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Close Up Look at Yakuza 4's Hostess Component

Build up your own hostesses and explore their storylines.

 

Sega's long awaited Yakuza 4 demo hits on Friday. In addition to combat, free roaming and mini-games, you'll get to try out the game's hostess component.

It's a good thing, then, that Sega has provided a close-up look at that area of the game! Although it's too bad the update coincided with the recent revelation that Yakuza 3 will see its hostess component removed for international audiences.

Here's a look at Yakuza 4's hostess component. Like Yakuza 3, you're able to visit a hostess club to interact with girls, or go a bit further and build up your own hostess. Sega offered a look at both areas using a hostess named Hiyroi as an example.

Create Your Own Host

The create-a-host component is known as "Let's Make the Number 1 Hostess" (this is a play off Sega's "Let's Make a Pro Baseball/Soccer Team" series). You scout your hostess on the streets of Kamiyacho, and build her up into a top hostess at a hostess club that's run by one of the game's four main characters, Shun Akiyama. The game includes "3 plus alpha" hostesses (that presumably means 4, unless the "plus alpha" is a goat or something).

In the screenshots shared by Sega, we see Akiyama scouting a plain-looking Hiyori on the streets. After a bit of work, though, she transforms into the kind of girl you'd expect to find in a hostess club.

That's more like it!

You dress your girl up using dresses and accessories that you purchase. Compared to Yakuza 3, Yakuza 4 includes three times as many dresses. You can also set makeup and hair style.

Options for making adjustments to your girl.

To help you manage things, Yakuza 4 adds the ability to name and save your coordinations. This allows you to quickly change your girl's clothing in in case a customer makes a request. Sega says that this was a demanded feature amongst Yakuza 3 players.

Slots for saving your coordinations.

Initially, your girl won't be all that popular amongst the customers and will stand around in a corner of the club. With some training, however, she'll get popular, and will have to enlist the help of other hostesses to deal with all her customers.

Hiyori becomes more popular in the right shot.

Visiting Hostess Clubs

Even if raising a hostess isn't your thing, you can still enjoy the companionship of a virtual Yakuza hostess. In Yakuza 4, three of the four heroes can visit a hostess club.

Each hero can request service from the girls being raised by their counterparts, once they've gotten the girl's card, of course. Sega demonstrated this by showing Kazuma successfully getting Hyori's card -- the same Hyori whom Akiyama had been raising.

Kiryu has his choice of girls.
Hiyori gives Kiryu her card.
Select Hiyori, and she'll thank you.

Even as a customer, you can make the girls change their appearance. A girl may ask you about changing her hair. If you agree that the change would be good, she'll go ahead with it.

Hiyori asks Kiryu about a possible hair style change.
Agree with the change, and this is what she looks like next time you visit the club.

You can give the girls presents as well. In Yakuza 3, presents would make a girl's favor for you rise. In Yakuza 4, the girl may end up wearing your present the next time you come to the club.

Give Hiyori a China dress and next time you visit the club...

Yakuza 4 brings about some changes to how the girls interact with you. In past Yakuza games, a girl would order a drink only when she took her seat. Here, she may order drinks during your conversation. This could get pricy!

As you further your relationship with the girls, you'll be contacted by them outside the club. New for Yakuza 4, you can respond to e-mails that the girls send to you. You'll also occasionally receive phone calls while walking around town and will be asked to join the girl for a late night (or maybe early morning) meeting.

Getting called for a date.
Receiving and replying to e-mails.

You can improve your relationship with the girls while out on dates. As an example, it's possible to play cooperative golf with a girl. If the girl misses a shot, you can show your skill with a recovery, further raising the girl's affection level for you.

Hiyori praises your golf skills.

When departing the hostess club, the girl's proximity during her farewell will change depending on her favor for you. Practice that swing!

Substories

Each hostess has a unique sub story. As you advance in your relationship, you'll be able to delve into the depths of the story line.

Hiyori gradually opens up to Kazuma by initially revealing that she was good at soccer during her junior high days and could even take on the boys. However, she had to stop playing due to some problems with her body.

Wondering where exactly her body might have had problems, Kazuma takes a closer look. Hiryu notices, shown here with Hiryu in two different sets of clothing.

Hiyori reveals her soccer past.
Is the problem with her breasts? asks Kiryu.
Is the problem with her breasts? asks Kiryu. (Hiyori is in different clothing this time.)

Eventually, the conversation gets even more personal. Hiyori reveals that she became a hostess after running away from home following a fight with her father.

The girls' stories may progress even when you're out on a date. In the following screens, we see Hiyori ask Kazuma out to a post-work meeting. Kazuma joins her, but the two end up being interrupted by Hiyori's little brother, Hideyuki, who, out of health concerns for their father, asks that Hiyori make ammends.

Hiyori's mom also ends up visiting you while you're on a date. She'll reveal that Hiyori's father is having financial problems. This causes Hiyori concern. Thanks to your consultations, she's come to realize that she was the one who was wrong -- not her father.

Visit from brother.
Visit from mother.

All this appears to be working towards a meeting between Hiyori and her father. After the conversation with Hiyori's mother, you'll receive an e-mail from Hiyori stating that her father has come to the hostess club as a customer. Her father, who appears to be named "Thunder Matsuoka," spills his heart out to Hiyori, too drunk to tell that the girl he's talking to his his own daughter (in case you're unfamiliar with host club stories, this is as cliche as they get).

Having received an e-mail from Hiyori, Kiryu heads to the club.
Hiyori and father.
Kiryu realizes that dad is too drunk to realize he's speaking to his daughter.
Hiyori learns just how much her father cares for her.

The final sequence of screenshots show Kazuma helping Hiyori's father solve his loan problems, and receiving great favor from Hiyori as a result.

Help Hiyori's dad out with his loan problems.

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