In 2005, a legend was born on the PlayStation 2 - the legend of Kazuma Kiryu, the Dragon of Dojima, in his video game debut with Yakuza. Now, 11 years after that release, a new generation of players will be able to experience the incomparable action and drama of the Yakuza series with the rebuilt-from-scratch HD remake exclusive to PlayStation 4, Yakuza Kiwami. "Kiwami" means Extreme, and the game takes that concept to heart.
It's not an HD-remaster or up-rezzing of PS2-era textures. Yakuza Kiwami PC was recreated from the ground up exclusively for the PlayStation 4. That means every visual element was optimized for the 1080p/60fps environment, every line of the script was re-recorded by series actors and for the first time in the West, gamers will be able to hear the original Japanese language track.
Then there's the game itself! The PS2-era brawling gameplay is refined for the current gen with Kazuma Kiryu fighting his way through the ranks of Yakuza, only to wind up protecting a young girl whose aunt (who also happens to be Kiryu's childhood sweetheart) is missing… along with 10 billion yen.
Yakuza Kiwami is also available on PS4.
In spite of an old game engine, the Yakuza Kiwami remake adds a lot of exclusive content, well-included into the huge playground of Kamurocho.
The best way to treat Kiwami is like the 2nd season of a show. It might reuse animations or games, but the budget saved from that allows for a greater focus on the new stuff. It’s both different and comfortable. It’s not the perfect introduction to the franchise, nor the most unique. Nevertheless, if you loved the world of Yakuza 0 and crave more serious crime dramas that let you bowl with your eyepatched rival, Kiwami is a wonderful port for an interesting game. So long as you can forgive minor design hiccups, you’ll be sure to have a blast in Kamurocho.
Yakuza Kiwami is a blast! Play as the no-nonsense badass Kazuma Kiryu as you take back your city. Be the hero and you crush enemies or spend your time eating and visiting the racetrack, the options are all yours. The combat and story come together perfectly to make a game you will not want to put down. If you are looking for something completely over the top, then you will love Yakuza Kiwami.
Yakuza Kiwami is a brilliant, beautiful, and brutal remake of one of Sega's finest action RPGs, now available on PC with a host of graphical options.
Really, you can’t go wrong with Kiwami. I would have liked it if every aspect of the game had been fully redone, but we don’t see remakes like this come along often. I can deal with a few stumbling blocks when the core quality of what makes Yakuza so unique and engaging remains untouched. At least now more people can have a chance to experience this classic, which is the best thing about Kiwami’s existence.
PC players can enjoy now the remake of the first entry of the franchise. It is a good port, and although the game has its flaws, it still holds up quite well.
The original Yakuza has been remade into a sequel to its own prequel, but although it’s perfectly competent it feels outdated compared to the newer entries.