We know that a couple of months ago, Sega's Yakuza studio announced two new games in the franchise. One of those being Yakuza 5 which is in early development, and is something the studio aren't willing to talk much about right now. The other is the upcoming sequel to the PSP spin-off series Black Panther, namely Black Panther 2: Fighting Demon Chapter.
It doesn't come out until Summer 2012, but that doesn't stop Yakuza producer and director Toshihiro Nagoshi from strutting his stuff and getting the party started, starting with the now customary revelation of the cabaret idols for the game.
From left to right we have Ms. Yurika Tachibana, Ms. Mai Endo, and Ms. Erika Tonooka. These girls are actually three members of "Idoling!!!" -- a massive Idol group run by Japanese TV station Fuji TV. Check out all its members here, and see if Nagoshi made the right choice in these three.
Speaking of Nagoshi, he wasn't there just to pose with the girls, but was able to quickly answer a couple of questions about the game. Asked whether the Cabaret section has expanded since previous entries, he replied that, "the girls now look cuter than before, and by incorporating them into [in game] events, there is a smoother flow in [plot] development."
Next he was asked how the drama element of the game was coming along. Although Nagoshi said he received comments in past that the drama in his games was considerably long, he chuckled when revealing that wouldn't really change in this game. "Though the city will be the same Soutenbori from Yakuza 2, this is overwhelmingly prettier depiction than the PS2 version, showing the progression technology has made six years since that game, although there will be new hardware out soon," he stated with a wry smile.
He was then queried about the battle system where an ally can now fight with you, though Nagoshi states that it varies depending on the scenarios and which ally is with you at the time. Furthermore, an additional feature is present where curious onlookers may help you, but conversely may also turn against you. There's also some fun to be had with forming alliances with certain characters. He says that they are trying to produce a type of game "where you break down walls, and every time you break one down, more and more enemies are thrown in your path." He also argues that their battle system is one that will be very fluid, whilst requiring precision and accuracy, and give a sense of satisfaction when connecting with enemies.
Finally he was asked how the development progress is going, where after briefly mentioning wondering what tracks to choose for its soundtrack, his overall answer was "smoothly." For more pictures of the girls, and their pixelated counterparts, check out the gallery on the Dengeki site. Apart from that, I'll leave you with Idoling's latest single for you to cringe over. Or drool over. Whatever takes your fancy.