Yakuza Kiwami: Journal 1 / by Randy Ortiz


Seeing as to how massive Yakuza Kiwami is, I didn't think it would be fair to just give it a review once released and wrap it up, I'll be writing about the story and all it's pathways towards the end. I will be continuously playing the game and currently at Chapter 5: Purgatory, so far it's been fun regardless of it's flaws and has kept me engaged the entire time. From the family organizations, self reflection, side quests and the seedier underbelly of the town, you play thru it all and it's quite the experience. As you progress within the linear story you are presented with side quests that you either go out of your way to complete or just mini stories within the Yakuza Kiwami world, they are of usual fetch fare or just so happen to complete due to who you talk to which is my favorite and adds a certain level of life to the game. The graphics for the most part are hi-res textured awesome while showing it's age in motion and control, the sound packs a punch especially those hard hitting battles and soundtrack inclusion is on point.


KIwami is the 2006 Yakuza 1 game with a major graphic overhaul and tons of content reworked, included or changed around to make it a definitive version of sort. I sit and marvel at how crisp most textures are but there are times where it shows how old the game is in it's animation and presentation. Animations vary from silky smooth to jerky and stiff depending the camera angle and area you are in, it's very apparent that they kept all the captures in place from the old game and look a tad out of place on a PS4. Most of the game looks incredible and full of life with reworked textures, certain facial animations and reflective surfaces to a highly satisfactory level. Can it be better? Of course it can but it still looks great and I could care less at this point since I'm having that much fun.


The story begins after Kazuma Kiryu ends up finally getting out of jail for 10 years after a murder charge, it's his time to catch up and get acclimated with how things are now and what's been going on ever since. Needless to say many happenings and shifts have happened and you go thru a few surprises here and there, a lot can happen in 10 years and this shows it well in story. I won't write details from the story for spoilers sake and those that know of the story will still have a connection to what I write about. Remember when I said the game reminds me of Shenmue? Well it still does and after completing 4 chapters worth, it still holds true. Little hidden alleyways, interactions, storefronts, nature of the character, silliness in story and combat (BEAST!), it all has hints of Shenmue and boy am I happy with it. Keeping this entry shortish but will return with what I thought about chapters 1-4 soon and perhaps 5 if I'm near the end of it.
Hope you all are looking forward to reading about each chapter and thanks for reading, mucho thanks to Sega also for sending this my way!

You can purchase Yakuza Kiwami for PS4 digitally or in game stores now.