hot  /  reviews  /  video  /  blogs  /  forum

Yakuza

Yakuza Restoration photo
Yakuza Restoration

Yakuza Restoration has a character that uses a cannon


Ryoma sounds pretty badass
Jan 08
// Chris Carter
A new developer video has surfaced for Yakuza Restoration, and it shows off a great deal of the nuts and bolts of the game (like skills and the XP system), as well as a character named Ryoma who can use a ton of oddball weap...
 photo

A full 10-minute Yakuza Ishin trailer to have a fit over


WESTERN LOCALIZATION, PLEASE
Oct 04
// Dale North
Yakuza Ishin (Yakuza Restoration) was one of the best things I saw at Tokyo Game Show this year. They showed  quick couple of minutes of the game in their TGS trailer online, but us at the show got an eyeful.  Now ...
Yakuza 5 photo
Yakuza 5

Sega presently has no plans to localize Yakuza 5


Yakuza Studio focused on next project
Sep 30
// Kyle MacGregor
Yakuza Studio has  no plans to localize Yakuza 5 for western audiences, series creator Toshihiro Nagoshi recently told Edge. Despite demand for an international release, the developer is currently focused on its next pro...
 photo

Yakuza Restoration looks incredible


But not playable at TGS :(
Sep 20
// Dale North
Look at the beautiful screenshots in our gallery of newly announced game Yakuza Restoration, known here as Ryugagotku Ishin. Announced here at TGS, the game is coming to PS3, Vita, and PS4. You can bet the shiny ones are fro...
Yakuza Restoration photo
Yakuza Restoration

Yakuza Restoration looks just gorgeous on PS4


Coming in 2014
Sep 18
// Kyle MacGregor
In a surprise move that surprised absolutely no one, Sega recently unveiled a new entry in its criminal action series entitled Yakuza Restoration. Today, we get our first look at the upcoming game, which eschews its pre...
 photo

New Yakuza title for PS4: Yakuza Ishin


Yay!-kuza
Sep 09
// Dale North
A new Yakuza game was announced for PS4 this morning during Sony's pre-TGS press conference. The time period is not as you'd expect in Yakuza: Ishin. This game is set at the end of Edo period, located in Kyoto. It tells the s...
Yakuza Restoration  photo
Yakuza Restoration

Yahooza! Sega announces Yakuza Restoration


Not that we've seen Yakuza 5 localized or anything
Aug 19
// Steven Hansen
Sega followed up on its announcement of a "surprise" announcement by announcing Yakuza Ishin; or Yakuza Restoration, according to Siliconera. Presently, this is only announced for Japan. Isn't a surprise announcement no longe...
Yakuza 1 & 2 HD photo
Yakuza 1 & 2 HD

Yakuza 1 & 2 HD sells very poorly in its first week


Remember, it was supposed to be an experiment
Aug 15
// Chris Carter
The Wii U port sales woes continue with Yakuza 1 & 2 HD, as the game reportedly shipped less than 2000 copies in its first week in Japan. Yakuza producer Toshihiro Nagoshi stated in the past that the release is an "experi...
Yakuza photo
Yakuza

Play Yakuza 1 & 2 massage sub-stories in private on Wii U


New details emerge for the HD upgrade
Aug 11
// Wesley Ruscher
While playing all those saucy hostess club sub-stories in private in the Yakuza 1 & 2 HD remake due later this year was already known -- thanks to this uncomfortably strange trailer -- a recent interview in Fami...
Yakuza photo
Yakuza

'Surprise' Yakuza announcement coming August 18th


I hope it's a localization of the Wii U HD remake
Aug 09
// Chris Carter
Gematsu is reporting that Sega is planning a "surprise announcement" at their Yakuza Character General Election on August 18th, which will be viewable outside of the Shinjuku Station in Tokyo. While the election is basically ...
Yakuza 1&2 HD ad photo
Yakuza 1&2 HD ad

Yakuza 1&2 HD ad features a broken marriage, or something


Nintendo still advertising GamePad play while Yakuza still emphasizes hostess play
Jun 26
// Steven Hansen
Yakuza and Yakuza 2 are getting the HD treatment, though as it stands the bundle is exclusive to both the Wii U and Japan. Because I'm still bitter about Valkyria Chronicles, I'll just assume they're never coming stateside b...
Yakuza 1 & 2 photo
Yakuza 1 & 2

This Yakuza 1 & 2 Wii U trailer has me nostalgic


Do we have a chance for an international release?
May 20
// Chris Carter
A few days ago we got a look at the upcoming Yakuza 1 & 2 HD re-release for the Wii U, and now, the full trailer is ready for eyeball consumption. As is the case with any Yakuza game, it shows off some insane gameplay va...
Yakuza photo
Yakuza

Yakuza 1 & 2 HD announced for Wii U ... in Japan


Curses!
May 17
// Jordan Devore
With all of the Nintendo Direct news to have come out this morning, it's been a busy day for Sega. ("Sega Direct," indeed.) One of the more interesting games shown off is, regrettably, exclusive to Japan. Yakuza 1 & 2 HD...
SEGA mascot contest photo
SEGA mascot contest

SEGA wants YOU to design a new mascot!


Winning design will become the star of a new SEGA-produced web show
Apr 27
// Tony Ponce
[Boxer Hockey by Tyson Hesse] You think it's easy to just poop out a new character design and turn it into the new face of your company? Think Sonic The Hedgehog was whipped up, red shoes and everything, with as much thought ...
Don't kill yourself photo
Don't kill yourself

This is how to prevent a suicide in Yakuza 4


If only police were so honorable in the States
Feb 26
// Allistair Pinsof
The Yakuza series is full of oddball missions but the suicide negotiator in Yakuza 4 takes the cake for being the most obscene. The protagonist is asked to talk a suicide jumper down from a highrise, only to end up in a fist...
 photo

Japanese PSN gets Yakuza 5 demo next week


Leave the bears alone!
Nov 21
// Dale North
You know what to do, Yakuza fans. Get that Japanese PSN login fired up for next week, as the first Yakuza 5 demo will launch then. Gematsu says that you'll play as Kazuma Kiryu in some of the game's earlier stages in Nagasuga...
 photo

This Yakuza 5 limited edition PS3 is hideous


Oct 10
// Dale North
Someone thought it was a good idea to take the already weird looking new PS3 and barf up little gold-colored emblems on it as a special edition release for Yakuza 5. I found this ghoul of a game system on Sega Japan...

TGS: Kickin' it with Kazuma the cabbie in Yakuza 5

Sep 21 // Dale North
It's cool. No worries. As any series fan would guess, Kazuma's help is needed once again. While cleaning his taxi cab with a feather duster (really!), two suits approach him and try to get him to help out with an urgent matter. But after some impassioned pleas and a bit of a tussle in an really dramatic cutscene, Kazuma...stands his ground. But you know where this is going.  Under the goofy vest-and-slacks taxi driver uniform (yes, that's really a thing here in Japan) is still the same hard-ass gangster we've grown to love over the past four games. The TGS demo has him running around his new stomping grounds of Fukuoka to meet up with the same gents that pleaded with him earlier. A brand new game engine for the series makes it debut with Yakuza 5, and I could see it at work while running through town. Surroundings looked more lively than in previous games, and NPCs seemed a tad more human. Even Kazuma's movement seemed slightly different, though I couldn't put my finger on what had changed.  Despite living in a new town, thugs and gangsters still pop up to impede Kazuma's progress. It wouldn't be a Yakuza game without some asshole jumping into his path to pick a fight, right? In battle, things are mostly as they have been for the past PS3 releases. I did notice that fights look better, and Kazuma seems to get around with more ease. I could also see that new engine at work in these brawls; movements were smoother, and attacks and combos seemed to string together a touch easier.  It's still the same old fighting system at its core, though it feels more confident. I jumped right into the combo moves I already knew without issue, and really enjoyed seeing some of the finishers they lined up for this demo. I laughed out loud when Kazuma took the face of one hoodied thug and scrubbed it back and forth against the rough pavement until it left a half-circle trail of crimson. Everything seems a touch more dynamic in fights, from standard attacks to grappling close-up Climax Heat finishers. I don't know what they've changed exactly, but I like it.  I loved even more that Kazuma smoked a cigarette with a smug look on his face after each victory. Classic. Though I'll have to chalk some of this up to being unfinished, there were some weird loading issues before fights where the game looked like it might have frozen. Some soupy slowdown also popped up while navigating town. Finally, some nasty textures stuck out in some environments. They have until December, so it's likely that work is still ongoing.  Aside from this demo, I also had a chance to spend a few minutes checking out some Haruka gameplay, though I missed out on the promised rhythm gaming battle play. She ranks up in Yakuza 5, returning as a playable character this time around. She has grown up a bit and moved out of the home to live in Osaka, where she hopes to become an idol. I didn't have a chance to finish this demo, but I did see that she was roped into being the second half of a comedy duo. During their stage act, I had to pick from multiple choice responses after being given cues from her comedy partner. Funny answers bumped up a laughter meter, but I didn't manage to make her quite funny enough to win the crowd over. Yakuza 5 is more of the same, but that all that series fans are really asking for. I'm certain that Sega will localize this game and bring it westward. Here's hoping that this process has already started.
 photo

There's no questioning that Yakuza series protagonist Kazuma Kiryu is a badass of the highest order, but his first appearance in a Tokyo Game Show demo of upcoming PS3 game Yakuza 5 has him in a cab driver's uniform. Yep, the Dragon of Dojima is a taxi driver.  My first thought: Oh no they didn't!

 photo

I took a few minutes today at Tokyo Game Show to have a peek at how the HD re-release of the first two installments in the Yakuza series are shaping up. It's looking good, folks. Crisp and sexy, I think players will...

 photo

Yakuza 5: Haruka's dance off battle system


Aug 22
// Dale North
If you've been following Yakuza 5 you'll know that series character Haruka is all grown up now. And what do grown up girls do as primary characters in a fighting game about Japan's crime underworld? They dance! Sega has revea...
 photo

Play Taiko Drum Master in Yakuza 5


Aug 08
// Dale North
Weird! You know how you can visit arcades in the Yakuza games to play Sega titles? This week's Famitsu announces a collaboration between Sega and Namco Bandai that puts super-Japanese rhythm game Taiko Drum Master in Yak...
 photo

Yakuza producer teases an announcement for tomorrow


Aug 06
// Dale North
I need another Yakuza game like I need another corgi, which means that I really need another Yakuza game. Fellow fans might be in luck, as series producer Toshihiro Nagoshi has teased in a new blog post that we'll get some ki...
 photo

First trailer for Yakuza 1 & 2 HD Edition


Jul 19
// Conrad Zimmerman
SEGA has made a formal announcement regarding Yakuza 1 & 2 HD, discovered by attentive internet users last week, confirming the upcoming release. They also passed along a first trailer and have opened up a dedicated site...

Hong Kong: The city that defined console generations

Jul 17 // Allistair Pinsof
Whenever I think of Deus Ex I think of Chinatown. Foggy interiors of an Asian shrine were the first images I saw of the game in PC Gamer magazine, and the alleys, vendors, and gondolas below are the lasting images that come to mind when I recall the game. The Unreal Engine, still new at the time, made large exteriors, populated city streets, and mood lighting possible. Being able to interact with civilians and watch them live their lives -- regardless of how limited those “lives” may be -- was a rare thing at the time. Seeing signs with giant characters above and vendor goods spread out on tables all around set a tone and sense of place for Deus Ex’s futuristic Hong Kong. Though the game took the player to New York, Paris, and other major cities, Hong Kong was the most fully realized of them all, even if it was the smallest in size.Looking back, it’s almost laughable to think I was once so impressed with the layout. Deus Ex made Hong Kong look more like a warehouse with a couple alleys that extend to clubs and a harbor than a bustling metropolis. Though developer Ion Storm took a great leap forward in creating a virtual city, its lack of detail and scope makes it feel a bit cheap when compared to modern games. The vendors look like cardboard homes, neon lights are far and few between, and the city backdrop is generic and shallow. Despite being dated, Deus Ex’s Hong Kong still evokes a mood and has a charm to it. It’s representative of Ion Storm’s fantastic level and art designers as well as the hardware limitations of the time that could only render so much space and detail at a time. In Shenmue II’s transition from a humble Japanese city to the sprawl of Hong Kong, little was sacrificed in detail and a lot was added in scope. Shenmue lacks the mood and lighting of Deus Ex, but it makes up for it in terms of size. At the start of Shenmue, you can see large ships sailing out from Hong Kong’s harbor, rundown alleyways with seedy characters, and vendors on the street with detailed goods. At a time when Grand Theft Auto 3 gave players little to do and look at when on foot, Shenmue II overwhelmed the player with distractions, mini-games, and visual detail among the streets of its depiction of Hong Kong. While Shenmue’s Hong Kong highlights the city's English colonial influence, it lacks the bright lights and spectacle that the city has embraced over the last century. The glamour that many have identified with the city is nowhere to be found in Shenmue’s quaint city streets. This was due to the limitation of the Dreamcast’s hardware that struggled to create the long streets of Hong Kong and populate it with more than 5-7 people on-screen at a time. Showering the cityscape with complex neon lighting was beyond the scope of the Dreamcast’s capabilities, and Sega wasn’t going to recreate the game from the ground up for Xbox. Nevertheless, Shenmue recreated Hong Kong with a scale never seen before at the time. I can hear you just fine: I know Yakuza takes place in Japan which is more than a mere stone’s throw away from Hong Kong. Nevertheless, Tokyo mirrors Hong Kong’s blend of cramped, industrial spaces and scenic, spacious areas throughout the city. When you weren’t directly dealing with the citizens and language in Yakuza, it was easy to imagine you were walking the streets of Hong Kong. Shenmue II’s textures benefited from the Xbox port, but Yakuza was the first open-world game that took place in modern Asia, specifically designed for this generation of hardware. Playing Yakuza, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that members of Shenmue II’s development team worked on this new Sega series. Yakuza was the first game to bring an Asian metropolis to life with an abundance of neon signs, giant buildings, and intricate city streets that made up a convincing vision of Tokyo’s red-light district. The series improved over time, but this first entry left the biggest impression for being so different than anything else at the time.Like the above games, Yakuza couldn’t display very many pedestrians at a time (roughly 25 or so), making one of the most populated cities in the world feel like a ghost town. The streets themselves were bare, lacking the street vendors, street musicians, and other street-level detail of Shenmue. Nothing but vending machines, faceless pedestrians, and thugs on these streets. Released late in the PlayStation 2’s life, Yakuza used the system’s hardware to add detail to the buildings and neon lights above while leaving the streets below empty. Even still, seeing a city street lined with flashing signs was a sight to behold in 2005. Nothing could make the technological jump from the original Deus Ex clearer than a return visit to Hong Kong during second half of Human Revolution’s story. Ok, so it’s not really Hong Kong; it’s a city called Hengsha, but it might as well be Hong Kong. Built on a heavily modified Crystal Engine -- which powered Tomb Raider: Legend and its sequels -- Human Revolution was able to bring more space, detail, and dynamic lighting to the city. In contrast to Hong Kong in the original, Hengsha is a much grimier setting with desolate living spaces, sketchy clubs, and armed guards suppressing the locals. It lacks the charm and character of the original, but it’s very impressive on a technical level. Being able to run along the rooftops and look down on a sea of pedestrians and vendors below is a great display of how much technology has advanced since the original Unreal engine. It’s a shame then that the game’s divisive art direction makes such a potentially unique setting look so much like the ones before it in the game: more gold and black tinted cement. Walking out of a small, dingy diner and into a narrow alleyway, crowded by vendors, pedestrians, and bright neon advertisements is a special moment in Sleeping Dogs. The key word above is “crowded”. Just as Deus Ex once blew me away by having pedestrians at all, Sleeping Dogs impressed me by having enough details and foot traffic to make its world feel realistic and not like the cheap virtual attractions of the past. Whether you are driving by the monoliths of central Hong Kong or walking the streets of the city's various districts, there is a lot to take in and admire in its layout and intricacies. Square Enix have recreated the entire island of Hong Kong and even portions of its surrounding islands. Whether you are racing down the winding roads of Victoria Peak, walking through the fish markets in the day, or driving past the dense urban areas at night, the city of Hong Kong will always be visible and accessible to the player. With advanced lighting, anti-aliasing, and draw distance on PC, Sleeping Dogs might finally give us virtual tourists the trip to Hong Kong we’ve always been dreaming of. Maybe we’ll even take out a triad or two in the process. Follow the conversation on Twitter at #IntelAlwaysOn.
 photo

With support from our partner, Intel, we're exploring how technology is evolving and improving the gaming experience. The company's goal is to develop tools that, in the right hands, allow us to play new and exciting games. H...

 photo

Thanks to the incompetent folks at Sega, we have details on a PS2-era Yakuza HD collection earlier than they'd probably like. A listing for "Yakuza 1 & 2 HD Edition" went up on their site and was quickly taken down, this ...

 photo

Japanese social games funded by Yakuza, says expert


Jul 12
// Allistair Pinsof
Yakuza, Japan's mafia, has a long history with games: card games, Pachinko machines, and now social gaming. Some of Japan's current social games, including one about Yakuza, are funded by Japan's mafia, according to Tokyo Vic...
 photo

Here's the first peek at Yakuza 5


May 24
// Dale North
They...they all look the same, and that's coming from a hardcore series fan. Actually, it seems they've upgraded something under the hood. Recently, Sega's Toshihiro Nagoshi revealed that a new engine has been put in place fo...
 photo

Leaked memo: Microsoft, Activision, pull support for GAME


Mar 15
// Jim Sterling
GAME is still dragging its broken legs behind itself as it crawls across a field of broken glass, suffering further indignity today with reports that both Microsoft and Activision have decided to pull back their support of th...
 photo

The Yakuza: Dead Souls ending theme song sure is dreamy


Mar 15
// Jayson Napolitano
Sega's Yakuza: Dead Souls hit store shelves just two days ago, so while it's unlikely that most people out there have completed the game, I suppose it's possible. If you want a preview (not really a spoiler) of what to expect...

Review: Yakuza: Dead Souls

Mar 14 // Dale North
Yakuza: Dead Souls (PlayStation 3)Developer: SegaPublisher: SegaReleased: March 13, 2012MSRP: $59.99  Dead Souls takes many of the series' settings and several of the recurring characters and puts them in a zombie story that does more to serve Yakuza fans than it does fans of zombie sandbox games. This is great for those who have enjoyed the past several Yakuza games, as this title serves as a sort of all-star fantasy side mission. Fans will dig seeing series star Kazuma Kiryu, Yakuza 4's Shun Akiyama, crazy eye patch guy Goro Majima and the machine gun-armed Ryuji Goda working together to push back the zombie invasion. Unfortunately, these characters will do next to nothing for those new to the series. While no prior knowledge of the series is required to enjoy Dead Souls, only series fans will pick up on some of the story's finer points. That said, this is a zombie game -- how much story does there need to be? Surprisingly, the narrative is pretty good. Those expecting another Resident Evil outbreak are going to be surprised by the story-heavy gangster turf war plot. There's a nice blend of the serious gangster scowls and revenge talk with more lighthearted and silly situations to make for one of the series' most enjoyable tales. Some of the situations are flat-out hilarious, showing us that the developers wanted to take this opportunity to have a bit of fun. Those looking for dark corridors with scares aren't going to find it here, as this is not a survival horror. Instead, Dead Souls follows four badasses and their journey to take back Tokyo's red-light district, and it's all done in that very satisfying Japanese action movie sort of way. The gameplay in Dead Souls will be a bit of a departure for Yakuza series fans as the game centers around gun play. Sure, there's a bit of kicking and punching going on, but you'll quickly find that fists don't do much against the undead. The only way to get anywhere in Kamurocho these days is to mow through the hordes of zombies with a shotgun or two. If you're expecting to revisit the kick-and-punch brawling of past games, this is the wrong game for you -- there's next to none of that. The good news here is that there is a nice selection of guns and other weapons (tanks! forklifts!) to take down the undead with. Each of the game's four main characters has a different type of gun style assigned to them, and the blend of the four goes a long way toward keeping the zombie shooting action fresh. While Kiryu kicks it old school with a single pistol, Akiyama dual wields pistols, Majima has a super-powered shotgun, and Goda has a Gatling gun for an arm. You're free to buy and equip other guns, and all weapons are open to upgrading to increase power, ammo limit, and more. Characters' fighting abilities are also upgradeable through Soul Points, which are earned via battles and leveling. These points can be dumped into abilities that improve everything from hand-to-hand combat to weapon strength, keeping in tradition with the series' action-RPG systems.  It's nice to see another tradition -- using items from the environment in fights -- continues in Dead Souls. Like in past games, you can put the hurt on enemies with anything laying around, so charging into a crowd swinging a bicycle is still possible, and still lots of fun. This time around they take this even further with new environmental options for zombie killing. Using the chainsaw to cut off zombie heads is as satisfying as you'd imagine, and the flamethrower has to be a zombie-game classic by now. I really enjoyed using a baseball pitching machine to pop the undead in their heads, and liked it even more when I found you could load it with grenades instead of balls. The game's Heat Snipe mechanic also takes advantage of the environment, and it makes taking down the undead a bit easier. Once its gauge is filled from killing zombies, you will be able to execute a special attack that will make an impossible shot possible. Imagine being able to snipe a thin gas line running along a wall to have it explode and take out dozens of zombies, or hitting the gas tank of a downed motorcycle. Good stuff. Unfortunately, while shooting down waves of zombies starts out fun, the appeal wears thin quickly. While the game does its best to mix the action up with four different characters and their varied gun types, it's not enough to keep the zombie killing fresh. Much of the problem lies in how aiming works -- and how it's not necessary. Gun play uses a third-person view, letting you hold down the left shoulder button to aim and strafe while firing. You need only to face the direction of zombies to hit them, with no proper aiming required. While you're free to pull up a crosshair to fine-tune your aim for a headshot, it's simply not necessary, as mashing on the right shoulder button a few times kills just about anything with way less effort. Worse yet, simply running around outside of aim mode while firing has shots locked onto nearby zombies, with your gun automatically turning to face the nearest enemy, almost completely removing any challenge. While you can entertain yourself for a bit striving for shot accuracy, or working to rack up a headshot record, the reality is that you only need to mash on the fire button repeatedly to progress. This is potentially good news for those that aren't great at shooters, but I feel that even these individuals would feel disappointed at how easy kills come in Dead Souls. The only exceptions to the mindless fire-button pushing and lack of variety come during boss battles, most of which feature massive beasts that require skill and proper aim to take down. These bosses were a welcome change from the zombie hordes, since there are movement patterns and weak points that actually require thinking to overcome. It's a shame there's only a handful of these situations.  For my money, the Yakuza series sidequests and diversions make any of the titles worth the price of entry. There's plenty of opportunities to screw around in Dead Souls, though you'll find that they're a bit less prominent this time around, especially when you consider that Tokyo is going to shit all around you while you're flirting with hostess club girls. You can still go shopping, try your hand at casino gambling, hit karaoke joints, or simply wander around town enjoying the sights, just like you could in other titles. I got lost in a pachinko trance that lasted nearly two hours, and I'm still not sure if I won or lost. There's also plenty of off-the-wall sidequests that range from simple item-fetch assignments to escort missions. The quality varies, but there's definitely some good ones in the mix. One of my favorites involved mob bosses and cross dressing, so there's something to look forward to. While the core story gives about 15 solid hours of gameplay, the sidequests and auxiliary entertainment could easily double that number. Dead Souls sits in a strange middle zone, stuck somewhere between the past Yakuza series games and the tired zombie sandbox genre. While fans will surely enjoy seeing series stars in this zombie apocalypse setting, they could miss some of the classic Yakuza pacing and gameplay. Zombie game fans will enjoy the varied killing options, but could be disappointed at the lack of challenge when it comes to gun play. Still, there's enough here to warrant a purchase between the solid story and characters and the ample options to goof off. If you try not to think too hard and approach Yakuza: Dead Souls with a B-movies in mind, you'll likely come away entertained.
 photo

What a great idea: take the gangsters you know and love from the Yakuza series and put them up against zombies, quarantining them in Tokyo's red-light district. Oh, and give them guns. Lots of guns with unlimited ammo. We've ...


  Around the web (login to improve these)




Back to Top


We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -