Kazuma Kiryu and his cohorts are back for another round in the popular Yakuza series, but this time they are heading back to the past. Each of the characters from the previous games will be taking up the role of an actual samurai from the Meiji Restoration era of Japan, hence the title Yakuza Restoration.
Kiryu’s past persona is that of Sakamoto Ryoma, one of Japan’s most popular historical figures. As a wandering samurai, he played a major part in bringing the Tokugawa Shogunate to its end by uniting the Western samurai clans of Japan, and bringing his campaign to Kyoto. However, his assassination put an early end to his role, but saw that his mission would live on.
Of course, Kiryu wouldn’t go down without a fight, and neither will he as Ryoma. His fighting style brings back the classic takedowns of the previous Yakuza games, where his poor foes get their skulls smashed into the concrete, among other painful ways of dying. This time, a katana can be used to rip out their guts, and he is even packing heat, creating impressive combos with a sword and pistol.
The historical Ryoma figure was famous for adopting a pistol as a back-up weapon, giving a nice factual touch to the new combat system.
And what is the Yakuza series without side games? Kiryu also lives the life of a loving farm husband, treating his wife to gifts and helping pull daikon radishes from the garden. He fishes, plays with the dog, hops wood an vegetables, a regular household working man.
He can also take up jobs in the recreated downtown of 19th century Kyoto. Serving noodles at a shop, picking up dancing comedy gigs, and flirting with the local hostess women. Yakuza is nothing more than a brawler without these fun mini-games, and as fans know, you never feel satisfied until they are all perfected.
The same over the top voice acting makes a comeback, and aside from the setting, this is a true Yakuza game to the core. Check it out on the Playstation 4, the first next-gen jump in the series, and pray it will be localized.