The wait was long, but now we're here: The Yakuza Remastered Collection is available on PC e Xbox One, which can be purchased at a price of 39,99 euros or can be downloaded at no additional cost by subscribers to Xbox Game Pass.
This is a collection that includes remasters of Yakuza 3, Yakuza 4 e Yakuza 5, and which therefore allows you to resume the long saga of Kazuma Kiryu exactly where the owners of the Microsoft platforms had left off, at the end of Yakuza Kiwami 2.
Back at the Okinawa orphanage, Kazuma Kiryu he leads a quiet life with his boys, until he discovers that the land on which the structure stands has ended up at the center of a dispute between politicians and entrepreneurs. This is the narrative incipit of Yakuza 3, which on the front of the plot of course it does not disappoint, but at the cost of enduring decidedly dated rhythms and structural solutions.
The whole initial part of the campaign is in fact dotted with trivial quests in which you have to interact with practically all characters available, after identifying them within the scenario, in order to unlock a certain situation. Unfortunately the fighting in this case revives the gameplay only relatively, as the game feels the full weight of its years: it originally came out in 2009.
The fact of happening between two generations of consoles, PS2 and PS3, has inevitably limited the technical ambitions of this chapter and the remastering work has improved things only in a vague way, increasing resolution e frame rate, replacing specific textures that are too grainy but leaving the polygonal models of the characters and their antiquated animations intact.
Also on the front of scenery there is not much to say: the structure of Kamurocho we know it well, but in Yakuza 3 the streets of the fictional neighborhood are too empty and lifeless, with passers-by suddenly appearing with an annoying pop-up effect. The additional setting of Okinawa unfortunately it does not improve things, being quite small in size.
A pivotal episode for the SEGA franchise, Yakuza 4 was the first to introduce new playable protagonists besides Kazuma Kiryu, three to be precise: Shun Akiyama, whom we see in the early stages of the campaign and who runs a mysterious financial agency, lending large sums of money but only to people he deems worthy; Taiga Saejima, the legendary killer friend of Goro Majima, who ended up in prison after killing members of a rival family; And Masayoshi Tanimura, a young dutiful policeman.
However, the novelties are not limited to the cast, but embrace the game in its entirety, which abandons the technical and structural limitations of the previous chapter to introduce much more pressing rhythms and a combat system solid, made varied thanks to the different characters and different moves unlockable through traditional upgrades.
The setting in the case of Yakuza 4 is limited to the scenario of Kamurocho, which however appears substantially improved compared to Yakuza 3: many more passers-by, a pop-up still present but greatly reduced, a more sophisticated effects to enhance the various surfaces. Several animations leave something to be desired, but the remaster gives some sequences a surprising charm.
Here too history is very beautiful, engaging and well narrated: net of some questionable and excessively "feel-good" solution, the characters are excellently characterized, the subquest and collateral activities are plentiful. In short, if the third episode is a complicated recovery, the fourth will make you reconcile with the saga.
Arrived in the West three years after the Japanese publication, Yakuza 5 represented in many ways the first step in the relaunch of the franchise in the US and Europe. It was also the last chapter to come out on PS3, and to think about it today is the level of attention to detail and the amount of content that the Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio managed to insert into the project.
As in Yakuza 4, here too the playable characters are different: in addition to Kazuma Kiryu we will be able to control Shun Akiyama, Taiga Saejima, the new entry Tetsuo Shinada and the young woman Haruka Sawamura, which in this game we will see striving to become a successful idol, struggling with a large amount of minigames based on music and choreography, but also with the most disturbing implications of the Japanese show business.
However, five settings are also multiplying: the inevitable Kamurocho in Tokyo, the return of Sotenbori in Osaka, the neighborhood of Nagasugai in Fukuoka, that of Kineicho in Nagoya and the district of Tsukimino in Sapporo. In the same way, the secondary quests, more and more crazy, and the collateral activities with which we will be able to entertain ourselves while exploring are increasing, including the SEGA Clubs with the possibility of playing with Virtua Fighter 2 and Taiko no Tetsujin.
Despite some elements that appeared rather dated already at launch, in particular the sections by car on the ring road and certain animations, we are faced with an extraordinarily full-bodied chapter, full of atmosphere and unprecedented locations, which thanks to the remastering are able to give very suggestive moments and glimpses.
Xbox One achievements
The unlockable Achievements in the remasters of Yakuza 50, Yakuza 48 and Yakuza 57 are respectively 3, 4 and 5. revolves around: subquests, collateral activities, shopping and restaurant shopping, character enhancement and kilometers traveled exploring the scenarios.
Technical realization, Xbox One VS PC
As written at the beginning, The Yakuza Remastered Collection, in its entirety or in the individual episodes that compose it, can be downloaded at no additional cost by Xbox Game Pass subscribers, both on Xbox One and on PC. On the Microsoft console, all three games run at 60 fps, although it is unclear which resolution was used (it may be that for Yakuza 5 they have compromised).
There is some slight uncertainty and the pop-up in Yakuza 3 and Yakuza 4 is quite noticeable, but the uploads are fast and, in general, the conversion looks well done. Obviously, however, on PC it is quite another thing: the graphic adjustments are not very many (in the case of the fifth chapter there is also an option for dynamic resolution), but with an RTX 3070 we obviously had no problems running all at 4K and 60 fps very stable with the Ultra preset.
CommentTested version Xbox One, PC Windows Digital Delivery Steam, Xbox Store, Windows Store Price 39,99 € Resources4Gaming.com
The Yakuza Remastered Collection is also confirmed on Xbox One and PC as a package of great value for those who are carrying on the Kazuma Kiryu saga and were waiting to be able to continue it after Yakuza Kiwami 2. Of course, the impact with the third chapter is not the best. : The game has aged badly, both on the technical and on the gameplay front, and completing it requires an extra effort that maybe not everyone will want to take on. No doubt instead for Yakuza 4 and especially Yakuza 5, with their multiple characters, beautiful scenery and a structure very close to that of the remakes.
- Narration and characters always at the top
- Three extremely full-bodied games
- The remaster works very well with Yakuza 4 and Yakuza 5 ...
- ... but Yakuza 3 really feels the weight of its years
- Some uninspiring subquests
- The basic formula is basically always the same