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Dec 03

Dec 03

Yakuza Kiwami: An Extreme Remake on Your PS4

John Hardin's Avatar Posted by

SEGA Representative

It’s time to go back to where Kazuma Kiryu — the Dragon of Dojima — began his story, as Yakuza Kiwami is coming to PS4 in 2017! And by “where it all began,” I mean the actual first entry in the series and not the prequel Yakuza 0 (Which is coming to PS4 on January 24, and you’re all getting it, right?).

Yakuza Kiwami is a ground-up remake of the original Yakuza game, which first launched on PS2 back in 2005. “Oh, not another remake,” you’re probably thinking. Well, let me stop you right there, dear reader and reveal to you that “Kiwami” literally translates to “extreme,” and here’s how Yakuza Kiwami turns remakes on their heads:

  • All the in-game graphics were redone for PS4. And I’m not talking about doing up-rezzes of existing art, oh no. Graphics were completely redone for the 1080p/60 frames per second PS4 environment, and boy does it show.
  • The audio lines were re-recorded by the original cast (in Japanese). Astute fans may recall the US version of Yakuza being the only Yakuza game with a well-intentioned English dub, but given the complexity and uniqueness of the yakuza dialect, Kiwami exclusively has the original Japanese voices, re-recorded with the experience of the many Yakuza games since 2005!
  • You like combat? Boom! The combat in Yakuza Kiwami has been upgraded to the fast and (For legal purposes I can’t include the word I want to here, but it starts with an f and rhymes with “curious”) combat style of Yakuza 0, where Kiryu can change stances on the fly to chain together combos and pull off the outrageously satisfying Heat Actions the game is known for!
  • Substories! Finding substories (side missions) has become commonplace in the generations since Yakuza’s release, but were a bit obscure or difficult to find back in 2005. That’s been fully revamped now, with a clear delineation between the critical path missions and some of the quirky off-shoots of the main story.
  • Majima Everywhere. This is literally the best thing ever. Majima, the one-eyed, mad-as-a-hatter psychopath of the Yakuza series takes on the role of the protagonist’s sworn nemesis. And to punctuate that in Kiwami, there’s a new system where he pops out of the most random of places for impromptu encounters. I’m talking “pops out of a manhole” levels of ridiculous, which is what makes it so great.

Yakuza Kiwami, 02

If that wasn’t enough (and if you’re not familiar with the overwhelming amount of content in a Yakuza game, well, you’re in for a treat), we’ve added in some new diversions to spice up the streets of Kamurocho, including: Pocket Circuit car racing, MesuKing: Battle Bug Beauties, new hostesses, and more.

So, to recap where we are — Yakuza Kiwami includes new graphics, new voice, new combat, better mission/quality of life improvements, and a roaming nemesis. Sounds good, right? Well, we’re barely scratching the surface:

“But John,” you say. “I’m a Yakuza fan since the original and I know this game backwards, forwards, and inside out!” Don’t fret! Because in addition to all the other things we’ve added, there’s also ~30 minutes of new cutscenes to add in some interesting character depth for the game’s critical path (main story), and best of all — the story adds in some threads that help tie in Yakuza 0!

Yakuza Kiwami, 01

And, for those of you who may have missed the announcement during the PlayStation Experience keynote, SEGA is keeping the Yakuza train rolling with the announcement that in addition to Yakuza Kiwami, SEGA is also localizing and publishing Yakuza 6! We can’t tell you much since the game hasn’t even released in Japan yet, but we’ll tell you this much — the beautiful, sleepy port town of Onomichi in Hiroshima prefecture will never be the same…

Add Your Own

boxmyth said:

December 3rd, 11:14 am

Day 1. Thank you, Sega & Sony, for all the Yakuza love.

    SOUP_32 said:

    December 3rd, 6:47 pm

    Thank you SEGA bring these games west with physical releases :D. Can’t wait to play them

JanusDS said:

December 3rd, 11:20 am

This is awesome! I still haven’t played Yakuza 1 & 2 holding out hoping there would be a remaster or remake with the Japanese voices and English subs since I heard the translation was kinda shoddy in the PS2 versions and FINALLY, it’s coming!! So is it safe to get our hopes up for a Yakuza 2…Kiwami yet?!

billyok said:

December 3rd, 11:27 am

You guys are my new best friends.

MrPonuraski said:

December 3rd, 11:31 am

Good Lord… I need money… T_T

Bijatron said:

December 3rd, 11:32 am

Wow. Just wow. John, I can’t begin to express my excitement and gratitude. Awesome writeup. Kiwami AND 6 announced on the same day? Speechless.

Torracat83 said:

December 3rd, 11:44 am

Nice!

Kishnabe said:

December 3rd, 12:12 pm

More Yakuza games is great. So far we are getting all of them bar the Vita one.

quackerzacher said:

December 3rd, 12:45 pm

I would really love a physical copy of the game.

Vinland_Krauser said:

December 3rd, 1:09 pm

I hope you guys can do something about Yakuza 2 someday.

Alucard-XII said:

December 3rd, 1:19 pm

Great news.

Would be great if you guys could bring the original HD release of Yakuza 1&2, as well as Yakuza 5 on PS4 in the west.

    QueenB82 said:

    December 3rd, 10:37 pm

    Uh…..Yakuza 5, are you talking about releasing it in a physical copy-sense (if so, then sad to tell you that ship has long sailed away for that)?? Because if not, then I think you’ve been sleeping for quite some time, as Yakuza 5 has been released for over a year now, digitally, in the west and is stll out right now.

    And to be frank, while it wouldn’t be totally bad to release the HD remake of 1&2, in a sense it would kind of be a bit of dated redundancy–at least in terms of being counterproductive to the upcoming release of Yakuza Kiwami.

    Alucard-XII said:

    December 4th, 10:30 pm

    I have it on PS3, but I would rather wait to see if there gonna be a PS4 remaster

    I prefer the fixed camera and less dramatised cutscenes of the original 2 games on PS2. Having the switch to 3rd person view made it more like GTA, which I find less appealing. I would rather play an HD remaster of the original game (which is my favourite by far) with trophies support than playing Kiwami. Plus, we would get the 2nd game with it as well (which is my 2nd favourite).

    Not to say I’m not excited about Kiwami though. More Yakuza games in the west is always great news.

Hakumen__ said:

December 3rd, 1:49 pm

Are you still bringing the Yakuza 0 PS Vita App that was promoted during the #VoteVita campaign?

AMAZINGalive4327 said:

December 3rd, 2:45 pm

Oh dreams do indeed come true, thank you Sony and Sega, next year is gonna be epic, 0 and kiwami coming out in 2017 and Yakuza 6 coming in 2018 oh sweet baby Jesus. This PSX was outstanding

EPGPX said:

December 3rd, 2:50 pm

uhh…. wot does kiwami mean m8?

FF0689 said:

December 3rd, 3:50 pm

Thanks SEGA and Sony. I only got into Yakuza with 4 but I instantly fell in love and played 4 and 5 and some of Dark Souls. Plan on getting 0 launch day and now I DEFINITELY will be getting Kiwami and 6. Now if SEGA could give us a remake of 2 ;)

One of my new favorites series and I definitely plan on supporting it.

whereymyconary said:

December 3rd, 6:31 pm

Wow! I was only hoping to get 6, but both! I’ll pet-order when ever they are listed. I been watching the E3 footage for 6 at work and it made me all teary eyed. Very excited.

COREMINE said:

December 3rd, 9:07 pm

This is the best news for me by far from playstation experience. You guys are really on a roll and i really appreciate the info you’ve given on Yakuza Kiwawi also credit on not changing the title on the game and not trying to dub the game in english (Please do not even consider that) I feel the japanese voice actors do a phenomenal job and any dubbing would just ruin the experience for me. I hope you’ll consider doing a special edition of the game as well possibly a steel book with soundtrack would be good. I’ll be there DAY 1 to support this game and all future Yakuza games. This will make my play through in Yakuza 0 even more special now that I know we are getting more Yakuza games. Thank you!

QueenB82 said:

December 3rd, 11:13 pm

As I’ve said in a few other places and comment sections, I have to admit going into this year’s PS Experience–I was secretly hoping you all would come through like you did w/ some Yakuza announcements–and to small extent I kinda had a vibe that Kiwarmi would possibly get a release in the west. But I gotta give you all the magnitude of props in the world for knocking it clean out the park this year w/ the added shocking (yet definitely super-pleased, no less!) announcement of Yakuza 6 getting it’s western release basically a year after it drops in Japan! To be frank, I wasn’t expecting you all to give such a fast turnaround of an announcement for Yakuza 6.

The Yakuza series is truly a story of phoenix rising from the ashes in terms of being even second chance and new life w/ this newer PS4 era of gaming. Here’s to hoping you all Sega continue doing right by this series (this time around) and not squander the momentum. And a word of side advice: FFS, ADVERTISE, PLEASE?!

I don’t expect you all to take quite as balls-to-walls, as how you all do it in Japan in terms of the mass media blizts that Yakuza gets there, but I hell give at least a forth of that amount of effort here in the West.

Sergirt said:

December 4th, 3:46 am

OMG!!! Kiwami and 6 are coming to West!!!

All my love to eveybody made this true (●´∀`)ノ♡….

I hope people now support the series from the Day One. Now we must show all our love to the series!!!!

Neil said:

December 5th, 9:36 am

Sold. I am getting Yakuza 0, Yakuza Kiwami and Yakuza 6.

TIGERLUCK6 said:

December 5th, 3:19 pm

This is awesome news. Really like the Yakuza series. I hope they eventually bring the samurai spinoff to the west as well!

Yakiro_Matsui said:

December 6th, 1:37 am

Thank you, but please don’t stop and nex year bring to us Ishin and Kenzan :D

DbA2011 said:

December 6th, 3:55 am

Steelbook edition please! Not interested in a cheap business-card holder…

eightleggedsteed said:

December 7th, 2:15 am

I’ve always heard great things about the Yakuza series, but never managed to pick one up. This seems like a great opportunity to jump in. I hope all the other installments eventually make their way to PS4 as well.

ShaideCa said:

December 14th, 12:21 pm

Well, I kinda figured it was a complete graphic remake since you said it was a remake and not a remaster…That being said, I might pick it up at some point if it goes on sale. I’ve played the original just recently, so don’t see the point of hopping into a remake. As for the voices being redone…I suppose that’s all well and good, but it really doesn’t matter to ME since I don’t speak japanese..I would be equally happy just turning the voices off and reading the subtitles(Which I have done, because listening to something when i’m trying to read distracts me, and in the case of subtitles prevents me from reading as fast before the text pops off the screen for the next line of dialog)..

Suparaddy said:

December 29th, 9:37 am

YES! YES! YES!!!!! My one regret in life is dismissing Yakuza when it released as a GTA clone. WRONG! This series shot to the top of my lists since I played the first and I have loved the sequels since (personal favorite is 2). Too bad there’s no remastered version of 2 or an uncut version of 3 available in the US *hint hint*

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