Yakuza Kiwami will release August 29th on the PlayStation 4 and is a complete remaster of the original Yakuza 1 on PlayStation 2.
I have never played a Yakuza game in my life so the remake of the first title was probably a good start. I’m not big on beat em up games and I honestly don’t play many Japanese video games either. I can confirm I was pleasantly surprised by what I experienced. In Yakuza Kiwami you step into the shoes of Kazuma Kiryu a man who has made his life in the Yakuza families and is ready to start his own until his best friend commits murder and you cover for him. Yakuza Kiwami is full of twists and surprises, I enjoyed the pacing of the story, the time jumps I just wanted to keep on going to see how it all unfolds. I don’t want to spoil too much of the story but I was truly gripped by it. It isn’t just the narrative that brings the game to life but the setting, the back stories, it felt like a lot of effort had gone into making this into a movie like game.
The gameplay in Yakuza Kiwami is a mixture of exploration, mini-games and beat em up styles. I enjoyed exploring though at one point I got really frustrated in trying to find a paper plate for a dog that needed a drink, I ended up playing baseball to win an iron plate not knowing where to find the real plate. I lost, unfortunately. The beat em up segments are smoothly placed they don’t get frustrating and the 4 fighting styles you are given helps you find your style and keeps the gameplay fresh. The amount of mini-games and little side quests there are to do is phenomenal for a PlayStation 2 game remade on the PlayStation 4. I took part in many of the events and it was seriously enjoyable, you can even grab a friend to play some on the main menu with 2 controllers. I ran into one or two bugs, a fight froze on me at one point and I crashed once but it was nothing to hinder the experience. I really did struggle at boss battles unfortunately even on medium I felt it was quite difficult, I also through out found it difficult to get the special meter up, but that’s just my skill and not the games fault.
The graphics have been completely remade with PlayStation 4 tech and it looks brilliant, the puddles you run through on the streets reflecting the lights from the city is beautiful to look at. The sections of the map you can explore are breathtaking, it all felt alive especially with the people talking to each other, people shopping in the local shops, it was all very interesting. The art style and look of the characters is also a pleasure to look at, the team has really put effort to remaster the original game and remasters that completely remake the game from the ground up like Crash N-Sane trilogy are true remasters and that falls into the category of a true remaster.
I thoroughly enjoyed my experience with Yakuza Kiwami, there were a few parts I got a bit annoyed at, the difficulty got quite tough at some points but it’s a good solid game with a decent storyline that will keep you hooked. I blame the game for me not getting my garden sorted because I couldn’t put the controller down.