It seems the Yakuza franchise is not yet done taking up all of your time in 2017. Yakuza Kiwami was known to be coming later this year but with the new story trailer, we have a firm date. Yakuza Kiwami is coming to PlayStation 4 on August 29 in both physical and digital form.
Yakuza Kiwami is a remake of the very first Yakuza game, originally released in 2005. This is not a remaster but a complete remake in the Yakuza 0 engine. With all new events, mini-games and side stories, it is a complete face-lift.
Unlike the original release, don’t expect any English voices as they are following the latter entries in the series. The original Yakuza, despite still being a great game, has not aged well. This remake is for many of the fans who jumped in during the PlayStation 3 entries or the more recent Yakuza 0. While the story has been drilled into your head by this point throughout the games, there are a lot of references that might start making sense for first timers.
To sweeten the deal, publisher Sega has also announced a Steelbook version of the game which has a gorgeous design. It is not as cool as the Business Edition for Yakuza 0, but it is still looking pretty good.
This will be the first time ever that western fans are getting a double dose of Yakuza in one year. The outstanding Yakuza 0 became a surprise critical and commercial success when it hit the streets in February. That game was a prequel that did an amazing job of setting up the world.
As a Yakuza fan, every time I write a story of an upcoming release, it unleashes a huge smile upon my face. For many years, Yakuza fans worried about the future of the franchise in the West. It seemed new entries were constantly announced in Japan, while the fans outside could do nothing. This trend broke when Yakuza 5 made its triumphant debut in 2015, three years after the initial launch. With Yakuza 0 doing extremely well, it seems that the franchise has a place again.
So if you are ready for more Yakuza in your life: tape up your fists, light a cigarette and get your karaoke voice ready because it is going down. We can only hope Kiwami leads to a remake of Yakuza 2 at some point, the true gem of the franchise. With Yakuza 6 coming next year however, there will be no need to rush.