Developed by:Ryu ga Gotoku Studio Published by:SEGA Genre(s):
  • Action Adventure
  • Platform:
  • Sony
  • Cost:$59.99 ESRB Rating:MATURE Players:1-2 Release date:February 11, 2020 Reviewed on:PS4

    The Yakuza Remastered Collection

    SEGA has been on a remastering kick these past few years. Like the rest of the industry, they’ve positioned themselves to able to capitalize off of nostalgia. It’s the reason we got the recent Beyonetta & Vanquish bundle.

    They stumbled a bit when came to their popular Yakuza series though. The players that only experienced the remastered versions didn’t do so in order; Yakuza 0 and Kiwami (a remake of the first game) released right before Yakuza 6: The Song of Life. Yakuza Kiwami 2 came later while parts 3, 4, and 5 were still tethered to the PS3. Thankfully, SEGA corrected this error with The Yakuza Remastered Collection. Featuring these three “missing” games, fans could finally experience Kazmua Kiryu’s story in its entirety on the PS4.

    This is great news of course. The Yakuza series has some of the greatest storytelling found in any media. Who wouldn’t want to experience it at its best? We’re talking updated visuals, better frame rates, improved localization and extra content – Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio re-added content that was previously cut from the Western versions. Not only that, but the bundle proves to offer the thills fans have been asking for.

    Like the previous games, fans will follow the exploits of Kazuma Kiryu. Portrayed as a typical anime/tough guy protagonist, he won’t hesitate to beat up rival Yakuza or wage war around various cities in Japan. That said, the more players learn about him, the more they’ll realize that he doesn’t belong in the world he lives in; his moral compass often prevents him from becoming the ruthless crime boss everyone expects him to be. Raised from an orphan by a Yakuza boss, he has experienced more loss than any of us would be able to handle. And yet, Kiryu still risks his life to protect the honor of the man who raised him, his friends, and other orphans. He’s an anti-hero worth rooting for.

    Kiryu’s story spans of decades within this series. Players who played through the previously remastered games will be rewarded. With Yakuza 0, we were able to meet a huge amount of characters that were merely names on tombstones in latter games. In the same fashion, the games featured here help in filling in certain gaps. Like Kiryu’s time in prison. His pain is made more relatable now that it isn’t just a flash back or mentioned moment during a cutscene.

    Each game sports the same general notions. Kiryu tries to leave the Yakuza life behind but is always pulled back in. There is either someone kidnapped, being framed, or threatening to take away Kiryu’s peace of mind and he is then forced to deal with the zaniest characters I have ever experienced. The drama is insane, but in a good way. Much of the game is comprised of beating the crap out of rivals, indulging in mini-games, and getting into all sorts of trouble. The same holds true for games 3, 4, and 5, for better or worse.

    If you’ve read any of my previous Yakuza reviews, then you know how much I can’t stand the combat. There is little to no skill involved as everything revolves punching and kicking until certain conditions are met to perform a finishing attack. The best part has always been the crazy cinematics – shown when performing a finishing move or after a quick timed event – which took away from feeling like you were the one controlling Kiryu. New abilities and some interesting boss fights aren’t enough to negate the button mashing.

    Again, fans can expect more of the same in that regard. It isn’t enough to anyone away. After playing each game, I’m even more eager to experience Yakuza: Like a Dragon’s turn-based combat though. Thankfully, the rest of the content is so good that it overshadows the beat’em up mechanics. Each game’s plot is memorable, similarities notwithstanding, and the countless side missions are entertaining. Especially the ones featuring crazy characters and story arcs.

    Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio continues to kill it when it comes to visual remastering. By just looking at how beautiful each city is, the increased number of people on the streets (making environments feel more lived in), and the fully functional faces that show emotion better than some Hollywood actors, you can tell that the developers worked hard to improve each game. The voice work is also great; the revised English scripts/subtitles offer more clarity this time around.

    Needless to say, if you are a fan of these original games, you must play the remasters. The nostalgia alone is enough to warrant a purchase. The visual updates, added content, and reworked scripts make each game feel brand new. Even with the dated combat systems.

    Those of you who haven’t experienced the Yakuza series just yet, should also pick up the collection. Getting three of the latter games for the price of one is a steal. Especially considering that the previous entries aren’t too pricey; now that I have all of the remastered versions, I plan on going back to replay Yakuza 0 through 6 again. I just can’t get enough of Kiryu’s crazy story.



    Each game found in The Yakuza Remastered Collection is entertaining. Unfortunately, the combat systems are still frustratingly dated.



    The remastered versions look great.



    The vocal talent is always amazing.

    Replay Value:


    The Yakuza series is known for its bad combat. It’s also known for telling a great story, wacky side quests, and a plethora of fun mini-games - all of which are worth experiencing multiple times.

    Final Score:


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