A remake that's great for newcomers to the series

User Rating: 8 | Yakuza Kiwami PS4

This is my introduction to the Yakuza series (I'm so excited to continue through these games,) and overall I thought this was a very solid remake that maintains everything good about the original, while making it a more modern experience. However since I've never played the original, this will be a first impressions review.

Yakuza Kiwami takes place in the open world Kamurocho, a fictional Tokyo district. You play as Kazuma Kiryu, a man who spent a decade in prison after taking the blame for the murder of the patriarch of his family. After returning from prison, he finds himself wrapped up in his criminal past as he searches for his mission friend. That's a brief summary, but this was such a well told and detailed story that I absolutely loved every second of. Every character was complex and well written, and even though the main story's pacing felt off at times, there was never a dull moment for me.

Aside from the story the open world of Kamurocho is filled with things to do. From side missions that range from fetchy and half baked to funny or serious, to mini games like bowling, hitting up the batting cages, cards, karaoke, and much more. While the main story is relatively short, you can easily spend hours and hours in this incredibly detailed world. The only true thing that felt overwhelmingly repetitive was the Majima everywhere system, in which he would show up at basically anytime to fight you. While sometimes they were fun or funny, or even showing more depth to his character, most of the time it felt like it got in the way of the main story.

Combat was an absolute blast though. The classic beat em' up style felt brutal and stylish with every hit, while also providing quite a bit of challenge with some of the game's bosses.

Overall this is a great and unique game that balances the beat em' up genre with an open world RPG, with a ton of things to do, and a fantastic story with great characters, this is a must play if you haven't already.