For an artist, probably the most personal piece of art he could ever create is to present something that reflects his own origin and the culture he’s grown with. No one better than you could ever describe the city, the neighborhood, the neighbors, and the family you’re living in. You’ve been raised with all of them and have bounded to them. With that, I want to get to this place that no one could make a Yakuza game better than the Japanese themselves. The Yakuza Remastered Collection, including three of the best titles of the franchise, is probably the best we can get from SEGA over the current generation and now they are all here. This is our Yakuza Remastered Collection review for PlayStation 4.
While playing Yakuza 3 as the first entry of the collection, it was surprising for me to see how many interesting mini-games developers have put inside a game that would never have a world as big as Rockstar’s Grand Theft Auto, but definitely features in-game activities in the level of GTA IV. From billiard and bowling to karaoke and bar managing, there are a lot of things to follow and have fun within Yakuza’s small downtown areas than GTA’s vast open-world, leading us to the war between density and expanse of the game worlds, of which we need both, but sometimes messing with the balance between them could result in interesting outcomes, like the one in the Yakuza series.
Looking a little bit deeper at the core gameplay of The Yakuza Remastered Collection, the combat might feel tedious over the first chapters of the game, but as you progress more in the game you learn new combos and earn boost upgrades to perform them more smoothly. Later in the game, you gain access to guns as well, which makes it easier to eliminate some tough enemies without even getting closer to them.
Having said that, there are a bunch of downsides in the combat as well that avoid you from having a flawless fight with enemies. First of all, there’s a considerable delay between the time you hit the button and the time your character acts, which became worse when you want to dodge or deflect against an enemy’s attack. Thus, the best to avoid enemies from hitting you is to learn when you should stop your attacking moves and fall back, instead of waiting for the enemy to make his move and then defend yourself.
Another annoying part of the gameplay shows itself when some of the missions send you downtown to find somebody and it doesn’t even mention a hint to where you can find your guy. I know the plan is you don’t know where he is, but being forced to search the whole city blocks to find the target is a bit frustrating, especially when you know there are several missions like that in all of the games.
If you are not into Japanese game at all, The Yakuza Remastered Collection might not fit into your type at all. The game features a lot of hours of muted subtitled conversation that you need to read them precisely if you want to find out every last bit of detail within the series complicated story arc. Of course, sometimes it even becomes boring for patient gamers as well, since on some occasions you see the whole thing you’ve already heard of is being told to another character word by word. So, don’t worry about missing a big part if you’ve skipped some of the conversations already.
That said, the storytelling in The Yakuza Remastered Collections is still a masterpiece. If Kazuma Kiryu is running an orphanage, you don’t just get its description or picture, you really get involved in the business to understand how hard it is to manage a bunch of children and keep them away from the threats coming from your past.
Despite having a lot of characters, the developer hasn’t wasted their potential at all. Most of the characters get an acceptable backstory with proper progression along the line and finally reach a satisfying and sometimes shocking end. As for Kazuma Kiryu, the main protagonist of the franchise, the same stages happen with more details and more surprising moments.
In case of graphics, the game looks brilliant during cut-scenes, though the real visuals of the game with sharp-edged objects, outdated animations, and non-enhanced lighting interrupts the tone of having a close current-gen experience. However, don’t expect any technical issues and bugs in the game since it’s precisely polished.
The Yakuza Remastered Collection is a great addition to PS4 that should’ve been arrived much sooner, but still it’s welcomed. It is a taste of nostalgia for those who have played all the games previously and a rare opportunity for those who want to get into the franchise for the first time.