From Sega Retro
Yakuza, known as Ryu ga Gotoku (龍が如く) in Japan, is an action game developed by Amusement Vision and published by Sega for the PlayStation 2 in 2005. The game has been followed by three direct sequels (starting with Yakuza 2), three spin-offs and two live-action films. A soundtrack album for the first two games, Yakuza & Yakuza 2 Original Sound Track, was released on 25 January 2007.
Yakuza was rereleased in Japan as part of "the Best" budget range on 26 October 2006 for ¥1,800 (1,890 inc. tax). The red "the Best" version was released on 6 December 2007 for the same price.
A big success when released in Japan in 2005, Yakuza did not sell well in English speaking regions despite Sega's massive marketing campaign and mostly positive reaction from gaming community. English voice acting was criticised which prompted Sega to keep Japanese voice over in the subsequent releases in overseas.
Lack of success in the Western markets prevented Sega from releasing the sequel Yakuza 2 and spin-off Ryu ga Gotoku Kenzan! in the Europe and America. Sega did eventually released Yakuza 2 in late 2008 overseas.
Taking place in 1995 in Kamoro-cho, a fictional district in Tokyo (which modelled after Shinjuku) story follows Kazuma Kiryu, a young Yakuza working under Dojima Family of Tojo Clan, a powerful Yakuza organization in the Kanto area of Japan. Kiryu's life changes irreversibly when one day his love interest Yumi is kidnapped by Dojima, leader of the family Kiryu is serving. His close friend Akira Nishikiyama attempts to save Yumi from Dojima and ends up killing him. Kiryu decides to take the blame for killing (Nishkiyama's sister is in deathbed) and spends 10 years in prison for murder.
In prison, Kiryu receives a letter of ex-communication and removed from Tojo Clan. Although he is visited by Shintaro Kazama, his adopter father who is also a Yakuza leader, he doesn't hear anything from either Yumi or Nishikiyama.
Eventually released in 2005, Kiryu attempts to bring his life together and find Yumi. On the way, he meets Haruka, a mysterious little girl. After being targeted by Yakuza families all around the Tokyo for "10 billion Yen" and realizing that Haruka could be the key to finding Yumi, Kiryu takes Haruka under his protection and resolves to solve the mystery.