Project J from Sega now christened Ryu ga Gotoku

Super Monkey Ball's Toshihiro Nagoshi sets rough release date for PS2 project in Japan.


TOKYO--Sega today announced that it is making a new action adventure game, titled Ryu ga Gotoku, for the PlayStation 2. The game was originally in development under the code name of Project J and is now being produced by Toshihiro Nagoshi (Super Monkey Ball, F-Zero GX). The game is slated for release this winter in Japan for 6,800 yen ($62).

In Ryu ga Gotoku, the player assumes the role of Kazuma Kiryu, a legendary yakuza who was once known as the "Dragon of Doujima" for his unmatchable strength. The game takes place in a downtown entertainment district of Kamurochou in Japan, which Kiryu left 10 years ago after slaying his boss to protect his best friend and the woman he loved. His old cohorts didn't forget his betrayal, so they waited for his return to exact their revenge.

Adding to the mess, Kiryu gets involved in a series of unexplainable incidents and encounters a girl named Haruka, who holds the key to a missing fortune. From there, Kiryu pledges to fight for the sake of Haruka's future and to confront the past he's been avoiding.

The player will talk to the city's citizens, fight thugs, and collect information. There will be several side-story quests where the player can help out the people of Kamurochou by taking on jobs or lending a hand to someone in need of help. Completing the quests will reward the player with items, money, experience points, and valuable information. With money, the player can shop in the numerous stores located throughout Kamurochou to purchase items, have a meal to recover energy, and play games in an amusement area.

Of course, the game isn't just about shopping. On the combat side, Kiryu can punch, kick, and grapple, but he can also equip various objects on the ground and use them as weapons. With enough victories in battle, Kiryu can level up, thereby increasing his life meter and allowing him to learn new moves.

Sega says that Ryu no Gotoku is targeted toward more-mature audiences. Ryu no Gotoku's storyline has been supervised by award-winning novelist Hase Seishu, who's best known for Fuyajou and other novels that take place in the underground society. The heavy drama is aided by voice acting from a number of famous celebrities in Japan. Lending their voices to the game are seasoned actor Tetsuya Watari, actress Junko Mihara, DJ Kei Grant, and martial artist Yoshiaki Fujiwara.

Sega says that it aims to make Ryu no Gotoku's depiction of a Japanese entertainment district as realistic as possible. To make the city as lifelike as possible, Ryu no Gotoku will feature the likenesses of real stores and actual product billboards throughout its city. Among the companies signed up to be featured in the game are retailer Don Quiote and whiskey manufacturer Suntory.

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