Yakuza: Touring Japan

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Do you remember Famitsu saying a week ago that they would have a big scoop this week? You probably don’t, which might be for the better. Guesses for it were all over the place, involving wild predictions like Kingdom Hearts III and the rise of Final Fantasy Versus XIII to Bayonetta 2 and Metal Gear Solid Rising. Some of those were instantly relegated to wishful thinking considering Square Enix games are saved for Shonen Jump -- and there’s no way they’re going to talk about Versus until Final Fantasy XIII-2 is out, as it would kill the latter’s hype immediately. The answer? It was for the first solid info on Yakuza 5.


That’s pretty disappointing for anyone outside of Japan that watches news for the country, especially since it’s for an already announced game. But with how Yakuza games sell in Japan (around half a million or more with each installment), this actually does qualify as a big scoop. The games are as niche as you’d expect their home country, making Famitsu’s scoop look like a bust. It wouldn’t be the first time that happened, admittedly.



Sega was only letting a little info for Yakuza 5 trickle at a time since (1) Yakuza: Of the End (which will be known as Yakuza: Dead Souls in the west) released later than the usual game in the franchise due to being delayed because of the earthquake earlier this year (releasing a game about a disaster in Japan would have been insensitive immediately after one actually happened) and (2) Sega’s marketing was focused on the Yakuza team’s other upcoming game: Binary Domain. That game releases in mid-February, so don’t expect a big info dump until after that game is on shelves.


Remember when they had a poll for Japanese fans to select the new city for Yakuza 5 (in addition to Kamurocho. Again.)? The choices were for Sapporo, Nagoya, Osaka, and Fukuoka, with the first one winning the poll. This week’s Famitsu confirmed that this game will have players exploring…Sapporo, Nagoya, Osaka, and Fukuoka. Yes, this means that survey was just a marketing stunt to generate interest for every location. Yes, this also means this game will be huge. Producer Toshihiro Nagoshi said that while the previous sequels were the metaphorical equivalent of building an extension to a house, the fifth game will be like building an entirely new one. He also said the five cities will be bigger than the additional cities from the previous game.


Hopefully you're not too tired of Kamurocho.

Kazuma Kiryu will be the game’s protagonist. Again. He’s a great, admirable guy, but a few are getting a little sick of him being the protagonist. Nagoshi wouldn’t say whether Kazuma would be the only protagonist, though.


Sega will also be seeking out girls that live within the cities for a cheering squad, who will also appear in the game’s commercials. Yup, it’s Japan; but at least they’re not using AKB48 like every other game these days.


Yakuza 5 is still in the earliest stages of development, so it’s going to take a while before it releases. It has no release date.

Note: Screens are from Yakuza 4. There are no screens of Yakuza 5 yet.

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