Sega is gearing up for the Japanese release of Yakuza: Like a Dragon and has done so with a hilarious music video. The theme song, titled “Ichiban Uta,” is written by Japanese reggae group Shonan no Kaze with a guest appearance from Japanese DJ Nakata Yasutaka. The video features digital versions of all of them in Like a Dragon’s game engine. It is a ridiculous sight made more insane by the fact that Sega simply model swapped them into the game’s actual cutscenes.
There’s not much in the way of spoilers here, but you’ll see the band members performing various heat actions, assisting main protagonist Ichiban, and generally being more mobile than their real-life counterparts. Why can’t the United States get marketing stunts like this? I’m just dying to see a group like Metallica in Yakuza and kicking ass.
If you’d like to hear the full version of this song, it is actually available on Spotify right now. In addition to the rest of the Yakuza series having recently been uploaded to the service, the soundtrack for Like a Dragon is now available for streaming. Talk about striking while the iron is hot.
Shonan no Kaze should be familiar to hardcore fans of the Yakuza series. The band wrote the Japanese theme song for Yakuza 0 back in 2015. Titled “Bubble,” it actually had to be cut from the US release due to a copyright issue with its Japanese record label. Getting the licensing rights for Japanese music is incredibly difficult in America, so the localization team at Atlus did its best to create a new song that fits with the tone of Yakuza.
Whether or not “Ichiban Uta” will make it to the English version of Like a Dragon remains to be seen. The series has typically needed to replace smaller elements like songs as Sega has brought each game over, so it seems unlikely we’ll be hearing this in the west. That’s a bit of a shame, but playing the game is far more important than dwelling on specific music.
If nothing else, a PC version could allow us to mod the original back in.
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