released on Jan 21, 2016
A remake of Yakuza
Yakuza Kiwami is a remake of the 2005 open world action-adventure game Yakuza.
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Pretty big step down from 0 (although this is a remake of the first installment in the franchise, so it's understandable), but it's still pretty good
It's an alright remake that doesn't really do a whole lot to enhance the original, outside of having better combat. Coming to this after playing Yakuza 0 is a bit of a whiplash in terms of quality. The roots of the franchise are laid bare here for the most part, aside from the combat, and this series definitely had humble roots. I emulated the original game years ago, and in all honesty, this remake doesn't really do that much to enhance it.
It does have some positive additions. I wasn't super fond of the combat of the original and implementing Yakuza 0's really fun style system was great, as it adds much needed variety. Then there's the new story scenes featuring Nishiki's backstory, which do a fantastic job fleshing him out as a character and giving insight into how he turned out the way that he did. This combined with the role that he played in Yakuza 0 made him into a much more memorable and sympathetic character. These changes, combined with the expanded inventory from the original are pretty much the highlights as far as changes go.
A new addition that I think greatly hindered rather than helped the game was the implementation of the Majima Everywhere system. This system started off fun, I enjoyed encountering Majima and the different, whacky scenarios he orchestrates just to have an excuse to fight Kiryu. But this quickly got more and more obnoxious and repetitive the longer the game went on. I played through every Majima encounter I could and I barely unlocked a third of the Dragon of Dojima Style's abilities. You're ultimately fighting the same boss with slightly different attacks over and over and over again, and the more you encounter him, the tankier he becomes after each and every fight. The same conversation plays out after almost every fight as well, making this whole system a humongous chore, and I pity those who went out of their way to complete the whole thing. I'm also not a fan of how the Majima Everywhere system affects Majima's role in the story either. It makes the original role he played seem awkward and out of place.
Aside from the changes, the game plays out like the original, which didn't leave a huge impression on me when I played it years ago. The story is okay at best. It’s kind of all over the place with a bunch of segments that feel very disconnected from the main conflict. I wished it focused more on the different factions/families of the Yakuza. Can’t really talk about my other issues with the story without spoiling it.The substories are also really forgettable, especially coming to them after playing 0. I eventually lost the will to give them a try, and just started to ignore them.
The encounter rate in this game is also a tad much and I forgot about how frustrating it can be in the original too until I played this. Towards the end of the game it feels like you’re encountering Yakuza, Street Thugs, or Goons every few steps you take, and while they’re generally easy to avoid, sometimes they’ll spawn right in front of you. It’s better in Kiwami because I actually enjoy its combat, unlike the original, but there were times where I missed a Majima Everywhere encounter because a group of guys spawned right in front of me, and engaging in a fight with them causes Majima to despawn. This was really aggravating.
All in all, this game is alright. It’s not great, but it’s not terrible. While I did enjoy it, I am very much eager to move forward with the rest of the franchise.
Una historia que va durísima como siempre en la saga, y que se pone especialmente sentimental si has jugado al 0. Es un poco menos profundo y completo, pero más directo y contenido, que es algo que yo valoro bastante
This game is a downgrade to Zero in many ways and the Majima everywhere system really wears itself out over the game, still worth playing but probably my personal least favorite game in the franchise, story is still amazing though!