I think Yakuza Kiwami, and the original game in general, had one of the best Yakuza plots in the series, and that holds true even today. The sole focus on Kazuma as the protagonist makes for a more focused adventure than Yakuza 4 and 5, and it’s nice to see how Kazuma builds his reputation as the Dragon of Dojima with this game. I’m also a sucker for betrayal/revenge plots, and the original Yakuza has one of the best in all of video games. So do yourself a favor and pick up Yakuza Kiwami when it releases on August 29th, it’s certainly not a game to miss.
Yakuza Kiwami is a worthy remake for the twisty, well-acted story alone and the fact that it is being sold at a cheaper price than current new release games is extra incentive to check it out. Combat is fun, the city feels live and there is so much stuff to do, from the mundane stuff like darts or shooting pool, to the very weird stuff like MesuKing, which is essentially rock paper scissors featuring sexy ladies in skimpy bug costumes. Long time franchise fans and newcomers will find plenty to like with Yakuza Kiwami, even if it falls slightly short of its later entries.
Although understandable being just a remake and not a new entry, Yakuza Kiwami lacks the huge amount of content found in recent instalments of the franchise, but it does a great job updating the plot of the first entry in the franchise to later innovations and improvements, as well as current (although a bit dated) graphics.
Yakuza Kiwami finds itself in a strange position. A remake that's technically a sequel to a much better game in Yakuza 0, it struggles to offer anything besides another engaging crime-drama storyline. Best described as a kind of expansion, Kiwami really shows its age in terms of narrative structure and gameplay design, but it's still worth playing through if you just can't get enough of Kaz. It goes without saying, however, that series newcomers are much better off starting with the far superior Yakuza 0.
This is the first remake of Yakuza, I started playing it in 2022 after finishing Yakuza 0, I also liked it and the first time I just saw the game it was the alternative since I don't have a PlayStation 2 and the first Yakuza game , so this game was one of the great opportunities to familiarize the history of the famous Dragon of Dojima (KIRYU-CHAN), this game had changes than in the original version but I'm not so familiar with the PS2 version, sorry, so In chronological order, this should be played after Yakuza 0 and its story met my expectations.
Remake of the first title in the Like a Dragon series, Yakuza Kiwami is built on the same model as Yakuza 0 and it works as a direct sequel of it.
This remake follows the story of the first game and tries to bring it up to date with how the series has evolved during the years prior, connecting various dots to the prequel 0 and adjusting Kiryu character to his new image, but it somehow fails to totally reinvents itself and the result is a game which narrative and characters feel too outdated and totally different from their 0 counterparts.
In particular the protagonist itself feels way too different from how we left him at the end of 0, basically scrapping all the character development he previously had: the result is a game which takes pace 17 years after but feels like it should actually be the first to be played. The same can be said for Majima which in this game is just a shell of its former self, to the point of being ****.
The story isn't actually bad, it's just not that engaging and it shows its age (11 years), more so if played after 0 which had a phenomal storytelling and characters.
The gameplay is a slightly better version of 0, focusing this time on only on character instead of two and four fighting styles from the beginning, altough the majority of them feels like they were nerfed from 0 while the Dragon of Dojima style is overpowered and the only style you'll actually need to destroy most of the enemies. I actually enjoyed the combat, despite missing Majima's crazy movesets, and I think Kiryu is way more enjoyable as a fighter in this title than 0, but I also did found the game extremely easy, to the point where the secret boss was just a walk in the park.
What I did find bugging was how Kamurocho, despite being the only city available this time, had much less activities than 0 without a proper reason: RGG Studio removed the Disco and Arcades, which were some of the most beloved side activies in 0, but somehow felt like MesuKing was something necessary for the game despite being very time-consuming and, to some extent, annoying.
That said, Kiwami's Kamurocho is basically a copy and paste of 0 one, just slightly changed to match its 2005 vibes, and that's something I loved about the game: to see the city I played in changed, but the same at heart, it made me feel like I was visiting an old friend.
The soundtrack is spot on and it has some really good tracks (my favourites being Funk Goes On, Son **** and For Who's Sake), nothing else to say.
The game has also many side activities which are what really makes it shine: racing with little toy cars in Pocket Circuit, gambling in a hidden casino, taking out hostesses, playing cards or just walking around with Haruka really made the experience a memorable one.
The graphics are good: the game clearly shows its PS3 nature, having lot of pop-in and technical limitations, but it's enjoyable and totally bug-free.
The only thing I would have done differently were the cutscenes which reused directly the original Yakuza models base, resulting in the new models acting in clunchy ways.
All in all, I enjoyed Yakuza Kiwami, despite being a remake clearly showing its dated story and characters. The new beginning of the Dragon of Dojima journey was a thrilling experience, and being a game shorter than other Yakuza titles, I actually had the chance to play it without getting to the point of redundance like I did in 0.
So play this game, either before or after 0, if you are a Yakuza fan or just someone looking for a good Beat 'Em Up/Adventure game.
Significantly worse than Yakuza 0 despite ripping most of its assets from it. The story, despite being maybe half as long as 0 is somehow more padded out with totally unnecessary tangents. The game has practically no new mini games from 0 but also omits some of the better ones from 0 as well. The side stories here are all variations of "man tries to rip off Kiryu, Kiryu beats him up, man runs and apologizes". And the combat system here is the exact same with a couple of minor additions, Dragon Style restructuring and changes to certain attack properties. Overall the combat system is on par but missing the extra variety Majima added to the game. The true problem with the combat is that there are very few new enemy types from Yakuza 0 and more offensively the bosses here are a huge step down most of the time. There are a handful of really good bosses in this game, but many of the bosses have poorly fleshed out move sets which are embarrassingly easy to exploit one on one. To make up for this the game spams a massive amount minor enemies into every bad boss fight to distract from how half baked the boss is. This makes many bosses a repetitive slog on higher difficulties because you must pick off distant foes one by one before you can begin fighting the actual boss. This becomes ludicrous with the second to last boss who is perhaps the worst boss design I've seen in a game. Many will try to defend this by recommending exploitable strategies, but the fact that a large expressive move set has to be boiled down to only the most cheap and exploitable tactics for this boss fight is only more evidence of its astonishingly poor design. All that being said I don't hate this game but I find it very disappointing. It is both a sequel to 0 and a remake of the original Yakuza game. Maybe it is more commendable as a remake but as a follow up to 0 it feels like a massive step down. I only recommend picking it up if you are a major Yakuza fan, this is not the ideal introductory title
I'm about 40 hours in to this game, and at the final save before the end of the game. I've unlocked every purchasable skill, and I got to say, this game is absolutely awful.
See it's not actually a third person action adventure game. This is actually a pinball game. Kiryu is the ball and the enemies are the bumpers, because in every battle, you just get pinballed and bounced around infinitely.
Imagine the fun of playing a fighting game where everything knocks you down, everything interrupts your attacks, Except the enemies are much more resistant to knockdowns, are immune to interrupts, and can teleport behind you.
The only redeeming factor this game has is the main story, and the side stories. The combat is garbage, the minigames are garbage. It should have either been a pinball game, or a visual novel - not a third person beat 'em up game.
SummaryIn 2005, a legend was born on the PS2 – the legend of Kazuma Kiryu, the Dragon of Dojima, in his video game debut with Yakuza. Now, 11 years after that release, a new generation of players is be able to experience the action and drama of the Yakuza series with the rebuilt-from-scratch HD remake exclusive to PlayStation 4, Yakuza Kiwami. ...