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All Articles: Yakuza Zero
Available in Japan for over a year now, Sega has officially announced that Yakuza Zero will be released throughout North America and Europe on January 24, 2017. In development exclusively for the PS4, Yakuza Zero travels back to the 1980s to tell the story of how Kazuma Kiryu and Goro Majima began their rise within the ranks of the infamous organized crime syndicate:
Yakuza Zero tells the origin stories of Kazuma Kiryu, the rising Dragon of Dojima, and Goro Majima, before he’s known as the Mad Dog of Shimano, as they fight, hustle, flirt, and dance their way through the seedy underbelly of Japan. Taking place in a chilly but electric Kamurocho, Tokyo in December 1988, Kiryu’s story follows his steady ascension up the ranks of the Dojima yakuza crime family until he gets blamed for a debt collection gone wrong. Kiryu must utilize his cunning and his fists in order to regain his honor and save the reputation of his father figure, Shintaro Kazama. Meanwhile, Goro Majima is running a popular cabaret in Osaka, but he wants more than anything to rejoin the yakuza clan that ousted him. He’ll need to complete a series of impossible tasks set by his bosses, but will these tasks push Majima past the point of no return?
Yakuza Zero will be available as both a digital download through the PlayStation Store, and as a Blu-ray disc release at your favorite game retailer. In case you missed it, the game’s E3 trailer has been embedded above.
Prepare to rejoin the Yakuza in 2017, as Sega has announced that Yakuza Zero will be released for the PS4 early next year.
Set in Tokyo in 1988, Yakuza Zero goes back to the beginning of the story and reveals how Kazuma Kiryu and Goro Majima became, respectively, the Dragon and the Mad Dog. In addition to brawling in the street, players will be able to wine and dine a bevy of beautiful women while also showing off their best disco moves.
You can find a new trailer for Yakuza Zero embedded above.
After promising that it would be released in 2015, Sega snuck in just under the wire by announcing that Yakuza 5 will be available to download from the PlayStation Store on December 8 during today’s 2015 PlayStation Experience keynote. More than a simple crime story, Sega’s John Hardin tried to explain the appeal of the Yakuza series to those who’ve never played it (and his aunts) at the PlayStation Blog:
Taking place across five different cities in Japan, Yakuza 5 follows five protagonists who have been involved with various yakuza syndicates in the past. Through a series of events, the protagonists are forcibly dragged back into the seedy underworld of Japan and will need to rely on their fighting, driving, shooting, and dancing skills to survive. Moreover, we like to call the game “The Japan Simulator” because the game’s numerous side-missions and mini-games genuinely make the game feel like being in Japan.
Hardin also revealed that a 1980s-set prequel, Yakuza Zero, will also finally make its way to North America (and Europe too). In development exclusively for the PS4, players will “witness the rise” of Kazuma Kiryu in Yakuza Zero:
Not yet the Dragon of Dojima, Kazuma Kiryu tries to regain his honor after a botched debt collection that ended in murder. Additionally, for the first time in a numbered game, gamers will be able to play as Goro Majima, the Mad Dog of Shimano, as he tries to rejoin his clan. You don’t get nicknames like “Dragon of Dojima” or “Mad Dog of Shimano” for being soft, so expect each character to have his own unique fighting style and abilities that can be unleashed on poor rival gangsters. The game is set in Tokyo, December 1988, and players will experience the cold weather and cold hard cash that is flooding the city. Cash is king and everyone, especially the yakuza, needs to have more of it. Thankfully, Kiryu and Majima are the “entrepreneurial” type and will have plenty of ways to make, spend, and take money. From telephone clubs to disco halls, there will be ample opportunities for Kiryu and Majima to flex their colorful suits, gold watches, and fat stacks.
We don’t know when Yakuza Zero will be released, but unlike Yakuza 5 and its digital-only launch on the PlayStation Store, Yakuza Zero will be available as a downloadable title and on a Blu-ray disc.
Sega announced the latest game in the Yakuza series, Yakuza Zero, over the weekend for the PS3 and PS4. For now, that’s all we know, though Sega did promise to reveal more about the game during next month’s Tokyo Game Show.
Sega has released ten games in the Yakuza series, but only five have made their way to America (2012’s Yakuza: Dead Souls was the most recent). A pair of spinoffs that focus on the ancestors of main character Kazuma Kiryu, a pair of PSP adventures that focus on side characters, and Yakuza 5, the fifth game in the “main series” remain exclusive to Japan (where the series is known as “Like A Dragon” because of Kiryu’s elaborate tattoo). Because of this release history, it’s unknown if Sega has any plans to localize Yakuza Zero.
Hopefully the answer is yes, and hopefully we’ll find out next month.