So much to see and do in the city of Kamurocho, Yakuza 4 has a lot to offer for fans and newcomers alike.
For anyone who has played past Yakuza games this is a sequel to Yakuza 3, if you haven't played any of the games I would highly recommend checking out Reminisce before starting up Yakuza 4. This pretty much gives you a back story what has happened in the past events of the series. The Story is more of a drama soap opera tale with honor and betrayal, throughout this plot upon a young woman trying to make a total of 10 million yen within the next ten days.
Each chapter will involve around a character that is connected to the story itself; there's Shun Akiyama who is a loan shark who seems to be helping people with loans and money problems. Second is Taiga Saejima who is a fugitive who had been in prison for 25 for murdering 18 yakuza members in 1985 and then there's Masayohi Tanimura who is a detective. But throughout the story the woman manages to receive support from these men and eventually unites them in finding a way to summon the legend of Kamurocho Kazuma Kiryu who is also the main protagonist in the series itself.
Gameplay: While fighting gang members and yakuza members each character you be playing as who have their own fighting style like Akiymama that are kick attacks, Saejima s more on brutal attacks, Tanimura can excel from parry attacks from enemies and catch foes off guard; and Kiryu is mixed and well-rounded on attacks. But most of the time you will be pressing Square and Triangle awful lot, during certain or random fights there is also quick-time events which can trigger at anytime; if you quickly press a button to avoid getting hit or button mashing while you're fighting enemies. It does have a mix of RPG elements added in, each of the four charcters you play as you can gain soul points from random fights and battles on the streets or through the main story; which can be used to upgrade and gain new abilities which can be come handy during fights.
But during battles you can also pick random everyday objects like a bicycle or even a bin where you can use to take a lot of damage to your enemies. Heat mode is also a handy feature which is more of your spirit level which can either be by guarding attacks from enemies or the more you fight it'll easily build up; if you have a weapon or not you can press Triangle to smash your enemy to the ground.
There is also chase where you'll be either chasing someone down or avoiding the police. But if you are chasing someone you can throw bottles at to slow down or if you are close to your opponent you can tackle them by tapping Square or pressing X to break free if you are caught by gangs or police. Apart from fighting and brawling in a large city, there is also a variety of mini games like Video Arcades at Club SEGA, fishing, table tennis and of course karaoke.
Graphics and Sound: I would have to admit the graphics are highly well done and detailed from its character animation, to its big city of Kamurocho. If you have played Yakuza 3 you won't notice that most parts of the city haven't changed much. But you may get easily lost in the city and distracted by random gang members and Yakuza members; and also side-quests which you can do at anytime.
Your biggest problem that will find in Yakuza 4 is that this game takes over 5GB of free space on your PS3, if you don't have any space just delete some data and MB install on games you don't play that much. Would admit that the game does have a lot of cutscenes and I mean a lot which you can't really skip, but half the time you are just watching a Japanese Drama instead of playing the game.
There is no English voice acting but does have English subtitles, there is a lot of Dialog Text throughout the whole game you just want to skip all of that just to get to the gameplay and fights. Japanese voice acting is really well done since this game was released about a year in Japan; they've always kept the Yakuza series in Japanese and not in English. Soundtrack does a good too from its main theme, to its arcade machines, and even to its Japanese songs and tunes in Karaoke bars.
Overall: Finishing the main story can take you up to 20 hours or more, there are still plenty of things to do in Kamurocho from side-quests to taking snapshots on your phone. There is also Trophy support for this game but to get Platinum you would be required to beat the game at least 3 times to obtain it.
There is also online support where you can play arcade games and upload your scores online on the Playstation Network; however there are also 2 player games like bowling, pool and darts. I would admit though that if into Sandbox games like Grand Theft Auto or into Mafia games, Yakuza 4 is worth checking out but if you are new the series like I am; I would highly recommend checking out Reminisce before starting.