Yakuza 4 (Japanese: 龍が如く4 伝説を継ぐもの Hepburn: Ryū ga Gotoku 4: Densetsu o Tsugumono, "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, 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.
|Developer(s)||Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio|
|Platform(s)||PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4|
This was the first Yakuza game that did not feature the involvement of the current series producer and one of the members involved since the very first game, Daisuke Sato.
A remaster was released on the PlayStation 4 on January 17, 2019 in Japan. Due to Hiroki Narimiya retiring from acting due to allegations of drug use, the role of Tanimura was recast with Toshiki Masuda taking over.
The 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 incidents, 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 as their body frames are different. Kiryu focuses on the powerful blows of Karate and Boxing, Akiyama prefers swift attacks combining Taekwondo and Wrestling, Saejima favors brawling attacks using Judo and Street fighting, Tanimura uses the defensive maneuvers of Aikido and Kung Fu that he learned from his fellow Police Officers.
Yakuza 4 takes place one year after the events of Yakuza 3. 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 Endō), 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 drops in to visit Kanemura, an aging yakuza patriarch, and learns that two members of the Ueno Seiwa Clan, an organization that is technically part of the Tojo Clan but is considered to be inferior, are causing a disturbance at a nearby club. Hoping to prevent an incident, Akiyama beats up the two men just as Arai and his friend Kido show. One of the men, Ihara, then shoots Arai and flees. Akiyama returns to his office to find Arai next to Ihara's dead body, having just shot him. Arai flees, and Akiyama is arrested for the murder. His secretary Hana gets him released, but the arresting officer, Sugiuchi, warns Akiyama to stay clear of any further involvement with the yakuza.
Akiyama later reveals to Kido that he was once homeless after being framed and fired for embezzlement, until he found money from the Millennium Tower explosion and used it to start his firm. A woman resembling his former girlfriend, who calls herself Lily, comes to his office requesting a loan of ¥100,000,000. Akiyama tells her that, before he will approve the loan, she must earn ¥3,000,000 in three days at a hostess club he owns. Kido informs Akiyama that Kanemura was murdered, apparently by a woman, and Akiyama sends him to find Arai. While collecting on another loan, he finds the yakuza owner of a bar where Lily once worked murdered in a similar manner; when he confronts Lily, she takes the loan and storms off. A yakuza named Minami tries to strong-arm Akiyama into telling him where Lily is; after Akiyama beats him, his boss, Majima, reveals that he wants to find Lily so he can protect her.
A flashback to 1985 shows a younger Majima and his blood brother, yakuza hitman Taiga Saejima, preparing to execute a hit on the chairman of the Ueno Seiwa Clan. On the day of the hit, Saejima, unable to find Majima, is forced to do it himself and kills eighteen men, though the chairman survives. Afterwards, he is arrested and sentenced to death. Twenty-five years later, with his execution date approaching, Saejima is transferred to a private prison for yakuza convicts off the coast of Okinawa. He meets former patriarch Goh Hamazaki, imprisoned for the attempted murder of Kiryu, and they make a plan to escape after Hamazaki reveals to Saejima that he was set up. During the escape, Hamazaki is shot by the prison's security chief, Saito, and seemingly sacrifices himself to save Saejima; heartbroken, Saejima swims to shore and meets Kiryu and Haruka, who give him money and clothes to travel back to Kamurocho. He eventually tracks down Majima, they fight, and Majima reveals that he was intercepted by a traitor in the Tojo Clan, which cost him his left eye.
Detective Masayoshi Tanimura, a dirty cop who uses the money he collects to secretly support the local illegal Asian immigrant community, is assigned to investigate the circumstances surrounding Ihara's murder. He finds Taiga's sister Yasuko (who turns out to be Lily) and manages to rescue her from the Tojo's Shibata Family, where he also learns that the family patriarch is working with Arai and was the one responsible for setting up the 1985 hit with help from Katsuragi, who was promoted to lieutenant of the clan as a result. Arai shoots the patriarch under Katsuragi's orders and flees. Yasuko reveals that Tanimura's father, who was on the task force investigating the hit, wanted to meet with her but then disappeared. 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 arranges a meeting with Katsuragi to give him the money the next day, and Katsuragi denies that the Ueno hit is connected to his father's murder. Katsuragi reveals that he was responsible for the eighteen murders in 1985, and orders his men to kill Tanimura. Only the intervention of Sugiuchi saves him.
Tanimura's superior, Hisai, brings him to Room 13, a secret archive of police misconduct, and he learns that Sugiuchi was his father's partner on the investigation. He returns the money to Akiyama, who remembers him from the scene of Ihara's murder, and they conclude that Katsuragi is seeking to silence anyone who knows the truth about the hit. Mishima, Ihara's friend, contacts Tanimura requesting protection and offers to inform on his boss. Tanimura intentionally tips off Sugiuchi, who kills Mishima and reveals that he is a yakuza and Katsuragi's mole within the force. He also reveals that he helped Katsuragi cover up the hit with the help of Deputy Commissioner Munakata and killed Tanimura's father to protect himself. Hisai, who turns out to be Munakata's inside man, kills Sugiuchi and commits suicide out of guilt.
Hamazaki, having survived, arrives at the Sunshine Orphanage, telling Kiryu he wants to reform and admitting the theft of a ledger indicating that the prison where he was kept was funded using dirty money. When he goes to the local police to surrender, Yasuko is there asking about her brother, and Kiryu and Hamazaki talk to her about Saejima and offer to help. Saito arrives with a contingent of prison guards with orders to kill them, and Kiryu beats him and goes to Kamurocho with Yasuko; Hamazaki collapses with a bullet wound and stays behind; he later dies in the hospital.
The authorities ransack Akiyama's office, so he and Tanimura agree to work together for the time being. Kiryu drops off Yasuko at New Serena with Date, and goes to Millennium Tower to meet Majima, only to see him being arrested. At Tojo headquarters, Munakata reveals his plan to give the police control of organized crime in the name of social harmony and offers to eliminate the Ueno Seiwa Clan if Daigo Dojima promotes Arai (who is an undercover police officer) to lieutenant, which puts him within reach of becoming chairman.
Kiryu finds Date drugged by Yasuko, who joins up with Akiyama and Tanimura and flees to the sewers; Kiryu beats them, only to find that she and her brother have been captured by Katsuragi. Akiyama learns that Kido has betrayed him and stolen the hundred billion he was hiding at his office, turning it over to the Ueno Seiwa. Katsuragi offers to return the Saejimas and the money in return for the ledger, but Kido shoots him (unaware that he is wearing a Kevlar vest) before giving the ledger file to Arai, who shoots him in return and leaves. Katsuragi and Yasuko kill each other, and Arai then kills Munakata when he orders him to use Kiryu's orphans as leverage to get the money back.
With Saejima and Akiyama unwilling to help Kiryu finish what they started, Kiryu uses Hamazaki's death as motivation to get the group working again. Together, they formulate a plan to use Akiyama's money to lure their enemies to the roof of Millennium Tower. Dojima and Arai both show up to claim the money for themselves, and Kido (who was working for Dojima) turns out to still be alive. Munakata, having faked his death, brings an elite squad of officers to kill the others just as the group arrives. Akiyama, Kiryu, and Saejima separate and defeat Arai, Dojima, and Kido, while Tanimura subdues Munakata and his men. When Munkata defiantly declares that he is untouchable, Date scatters newspaper articles exposing his corruption to the entire city. He then tries to shoot Akiyama, but a wad of money in his jacket stops the bullet. Faced with life in prison, Munakata uses his last bullet to shoot himself. Arai then surrenders to the authorities.
Months later, the group meets outside Akiyama's office, where he intends to restart his business with Hana. On the roof, Date (who has rejoined the force) asks Kiryu what he intends to do next; Kiryu is then shown at Tojo headquarters, where he, Dojima, and a newly-freed Majima formally appoint Saejima as patriarch of his own family.
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".
Limited edition apparel was released in Japan and the United States.
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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