Yakuza Kiwami (Ps4) – Criminally Good

8.5 Overall Score
Gameplay: 9/10
Story: 9/10
Graphcs: 8/10

Awesome Story | Cool Characters and Aesthetic | Fun, Varied Gamplay

Some Stiff Models | Cutscene Heavy

Yakuza Kiwami

The Yakuza series is a longstanding one in Japan, and sort of a new beast in the west. After last year’s Yakuza 0, people started getting interested in the franchise as a whole. Sega has a full platter of Yakuza goodness for us now!

At its core, the Yakuza games are crime dramas based on the real life Japanese Yakuza (Organized crime lords and there henchmen in Japan). You play the part of Kiryu Kazuma and play out his life as a member of the Dojima Family. This review will be spoiler free, so I will refrain from talking about the story too much.



Yakuza Kiwami roughly translates to “extreme”, and that promise has been fully kept. The gameplay varies from navigating a beautiful rendition of 1990’s Japan, to shopping for birthday presents, to sneaking into funerals, to beating the hell out of street punks. All while Kiryu’s stone-cold expression and hard-ass attitude never changes.

Combat is such a cool part of this game. If you have played a Yakuza game in the past, you know what is going on. If you’re like me and this is your first one, then it will come across as a unique combat system with a learning curve that anyone can master.  At its core, it is a beat-em-up but it has so much more depth than that. Kiryu has four fighting styles you can switch between in battle: Rush, Brawler, Beast, and Dragon. Rush is a fast fighting style that hits a lot, but does little damage. You can be very evasive in Rush mode. Brawler is the middle style with grabs and finishers, but is a little slower. Beast is the slowest fighting style that leaves you the most vulnerable, but does a lot of damage.  Dragon is a special mode were Kiryu uses the moves he’s learned as  the Dragon of Dojima to fight your enemies. This mode has a special story significance that I wont get into to avoid spoilers.


On top of the story, there are also a good number of side missions that allow you to earn EXP to level up your character. Most of them are charming and fun to do and add to the character progression.


For the story, I am not going to say much other than it is great. This game does a great and almost cinematic job at getting you involved and emotionally invested in the characters and story. Kiryu Kazuma is an amazing character and I like him a lot more than I thought I would.

Long story short, play it to get the story. Take my word for it, you need to play this and experience the story.



How could you not want to experience this?


The graphics for this game are beautiful. It really puts you in the setting of 90’s Japan and at times I wanted to just stop to look at the city. In terms of the remaster, it is leaps and bounds over the original on PS2. Character models are extremely(Kiwami) detailed for the main characters and most of the other cast, to the point of being able to see individual pores on a characters face. The Yakuza team has done a terrific job at remastering and refinishing this game. It could be a movie at times.


The only negative I have is, at times there are some stiff expressions and shaky models. This is only in secondary and background characters though. It doesn’t break the immersion at all.


Japan is Beautiful in Yakuza Kiwami!



Good lord, this game is great. This is my first Yakuza game, and it has made a fan out of me. It is great in terms of a remake, a new game, and is just a good game in  general. It is a good time to get into the series too, with the announcement of Yakuza Kiwami 2 (Remake of the second game). Do yourself a favor and go pick this up. It is $29.99 for the steelbook version of the game, even less if you have Amazon Prime. Sega needs to keep throwing hits like this out there!

Buy. This. Game!

Gonna pick this up? Let us know below!

This game was provided to me by Sega for review. Thanks, Sega!

Yakuza Kiwami – PlayStation 4 Steelbook Edition


Author: AriBaa View all posts by
Game designer, Programmer, and gamer. I love games and sharing my opinions with people! Check out my website and follow me on twitter! @AriBaaLLC