Suffers in comparison to Yakuza 0, but is still a compelling drama and an important part of the series as a whole.
An entertaining but slightly unbalanced remake whose biggest draw is a regular distraction from one of the series' best stories.
Yakuza Kiwami makes great strides in updating the classic original Yakuza game to modern standards. But while it adds better combat, bizarrely charming side quests, and a gorgeous graphical revamp, it also ignores some of the original's biggest problems in pacing and storytelling. And because of its relatively short length, Yakuza Kiwami's fun trip through the tangled web of Japan's criminal underground feels like a prelude to something bigger and better to come.
The original Yakuza has been remade into a sequel to its own prequel, but although it's perfectly competent it feels outdated compared to the newer entries.
Yakuza Kiwami is a sprawling adventure, but – as enhanced as it is – it's clearly a foundational entry in the series
Yakuza Kiwami picks up where Yakuza Zero left off, upholding its dramatic storytelling, offbeat humor, and flashy yet frustrating combat.
Yakuza Kiwami makes it clear just how far the series has come, and just how far it still has to go. It's keenly designed to bring newly minted Yakuza fans more firmly into the fold by providing all the contemporary comforts they might expect, while also giving longtime fans more to chew on than a shot-for-shot remake ever would have. It's a patchwork, for better and for worse, and as much as I enjoyed my time with it, there's no denying that some of those patches are looking more tired than others.
Kiwami has a much smaller scope than something like Yakuza 0 but I think that also gives it a lot of focus. While the series is now famous for side quests and random activities, Kiwami has a focus and drive to it that I really enjoyed by the end.
Sega remastered the original Yakuza in high style. Using an updated engine, the team behind the series added new character models, re-recorded voice acting, and an expanded city of Kamurocho, all in 1080p at 60 fps. Yakuza Kiwami bleeds love for the original game. If you haven't played any Yakuza, this is the release to get. If you have, this is a great remaster of a former cult-favorite. It's not as full-featured as current Yakuza release, but it's still a great time.
I enjoyed my time with Kiwami despite its flaws. The story kept me up for hours on end, the sub-stories were interesting with hilarious characters and great writing, and the combat felt incredible to master by the end. It can't be ignored that they had a chance to massively improve the story, but chose to just try and maintain the status quo, but the package is fantastic nonetheless
Really, you can't go wrong with Kiwami. I would have liked it if every aspect of the game had been fully redone, but we don't see remakes like this come along often. I can deal with a few stumbling blocks when the core quality of what makes Yakuza so unique and engaging remains untouched. At least now more people can have a chance to experience this classic, which is the best thing about Kiwami's existence.
Twelve years after its original release on PS2, Yakuza Kiwami is still a great adventure set in modern Japan. Some mechanics such as invisible walls or certain fighting elements feel outdated, but the story, setting and minigames are awesome.
Review in Spanish | Read full review
I can’t really knock the game down too much for being what it set out to be - a faithful re-imagining of an eastern classic. This is the standard for which all remastered game releases should aim.
Yakuza Kiwami is the perfect game for those who never played a Yakuza before. The new graphics and control are a nice way to enter in the life o Kiryu.
Review in Spanish | Read full review
Some signs of aging are inevitable counting the 12 years from the original game, but nowadays few remakes are well done like Yakuza Kiwami.
Review in Italian | Read full review
The start was always the best, and this extreme edition is a reminder of how fantastic this series has always been.
Yakuza Kiwami represents the pinnacle of the series, with Sega bringing everything it has learned over the years and refining it into a single neat package. The result is a unique and unforgettable experience that far outstrips what was presented in the original entry.
This newcomer thinks that Yakuza Kiwami is a blast. I can't speak to how different it is from the first game, but the sheer amount of content and personality makes it worth checking out. Though the fights could get repetitive at times, the combat system kept things interesting on the whole.
But besides all this, it is simply a good time. And there is an unmistakable, open-hearted joy to fixing problems for people as an intimidating agony uncle. Even if it usually involves hitting them with a bike first.