A new feature in Studio Yakuza / Sega’s upcoming release of Yakuza 5 is that each of the games five playable characters will have their own unique sidestories under the title “Another Drama”. These don’t just consist of storylines however and feature unique gameplay aspects such as Kazuma Kiryu taking up a career as a taxi driver and in the case of Haruka Sawamura…. her aspirations to become an idol! Haruka Sawamura has been a regular character in the series since the first game – as daughter of Kazuma’s true love Yumi Sawamura – now adopted daughter of Kazuma, occasional damsel in distress and more often in recent games the second-in-command at the orphanage that Kazuma has been running in Okinawa since Yakuza 3.
Times have changed however, and Haruka has now moved to Osaka seeking out her dream of becoming an idol and winning the Princess League Idol Contest. This mixes the gameplay of The Idolm@ster series where you have her take part in lessons, attend interviews and other PR events and take part in tournaments and something along the lines of Sega’s own Project Diva games for such performances by pressing the correct buttons at the correct time.
Personally, I am glad that Haruka is finally being integrated into the game more than being a side-character as she has been over the last couple of games. But while the focus has recently been on individual characters “Another Dramas”, I would like to see more on the games five characters in actual gameplay.