back to prison for 3 more years instead of continuing his life sentence. Tanimura and Date are shown outside of the loan office, and it is revealed Date has rejoined the force, with Tanimura working with him, and that the chief did not shoot any of them, but instead committed suicide to avoid justice. Kiryu is reunited with Haruka, with it being implied he will find a new orphanage owner and live with Haruka, ending the game.

Setting[edit]

As with the original game, most of the action takes place in Kamurocho (a.k.a. Kamuro City), a fictionalized yet realistic recreation of Shinjuku's red-light district, Kabukichō.

Three new locations have been added since Yakuza 3 – a rooftop area, which stretches across a large area of the town; the back streets of Kamurocho, known as "Rojiura" (路地裏?); and a third area called the underground (or "chika" (地下?)), which includes the city's sewers, parking lot and shopping arcades. The underground area is also known as "Kamuchika" (カムチカ?), short for "Kamuro Chika" or "Kamuro Underground".[14]

Characters[edit]

There are three new main protagonists alongside Kazuma Kiryu, the main character since the original Yakuza game. These are Masayoshi Tanimura (Hiroki Narimiya), Shun Akiyama (Kōichi Yamadera) and Taiga Saejima (Rikiya Koyama). These four men all become connected during the game's plot. Other new characters include a Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department detective called Junji Sugiuchi (Kenichi Endou), a Tojo Clan yakuza called Hiroaki Arai (Ikki Sawamura), a high-ranking police officer called Seishirō Munakata (Kinya Kitaoji) and a woman called Lili (Maju Ozawa). Returning characters are Haruka Sawamura, Goro Majima, Makoto Date, Daigo Dojima and Goh Hamazaki.

Gameplay[edit]

Adventure Mode[edit]

The available mini-games are pachinko, fishing, onsen bath, table tennis, hanafuda and karaoke (now including duets with certain NPCs). "Haruka's Wish" also appears in the game, in which the player must perform actions to raise Haruka's trust level. Each main character also has his own "side-game" or goal that must be completed to earn 100% completion, most of which are related to a trophy.

Akiyama may create a "Friendship" (馴染み Najimi?) with certain NPC characters by buying them items, or certain shop owners by being a regular customer. These characters will then help out at the start of battles that start nearby, by throwing an item to use as a weapon. Befriending the man at Asia enables the player to pick the kind of girl they want to see dance.

Akiyama's other mission, "Create a No. 1 Hostess!" (No.1キャバ嬢をつくろう! No.1 Kyabajō o Tsukurō!?), is to scout girls for the cabaret club he owns – Elise, opposite the Millennium Tower – and, through dressing them up and training them, turn them into the No. 1 girl at the club. There are three girls to train, and after they become number one the player can choose a final outfit before them, after which they appear as a regular cabaret girl at Elise. A similar challenge was in the Japanese version of Yakuza 3, but was cut from the subsequent overseas releases.

Saejima's mission, "Create a Fighter!" (格闘家をつくろう! Kakutōka o Tsukurō!?) is to train fighters to compete in, and win, tournaments, within 50 rounds of training. Training involves building up training move-sets, with different actions having different effects. This game can be found at the dojo next to the Children's Park.

Tanimura's mission, "Resolving Police Radio Disputes" (警察無線トラブル解決バトル Keisatsu Musen Toraburu Kaiketsu Batoru?), is to keep the peace on the streets of Kamurocho; occasionally a report will come through on his radio telling him where to find the incident. The player must then defeat the perpetrator. Each unique case must be completed to "clear" the task.

In Kiryu's mission, "Team Encounter Battle" (チームエンカウントバトル?), various gangs from around town will attack Kiryu, who will have to fight members of the team in order to get to their leader. There are seven teams to defeat.

Battle Mode[edit]

Each new character has his own style of fighting and special moves.[15] The game engine features an enhanced Chase Battle and it is now possible to use items as weapons during the chase sequence. The player no longer needs to hold down the R2 button to sprint as the character will now automatically run at full speed.

Cast[edit]

The games's main characters have their face modeled in 3D, through Cyberware's head & face color 3D scanner (model PS),[16] after their voice actors who are Japanese celebrities.

Event Mode uses Magical V-Engine

Soundtrack[edit]

Music Sample:
Opening theme featuring Zeebra.

Problems playing this file? See media help.

The theme song, played during the introductory video upon starting the game, is called Butterfly City and is sung by Japanese hip hop music artist Zeebra featuring Ryo the Skywalker and Mummy D. (Rhymester) with music by DJ Hasebe (a.k.a. Old Nick)[17] The music video was posted on Ariola Japan's official YouTube channel which revealed that R&B singer Double had contributed vocals to the song.[18] The CD was released by Ariola Japan (SME) on March 17, 2010 as a regular edition (BVCL-89) and a first press limited edition including a bonus video DVD (BVCL-87) and an alternate cover featuring Kiryu. Zeebra first contributed to the series with Ryū ga Gotoku Kenzan!'s opening theme Bushido.

Marketing[edit]

Three new tie-ins were made with real life shops; these are Watami's izakaya (和民?), on Nakamichi Street, and Cuez Bar and Milestone, which are located in the underground.

Adverts for various other companies (such as Nico Nico Douga) can be found within the game, especially on the walls in the underground. Promotional flyers can be found in certain places, such as the underground of bowling alley, some of which offer discounts on in-game products. There is now also advertising on both sets of coin lockers. A staff member at Volcano, the pachislot building, will ask for a password that can only be obtained from 777town's website. There are also various topics of conversation that can be learned from listening in on Kamurocho residents' conversations. These can be used on the hostesses, and some of them feature promotion for companies such as 777town.

Sequel[edit]

On August 31, 2011, two new Yakuza games were announced: Yakuza 5 and a sequel to the PSP game, Kurohyō 2.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Yakuza 4 Dated For Japan". Kotaku.com. Retrieved 2011-02-01. 
  2. ^ "Yakuza 4 for Pre Order with Date". Gamestop.com. Retrieved 2011-02-01. 
  3. ^ "IGN UK: Yakuza 4 Preview". Uk.ps3.ign.com. Retrieved 2011-02-01. 
  4. ^ "Of Course Sega Is Working On Yakuza 4". Siliconera.com. July 24, 2009. Retrieved 2011-02-01. 
  5. ^ "English subtitled TGS2009 PV". YouTube. September 26, 2009. Retrieved 2011-02-01. 
  6. ^ "Preview trailer". YouTube. March 18, 2010. Retrieved 2011-02-01. 
  7. ^ Ryū ga Gotoku 4 official website, news 『龍が如く4 伝説を継ぐもの』体験版 配信決定! 2010.02.25 THU
  8. ^ ArchangelUK (June 8, 2010). "Yakuza 4 Comes West Spring 2011… & Ask Nagoshi-san A Question!". Sega Blog Europe. Retrieved May 30, 2010. 
  9. ^ Spencer (June 8, 2010). "Yakuza 4 Leaving Japan, Arriving Here In Spring 2011". Siliconera. Retrieved 2010-06-10. 
  10. ^ "Japan Game Awards 2010 – "Ryu ga Gotoku 4: Densetsu wo Tsugumono"". CESA (archived by WebCite). Retrieved 2010-09-18. 
  11. ^ List of Weekly Famitsu software Hall of Fame (translation), Geimin.net
  12. ^ "Yakuza 4". GameRankings. Retrieved December 21, 2011. 
  13. ^ Yakuza 4 PlayStation 3
  14. ^ 山口 浩介(GameSpot Japan). "「龍が如く4 伝説を継ぐもの」の舞台・神室町がパワーアップ!-地下道や路地裏といった怪しげな場所にも進入が可能に". Japan.gamespot.com. Retrieved 2011-02-01. 
  15. ^ "セガ、PS3「龍が如く4 伝説を継ぐもの」 主人公によって異なるバトルスタイルを紹介". Game.watch.impress.co.jp. Retrieved 2011-02-01. 
  16. ^ "セガ、PS3「龍が如く4 伝説を継ぐもの」正式タイトル決定!キャスト第1弾も発表". Game.watch.impress.co.jp. Retrieved 2011-02-01. 
  17. ^ SEGA. "Ryu ga Gotoku 4 official website – Cast". Ryu-ga-gotoku.com. Retrieved 2011-02-01. 
  18. ^ Butterfly City Promotional Video[dead link]

External links[edit]

Media links[edit]