Rise from the fall

Yakuza Kiwami

HWM (Malaysia) - - GAX - By Michael Low

Back into the con­flict

SEGA’s de­ci­sion to rein­tro­duce the Yakuza se­ries to the English-speak­ing fans came at an op­por­tune time, given the strong in­stall base of the PlayS­ta­tion 4 and gen­eral thirst for lo­cal­ized Ja­panese re­leases. It also helped that Yakuza

0 was cho­sen as the lead­ing game in the se­ries’ soft re­boot, which im­presses with ex­cel­lent lo­cal­iza­tion, orig­i­nal Ja­panese voiceovers, and recre­ation of 80’s Ja­pan that tells a grip­ping crime drama from the per­spec­tives of stoic Kiryu Kazuma and de­ranged Goro Ma­jima. Seven months later, Yakuza Kiwami picks up af­ter the pre­quel with an ‘Ex­treme’ re­make of the PS2 orig­i­nal, now with ad­di­tional story seg­ments that shed light on Nishikiyama’s where­abouts and his sub­se­quent change in per­son­al­ity dur­ing Kiryu’s time away in prison.

This bud­get-priced re­make of Yakuza runs on the same en­gine as Yakuza 0, so you can ex­pect a near-iden­ti­cal vis­ual pre­sen­ta­tion and silky-smooth frame rates as you ex­plore the many facets of Ka­muro­cho, circa 1995. The re­done cin­e­mat­ics also meant that the Ja­panese voiceovers were re-recorded by the same cast, which will be new to play­ers who were only fa­mil­iar with the well-in­ten­tioned English dub all the same. As for com­bat, Kiryu can freely switch be­tween the three fight­ing styles (Brawler, Beast, and Rush) from Yakuza 0, along with his sig­na­ture Dragon of Do­jima fight­ing style.

In­stead of dish­ing out moun­tains of Yen upon their de­feat, en­e­mies now

CON­CLU­SION Yakuza Kiwami builds on the orig­i­nal game and de­liv­ers in spades.

award moder­ate amount of cash and ex­pe­ri­ence points. The for­mer is used to pur­chase in-game items and equip­ment or to par­take in amus­ing mini-games, while the lat­ter is meant to un­lock health up­grades, abil­i­ties, buffs, and fight­ing tech­niques. The Dragon style, how­ever, re­quires that Kiryu seek out and de­feat Ma­jima as part of the de­vi­ous Ma­jima Ev­ery­where sys­tem. Be­gin­ning with Chap­ter 2, Ma­jima will pop up at var­i­ous points in the game (both ran­dom and key mo­ments) to chal­lenge Kiryu. De­feat­ing him will re­ward play­ers with Dragon style up­grades. Some abil­i­ties, how­ever, will need to be un­locked via dif­fer­ent means, which we won’t be spoil­ing for you.

As if that’s not enough, the game also awards you with com­ple­tion points (CPs) when cer­tain ob­jec­tives are met, such as com­plet­ing the quirky side mis­sions (read: Sub­sto­ries) that come your way as you wan­der the streets of Ka­muro­cho. These points can then be cashed in for rare items, abil­ity up­grades, and more from a clown named Bob. With Ryu ga Go­toku: Kiwami 2 an­nounced for a De­cem­ber 2017 re­lease in Ja­pan and

Yakuza 6: The Song of Life set for March 2018, there’s no time like the present to get on­board the Yakuza train.

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