The Yakuza games have had a weird, storied history over here in the US. In Japan, the series is one of Sega’s premiere titles, if not the biggest, and the stories are deeply entrenched in Japanese culture and post-war history. Over here, we have little direct connection to the types of characters we see in these games, and they’ve struggled to find a wide audience. The first four games made it over here on the PlayStation 2 and 3, but it took years for Yakuza 5 to make the jump. That’s not the case anymore – we’re getting everything, it seems. Not only is Yakuza 0 coming, but so is Yakuza 6 and the remake of the original game, Yakuza: Kiwami.
They redid everything, and I mean everything
This remake is just that – a remake, not a remaster. All the graphics are redone for a 1080p resolution running at 60 frames per second, and the combat system has been upgraded to match that seen in the much, much newer Yakuza 0. The game’s substories have been revamped, and protagonist Kazuma Kiryu’s infamous one-eyed rival Majima plays a bigger (and appropriately silly) role.
Better yet – the misguided English dub of the game, which featured actors like Michael Madsen and Eliza Dushku, has been replaced with the Japanese voice track which itself has been re-recorded for the game.
I’m almost literally weeping with joy right now.
Yakuza: Kiwami is set to release in Summer of 2017, while Yakuza 6: The Song of Life is set for early 2018.