Entries in Yakuza (3)


QCF: Yakuza Kiwami 2

fter The success of both Yakuza Kiwami, and Yakuza 6: The Song of Life on the PlayStation 4, it was no surprise that SEGA had announced to Weekly Famitsu Magazine that it was planning to re-release the entire series of the mega-hit property onto the PlayStation 4. Yakuza Kiwami 2 is the latest entry to spear-head the effort shortly after the release of Yakuza 6, an update to the second entry of the franchise, and the last one to have released on the PlayStation 2 before Yakuza had made the transition to the PlayStation 3 years later.

In what may arguably be the strangest title of the lineup in contrast to the spin-offs and seventh-generation entries, SEGA didn’t pull any punches in ensuring that Yakuza Kiwami 2 captured all of the wacky narratives and tongue-in-cheek writing of the original game. This PlayStation 4 remaster brings it all together with the new Dragon game engine that was introduced in Yakuza 6, and an assortment of other enhancements that make the trip back to the Kamurocho the best one yet.

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QCF: Yakuza 6: The Song of Life

he Yakuza franchise may owe a great deal of its legacy to Shenmue, but it’s done a great deal more on its own, and rightfully escaped the shadow that Yu Suzuki’s classic had once cast over it. Spanning across five epic chapters, a host of non-sequitur spin-offs, and a stellar prequel in its own right, Yakuza 6: The Song of Life is the newest title to enter the fold, and was announced to be the final chapter in the RyĆ« ga Gotoku saga.

Although the future of the property seems uncertain, SEGA hasn’t spared any expense with the finale; Kazuma Kiryu’s last hurrah is every bit of the bittersweet epic that it sets itself out to be and then some.

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QCF: Yakuza Kiwami

t’s been speculated that Grand Theft Auto III would have never gone in the direction that it did had it not been for Shenmue on the Dreamcast, and personally, I always found that contrast a bit misleading. Grand theft Auto attempted to give as much player freedom as they could, while Shenmue was aimed more at the player agency, albeit through the scope of a law-abiding protagonist who still had to adhere to things like a curfew.

Fast forward six years later, and we’re treated to a new game from SEGA titled Yakuza, an adventure that pays homage to both Shenmue and Grand Theft Auto through its unique RPG mechanics that offer a balanced blend of agency and freedom, and was successful enough to launch a new franchise for SEGA into the next decade.

A franchise that’s gone so strong that SEGA decided to release a remaster of the classic that started it all, Yakuza Kiwami for the PS4. To gauge the success of a remaster is to determine how well it can deliver the experience to both fans of the original, and new players who’re coming in fresh—Yakuza Kiwami nails both out of the park (or this case, batting cages), as the trip back to Kazama Kiryu’s misadventures in this epic crime-drama feels just as fresh as it did before.

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