Yakuza Kiwami 2 Review: The Real Dragon

Jordan Samuel Jordan Samuel
Expert Contributor
August 22nd, 2018

Content Editor, Film Critic and Writer for ComiConverse.com, the Founder and co-host of the official Nerdcast Network Podcast

Review of: Yakuza Kiwami 2

Reviewed by:
Rating:
4
On August 22, 2018
Last modified:August 26, 2018

Summary:

A perfect slice of Yakuza life, with added toppings of humour and a badass crime story.

Review of: Yakuza Kiwami 2

Reviewed by:
Rating:

4
On August 22, 2018
Last modified:August 26, 2018

Summary:

A perfect slice of Yakuza life, with added toppings of humour and a badass crime story.

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Yakuza Kiwami 2 Review: The Real Dragon
One year after the 10 billion yen incident, Kazuma Kiryu begins to build a peaceful life with Haruka Sawamura. Tearing him away, an assassination threatens to erupt in an all-out war between the Tojo Clan and the Omi Alliance. Kiryu, the Dragon of Dojima, must travel to Sotenbori, Osaka in an attempt to broker peace between the rival clans, but Ryuji Goda, known as the Dragon of Kansai, will stop at nothing to get his war. In this world, there can only be one dragon.

SEGA’s Japanese crime saga Yakuza has been more present in western audiences over the last two years, as gamers related to Kazuma Kiryu's intense story in the criminal underground. I adored the focus on wild Japanese culture and serious overtones, which stood apart from other open-world titles.

And with a fanbase that is ever expanding, it was apparent that SEGA would be bringing the classic titles to western audiences. Yakuza Kiwami, Yakuza 0 and Yakuza 6 have all made the trek to our screens.

Yakuza Kiwami 2 (a remake of Yakuza 2) is the latest game in the series to come to our shores, and boy does it a solid punch. Bringing us back into the now iconic streets of Kamurocho, with another epic crime story filled with shocking reveals. Ridiculous side stories and care for recreating Tokyo is what makes this instalment one of the greatest games from SEGA.

SEGA

A stunning remake of the classic tale, involving greed and corruption within Tokyo’s police force with Kazuma Kiryu stuck in the middle. It doesn’t share the emotion pull seen in the last couple instalments, but instead introduces fans to a rememberable villain in Ryuji Goda. Who by the games closing credits will be under your skin, with his evil schemes and monologues about power in the Yakuza ranks?

It’s a gangster story, set in of the unique recreations of Tokyo filled with glistening neon light and pedestrians eating bowls of ramen. There are murder, betrayal and chaotic battles but SEGA doesn’t forget to add humour. I love the dark story of Yakuza life, which engages the player into a criminal underbelly. Cutscenes all have the craziest amounts of detail which immerse you into an excellently written plot.

Utilizing the Dragon Engine seen in "Song of Life", Yakuza Kiwami 2 is another graphically impressive title. With no interruption between cutscenes and gameplay, making the streets of Kommorcho feeling fresh and unique. It makes the entire open-world feel like a liveable city. Combat is impressive and precise, with the upgrade tree making beating up fools rewarding for each player. I adored these RPG elements as they make each fight feel like a journey, in development for the main character Kazuma Kiryu (Yakuza).

Story continues below

SEGA

The famous arcade mini-games return, with everything from photography to a full-fledged “Manage Your Own Gang” RTS that has endless possibilities. Yakuza delivers excellent offerings for players interested in engrossing their selves into Japanese culture outside of the intense action. SEGA took their time in these additional microgames, as each feels like a fully fledged and separate digital game

Kazuma Kiryu packs a punch as the fighting system, allows for different fights. I never felt bored during these action-heavy moments with the insane combos and intriguing weapons. There are issues however with several bosses using cheap combos on the player, turning a quick fight into an endless chase to click buttons quicker.

Verdict

Yakuza Kiwami 2 (2018) is an outstanding remake, which a modernised control scheme and new side content into one already large package. After the more heartfelt “Song of Life”, it was nice to play a more traditional approach to the formula. It may not reinvent the wheel, but does offers hours of fun in Kamurocho from insane quests to karaoke.

I adored the large content on offer in Yakuza Kiwami 2 and wanted the journey to continue way into the 22-hour campaign. I’m looking forward to exploring future titles in the series. SEGA knocks another one out the park - and should be played on the most prominent television.

Yakuza Kiwami 2

  • 4
A perfect slice of Yakuza life, with added toppings of humour and a badass crime story.

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