The first adventure of Kazuma Kiryu returns with a remastering that goes beyond a facelift, introducing new plot lines and mechanical novelties where Goro Majima has a special role.
As much as the Yakuza franchise likes to a significant core of players, it must be recognized that the title of SEGA is, undoubtedly, a niche game. A story based on the Japanese mafia, its goings-on and dramas, told by dozens of long cinematic. A variation of the open world that bets on a small space with a lot of attention to detail rather than hyperbolic territories. A combat system reminiscent of the beat’em up of yesteryear than the current. And all this, surrounded by each side with a very, very Japanese sense of humor.
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But that mentioned base of players are sent to each delivery without thinking twice, obviating the lack of translation into Spanish in our country and appreciating the clear cultural differences between player and work. And in recent times the word of mouth has caused an effect. More and more players are launching into the saga, and the latest installment published here, Yakuza Zero, was addressed with its prequel character to an initiation for all those players. The title that comes to our territory at the end of August pursues the same objective.
Yakuza Kiwami is a “remastering” of the first installment that appeared on PlayStation 2 in late 2005. A ten-year celebration of the franchise when it was released in Japan. But if we put in quotes the word remastering is because Kiwami goes beyond a facelift of textures, resolution and sound. It is a replica made almost from scratch of the game that started it all, using the graphic engine used in Zero, showing a relatively current visual section that works at 1080p and 60 frames per second with a dub in Japanese unpublished in Europe Re-recorded by the original voices.
It also adds new content to the first adventure of Kazuma Kiryu: 50 independent stories that relate it to the aforementioned prequel; A story that develops to the antagonist of the game, Nishikiyama; An improved combat system that takes back the bases of Yakuza Zero and new actions for the combats against the final bosses. However, after being able to wander through a Kamurocho full of life, shops and neon for about 30 minutes, the most important novelties have seemed to us others.
In the code that we have been able to prove, the same one that was available in E3 2017, we accompanied Haruka, an orphaned girl who looks for her aunt and whom Kiryu has decided to help, as her relative has the same name as an old love of the protagonist. We could not get into main missions or advance the argument, but our game was focused on satisfying the girl’s whims (“buy me such an amulet”, “I want such a drink” …) by the stores of Kamurocho and try out mini games.
Of these also have been included a good handful that were not in the original version. The mini-games, whether they have to do with recreation or games of a lifetime, are a recurrent in the saga and one of the main attractions of those who enter it. Here we could go to the bowling alley, where there are different types of balls each with their own weight and their own physical. We could also participate in electric car races in the style of Let’s & Go or participate in a kind of fighting game based on stone / paper / scissors where the protagonists were MMA fighters with little clothes and dressed as if they were insects. What I said, the Japanese humor.
The twist here is in Goro Majima, a character who will know well who played Yakuza Zero. The most interesting system implemented in this remastering is called “Majima Everywhere” and, as the name indicates, it is basically that this mad archenemy of Kiryu can appear at any time and challenge us. And his skill in all areas is enviable, whether in bowling or in electric cars; The effect that creates, after falling defeated again and again, is that it is a rival to beat as we become stronger (and more knowledgeable of the mechanics) and in turn, be in a constant state of tension to be worried that Appears. Of course, falling defeated before him has no penalty, either in minigames or in combat.
And, if Kazuma Kiryu was already sufficiently threatened to walk through a neighborhood where the groups of the yakuza, gang members and other gangs take advantage of any moment to beat him up, now we must add to the pie equation to Majima. It does not matter if we are walking with Haruka. Majima may appear suddenly to fight against us in an attempt to make us stronger. And just like in minigames, it’s practically unbeatable with its pirouettes, elusive and an endless life bar. Of course, after each confrontation we learn from him, obtaining combos from his combat system that will make us improve little by little and complement the four styles of fighting Kiryu.
In short, if Yakuza Zero already said in his day that it was the best delivery to enter a saga as personal and different as this, after a few minutes with Kiwami we can only say that it points to the same but with very interesting systems that will have to See how they develop over time. That is, we need more hours with the title to answer questions like “will the constant appearances of Majima heavy?” Or “has the combat evolved enough?”. We will know next August 29 when Yakuza Kiwami arrives for PS4 at a reduced price.