Yakuza Christmas Has Arrived
Being a little late to the Yakuza party, I have been feasting on the sheer amount of games to catch up on. I worked my way through all of the Yakuza titles and both Judgement titles and I began to get a little sad. I had caught up and would have to wait for a new game every few years to state my recently discovered appetite for Japanese crime drama/soap operas. As it turns out, that isn’t the case with Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio cementing themselves as perhaps the most prolific developer in the world announcing not one new Yakuza game, but three.
The first game announced was the full, ground-up remake of a title that was previously only available in Japan, Yakuza Ishin. Like a Dragon Ishin (it seems that RGG Studio is ditching the Yakuza title for Like a Dragon from now on) is a Samurai-era Yakuza spin-off that features characters we know and love, battling it out in historical Japan. This game was previously thought to be “too Japanese” for the west, but considering the sheer popularity of the franchise recently, I think it is safe to say that is no longer the case. I for one can’t wait to slice and dice up some Samurai as Goro Majima and Kazama Kiryu. Like a Dragon Ishin is getting released on the 21st of Feb 2023 so I don’t have long to wait.
The second game announced is sure to get players that have followed Kiryu through his whole journey excited. Like a Dragon: The Man Who Erased His Name is set in the time period between Yakuza 6 and 7, it follows Kiryu as he leaves everything he has known and enters into a new life. Apparently, the game will be a more focused title than other Yakuza games and will be a traditional action/brawler affair as opposed to the turn-based combat from Yakuza 7. The Man Who Erased His Name is coming to every system except Switch sometime in 2023, more than likely in the back half.
The third game announced was perhaps the biggest. Like A Dragon 8 will be another turn-based affair with Ichiban Kasuga once again taking the lead, though this time he will be joined by none other than the Dojima Dragon himself. Yes, the man we can’t get enough of, Kiryu Kazama is more than just a cameo in this title. The worrisome thing though is the terrible haircut he is sporting in the trailer, I mean he looks like a Kpop reject, but I can live with it if it means I can spend more time with the Fourth Chairman. No word on other characters appearing, but it would be nice if the crew from 7 got to share some time with some other older favs like Goro Majima.
The final announcement is, that after a long time, both Judgement games are now available on PC through Steam. This has been a big worry for Judgement fans because the desire for PC versions by SEGA and Japan’s celebrity culture being apparently quite anti-pc has caused concern for the future of the series. Hopefully, this is a sign that the issues have been resolved and we can see Yagami and Kaito for many years to come. Judgement and Lost Judgement are available right now on Steam.
So, that is three new games and two old ones that some people might not have had the chance to play. That is a lot of the good stuff to get through. I am one happy camper and ready to once again lose large portions of my spare time in the quest to become an honourable Yakuza. I can’t wait.