I’m Kinglink and let’s talk about the Yakuza Franchise, particularly the Kiryu games, which I lovingly call the Kiryu Saga.
Though I’d like to explain this concept of this series quickly. The quick backstory is after finishing both Yakuza 3 and 4 I wanted to make a video but hadn’t finished the entire series, there was a lot to talk about such as the Tojo Clan’s place in the series, or Kamurocho’s evolution, but I couldn’t talk about the entire franchise.
I also often get questions about where to start the series on any of my Yakuza videos so I figured this might be a good topic.
Wonder Boy III: The Dragon’s Trap was originally made for the Sega Master System and ported to the Game Gear and Turbo Grafx-16. It involved the main character, Wonder Boy, fresh from his last adventure getting cursed by a dragon’s curse and then roaming the land to try to fix that curse.
It also was a fantastic game that rivaled entries like Metroid and allowed players to return to areas they had been in before to find new rooms with abilities earned over time. It was essentially a predecessor to what would be known as a Metroidvania.
And so in 2017, Wonder Boy: The Dragon Trap was released, remaking the original title, but also improving it and giving it a more interesting overhaul to mesh with modern gamers. While the original game can still be seen in the new release, the improvements will welcome gamers who aren’t looking for a replica of what a Master system was limited to.
So my time with Yakuza finally ends. After 8 games on PC, I’m caught up and ready for wherever the series will take the player in the future. While Judgement and now Lost Judgement is hopefully coming to PC, for the moment I’ve arrived at the temporary end of the journey.
And Yakuza 6 ends what I consider the main arc of the franchise, ending the games that star Kiryu Kazuma in one final epic tale, at least that was the hope.
Yakuza 6 is probably not what fans expected, and unfortunately may not be what fans want, but many issues with Yakuza 6 come from this potentially being the final time players take on the role of Kiryu Kazuma in the franchise.
I’m Kinglink and this week we’re going to talk about Emulation. It’d be really easy to talk just emulators, but instead, we’re also going to have to talk about ya know… Piracy. That means this week it’s time for Emulators and Roms.
I want to cover this in three acts. First, we’ll talk about what emulation and ROMs are at a high level. Second, we’ll talk about why people emulate and play ROMs. And finally, we’ll talk about my thoughts on it. I can actually address this from multiple angles, as I am a gamer, but I also was a game developer, I’ve even had people tell me they pirated my game. True story, and hopefully that will be an interesting angle.
Yakuza 5 takes what Yakuza 4 accomplished and amplifies everything in it to create a brand new experience that is bigger and better than before. It is the most jam-packed Yakuza title yet, the longest-running in the Kiryu saga, and contains the most playable characters.
But it also is a case where it becomes too much of a good thing that finally reaches the series’ breaking point, and causes some issues for the franchise.
Yakuza 5 has returning characters from the previous game with Kiryu, Saejima, and Akiyama, but adds in two new playable characters, an ex-baseball player, Tatsuo Shinada, and for the first time in the series, Haruka Sawamura, Kiryu’s adopted daughter. Each of these characters gets their own section of the story, with Haruka and Akiyama sharing their portion, giving players four distinct parts of the game, with a rather large finale at the end.
After three games in the series, Yakuza 4 had some big shoes to fill, now with the addition of two remakes in the form of Kiwami and Kiwami 2, and the prequel Yakuza 0, Yakuza 4’s task is bigger than ever.
Yakuza 4 delivers a different game than fans might expect, but also one that changes the formula of the series and creates something fresh.
Yakuza 4’s heavily on previous titles and creates issues for new players. I originally played Yakuza 4 in 2016 as my first entry into the series, and while the game was good at the time, without having already played the three previous titles the game talked about many characters who got no development, and thus the story suffered for it. I wondered why did the game focus on characters it didn’t take the time to introduce?
After playing the previous titles, and falling in love with the series, a return to this game in its remastered form creates a more interesting experience. While Yakuza 4 begins with the assumption of the large history of the series, it expands the world in new ways and creates an interesting take on the series.
Yakuza 3 is finally on PC, and it’s the fourth game in the Yakuza franchise chronologically. However, it is now the most dated for the franchise. Where Yakuza 0 was released in 2015 for the Playstation 4, and Yakuza Kiwami and Kiwami 2 were remade in 2016, and 2017 and also released for the Playstation 4, Yakuza 3 was originally released in 2009 and for the Playstation 3.
The version on PC, Ps4, and Xbox One is the remastered version, which has all sorts of bells and whistles fans would expect. There is a higher graphic fidelity and more standardized 1080p resolution. There is also content that was cut from the original English version that has been restored, and a retranslation that removes important mistranslations.
I bring this up not to just enumerate the changes, but to dive into the big issue with Yakuza 3. Yakuza 3 is a remaster. While it has a large amount of additional content and gameplay, this is ultimately a PS3 game with a slight graphical upgrade. Where the previous Yakuza games are beautiful, Yakuza 3 is dated by the simple fact that this game originally was made for the PS3.
I’m Kinglink and this week we’re doing another Head to Head. In this corner, we have Yakuza: Like a Dragon, and in the opposing corner. Well, this is different. We have not one, not two, but three Yakuza games starring Kiryu Kazuma.
So this week we’re going to be talking a lot about Yakuza but this is an interesting match up. I wanted to look at how the all-new Yakuza: Like a Dragon compares to the first three Yakuza games, 0, Kiwami, and Kiwami 2, also known as what’s currently available on PC. Sega… fix that.
Yeah, that line didn’t age well, I wrote this script before Sega announced the news. It sounds like EVERY mainline Yakuza game will be on PC by March 25th next year and on Xbox One as well. This doesn’t invalidate anything I say in this video and technically, there are only four Yakuza games on PC as I wrote this.
Golden Axe is a classic Sega Franchise that defined the Arcade and Genesis era of beat-em’ ups. It was a unique and amazing series that perhaps deserves a revival. And yes I’m conveniently ignoring the 2008 entry on purpose.
Golden Axed: A Cancelled Prototype is a prototype that Sega commissioned almost a decade ago attempting to revive the franchise. It’s also a true prototype that is valuable both as an artifact of a failed game but also to understand what games look like when publishers have to decide on it.
Streets of Kamurocho is out. This is a combination of the very popular Streets of Rage brawler, and the Yakuza franchise. I’m astonished on how right this crossover feels, and yet how it hasn’t been done before.
Streets of Kamurocho came out as one of four free games from the Sega 60th anniversary celebration. It also doesn’t hurt that Yakuza: Like a Dragon is scheduled to come out next month.