Sega's Like a Dragon (Project J) Unveiled!

News story here: … ?id=124058

Official website here:

Gentlemen, start your drooling! Atleast if you own a PS2 since, so far, that’s the only certain system the game will be appearing on as its logo is present on the website.
Here’s the news story for those who can’t (or don’t want to) visit the website:

[quote]Well, that August 23 date has been and gone (oh, how poetic is the passing of time) and now all can be revealed! The Project J title has now been dumped in favour of the far more catchy Ryu Ga Gotoku - roughly translating as “Like a Dragon”.

Sporting a distinctly adult focus, the game is a gritty action-adventure following the exploits of Kazuma Kiyuu, a shady character from the criminal underworld of fictional Japanese district, Kamurocho. On release from prison, Kazuma becomes entangled in the disappearance of Haruka, a mysterious girl with ties to a gargantuan sum of money.

The game seems to bare a striking resemblance to the Dreamcast classic Shenmue, sporting a fully realized virtual town where gamers are free to explore, eat in noodle bars and fast food joints to restore energy, play mini-games in arcades and pachinko parlours - all while the main storyline unfolds. Furthermore, the game will include a detailed battle system, said to play up to the brutal and bloody side of videogame violence that includes everything from hand-to-hand combat to an extensive weapons system.

With some top Japanese talent onboard, including numerous well-known actors providing the in-game voice work and author Hase Seishu, responsible for Nagoshi’s original story into reality, it’s clear that Sega has some serious plans for Ryu Ga Gotoku when it hits Japanese stores this winter.

Given Shenmue’s tempestuous history in the Western market, it’s unclear whether we’ll be seeing the game on these shores, but we certainly hope so.[/quote]

Wow. O_o This certainly came out of nowhere…

My first impression is that if this turns out to be anywhere near as good as it is promising, we might not miss Shenmue 3 so much after all if it doesn’t make it. One of the things that mildly disappointed me about the Shenmue games was that they didn’t really have an adult feel to them, despite being a story about someone trying to take revenge for the vicious murder of their father; this looks to be tackling a similar realistic-contemporary-oriental-martial-arts-adventure idea in a much darker style…

And talk about an awkward-to-navigate-site for-non-Japanese speakers! :slight_smile: Here’s a few pointers so people don’t have to stumble though it manually (like me):

  • Click the left-hand “18” link on the splash page. (I didn’t first time…)

  • The fish image (top-left) seems to lead to profiles of the main characters; click the “zoom” symbols on the photos to see more…

  • The flower image (top-middle) and tiger image (bottom-right) seem to lead to unfinished sections.

  • The turtle image (top-middle) leads to one of the most randomly cool teaser trailers I’ve seen in some time.

  • The butterly image (middle-left) seems to lead to a news announcements page.

  • The snake image (bottom-left) leads to photographs of real people, I’m suspecting the actors…

  • The frog image (top-right) leads to desktop wallpaper.

  • The dragon image (middle-right) seems to lead to a scrolling story summary with images.

Well the site is very heavy on the bandiwdth but from the few in game stuff I’ve seen it looks to have a lot in common with Shenmue and perhaps the engine of Shenmue Online (r maybe it’s just the visual style). Either way, it looks very impressive for sure with very detailed character models (much nicer than they were in Shenmue overall) and environments. Good stuff… But I do hope it will be multiplatform… Apparently it’s an 18+ game too…

Questions, Alex (or indeed, anyone who can answer them): are there better-quality / different videos for this floating around elsewhere online? Which Sega team is handling this, if it’s being made internally?

(Currently putting “ryu ga gotoku” / “ryu ga goto ku” into Google yields a grand total of zero results, the CVG link wants me to sign up for a membership or take my leave, and I haven’t really got enough time to trawl through other gaming news sites right now. :anjou_embarassed: )

You can sign up for a free membership on CVG, unlimited access except certain articles are locked for the paid membership at first and later become available for all. I assume the downloads also only work for the paid membership, I never tried to download from them.

I haven’t seen this information on any other site but I haven’t really looked either.

That trailer just plain ROCKS. Though I haven’t seen anything overly adult in order to justify the 18+ (then again they wouldn’t show it on the website) the darker than shenmue tone is lovely. That fight with the men in black suits was so matrix-ish…

Look at the jagged edges… stupid PS2 >_<

Hope for PC port like they are doing for PSU… Probably won’t happen but…

I’m surprised this is even running on a PS2, a PC port probably won’t happen and if it does will probably stay in Japan.

Heh, I noticed that too (I also thought the main character looked suspiciously like a Japanese Keanu Reeves from some angles, but as it’s quite late over here that may just be my tired imagination).

I agree entirely about the trailer. From what I can tell it’s probably almost all higher-quality cut-scene content, as the definitely-in-game stuff that pops up occasionally doesn’t look quite so sharp, but meh, it’s on the ageing PS2 after all. (EDIT: yeah, as those screenshots show…)

As for the 18+ thing, there did seem to be a shot of someone shooting someone else in the head somewhere in the trailer - obviously not shown very graphically, but definitely on the “adult content” side of things; and as you say, they probably wouldn’t want to put anything very objectionable on the official site anyway.

Well Sega has done weirder ports before… I mean, what kind of a PC gamer would buy a Sonic Adventure game… So I guess there’s always the possibility that this will appear too since it’s something more adult oriented which is what most PC users are looking for. I mean, PSU is perhaps even more unfitting and yet it’s gonna get a port so… There’s always a chance it can happen.

For the higher quality cut scene comment, well… They don’t really look pre-rendered to me so they may just look good on the trailer cos of the extremely low resolution it runs on. Atleast I hope that’s the case, I really think it would take away from the experience if the cut scenes weren’t with the in game graphics just like in Shenmue. And what about Quick Timer Events…

Did you see that shot with the baseball game? Yay for mini games. I wonder what classics the arcades will include there… Virtua Fighter 2 maybe :stuck_out_tongue:

It doesn’t all look pre-rendered, you’re right, but I did think it was noticeable when the trailer jumped to the in-game engine (well, what I’m assuming is the in-game engine); with it all being at such a low resolution it’s hard to really be sure about anything, though. I’m currently looking to see if a better-quality version has emerged elsewhere…

EDIT: On the other hand, those Magic Box images (probably) look deceptively bad because they’ve been blown up from smaller source images. Gah, why can’t SoJ release high-quality media when they make interesting announcements like this… :anjou_angry:

At last a new SEGA game with a big budget :anjou_happy: .

Looks really interesting and certainly the best use SEGA made of the PS2 Hardware.
Trouble is, God only knows when were likely to see this over here.

Bloody Hell! This is more like the SEGA of old. IGN are saying this is costing SEGA over 20 million dollars

Yeah, that seems to be the one big downside at the moment; from the looks of it the game may be extremely story-heavy, so not the kind of thing that’d be easy to play on import.

Incidentally, Sega of Japan have their official page for the game up too, though at the moment it only has the same screenshots that other sites have been showing off:

Those shots definitely seem to be of the in-game engine though, which doesn’t look bad at all for a PS2 game…

And I just got a PS2 recently! :anjou_happy:

Hmm, from the most recent information I could find just now (which wasn’t totally up-to-date), Toshihiro Nagoshi is (or at least was) the head of Amusement Vision; so is this game being made by Amusement Vision, or by a new team headed up by Nagoshi…? His name is the only one I’ve seen mentioned so far, which seems strangely vague; as talented as he may be, I’m sure he isn’t making it single-handedly…

Gamespot has some additional small details… … 31768.html

…And so does IGN

By the way…

Quick Timer Event?
And yay for a live minimap unlike Shenmue 1 & 2
(I suppose it wasn’t really needed and would make them even shorter if you didn’t have to search around so much)

Either, this is a damn pretty game with the city looking quite a bit more detailed and alive (and nicer draw distance for characters)! Considering the PS2’s limited ability, imagine what Sega is going to be pulling off for next gen systems :anjou_happy:

Hmm, from the camera angle and feel of that screenshot, I suspect it’s more likely to be a “normal” combat-system scene - those look to be energy bars at the top, too. Also, Shenmue 2 did have a live minimap; you need more Shenmue in your diet, Al3x. :wink:

Those new details sound quite appealing, though; for a vaguely-Shenmue-style game I’m glad it’s picked up on the obvious idea of having you eat to regain health (as it always seemed kind of bizarre that you could eat in Shenmue, but you never actually had to). I also like the idea of it having a more traditionally RPG-ish experience points / levelling up system, though I guess that’s just personal preference…

Doh… It has to do with being more fond of Shenmue 1 and remembering having to look to the map poster things found around the city… But I’m almost certain I remember doing that in Shenmue 2 as well so, erm… Perhaps the minimap just wasn’t giving enough information or something?

I’m thinking it’s a quick timer event because there’s a “triangle button” icon visible… Why would that be needed in a regular battle sequence… Perhaps the life meter remains enabled in QTEs like this one to let you judge if you are about to lose. It was kind of weird in Shenmue where you didn’t really know how many failures you could have in them.

Yeah, it didn’t really give much information in S2; it essentially just showed you the shapes of the streets around you, and that was it (though you could add colored reminder-markers to the map if you wanted). Still a lot nicer than not having a map though, as Shenmue 2 had some slightly crazily large areas in it…

I’ve just noticed that if you look at the bigger version of that image on IGN:

…the button seems to have the word “Special” fading away next to it, so I expect it might be a multi-action button that can do different things in different circumstances, and has on-screen prompts to show the player this (like the 3D Zelda games do, for example); in this case, the “special” move would likely be crate-related. :wink:

EDIT: There’s another “action button” symbol visible on the baseball game pic:

What struck me before was the slightly random camera-angle, though; Shenmue’s QTE sequences were usually carried off very cinematically, as they tended to be like interactive cut-scenes, but the camera position in that image really reminds me of a Shenmue battle sequence (in which the camera always kept you on the screen, but not necessarily your enemies).

I guess you are right. Shouldn’t judge the camera before some preview pops up though… I mean, usually in third person games, pre-release screenshots often are not the in-game camera but just images that are simply showing a good view of the character…