Yakuza Studios are hard at work over in Japan, this weekend they have announced Yakuza Kiwami 2, Yakuza Online, Shin (new) Yakuza AND a Fist of the North Star game that will utilise the Yakuza 6 engine.
Although an institution in Japan, the Yakuza series had taken a few years to catch on in the west. The first Yakuza title was the only one to have dubbed English. It took fan power to get Yakuza 4 a western release, in fact its not unusual for western gamers to wait more than 12 months for a Yakuza title to see western release.
However given the success of Yakuza Kiwami (a PS4 remake of the first title) a remake of Yakuza 2 appeared inevitable, in fact PSN accidentally leaked it’s existence on Friday ahead of the show. Yakuza Kiwami 2 will benefit from the power of the Dragon Engine and will give gamers that missed out on the original release a chance to dig in. Release wise, it will be due out in Japan early 2018 however I would expect a western release to be months (at least) after Yakuza 6 finally drops.
Other news announced during the stream include Shin (new) Yakuza which will be the next entry in the main series. The new protagonist is named Kazuga Ichiban and is touted as having a more laid back personality in comparison to long standing hero Kiryu. Details on this game were scarce but there was a short introduction stream to the game demonstrating the gritty crime atmosphere the series is known for. Interestingly, Kazuga will also star in Yakuza online a new game announced for Android, IOS and PC. Again more details to come later.
Last, but certainly not least Yakuza Studios announced they are also working on a Fist of the North Star game due to release on PS4 in 2018. Fist of the North Star began as a manga in the 80’s and could be considered Japan’s Mad Max. The main character Kenshiro will embark on an original adventure to infiltrate a city in search of his long lost fiance. As the rather incredible reveal trailer demonstrates, all types of violence and shenanigans are sure to ensue.
So, with three Yakuza titles announced and the surprise that is Fist of the North Star 2018 is shaping up to be a fantastic year for fans of Sega and the Yakuza series. All we need now is an official announcement that Shenmue 1+2 will get HD remakes and fans will be set for the next 18 months.