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YAKUZA KIWAMI Review – When The Old Becomes New Again!



Published by: SEGA
Developed by: SEGA
Platform(s): Playstation 4
Genre(s): Action-beat 'em up
Mode(s): Single Player
90/ 100

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Great story, Original Japanese audio, offers a number of mini-games that are entertaining


Combat system may take some time to get used to

Bottom Line

  More than a decade ago the first Yakuza game came out on the Playstation 2. I wasn’t able to play the game back then as I didn’t own a PS2 console. Fortunately, Yakuza Kiwami, the remake of the original PS2 game, was just released for the Playstation 4. How would this game fare along with […]

Posted August 21, 2017 by




More than a decade ago the first Yakuza game came out on the Playstation 2. I wasn’t able to play the game back then as I didn’t own a PS2 console. Fortunately, Yakuza Kiwami, the remake of the original PS2 game, was just released for the Playstation 4. How would this game fare along with the games of today? Here’s what we think of this game after it was remade for today’s console.


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Yakuza Kiwami is a game that looks like a page out of a 90s action movie. The story is based on the game’s main character, a yakuza named Kazuma Kiryu. The game starts off when Kazuma took responsibility for the murder of a yakuza boss committed by his best friend, Akira Nishikiyama. Kazuma, in order to protect his best friend took the blame and paid for it by spending 10 years in prison. During the time that Kazuma was in prison, chaos erupted within the organization and nothing was the same when he got out. Kazuma will try to uncover the puzzles surrounding their organization while at the same time tries to find his missing childhood friend, Yumi.


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Yakuza Kiwami is not just a remastered version of the original game but a complete remake from the ground up. The graphics was made suited for today’s console standards. However, even with improved and polished graphics, the game still looks dated. The game captures what it originally looked like back a decade ago, which brings a sense of nostalgia to fans. The game’s backdrop is pretty with the well lit buildings and establishments. It gives the feeling of authenticity that this is indeed a Japanese game. Another great thing about Yakuza Kiwami is that the audio lines were re-recorded by the same cast from the original game.  It really does look like a well-made 90s action movie with it’s dramatic and action packed cut-scenes mixed with the subtitles.


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This is where Yakuza Kiwami stands-out! Yakuza Kiwami does offer a lot when it comes to gameplay. Yakuza plays like a brawler as you punch your way through your foes. You can even switch from different stances (Brawler, Rush, Beast , Dragon of Dojima) during combat that would suit your play-style. Each stance offers a lot of combos/move-list for you to master so it’s just not mere button mashing game.

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When you grew tired of combat, Yakuza Kiwami features a number of interesting mini-games. As you progress through the game, you’ll be able to visit SEGA‘s arcades and play the card-battle game, MesuKing: Battle Bug Beauties. It’s basically a game of rock, paper, scissors mixed with wrestling using trading cards. You’ll also be able to try your luck on the game’s version of a UFO catcher. It’s as annoying as how you play it in real life, it’s hard to catch one! I actually spent more time at the SEGA arcade than the main storyline.

The game also has a mini-dating simulator mini-game, wherein you try to win the hearts of different hostesses at different clubs. One mini-game that I have yet to try is the Pocket Circuit car racing that looks like the Tamiya 4-wheel racing that was famous during the 90s.

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Aside from the mini-games, there’s also Majima Everywhere, which is annoyingly funny. Kazuma’s rival, Majima is a one-eyed yakuza who randomly appears throughout the game who always forces you to fight. Don’t be fooled though, Majima may look like a clown but he’s no pushover. He keeps you on your toes, he’s actually hard to beat so you need to be prepared not only with your health bar but also unlock a number of move-list to take him down. You’ll earn rewards for each victory for your troubles.


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Yakuza Kiwami is actually a great pick-up. If you’ve played Sleeping Dogs or Grand Theft Auto then you’ll fit in just fine with Yakuza Kiwami. With a well-written story, dramatic cut-scenes, action packed combat system, and various mini-games, you’ll definitely be hooked with this game for hours. Yakuza Kimawi is a great introduction to the Yakuza game franchise, as it still is the first game that came out of the series. After having a taste of playing Yakuza Kimawi, I’m hoping that the rest of the series makes it way to the PS4. The prequel to Yakuza Kiwami, Yakuza 0, was released a few months back while a new yakuza game, Yakuza 6, is scheduled for a 2018 release.

[This review is based on a retail copy of the game provided by the publisher]

Ryan Villanueva

Your resident all around Flipgeek, from comics,movies,games,toys,music and even sports. A big Spider-man fan raised in the ways of the Jedi,who listens to punk rock and a sucker for chick flicks.


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