The number of Yakuza games available on Xbox consoles and PC has doubled today, thanks to the arrival of The Yakuza Remastered Collection.
After being exclusive to PlayStation consoles for years, all of the mainline Yakuza games are steadily making their way to Xbox consoles and PC. It’s safe to say that the series is more popular then ever. And so, if you’ve made your way through the phenomenal Yakuza 0, as well as both Yakuza Kiwami titles, chances are you’re eager for more Kazuma Kiryu-fronted action. The Yakuza Remastered Collection delivers that, bundling up the 3rd, 4th and 5th episode of his saga.
All originally released on the PS3, it wasn’t deemed necessary to give the titles found in The Yakuza Remastered Collection the Kiwami treatment (Yakuza and Yakuza 2 were developed for PS2, and so were remade for PS4). So, as the name suggests, they’ve simply been remastered. That means their visuals have been spruced up, quality of life improvements have been made, and they’ve been re-localised. Content previously cut from them has been restored, too. Still, even with all that in mind, you should keep your expectations in check when it comes to certain aspects of them, particularly so when it comes to their visuals.
Picking up shorty after the events of Yakuza 2, Yakuza 3 once again places players solely in the shoes of Kazuma Kiryu. When it comes to both Yakuza 4 and 5, however, Kazuma Kiryu shares the limelight with an assortment of accompanying playable characters. Those really attached to the Dragon of Dojima might not appreciate him taking less of a role in those titles, but having multiple protagonists does have the benefit of allowing for more variety in both gameplay and storytelling. Underneath it all, though, they all follow the typical Yakuza formula; a mixture of dramatic, multi-layered stories, with lashings of side-activities, a healthy dose of humour, and loads of brutal combat.
Those going straight from Yakuza Kiwami 2 to Yakuza 3 might find the difference in how the games feel jarring at first. There’s no weight to Kiryu’s actions in Yakuza 3; whether you’re simply running around town or beating up thugs, he doesn’t feel grounded in the world. You quickly get used to it though. The issue somewhat persists in Yakuza 4, though improved animations does lead your actions feeling a little more meaty. When you finally get to Yakuza 5, you’ll be happy to find that it controls and feels just like the most recent Yakuza games. Thanks to being made on new engine versus the other two games in the collection, it doesn’t look that much worse than Yakuza 0, either.
All three games found in The Yakuza Remastered Collection run at 1080p and 60fps on Xbox consoles, though they do seem prone to a little bit of stutter when changing scenes. And, being remasters of PS3 titles, they obviously don’t look as good as the recent Kiwami remakes. That’s not to say they’re eyesores, though. While the pre-rendered scenes found in all three games remain low quality, filled with aliasing and other graphical artifacts, the in-game visuals have been cleaned up very nicely.
Yakuza 3, being the oldest game, is the worst looking of the lot. Still, attention has particularly been paid to improving the faces of central characters, and there are also improved textures and effects to be found elsewhere. The result is a game that undoubtedly looks dated, but not offensively so. Thankfully there’s a noticeable step up in quality when it comes to Yakuza 4, while Yakuza 5 stands up to the more recent remakes rather well.
Like Yakuza 0, Yakuza Kiwami, and Yakuza Kiwami 2 before it, The Yakuza Remastered Collection has launched straight into Xbox Game Pass for both console and PC. That means if you’re a subscriber, you can play these games without any additional cost. If you’re not a subscriber, however, and have no intention of becoming one, the good news is that The Yakuza Remastered Collection is available at a very reasonable price. It costs just £34.99/$39.99, and each game can also be bought separately for £17.99/$19.99.
So, if you’ve been enjoying your time spent with Kazuma Kiryu on Xbox so far, be sure to check out The Yakuza Remastered Collection. You’ve got until 25th March to get through all three games before the concluding part of Kiryu’s saga, Yakuza 6: The Song of Life, also launches on Xbox consoles and PC.
The Yakuza Remastered Collection is available now on PS4, Xbox One and PC