Don’t get confused: Kiwami means extreme, but also Remake. This is a new version of the PS2 game that started it all. Not a remastering, since here the graphic engine of Yakuza 0 is used to give a very current look to the original story of Kazuma Kiryu, while large playable changes are added that make it a completely renewed experience. Yakuza Kiwami analysis.
Yakuza Kiwami is probably one of the strangest opportunities to discover one of the most interesting games in the PlayStation 2 catalog that, despite its commitment to the Western market, failed to find its place in a generation that was beyond Farewell to make way for the next one. Kiwami does not come in the form of remastering, but a complete remake created based on the structure and graphic engine of the amazing Yakuza 0, a game that already behaved excellently with a resolution and frame rate of 60 frames per second very solid. We will have to keep waiting, however, for the next iteration in the saga to see the new graphic engine that Yakuza 6 will present.
Yakuza Kiwami is a content game, which wants to give more of what it did there in 2006, but has narrative needs that do not allow incorporating all the possibilities and characters of subsequent deliveries. What has been changed and adjusted, yes, stands out to the point of sometimes looking like a completely new game. Those who played it more than ten years ago will have more than one excuse to approach this Kiwami, while new players have a good starting point to start the franchise, whether they have played Yakuza 0 or not.
The original story remains, with its intense plot of the underworld infecting the fictional red-light district of Kamurocho (Kabukichō) of gangsters with bad grapes waiting for you in each alley to split your face. The main plot tells the tragedy of Kazuma Kiryu, a lieutenant in the Dojima family, about to be promoted to have his own. Things get twisted when the head of his clan decides to kidnap and rape his childhood friend who will end up in the death of the gangster and with Kazuma taking the blame for the crime he did not commit, for which he will spend ten years in prison.
It would not give the same impression more than ten years ago, immersed fully in the incipient principles of mobile technology, but this passage of time, from 1995 to 2005 was and is, as in other Yakuzas, a new period portrait and above all of the changes that occurred with access to information and immediate communication and how it transformed the world (and especially a Japan at the forefront of technology) into a completely different place, almost unrecognizable to someone whose stay in jail has been Like a time machine
Kiwami means Extreme
The direction of its creator, Toshihiro Nagoshi, is based not only on graphically modernizing a title two generations ago, but taking advantage of the opportunity to give it more cohesion with the following games and especially its prequel. If in Yakuza 0 we learned the three fighting styles that we could alternate at any time, Brawler, Rush, and Beast, where we keep them and add the Dragon style developed properly by Kazuma, unlike the original that only had one of them.
We forget here the eccentric money as a way to increase our abilities to do so based on the most traditional experience points, but Dragon’s style cannot be improved in any other way than through the Majima Everywhere system. And yes, the great representation of the charismatic Goro Majima in Yakuza 0 has been used to create a better relationship in Kiwami than the one that existed in the original. In this way, and almost as with Shakedown, we can find Majima at any time and corner of the fictional Kamurocho, ready to fight to help us remember the fighting style that has oxidized us so much in our ten years in prison. It won’t be the only thing,
There are many reasons to return to play or rediscover the first Yakuza.
It also adds almost half an hour of new cinematics, more voice scenes with a new performance by the actors, which also comes to us in their original Japanese instead of in that strange (although professional) English dubbing of the PlayStation 2 game. Along the way, yes, the Spanish translation that accompanied the 2006 game has been lost, the texts coming in English, which is a shame since There was a lot of work already done on this aspect. The new English translation reveals a more precise work in addition and expanded by the new scenes and activities.
New activities such as MesuKing. If you thought you had already seen everything in Yakuza 0 with the Catfights, where light clothes girls frolicked on the floor while we played an evolution of the classic stone, paper, and scissors, imagine the same thing but with two girls disguised as … well insects The rarity of the Nagoshi team at its best, which is also accompanied by remote-controlled car racing, the Mahjong, new hosts and the original mini-games, although classic Sega arcades and other activities are seen in 0 or in the future Yakuza 6.
There are many reasons to play again or discover the first Yakuza again. A few minutes to the original PS2 have been enough to realize the great effort that has been put with this remake, respecting at all times the film narration and the original plans and adding touch-ups in all its chapters. As we said before, it is still the simplest delivery, focusing exclusively on the history of Kazuma Kiryu in the middle of the last decade, creating a content story before the explosion of games in the next generation arrived. But for this simplicity, it is also an excellent starting point, which now is very far from the comparisons with GTA or Shenmue that were so widespread at the time. Yakuza is Yakuza. And that’s good.
Yakuza Kiwami is a great remake, probably one of the best we’ve seen in recent times, updating the original game in the process without losing an iota of its essence. But it is also a remake of the “simpler” yakuza when there was still not so much variety of characters, stories, locations, and activities to perform. However, it is ideal to continue the great reception of Yakuza 0, or as a cornerstone to enter the franchise.
- An excellent remake: keep the essence and update the game beyond the graphic
- The additions to the story, Majima Everywhere, and the new mini-games
- Camera problems in enclosed spaces and some technical failures
- The first Yakuza had not yet realized the full potential of the series in terms of playable characters, locations and mini-games