|Designer(s)||Tadashi Okuda (battle)
Takeshi Tanaka (adventure)
Kazunobu Takeuchi (adventure)
Yakuza 4 (Japanese: 龍が如く4 伝説を継ぐもの Hepburn: Ryū ga Gotoku 4: Densetsu o Tsugumono?, lit. "Like a Dragon 4: Successor of the Legend") is a video game developed and released by Sega for the PlayStation 3. The game was introduced on July 24, 2009. A promotional video was presented at the 2009 Tokyo Game Show, and a preview of the main plot was released on January 13, 2010. The sequel to Yakuza 3, it was released on March 18, 2010 in Japan after a playable demo was released on the Japanese PlayStation Store on March 5. Yakuza 4 was released in Europe and North America in March 2011.
Available mini-games are pachinko, fishing, onsen, table tennis, hanafuda and karaoke, including duets with non-player characters (NPCs). In Haruka's Wish, the player must raise Haruka's trust level. Each main character has a side game or goal which must be completed, and many side games are related to trophies.
Akiyama may create friendship (馴染み Najimi?) with some NPCs by buying them items, or with some storekeepers by being a regular customer. His other mission, Create a #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 he owns. A girl is improved by dressing her up and training her. After she becomes number one, the player can choose a final outfit for her and she will appear at the cabaret. A similar challenge in the Japanese version of Yakuza 3 was cut from overseas versions.
Saejima's mission, Create a Fighter! (格闘家をつくろう！ Kakutōka o Tsukurō!?) is to train fighters to win tournaments after 50 rounds or less of training (building up movesets). Different movesets allow different moves to be performed.
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. Radio reports tell him where to find incident, and the player must defeat the perpetrator. In Kiryu's mission, Team Encounter Battle (チームエンカウントバトル?), seven gangs attack him and he must fight to reach each gang leader. Each character has his own style of fighting and special moves.
Like the original game, most of the action takes place in Kamurocho (resembling Shinjuku's red-light district, Kabukichō). Three locations have been added since Yakuza 3: a rooftop area stretching across a large portion of the town), the back streets of Kamurocho (known as Rojiura (路地裏?)) and a third area known as 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 (Kamuro underground).
Yakuza 4 has three new protagonists in addition to Kazuma Kiryu, the main character since the original Yakuza game: Masayoshi Tanimura (Hiroki Narimiya), Shun Akiyama (Kōichi Yamadera) and Taiga Saejima (Rikiya Koyama). Other new characters include Junji Sugiuchi (Kenichi Endou), a Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department detective; Hiroaki Arai (Ikki Sawamura), a Tojo Clan yakuza; Seishirō Munakata (Kinya Kitaoji), a high-ranking police officer and a woman, Lily (Maju Ozawa). Returning characters are Haruka Sawamura, Goro Majima, Makoto Date, Daigo Dojima and Goh Hamazaki.
Loan shark Shun Akiyama beats Ihara (a member of the Ueno Seiwa clan) and meets Arai (a yakuza member) and his friend Kido. Ihara holds up the group, injures Arai and is chased by Kido. Akiyama finds Arai next to Ihara's body. Arai flees, and Detective Tanimura arrests Akiyama. His secretary Hana is his alibi, and a flashback shows him homeless before catching money from the Millennium Tower explosion. A woman resembling a former lover comes to his office. Lily asks for ¥100,000,000, and Akiyama tells her that she must earn ¥3,000,000 in three days at a hostess club first. Kido tells Akiyama his boss was killed, apparently by a woman, and Akiyama sends him to find Arai. He finds the owner of Lily's previous bar murdered; when he confronts Lily, she storms out. In Akiyama's hostess club, Goro Majima tells him why a yakuza is looking for Lily.
During the mid-1980s, Majima and yakuza member Taiga Saejima are ordered to kill the Ueno family head and anyone who gets in their way. Saejima, unable to find Majima outside the building, kills the family and is captured. Twenty-five years later, Saejima's execution is approaching. He meets Goh Hamazaki, imprisoned for the attempted murder of Kiryu, and they plan to escape. During the escape, Hamazaki and Saejima dive from the prison wall into the ocean and are separated.
Masayoshi Tanimura of the Kamurocho Police Department finds Yasuko Saejima (Lily) held by Shibata and Arai, who work with Katsuragi and Shibata. Shibata wants to learn why Yasuko is killing his men, but he is killed by Arai.
In Homeland, a small restaurant and Tanimura's hideout, Yasuko says that she was supposed to meet Tanimura's father but he never appeared. She admits being coerced into killing Shibata's men by Katsuragi, who promised to have her brother's case reexamined if she eliminated certain targets or gave him ¥100 million. Tanimura brings Katsuragi the money the next day, and Katsuragi denies that the Ueno hit is connected to his father's murder. Katsuragi refuses the money, confessing to the killing as his men attack Tanimura. Tanimura is saved by Detective Sugiuchi, and finds Chief Hisai at Homeland.
Hisai brings Tanimura to police headquarters, and Tanimura learns that Sugiuchi made the Ueno hit with his father. He returns the money to Akiyama, who remembers him from Ihara's murder, and they conclude that Katsuragi recently began killing co-conspirators under duress.
Sugiuchi, a yakuza police mole, kills Mishima and admits he killed Tanimura's father. Chief Hisai tells Munakata about Sugiuchi's death, and commits suicide.
Hamazaki arrives at the Sunshine Orphanage, telling Kiryu he wants to reform and admitting the theft of a prison ledger indicating corruption. When he goes to the police to surrender Yasuko is there asking about her brother, and Kiryu and Hamazaki talk to her about Saejima. Interrupted by Saito, Kiryu beats him and his guards and goes to Kamurocho with Yasuko; Hamazaki collapses with a bullet wound.
In Homeland, Akiyama tells Tanimura his office is under investigation. Yasuko stays at New Serena with Date, and Kiryu goes to Millennium Tower to meet Goro Majima in time to see him arrested. At Tojo headquarters, Munakata offers to eliminate the Ueno Seiwa clan if Daigo promotes Arai (an undercover police officer) to Tojo lieutenant.
Kiryu finds Date drugged by Yasuko. Kido shoots Katsuragi (who was wearing a Kevlar vest at the time) before giving the ledger file to Arai, who shoots him. Katsuragi and Yasuko kill each other, and Arai gives Munakata the ledger before shooting him.
Saejima and Akiyama leave the group after Yasuko's death. Haruka calls Kiryu, telling him that Hamazaki died while saving Kiryu. Kiryu unites the group, using Akiyama's money to lure their enemies to the Millennium Tower. On its helipad, each member fights their own enemy; the chief picks up a gun after his defeat and apparently fatally injures Akiyama (though a wad of money stops the bullet) before committing suicide.
Months later the group meets outside Sky Finance. On the roof, Date (who has rejoined the force) tells Saejima his death sentence will be commuted to two years for the prison escape. Tanimura, who works with Date, joins them and Akiyama and Hana are reunited.
The theme song to the Japanese version, played during the introductory video when starting the game, is "Butterfly City" by Japanese hip-hop artist Zeebra featuring Ryo the Skywalker and Mummy D. (Rhymester) with music by DJ Hasebe (also known as Old Nick). The music video, posted on Ariola Japan's YouTube channel, disclosed that R&B singer Double contributed vocals to the song. The CD was released by Ariola Japan (SME) on March 17, 2010 in a regular edition (BVCL-89) and a first-press limited edition, including a bonus video DVD (BVCL-87) and an alternate cover with Kiryu. Zeebra first contributed to the series with Ryū ga Gotoku Kenzan!'s opening theme, "Bushido".
Three new tie-ins were made to shops: Watami's izakaya (和民?) on Nakamichi Street, and Cuez Bar and Milestone in the underground. Advertisements for other companies (such as Nico Nico Douga) are in the game, especially on the walls in the underground. Promotional flyers can be found in the underground of the bowling alley, some of which offer discounts on in-game products, and there is advertising on both sets of coin lockers. A staff member at Volcano, the pachislot building, will ask for a password obtainable from the 777town website. Kamurocho residents' conversations refer to companies such as 777town.
Yakuza 4 received mostly positive reviews from critics. The game received an Award for Excellence at the 2010 Japan Game Awards, and received a score of 38 out of 40 from Famitsu. It has a 79-percent rating on GameRankings based on 40 reviews and a valuation of 78 out of 100 on Metacritic, based on 59 reviews.
On August 31, 2011, two new Yakuza games were announced: Yakuza 5 and a sequel to the PSP game, Kurohyō 2. Yakuza 5 was released in Japan on December 6, 2012, and received a worldwide release on December 8, 2015 as a PlayStation Network download.
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