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Yakuza series goes handheld: Project K preview

By Heath | May 2, 2010 at 2:39 am

Yakuza 3 for PlayStation 3 was just released in North America, while Yakuza 4, also for PS3, recently made its debut in Japan. All games in Sega’s high-selling series thus far have been for consoles, though the next one, currently with the working title of Project K, will be for the Sony PSP. Images, a trailer, and details below.

Instead of featuring the usual Yakuza series protagonist Kiryu Kazuma, Project K will center around an 18-year-old named Tatsuya Ukyou. The Kamurocho area familiar to series veterns will still be the central location, however, so perhaps a run-in with “The Dragon of Dojima” as a cameo or supporting character is possible. Tatsuya is also seen standing right next to Kazuma in a promo image below, taken from Sega’s teaser website.


The screenshots also show some animated still shots. These shots, animated by Spooky Graphics, will be shown in combination with some voice acting to take players through the game’s event scenes.

Tatsuya is not a member of the mob and never was, though he is something of a social outcast. Some yakuza are, however, involved in a fight against him, as it is said that he feels a “destiny to fight” and has some encounters with members of organized crime.

Not being yakuza doesn’t mean our boy is a sweetheart, though. The game’s early moments have him getting into fights, being sent to juvy, and eventually getting kicked out of his high school. He makes a living like this, as a sort of freelance scrapper, gaining quite a reputation.


Tatsuya’s character is one who believes in his own strength and relies on himself more than anyone else. It’s this that gets him in some troule, when he decides to attempt robbery from a powerful mobster. Despite his usual partners not going along with the plan, the headstrong Tatsuya dives in head first, where he’s met by none other than a top member of the Tojo Clan (a powrful yakuza group which players will remember from the other Yakuza titles). A brutal fight ensues, and that’s all we know so far.
The creators are not yet sure what the final name will be. It’s said that the Japanese name for the Yakuza series, “Ryu ga Gotoku” will probably not appear in the game’s title, but it’s an outside possibility (and smart marketing decision) for it to appear in the subtitle. So perhaps something like Kamurocho Fighter: Ryu ga Gotoku Side Story is possible.

When Valkyria Chronicles switched from PS3 to PSP with Valkyria Chronicles 2, Sega’s developers said the change was primarily to build up a bigger fanbase, and especially to recruit more female gamers into the fold. Somewhat similarly, Project K producer Toshihiro Nagoshi said in last week’s Famitsu that he wants a Yakuza game toned down enough so that it can be appropriate for high school kids.
You an view a teaser introduction here. The text in between the scenes basically says the stuff you just read above. Project K is set to release this fall in Japan.

Topics: Previews, Project K, Sega