Rise from the fall
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.