Yakuza (video game): Wikis

  
  

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Yakuza
North American cover art
North American boxart
Developer(s) Amusement Vision
Publisher(s) Sega
Designer(s) Toshihiro Nagoshi (general supervisor / producer)
Masayoshi Kikuchi (producer)
Hiroyuki Sakamoto (director)
Hase Seishu (writer)
Composer(s) See Soundtrack
Hidenori Shoji (sound director)
Series Yakuza
Platform(s) PlayStation 2
Release date(s) JP December 8, 2005

October 26, 2006 (TheBest 1st print)
December 6, 2007 (TheBest 2nd print)
NA September 5, 2006
EU September 15, 2006

Genre(s) Action-adventure game
Mode(s) Single-player
Rating(s) BBFC: 18
CERO: D
ESRB: M
OFLC: MA15+
Media DVD
Input methods Gamepad

Yakuza, originally released in Japan as 'As Though a Dragon (龍が如く Ryū ga Gotoku?) is an action-adventure video game developed and published by Sega in 2005 for the Sony PlayStation 2. Sega announced that the budget for the game and its sequel together was 2.4 billion yen (21 million US dollars).

This game is the first entry in the Yakuza series; A sequel, titled Yakuza 2, was released in Japan on December 7, 2006[1] and in North America and Europe on September 9, 2008 and September 19, 2008 respectively.[2]

Contents

Synopsis

Kamurocho is modeled after Tokyo's Kabukicho (歌舞伎町).
Shinjuku Golden Gai (新宿ゴールデン街) area is recreated as Kamuro Champion Gai.

Setting

Although the game does not explicitly say it, much of the game takes place in Tokyo's Shinjuku ward, most noticeably a recreation of Shinjuku's red-light district Kabukichō, which is famous for its hostess bars (cabarets), host clubs, love hotels, shops, restaurants, nightclubs and its organized crime presence. Although the area was recreated as a fictionalized "Kamurocho district", much of Kabukichō's landmarks remain such as the red neon sign Kabukicho Ichiban-kai (歌舞伎町一番街) portal in the district's main entrance (renamed "Kamurocho Tenka Hitoto-ori", 神室町天下一通り), Koma Theater (renamed Kamuro Theater), Theater Square, Milano Bowl (renamed Shunjiku Mach Bowl), Don Quijote discount store (a tie-in[3]), Seibu Shinjuku Station, Kabukicho Sakura Street (歌舞伎町 さくら通り) portal renamed "Kamurocho Pink Street" (神室町ピンク通り) and its adjacent FamilyMart convenience store (renamed Poppo)[4].

Tokyo's area called Shinjuku Golden Gai (新宿ゴールデン街) which is located eastern Kabukicho and is famous for its small bars is also recreated in as the "Kamuro Champion Gai" (神室チャンピオン街).

Kabukicho's highest skyscraper Tokyo Tokenko Plaza Hygea (東京都健康プラザハイジア) and his surroundings don't exist in Kamurocho though, they have been replaced by differents streets and a comparable yet fictitious building called "Millenium Tower", the game's main landmark.

Story

Yakuza series story chronology

Kenzan!
Prologue
Yakuza / Movie Version
Yakuza 2
Yakuza 3
Yakuza 4

The game follows the story of Kazuma Kiryu (桐生 一馬 Kiryū Kazuma?), a former yakuza whose release from prison after a ten-year sentence sparks the setup of the game's plot. After his release, he returns to find his friend Yumi Sawamura is missing and the Tojo Clan he was once a part of has had ten billion yen (at $1=100yen, approx. USD$100 million) stolen from them, which the entire Japanese underworld is now searching for.

Characters

Gameplay

The main story is divided into 13 chapters. Each chapter is made of three distinct yet connected modes called Event, Adventure and Battle.

Event Mode

Cinematics, called "events", and cutscenes are enabled after completing specific actions or beating a certain character during the Adventure Mode. They also introduce the chapter's objectives.

Adenture Mode

Various play spots are available within the Adventure Mode. These are UFO Catcher, batting cage, casino (baccarat, blackjack and roulette), toba and pachislot.

Battle Mode

As in an Action-RPG game, the main character randomly encounters foes on his path (Adventure Mode). The ensuing fight is called Encount Battle.

The Battle Mode includes the Underground Arena (地下闘技場) which is located in Kamurocho's Purgatory area.

Audio

Sound director is Hidenori Shoji; Event Mode cinematics use Dolby Digital surround sound through digital optical cable, while Adventure and Battle gameplay modes are Dolby Pro Logic II[5].

Cast

This is the only game in the series to feature English voice acting for its U.S. and PAL releases. Following titles use the original Japanese cast with localized subtitles.

Soundtrack

Problems listening to this file? See media help.

The Yakuza & Yakuza 2 Original Sound Track (HCV-287) dual-disc boxset was published by Wave Master in Japan on January 25, 2007[6]. The music was composed by Hidenori Shoji, Sachio Ogawa, Keitaro Hanada, Fumio Ito, Yuri Fukuda. The closing theme is John Newton's Amazing Grace, a classic gospel sung in English by Eri Kawai; additional performers are Makotch (vocals), Yuri (chorus) and Tomica (chorus). The tracklist for Yakuza has 23 titles (details are available below).

Marketing and release

Boss Coffee ads can be seen on Kamurocho's numerous Suntory vending machines.
The Kamuro Theater, modeled after the Koma Theater, is a main landmark in the game. TV ads are displayed in-game and can be viewed in full screen.

Tie-in and product placement

In order to both support the game's expensive production and make Kamurocho a realistic recreation of Tokyo's Kabukicho, Sega contracted a tie-in campaign with famous Japanese companies. As a result some places found in the game, such as the Don Quijote discount store and the Club Sega game centers are modeled after the real life buildings.

Sega also used product placement strategy and introduced ads within the game. This includes a collaboration with the Japanese Suntory group which advertises in-game with ad banners, Boss Coffee ads and vending machines are also visible in Kamurocho; cans are purcheasable within Kamurocho stores. Since the group produces local drinks and is a distributor of foreign alcohols, all brands appearing in Kamurocho's bars and pubs, being Whiskey, Jack Daniel's Bourbon or Carlsberg Beer, are real brands of Suntory.

Other product placements include Shogakukan's Sabra magazine, Fujisankei Communications Group's SPA! magazine and Panini Group's World Club Cup stickers. The latter appears in a TV ad, together with a Suntory drink and a Sega mahjong game, which is displayed in the Kamurocho theater wall screen.

Sega's UFO Catcher crane game machines are included as a minigame, and arcade cabinets of Virtua Fighter 4 and SpikeOut can be seen in the Club Sega game centers.

Versions

As part of the pre-ordering campaign, the Japanese first print was bundled with two limited items, a Tojo Clan lapel pin replica (特製ピンバッジ, tokusei pin baju, lit. "deluxe pin badge")[7] and a monography called Kamutai Magazine (December 2005 issue)[8]. Since then a new issue of Kamutai Magazine is bundled with each franchise episode pre-order.

Also the original PlayStation 2 the Best edition (SLPM-74234) included a bonus DVD with the trailer of Yakuza 2, while the reprint (SLPM-74253) which was released during the production of the spin-off was repackaged with a rose cover art instead of white (a.k.a. リパッケージ版, ripakkeji han lit. "repackage edition") and a bonus DVD with the trailer of Ryu Ga Gotoku Kenzan!, a voice cast message and a 20-minute producer interview[9].

The western releases were only regular copies, instead Sega Europe and America used online marketing. A flash game, "CodeYakuza.com", was created and an English subtitled version of the game's 2006 live-action adaption directed by Takeshi Miyasaka, As Though a Dragon: Prologue, was freely downloadable on the game's official website[10].

Sales

Due to its commercial success on the Japanese market, Yakuza had a PlayStation 2 the Best edition on October 26, 2006, and an exceptional reprint on December 6, 2007. In contrast, this Asian long seller title never had a Platinum or Greatest Hits re-release on the western markets. Though, total sales reach 1 million[11].

Reception

The game was heavily acclaimed in Japan for combining innovative game play with cinema like story telling and character development on the back of Japan's criminal underground.[12]

Yakuza received a generally good reaction among critics.

  • GameSpot: 7.4 out of 10
  • IGN: 8.2 out of 10
  • PSM Magazine: 8.5 out of 10
  • Official Playstation Magazine: 8 out of 10
  • Electronic Gaming Monthly: 7.67 out of 10
  • Game Informer: 6 out of 10
  • PSX Extreme: 8.1 out of 10
  • Game Revolution: C-

IGN praised its combat system and sense of style but criticized its tedious gameplay.

Live-action adaptations

Original video

In 2006, Takeshi Miyasaka directed an Original Video prequel As Though a Dragon: Prologue (龍が如く 〜序章〜, ryu ga gotoku -joshou-) with mixed martial artist and puroresu wrestler Masakatsu Funaki as Kazuma Kiryu.

Feature film

A film adaptation As Though a Dragon: Movie Version (龍が如く 劇場版, ryu ga gotoku: gekijoban) was directed by Takashi Miike in 2007. Kazuma Kiryu's role is played by actor Kazuki Kitamura known overseas for his roles in Shohei Imamura's The Eel, Takeshi Miike's Dead or Alive and Quentin Tarantino's Kill Bill.

References

  1. ^ "Ryuga Gotoku 2 [Yakuza 2"]. Sega. http://www.the-magicbox.com/0609/game060901a.shtml. Retrieved September 3, 2006. 
  2. ^ videogaming247 » Blog Archive » Yakuza 2 for European release
  3. ^ Donki Quijote & Yakuza 3 collaboration
  4. ^ The actual streets in the game can be viewed on Google street viewer [http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=kabuki-cho+shinjuku,+tokyo,+japan&sll=35.703729,139.704294&sspn=0.032758,0.061798&ie=UTF8&ll=35.693744,139.70099&spn=0,359.98455&z=16&iwloc=A&layer=c&cbll=35.693651,139.700953&panoid=kVHllOgyMrjLkMdOmjWi4A&cbp=12,361.0327239683332,,0,5.000000000000001 using this link
  5. ^ Sega (2006.12.05). Yakuza (PlayStation 2) game manual. Sega of America. p. 7 (Options). 
  6. ^ "Ryu Ga Gotoku series soundtrack". Sega, Ryu Ga Gotoku 2 official website, News. 2007.01.12. http://ryu-ga-gotoku.com/two/news/soundtrack.html. Retrieved 2009.12.29. 
  7. ^ [http://dol.dengeki.com/data/news/2005/12/07/72787741a9819da31af84a7edccde364.html "『龍が如く』に2大特典をつけてプレゼント! 「セガモバ」で発売記念キャンペーン"]. Dengeki Online. 2005.12.07. http://dol.dengeki.com/data/news/2005/12/07/72787741a9819da31af84a7edccde364.html. Retrieved 2009.12.28. 
  8. ^ "『龍が如く』予約購入キャンペーンの内容が判明!". Famitsu website. 2005.11.11. http://www.famitsu.com/game/news/2005/11/11/103,1131687925,45535,0,0.html. Retrieved 2009.12.28. 
  9. ^ "龍が如く2 PlayStation 2 The Best". Sega, Ryu Ga Gotoku 2 official website - special page. 2006.12.06. http://ryu-ga-gotoku.com/two/thebest/index.html. Retrieved 2009.12.29. 
  10. ^ "Official Yakuza Website". Sega America & Sega Europe. 2006.09. http://www.sega.com/yakuza/en/main.html. Retrieved 2009.12.28. 
  11. ^ 仗桐安 (2009.02.27). "「龍が如く3」レビュー:伝説の極道が、PS3で大暴れ!――東京と沖縄でリアルな街を駆け抜けろ (1/3)". ITmedia website. http://gamez.itmedia.co.jp/games/articles/0902/27/news050.html. Retrieved 2010.01.01. 
  12. ^ "GOfficial Yakuza website". Sega. http://yakuza.sega-europe.com/en/main.html. Retrieved August 15, 2006. 

External links








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