Update: Added new information along with the screenshots from Famitsu.
Sega and Yakuza Studio revealed new details on Project Judge in this week’s Famitsu. Specifically, they explained the game’s “Friend Event system”.
As a quick reminder, Project Judge is the newest game from Yakuza Studio and takes place in the same universe as Yakuza. Players take control of Takayuki Yagami, an ex-lawyer who became a hard-boiled private detective after a certain case. The game’s main story requires you to solve a serial murder case related to the underworld.
Most of the game’s main characters are voiced and modeled after real-life actors. Main character Takayuki Yagami is played by Takuya Kimura, who used to be part of SMAP, an extremely popular but now-defunct group. (Technically, the “group” still exists with Takuya Kimura as its sole member). Kimura-san is also talented in acting and many other activities. If you’d like to know more about how the actors were incorporated into the game, you can check a making-of video and interviews of the game’s cast here.
The Friend Event system basically unlocks new events and features as you befriend habitants of Kamurocho. Doing this also unlocks new side-cases to solve. They can help you solve side-cases too. Here are the characters shown in the screenshots:
- The first character is Hanami Iida, a girl who works at Smile Burger.
- The second one is Sakura Amamiya. She’s from Soutenbori in Osaka. She’s a massagist and you’ll be able to ask her for massages if you become friends. Getting a massage refills your EX gauge needed to use super techniques in battles, so it might be wise to call her before you’re about to go in a big fight.
- The third shown character is a man called Ryan Acosta. He often gets weird looks, not because he’s not Japanese, but because he thinks of himself as a ninja and always dresses like one. He can fight together with you once you befriend him.
- The fourth character is unnamed. He’s the boss of a Kyushu No.1 Star ramen restaurant. He throws you items during battles if you befriend him.
Kamurocho and Soutenbori are both cities featured in the Yakuza Series. Same with the Kyushu No.1 Star ramen restaurants.
As you befriend certain female characters, the relationship can also develop into a romantic one, and you can go on dates together. Sometimes they’ll invite you, but you can invite them yourself too. You’ll be able to do that by exchanging messages with each other.
This feature was already mentioned in an interview with the game’s producers, where they revealed the story doesn’t have a heroine automatically paired with Takayuki and no particular focus on romance, but you’ll still be able to have “girlfriend related events”.
There are at least three women which Takayuki can date. The one they revealed so far is Tsukino Saotome, voiced by Kaede Hondo. She’s from Ibaraki prefecture and moved to Tokyo along with her older brother. She’s a university student. She first contacts Takayuki to ask him to catch the “three pervert musketeers”, three men in Kamurocho who sexually harass women and who were targetting her. She starts having feelings for Takayuki once he manages to stop them.
Next, the music video for “Arpeggio”, the game’s opening song by Alexandros, was also revealed. The video features Takuya Kimura too. You can watch it below. You can read more about the characters and game systems here. You can also check our playthrough of the game’s demo on PS4 Pro, available on the Japanese PlayStation Store
Project Judge will release exclusively for PlayStation 4, on December 13th in Japan and in “2019” in the west.
You can find below the new screenshots from Famitsu, showing Fastfood-working girl Hanami Iida, Osaka girl Sakura Amamiya, Ryan the ninja, the ramen boss, girlfriend candidate Tsukino Saotome and three other mysterious possible girlfriends. Keep in mind they’re not in very good quality since they’re not direct-feed.