“Remake” is a word we hear a lot these days to describe the practice of putting a slapdash uprez on some art assets and calling it a day. And more often than not leaves us with meme-worthy results and a bad taste in our mouths.
Well, my friend. Take that pre-conceived notion and throw it in the damn trash because Yakuza Kiwami is here to save us from the blight of buzzwords.
“Kiwami” basically translates to “Extreme” and SEGA has pulled out all the stops to make Yakuza Kiwami the definitive standard of what a remake should be.
Uprezzed graphics? Yep – because they were COMPLETELY RECREATED, from scratch, to run on the PlayStation 4 in full 1080p/60fps glory. Seriously, look at these two images:
Yakuza, 2005 (PlayStation 2)
Ok, got it? Now look at the remake:
Yakuza Kiwami, 2017 (PlayStation 4)
HOLY SWEET MOTHER OF GOD! Is your face not melting?
But we didn’t just stop with the graphics. Oh no. The original Japanese audio has been fully re-recorded by the original voice actors, so now the characters reflect 10 years of experience in the Yakuza franchise. (And the astute among you will ALSO notice that this will be the first time the original Yakuza game hits the west in its native Japanese.)
New graphics, new audio, but it’s just the same as the original Yakuza, right? Well, yes and no.
The plot is unchanged, but there’s an additional ~30 minutes or so of new cutscenes that add in some extra character exposition, some new threads that link Kiwami’s story with Yakuza 0, and they’ve added in new distractions around Tokyo to give extra vibrance to the red-light district of Kamurocho: Pocket Circuit car racing, MesuKing: Battle Bug Beauties, new hostesses, and more!
Then there’s the new “Majima Everywhere” system. Goro Majima, the one-eyed psychopath takes on the role of Kiryu’s nemesis in Kiwami and will barge in on Kiryu at the most inopportune of times. Fighting off some street punks? BOOM, MAJIMA! Taking a break in a convenience store? MAJIMA! That suspicious looking character who just popped out of a manhole cover (seriously)? MAJIMA!
Ev. Ry. Where.
Speaking of fighting, the soul of the Yakuza series has always been that classic brawling gameplay from the PS2 era, and while that’s still the case in Kiwami, it’s been enhanced with the recent quality of life features from Yakuza 0. Chiefly, Kiryu now has different combat stances you can switch between on the fly, for some top-notch street punk whuppin’.
Yakuza Kiwami will be coming out in in the west (published by Deep Silver in Europe) summer of 2017, in both physical and digital formats.
*This posting is the initial press release mailing*