Yakuza Kiwami PS4 review

Jari Välimäki

Yakuza Kiwami

Title: YAKUZA KIWAMI
Console: PlayStation®4
Genre: Action RPG
Release date: August 29, 2017
Price: Check your local store or PSN Network store

Yakuza Kiwami is a remake from the original title back in 2006 on the Playstation®2,
Now remastered with 60 frames per second in mind and additional cut scene content (around 30 minutes extra).

Story setting

The year is 1995, and Kazuma Kiryu, the Dragon of Dojima, is an up-and-coming yakuza.
A Lieutenant Advisor in the Tojo Clan’s Dojima Family, his hard work has nearly earned him his own sub-family in this prestigious group.
But one rainy night, the unthinkable happens. Sohei Dojima, Patriarch of the Dojima Family, kidnaps Kiryu’s childhood friend, Yumi.
In an effort to save her, Kiryu’s sworn brother, Akira Nishikiyama, rushes after them.

As the thunder claps, gunshots ring out from the Dojima Family office.

Kiryu arrives to find Nishikiyama holding the smoking gun over Dojima’s dead body, and Yumi in shock from the trauma.
Kiryu makes a decision that will change his life forever.
Sending Nishikiyama out of the room to look after Yumi, Kiryu picks up the gun as the police arrive to arrest the culprit…

The year is 2005. Akira Nishikiyama has become a changed man.
Yumi is nowhere to be found. Ten billion yen has gone missing from the Tojo Clan’s coffers,
putting the organization on the brink of civil war.

And Kazuma Kiryu is released from prison to a world he no longer recognizes.

This is where you begin to solve the mysteries that have happened around you, a story best experienced yourself and not told in this review.

Gameplay

Jumping into the saddle and starting to play Yakuza Kiwami, you’ll feel right at home if you’ve played Yakuza 0.
It’s a title though; that if you haven’t played Yakuza 0 previously you can easily get into,
as Kiwami offers a wide range of difficulty settings from Easy onwards to begin with.
This should please both new beginners and seasoned Yakuza veterans who want a tougher challenge from the start.

The game also tutors you on the easier difficulty levels with Hints/Tips to get started.

The controls are smooth and responsive in the open town of Kamurocho, and the fighting which you will be doing alot of looks spectacular,
and feels great, specially when you’ve learnt some nifty looking “finishing moves”.

Though sometimes in some cramped spaces the camera angle can be dodgy and throw you a little bit of, I mean you we’re facing a certain direction
and pull a spectacular move and when the camera comes back, you’ve changed your stance and the next move you’ve planned out to execute
goes in the wrong direction for being a bit quick on the buttons. It’s mildly annoying but it did not make me put the game down in anger nor happens alot.

There’s plenty of enviroment interactions in fights, where you can pick up regular items and the strangest things as a weapon to use on your foes.
Who thought of using a rose bouqet as a weapon? a sofa? a flag pole? plenty of fun things to wreck havoc with.

Above you can find alot of Screenshots from in-game where you can see the skill trees showing all the things you can learn and more.

And there is plenty of things to learn, I spent roughly 30 hours playing through the games story and some of the side missions.
With those 30 hours spent in game, I have roughly unlocked 60% of all skills available. And I will definitely head back into Kamurocho to finish
more of those side missions.

Speaking of the skills you re-learn, as you’ve just spent 10 years in Prison and forgotten alot of your fighting moves.

There’s 4 categories to re-learn or the 4 fighting styles. Rush, Brawler and Beast – developed with your skill points as you see fit.
The development of the fourth – Kazuma Kiryu’s signature Dragon style – ties into Yakuza Kiwami‘s Majima Everywhere system.. which is a fun occurance when
it happens during the story/or when roaming the city. This means fighting and beating Majima multiple times over and over again, in different settings.
And once beaten you’ve been thought a new Dragon skill. But you will fight him alot to max out The Dragon Style.

Unlike from Yakuza 0, the town of Kamurocho does not have as many activities for you to part-take in, but there’s still alot of fun activities to do.
Bowling, Race RC cars, Play billiards and take part in some karaoke, but you’ll not be owning or running any cabaret bars or buying properties.

Once you have finished the story part of the game, there’s plenty of new options as new game+ and premium adventure,
which lets you roam around the city and continue on the sidequests etc you might have not gotten into yet because the story was
pulling you along.

Graphics and Sound

The game itself looks gorgeous and runs in 60 fps, it’s colorful and vibrant just what you would want for a Yakuza title.
The remastered cut scenes look absolutely gorgeous, high quality work and as I mentioned above there’s additional cut-scene material added in game.

The voice actors, have done a fantastic job.. Even if I don’t speak Japanese you can feel the emotions they are portraying coming through the dialogue.
The ingame sound overall is good, and the music fits perfectly the title.

Final words

I picked up Yakuza 0 a few months after it was released, wanting to try out a Franchise I had not played prior. And the day I picked it up, I was hooked.
So naturally when I learnt Yakuza Kiwami was to be released I was happy, and I can tell you that my fondness for the series is ever growing now.

The sheer size of the universe, interesting characters, story, side missions, other activities you can do is amazing.
If you are a fan of Action RPG:s and have never tried the Yakuza franchise, I highly recommend it.

I’m now waiting for the next entry in the series, and can hardly wait!

Review copy provided by the Publisher.

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