The 1980s-set prequel Yakuza 0 will be heading to the PlayStation 4 in North America and Europe on January 24th, but a remake to 2005’s Yakuza is also heading for western shores. Titled Yakuza Kiwami (“Yakuza Extreme” in Japanese), the remake will be published by Sega in North America, while its publishing partner Deep Silver will be handing those duties in Europe.
Yakuza Kiwami was originally released in Japan in January 2016, and its more than a simple remaster. The gangster saga has been rebuilt from scratch to output in full HD resolution at a silky smooth 60 frames per second. The combat system has also been retooled to match the more furious pace of the prequel, while some of the more obscure side quests have been better highlighted so that players can actually find them and experience the loose threads that branch from the main story line.
If you’re already familiar with Yakuza, then think of Kiwami as the super-deluxe Blu-ray Edition, with over 30 minutes of new cutscenes that add a critical level of depth to the characters, and also help to tie in with some of the stories unearthed in Yakuza 0.
In addition to all of these features, the eye-patch wearing villain Majima will appear more often, and without warning, fulfilling the game’s extreme label. There are also new street activities to enjoy, including Pocket Circuit car racing, Battle Bug Beauties, and fresh new hostesses.
But Sega also had more Yakuza news up its sleeve at this weekend’s PlayStation Experience. According to the PlayStation Blog, the publisher also confirmed that Yakuza 6: The Song of Life will get a localised version for western gamers. The sequel will hit Japan this week, but players in North America and Europe will have to wait until sometime in 2018 to get hold of the English version.
However, with both Yakuza 0 and Yakuza Kiwami to keep us busy, I think we can be patient.