For me, Yakuza Kiwami was a game I was very excited about. I was a latecomer to the series, not jumping in until Yakuza 3 on the PS3, before going back and playing the PS2 originals. Yakuza Kiwami is actually a remake of the very first game that first appeared on the PlayStation 2. So for many people, this could have been their first taste of the game that started it all.
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Yakuza Kiwami Review
As this is a remake the first question you have is how does it look? Well, Yakuza Kiwami actually looks pretty darn good. A lot of work has gone into the character models and they look like they do in more modern games such as Yakuza 5. The different locations that you go to have also been coated in HD paint and a full of lots of little details too
Yakuza Kiwami like the other games in the series is very heavily story driven. You play as Kazuma Kiryu who gets out of prison after taking the rap for his buddy. No sooner is he out and he is sucked back into the world of organized crime. The story is very well written and is full of action, humor and some pretty awesome twists that you do not see coming. The new visuals make the story much more dramatic too which is a nice bonus.
It is actually quite a cinematic game and I feel the extra polish does nail home the story that little bit more than the PS2 original. One thing that I have always loved about the series is that while the overall story is quite serious there is a really weird side to the Yakuza series. There are some very out there and funny moments in the game, my personal favorites being any that feature Goro Majima who is awesome.
Gameplay wise Yakuza Kiwami for me is kind of like Sega’s hybrid of Shenmue and Streets of Rage. The fighting action is great and so very satisfying once you get the hang of it. Kazuma has many different fighting styles that he can use. You can then upgrade these and learn new moves, which is a lot of fun and sprinkles some RPG style elements over the game.
The main story is kind of short in comparison to the rest of the series, but it is still a good time. There are more than a few side quests to do, but these are much shorter than what would come in later games. Also as much as I like Yakuza Kiwami I must point out that this is a game that is slow to get going. The first couple of missions that you do really do not do a good job in showing how much fun the game is, but I encourage you to stick with it.
There is some side content for you to do as well as missions. These range from hitting on pretty girls, protecting random people in the streets and singing your heart out in a karaoke bar. There is always something to do in this game and it is very easy to get distracted from the main mission you are on.
One thing that is really weird and even weird by Yakuza standards is this very odd wrestling game that is in here. It features very scantily clad ladies who are dressed kind of like bugs body slamming and suplexing each other. It is actually kind of fun to play, but man this is weird.
I think that Yakuza Kiwami is a very well done HD remake. Sega went all out with the visuals and while it may be lacking in content when put next to the modern Yakuza game. I feel that this is still an excellent game. Also, it is worth noting that Sega is selling this at a more budget price so that is pretty awesome.
- The story is great
- The new HD visuals look great
- Plenty of things to do in the game
- The combat system is very satisfying
- Being sold at a budget price
- The first two main missions are very slow
- That wrestling game is super weird (but still kind of cool)