Ryu Ga Gotoku KENZAN! (approximately "Yakuza AGAIN!") is an off-shoot the main series of Yakuza games by Sega. Unlike the games in the main series, which are situated in the modern day Japan, KENZAN! takes place in the Edo period Japan. This change in time period is reflected mainly in the look of the game, but also in the combat, which is heavily weapon ( sword) oriented. The basic gameplay has remained the same; free roaming world with story and side quests to complete, peppered with a plethora of mini-games and other distractions, such as prostitutes and gambling.
KENZAN! means literally "again!", which is apparently a very common stylistic vehicle used in Japanese Samurai cinema. The influence of Japanese cinema, especially samurai themed, is very apparent in the whole series, and not the least in this off-shoot. In Japan the game was advertised in co-operation with rapper ZEEBRA, who recorded "Bushido", a song written exclusively for the game.
Characters and plot
The main characters from the previous Yakuza games make appearances in the form of Edo period warriors with different names, but identical appearances and personalities. Kazuma Kiryu returns as Kiryu Kazumanosuke, and plays a part similar to that of the legendary swordsman Miyamoto Musashi. Haruka plays a girl who's seeking to avenge the death of her parents, allegedly at the hands of Musashi. Most of the faces in the game are familiar to anyone who has played a previous Yakuza game. The plot follows your typical gangster intrigue with its double crosses and feuds.
At launch, Famitsu reviewed the game and gave it a very respectable 37/40 points, just a point shy of the score RGG 3 got. First week sales were 178 000 copies, which is roughly the half of what Ryo Ga Gotoku 3 was able to sell on its first week. Before the release of the bargain The Best edition, the game had sold roughly 350 000 copies in Japan. To date, there has been no hint of a western release.