Hot off the heels of Yakuza 3’s western release, and Yakuza 4’s upcoming Japan-only release, Sega has announced that the next title in the GTA-In-Japan / beat-em-up / RPG series is headed for the PSP, under the name of “Project K.” The game will still take place in the fictional city of Kamurocho, and gameplay will be familiar, but, there are other significant changes and reasons for the platform switch.
According to a recent article in Famitsu, series creator Toshihiro Nagoshi has announced that the choice to go portable was in efforts to connect with a younger audience. An audience, that, judging from recent PSP sales in Japan, seems to be growing larger as of late. Nagoshi claims that, while the violence in the game will naturally be the focus of the developers, he also has a message he wants to deliver about strength and aggressiveness for teens.
You even play as the younger, 18-year-old street n00b Tatsuya Ukyou instead of series regular Kazuma Kiryu. Nagoshi labeled him as “pure but immature.” Little else is known about the character so far, but it’ll be interesting to see how fans of the series react to a new character on a new platform.
Its kind of like putting a Zelda game out on the PS3, and making you play as someone other than Link. Or, putting a Metal Gear Solid game out on the 360, and making you play as someone other than Snake. Oh…wait a minute.
Project K is also being headed by a different team than the past Yakuza games. Gameplay as a whole seems to be similar to previous titles in the series, with the game including familiar Kamurocho landmarks and heat action sequences.
No release date has been set yet, but, judging from the way Yakuza 3’s western release was handled, us westerners won’t be seeing this game until, oh, I don’t know, maybe the year 2037.