Earlier in the year SEGA released Yakuza 0, a prequel to the first Yakuza game released over a decade ago. It was one I rather enjoyed a lot. The combat was fun, the story intense, and the side objectives were entertaining. I never got around to reviewing the game, but it is definitely a contender for my Game of the Year list. Yakuza 0 made me a fan of this series and I’ve been eagerly awaiting Yakuza Kiwami. Fast forward a few months and Kiwami is here; a remake of the first Yakuza title utilizing the game engine from Yakuza 0. The game doesn’t disappoint either, it’s wonderful.
One of the most important things a Yakuza must know is how to beat people’s faces to a pulp. We’re talking about brutal, bloody and no-holds-barred street fighting. Kiryu and Saejima didn’t get street cred by adopting puppies and saving the trees, they got it by beating the ever-living crap out of everyone who dared stand in their way.
Today during its keynote address at the PlayStation Experience community event in Las Vegas, Sony Computer Entertainment America announced a partnership with SEGA® of America, Inc. and SEGA® Europe Ltd. to release Yakuza 5™, the much awaited fifth installment in the critically acclaimed main Yakuza™ series, on PlayStation®Network for the PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system in 2015. Yakuza 5 will make its Western debut as one of the most requested titles from the #Buildingthelist campaign, Gio Corsi, Director of Third Party Production at SCEA, announced at the event. Both companies also revealed that Yakuza™ 4 and Yakuza™: Dead Souls are available on PlayStation®Network today.
When I first heard of the Yakuza series, I was a heartbroken fan of the Shenmue series looking for a replacement. Many of the initial impressions I heard of the game were that it was a spiritual successor to Shenmue. Others would claim it was nothing like Shenmue. I eventually got around to Yakuza 3 during the incredible drought of games this summer. At first blush, this game is an open-world Action/Adventure game that is incredibly similar to Shenmue. It contains all of the elements of Shenmue (Story, Combat, QTEs, RPG/Experience system, Mini-Games), but puts a different amount of emphasis of each of those elements.