The story features four protagonists including Kiryu, with Akiyama, Saejima and Tanimura. At first, there were concerns that this may be confusing from the player's point of view, or make it difficult for them to empathise. However, as development progressed, the benefits of having four people gradually became clear.
First of all were the battle scenes. Each of the characters has their own differing battle style, whether they're the speedy type, superhumanly-strong type, or the type who uses special moves. Akiyama performs skilful kicks using his characteristic speed. Saejima uses his extraordinary strength to lift and throw motorbikes with ease. Tanimura uses his grab moves to freely bind enemies. The player is now able to enjoy a rich variety of fighting styles.
In scenes whilst exploring the town, a fresh sense of amusement was born. For example, since Saejima is on the run from the police, he is always trying to evade their sight when in Kamurocho. Even when standing in front of a cabaret club he will comment that he has "no interest" and will not enter. On the other hand, Akiyama shirks his own job and goes out to places such as karaoke or ping pong at the hot springs with cabaret girls on a whim. Tanimura, walking along the back alleys, stops by illegal sex shops and takes bribes in order to overlook them. You can see Kamurocho from each of their completely different perspectives, and each character's individual personalities become one of the game's charms.
Kamurocho, the setting, has new underground, back alley and rooftop sections. The townscape changes between afternoon, night, and even rain, painting an even more detailed picture. Aside from playing as Kiryu you can run around collecting debts as Akiyama, or in another chapter use the underground to escape from the police. At other times you can become Tanimura and chase around thugs, running down alleys and across rooftops. The level of detail with which the town is constructed gives more charm to each of these scenes.
On 18 March 2010, Ryu ga Gotoku 4: Successors to the Legend was released.
More than 500,000 copies were shipped in the first week of release, breaking the previous record.
The series began during a gaming slump, was met with opposition from all sides, the hurdle of the review and the countless hardships it had overcome to be published.
The legend evolves even further. And as it does so, Ryu ga Gotoku continues on smooth seas...
"The staff actually talked about the moves, then tested them out to see whether or not they would physically work as they made them. You would see the staff wrestling in the office hallway and think, "Ah, they're doing a good job," [laughs] (Nagoshi)