Yakuza 4 Demo Goes Live on PSN Today

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Hey there, loyal fans and readers of the Playstation Blog! That one guy from SEGA is back again, here to talk all things Yakuza 4, answer your questions in the comments, and remind you of one very important thing: The free Yakuza 4 demo is going live on PSN today!

If you’ve never played the Yakuza series before, I highly recommend you download the demo and give it a whirl. Today’s demo is built around brawling, and in it you’ll get to play as all four unique characters in the game. Oh, and if you’re glowing blue and you see the triangle button appear, make sure to press it – those are called HEAT actions, and they’re both brutal and pretty amazing.

Also, hidden tip – we’ve equipped each character with a special weapon to use! Tap down on the d-pad to equip a weapon, and you’ll find yourself armed with everything from nunchucks to spears to katanas. Kazuma Kiryu, the final character in the demo, also comes equipped with all three for you to try out.

If you own a PS3, you owe it to yourself to see why this series is exclusive to the console. And there’s even more good news: following the great positive support from fans who picked up Yakuza 3 last year, we’ve made a massive effort to include as much content in the game as possible this time – which means that you’ve got hours upon hours of bonus side-content and mini-games added in. Like Hostess Clubs? Worry not – we’ve got ’em. Pachinko? Check. Baseball, bowling, a date at the hot springs, massage parlors, table tennis in kimonos – it’s all here.

Yakuza 4 is much more than just brawling, though we hope you’ll really enjoy just how deep the combat is within the demo. You can experience everything the game has to offer firsthand soon, on March 15th! (Our friends over at Gamestop also have a shiny Hostess premium theme if you support the game by pre-ordering!)

As always, thanks to you guys for supporting series like Yakuza and Valkyria Chronicles. Drop a line in the comments if you’d like to fire away any questions.


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60 Author Replies

  • Organized crime should not be glorified in video games.

    • Actually, you’ll find that the Yakuza series is less about random violence or promoting organized crime, and more about the honor, integrity, and determination of the four main characters.

      I’m guessing you’ve never actually played the series, but if you play Yakuza 3, you’ll find that the entire plot revolves around Kazuma Kiryu trying to leave his past behind him and start anew.

      Of course, if running an orphanage is somehow a bad thing, then I suppose your predisposition to judging this game without actually knowing much about it might have merit. :)

  • Dragon age 2 demo will be better

  • As a fan of the series I don’t need a demo to know this game will be great fun.

    “we’ve made a massive effort to include”

    It’s a massive effort for a big company like Sega to localize a game properly? I feel bad for the little guys like XSeed and others now. What they go through to deliver games to us completely intact must be quite a trial!

    • Glad to hear it. :)

      It’s a massive effort for Yakuza because the game is simply so huge. You could probably easily spend 20-30 hours just doing completely optional side content alone, regardless of the main story.

      It’s a lot of work, but our guys in production and our team in Japan did a great job making sure the fan requests were heard this time around.

  • Come on 1 & 2 you know it is just a game if you don’t like it don’t download/play it.

    For the rest of us..

    We get treated to a great game.

  • I have played it on ps plus and was disappointed in the demo. It was very short. I know it is focused on battles but that is not where the game shines in my eyes. I hope people don’t get the wrong idea about the game from this because I expect the full version to be great.

    • Almost all feedback is good feedback. Thanks for the comment, and glad to hear too that you’re a big fan of the other parts of the game. Thanks for supporting Yakuza 4!

  • After playing the demo last week i’ve decided i am getting this game day 1! I even bought Yakuza 3 on amazon because i enjoyed the demo so much and want to get caught up before i play Yakuza 4. Good job on the kick ass demo and thank you for introducing me to an awesome game.

    • Right on, stoked to hear you had a blast with it – welcome to the world of Yakuza! Have fun with Yakuza 3, and we hope you’re excited for 4 next month.

  • I enjoyed the demo last week and I will be preordering soon. Also is there any chance of Valkyria Chronicles gettting trophy support?

    • Thanks for pre-ordering to support the series, it really does make a difference.

      A while back the Valkyria Chronicles dev team wrote to explain that there’s very little chance of trophy support since the game wasn’t built with it originally. From an outsiders point of view I know it may seem like it’s as easy as throwing on an extra topping to a pizza, but the reality is that it’s more like adding extra pieces to a house made of cards. Even the smallest changes can end up causing a lot of work, and the team’s efforts have all recently been focused on their latest release in Japan – Valkyria Chronicles III.

  • YEAH, I was almost tempted to subscribe to plus when they got this a week ahead of us poor people, but I’m glad I waited. Yakuza is easily my favorite series of all time, I’ve beaten every game at least two times.

    Thanks for the appetizer before the main course.

  • Really curious why the demo is just combat. There is so much more to the game

    • I can ask around to find out the exact reasons, but I think a big part of it was trying to make sure we had the full game localized and ready to roll as soon as possible.

      Because of Yakuza 3’s delay in coming stateside, we ended up with a fairly large release gap between Japan and the US for the franchise. Yakuza 4’s release aims to help us bridge that gap for the series more closely, so all localization efforts have been focused on the final product.

  • Oh right! As always, it’s begging time!

    Yakuza PSP, PSP2 Infinity, Valkyria Chronicles III, Shining Hearts, Shining Force Feather please!

    If you had waited you could’ve gotten Yakuza 3 free when buying Yakuza 4 at K-Mart. Then again that would lead to you being not so caught up… in any case if you haven’t played Yakuza 1 & 2 get to and start with those instead!

    • So many good games! I can’t comment on any of those, sorry – but as a fellow SEGA fan, I do recognize how awesome many of them are.

      P.S. – more responses to all the other comments soon! Sorry for not responding earlier to these, as I was on a plane. I’ll be addressing as many posts as I can later tonight. :)

  • Can’t wait for the game to finally drop. Love this series so very much and I am really glad they are trying to get everything back in the localised version of this one instead of cutting out so much.

    • Thanks for sticking with the series throughout the years! From Hostess Clubs to Mahjong, we hope you’ll enjoy the extra side content as well as the main game.

  • Thank you for bringing this series to the US. Yakuza 3 was my 2010 GOTY and this should be my favorite game this year.

    • GOTY? That’s awesome to hear. Personally, I think 4 is leaps and bounds beyond 3 thanks to the fresh new styles of combat – hope you’ll dig it just as much as you did Y3!

  • I think we can delete the first 2 posts and move on.
    Anyway, looking forward to playing the Demo.

    • As for the first two, I can respect people’s opinions, but I respect them a bit more if they’re founded on facts and not just assumptions. :) I actually also enjoy Dragon Age as a game, and have been replaying the first one recently – both Bioware and the Yakuza dev teams do a great job on their RPGs, in my opinion.

      All that said, hope you enjoy the demo!

  • Does anyone know anything about the Black Ops servers being down? I checked the Black Ops website, and there is nothing about maintenance or anything.

    • That was me, sorry. (I did it so you’d come here, read this blog, and then play the demo!)

      Please don’t be angry.

  • Loved Yakuza 3, almost became a PS+ member to get this new demo. Glad it’s out today and the game will be out pretty soon.

    Can’t wait to get my hands on Yakuza 4, and hopefully Of The End as well. Even if it does take a whole year after JP release ;)

    • Glad to hear you enjoyed Y3! I’ll sound like a broken record soon, but special thanks to you and to all the other fans for supporting the series here in the west.

  • @4

    You’re not being treated to anything. It’s a product and it is being sold. You will participate in your role as the consumer in a consumer culture and pay for the product to enjoy it.

    Whether I participate in the same manner is irrelevant to my objection that such content ever be produced as it both glorifies and validates a subculture of taking from others versus being a producer in its own right.

    • Wow. This got really deep really fast.

      Beyond the fancy wording above, you’re both right. Play what you want to play, and respect others choices to play what they enjoy playing.

  • I love this series, but this is a TERRIBLE demo.

    I got it on the 15th as a PlayStation Plus subscriber. It makes the game look like a dumb beat-em-up. That’s not why you play these games.

    You play these games for A) The amazing recreation of present day Japan. B) The usually pretty decent story. C) RPG leveling system.

    NONE of that is in this demo.

    Avoid this demo and rent or buy the retail game.

    • As I mention in the blog post, there’s definitely a huge amount of content that the demo doesn’t show – and much of it is, in my opinion, great stuff. The demo should do a good job of showing off the four different fighting styles of the characters, though.

      I’ll pass on the feedback for the demo, though – thanks!

  • just made a mess when I got the RSS!

  • @Hooligantuan
    “it both glorifies and validates a subculture of taking from others versus being a producer in its own right.”

    LOL. The only thing these games glorify is beating the ever loving crap out of people. :p That and being selfless and trusting can be both good and bad.

    • There’s definitely a lot of interesting themes present within the entire series. Kazuma’s ability to trust was a key element in Yakuza 3, and that trust will actually play a role in the story of Yakuza 4…

  • This demo is a borderline slap to the fans. It’s a stripped down demo of the Japanese version with over half the content missing. It is a poor representation of the game and not a god sign to come for the release. If a thing that was said to not have been cut is missing, I’m never trusting sega again.

    Do yourself a favor and rent the game before you buy. The Japanese demo is no longer available.

  • This demo is not a good representation of the game. Rent before you buy. Its shady.

    • It shouldn’t be shady, sorry if it seems that way for any reason – if anything, I think people will be stoked to see just how much more there is to the game beyond the combat.

      Yakuza 3 is also a great representation of how the game plays, overall. You can watch youtube videos of it anywhere, or likewise even check out Japanese clips from Y4 to get a good feel for it.

  • Glad that Sega was able to localize Yakuza 4 for the west pretty quick along with the fact that fans didn’t have to beg for it again like Yakuza 3. Few questions though.

    Will you guys be releasing a downloadable version on PSN?

    Any plans for bringing Yakuza: Of the End to the West?
    I was sorta felt that direction was like it was towards the west with the guns and Zombies and all.

    And how come PS3 didn’t receive a Dreamcast Collection like Xbox360 & PC?

    Thanks in advance. Looking forward to picking up Yakuza 4.

    • #1 – No plans for this currently.

      #2 – No news on OTE from me. Right now, all eyes are on Yakuza 4 to see how the game does.

      #3 – This one I can’t answer, but for good reasons. Sorry!

      Thanks in advance for picking up Y4! Sorry I can’t answer all your questions, but I hope at least getting them addressed slightly is better than silence. :)

  • Aaron,

    Please bring last year’s fantastic Yakuza: Blank Panther (PSP) to America.

    • I haven’t heard any news on this, but I’ll take the feedback and pass it on!

      P.S. – Not sure how your Japanese skills are, but importing may also be an option for you. I did that for Ryu Ga Gotoku (Yakuza) Kenzan, and even though I don’t understand it all, I don’t regret it one bit.

  • When is Seaman coming out?

    • Currently scheduled to be part of the next Star Trek movie, where Leonard Nimoy will play both his role as Spock and in Seaman simultaneously.

      In all seriousness, no word on Seaman. Crazy, but very cool game though.

  • Honestly, I missed the whole ps2 and gta whatever era.

    The only interesting thing was Seaman. Everything else was rubbish.

  • Love the series. I look forward to purchasing this game. Thanks again Sega for porting this.

    • Thanks for supporting it! As long as we’ve got fans like you out there, we’ll continue to spend the time and money needed to get these games out in the west.

  • Looking forward to this :D Have been playing the Yakuza games since I found the first in a local game rental store years ago. I’m a little put off with zombies invading Y5, but I’ll be picking up Y4 soon as I can–since Sony’s determined to bankrupt my gaming wallet this year xD

    Thank you SEGA for not giving up on us and bringing us Y3–and continuing to share Yakuza with us outside of Japan :D

    PS–I hope no one calls Kazuma ‘Aniki’ in this one–I rather liked Shinji and Rikiya :)

    • Money well spent! There are a ton of great games coming out for Ps3 in the next couple months. But as long as you have fun with them, that’s what really matters, I think.

      Thank you for being one of those who went out to pick up Yakuza 3, and who it sounds like will do so with 4 next month – it sounds cliche, but every single copy that fans pick up to support really does make a difference.

      PS – Heheh, you’ll have to see…

  • i mean Yakuza BLACK panther

    (dumb blog admins still wont add edit feature to posts lol)

  • Woot!! cant wait i love the series. i just hope yakuza of the end comes out in the NA. but got mine reserved.

  • Trophy Support for Valkyria Chronicles??? How about having another shot by having Valkyria Chronicles IV or direct sequel to Valkyria Chronicles for Playstation 3??? Please say yes to all of them! Thanx.

  • I’ve been a fan on this series since the very beginning. Thanks for keeping Yakuza alive in the west Sega! Keep them coming!

    • Thank you for being there to help it stay alive! We hope you’ll enjoy Y4 a metric tonne. :)

      (That’s like 1,000 kilograms, btw.)

  • Don’t need a demo. Buying Day 1.

  • Still trying to finish Yakuza 3 before this one hits. This and dragon age will be keeping me busy a loooong time.

    • Ah yeah, you should definitely finish Y3 in time if you can. The ending has some pretty important cutscenes for part of Yakuza 4’s storyline.

  • woohoo!!! I CAN’T WAIT FOR YAKUZA 4!!! Luv ya Sega!!!!!!! ;)

  • Yakuza is one of my favorite series of all time, I can understand if its not someones “cup of tea”, but really is an amazing extension of what Shenmue started all those years ago. I have bought and still own all the games and thank you for bringing this out for the fans.

  • @#1 “Hooligantuan” If you played the series you would know it is most assuredly NOT glorifying Organized crime. Please know of what your typing before making asinine comments.

  • I have never been more anxious for the update to go live before. Yakuza 4 demo (f the naysayers) and Xenogears!

  • I was just curious to see if there is any hope for the New Yakuza Chapter Project K game to come stateside, I’m sure there’s probably little demand for it but I’d love to continue some Yakuza Action on the go!

    – Jared

  • This demo was a disappointment to be honest. I know there’s more to the Yakuza series than half-hearted button mashing, but that’s all you’re going to get in this demo version.
    Would have been nice to have a little of the RPG element thrown in. I really loved Yakuza 3, but if the demo for that game had been like this one I would never have bothered with it, because there’s no indication of how deep the gameplay really is.

    • It can be a challenge to make a demo that can pack of all what Yakuza offers into a bite-size format, especially with as deep as it gets. Hope you did enjoy the combat though – thank you for the feedback!

  • The Ryu Ga Gotoku demos never… demo well. The real draw of the game is the crime drama, in my opinion. I just hope the trailers make at least that much convincing :x

  • You have my continued support even though by the third Yakuza I felt the series had stagnated pretty badly. Here is hoping that the bat crazy Yakuza of the End twist to the old formula will not break what interest I still have in the title.

    Also, SEGA, old friend, when that squad based shooter thing ends up not panning out, could you and the rest of community of Japanese developers please put this whole westernization snake oil to rest?

    I don’t remember western twisted games were what made Japan the king in the last 30 years, so please, just make good original games, not imitation of the very worst trends in western games.

    • I think you’ll find the new combat in Y4 and the new characters make it much more interesting. (I did, at least.) Akiyama’s storyline alone had me hooked, because it was all new and I was getting to know someone I hadn’t seen in previous games.

  • The japanese demo was decent with a story mode and still had the battle mode with more abilities. Only those who have played both would be able to this demo is far more than just lacking.

  • I never knew there was a Yakuza 1.
    How about the full PSN update already?!

  • I’m still wanting to play them all in order just for the sake of enjoying the story more. Just got to find the first one somewhere at a place that still sells PS2 games. I picked up Yakuza 2 when I found it by chance, but haven’t played it yet.

    I’m assuming Yakuza 4 continues the same storyline and takes place after the events of 3? Or does it stand alone as its own separate story?

    Also, know if Yakuza of the End is coming to North America? That sounded like a really fun game to enjoy on it’s own. Or perhaps you don’t have any information to say about it at this time?

    • Yakuza 4 takes place after Yakuza 3, and it does include movies just like Y3 did that will show you the story of Yakuza 1, 2, and 3, to catch you up on key events. However, there’s still a lot more you can see by playing the games in their entirety.

      As to OTE, there’s no word currently about the game coming west, as all eyes are focused on Yakuza 4 right now. Here’s to hoping Y4 can build upon and grow the franchise much larger here in the west!

  • All i wanna know is when i can download the DLC for fallout new vegas!

  • I miss my real girlfriend. That looked a little bit like Grace.

  • Pre-ordered this afternoon — possibly my most anticipated game this year, after Yakuza 3 ended up being the most fun I’d had in a video game during all of 2010.

    @SEGA: Bring “Kenzan!” to the US, please!!!

    • Thanks for pre-ordering! You get +1 rep from SEGA.

      Also great to hear you loved Yakuza 3. Even with some content missing, it was an amazing game. Yakuza 4 takes the bar even higher, and the side-content like Hostess clubs is the icing on the cake.

      As to Kenzan, no word on it right now, but I’ll note the request!

  • I agree I really wanted to get my hand’s on Kenzan too! Even more so than Project K! But both would be nice!

    • Kenzan is pretty cool, I’ve played through a good chunk of it in Japanese. The samurai setting always fascinated me a little bit, and I loved the swordplay elements.

  • Yakuza 4 YAY! =D
    Hey and about our want PSP 2 Infinity US Version? When will we get it? =0

    • I haven’t heard any news on PSP2i for the US, but as a fairly hardcore Phantasy Star fan, know that I do hope it will come here someday. That’s not for me to decide, but only time will tell!

  • You know i have to admit this Demo is pretty bad. I mean to anyone who isn’t familiar with Yakuza game will think its nothing more than randomly fighting people over and over. I’ll admit i knew nothing of Yakuza before i played the demo and didnt personally want to get the game because of it. I had to watch Videos of past Yakuza games to actually notice that there was more to the game than just fighting.

    • It’s a fair point, I think. I do hope you enjoyed the combat elements though, even though there is certainly a lot more to the game, as referenced in the original blog posting.

      Along with the other feedback, I’ll make sure this gets noted for the future.

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