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Credit: Sega

‘Yakuza 5’ Release Date Announced, ‘Yakuza Zero’ Heading West

Sega’s beloved open world crime series Yakuza is regaining a foothold in the west on PlayStation consoles and at Sony’s PlayStation Experience keynote address, more information was revealed for two of the upcoming games in the series.

Yakuza 5, which was released years ago in Japan for the PlayStation 3, is finally becoming available for download on the PlayStation 3 Store after its localisation was announced at the inaugural PlayStation Experience last year. It’ll be available this Tuesday, December 8, 2015.

“Besides being the 10th anniversary of the series, the release date for Yakuza 5 couldn’t be more perfect,” John Hardin, a Sega Representative, said in a post on the PlayStation Blog. “While the Christmas holiday is a time for catching up with family, no sane person can spend more than two hours with relatives you see once or twice a year. One can only handle so much small talk and Christmas music before the madness starts creeping in.”

“With that said, I’ll be spending a lot of time over the holiday exploring the open world of Yakuza 5. Taking place across five different cities in Japan, Yakuza 5 follows five protagonists who have been involved with various yakuza syndicates in the past. Through a series of events, the protagonists are forcibly dragged back into the seedy underworld of Japan and will need to rely on their fighting, driving, shooting, and dancing skills to survive.”

“Moreover, we like to call the game ‘the Japan simulator’ because the game’s numerous side-missions and mini-games genuinely make the game feel like being in Japan. I know that the myriad of things to do in the game will help recharge my batteries before explaining to my aunts for the one hundredth time what PR is and why it’s a real job.”

In addition, Sega also confirmed that it’s bringing Yakuza Zero, a prequel to the series, to North America in 2016, exclusively on PlayStation 4. It’ll be available both digitally and at retail, but according to a tweet from Sega, “we know the Yakuza series is loved by all its fans in Europe but unfortunately at this time we’re not able to confirm a Yakuza 0 EU release.”

This is despite the fact that the official trailer for the game posted on PlayStation’s YouTube account triumphantly declared that the game was “coming to North America and Europe on PlayStation 4 system.” This is also despite the fact that there’s virtually no reason for it not to, given that it’s already been translated. In this day and age, where a game doesn’t even have to have discs printed anymore, there is no excuse whatsoever, especially for a company as large as Sega.

The game will follow the story of junior Yakuza member Kazuma Kiryu and Goro Majima, the Mad Dog of Shimano. It’s “set in Tokyo, December 1988, and players will experience the cold weather and cold hard cash that is flooding the city. Cash is king and everyone, especially the yakuza, needs to have more of it. Thankfully, Kiryu and Majima are the ‘entrepreneurial’ type and will have plenty of ways to make, spend, and take money. From telephone clubs to disco halls, there will be ample opportunities for Kiryu and Majima to flex their colorful suits, gold watches, and fat stacks.”

There’s also a remake of the first title in the series and a sixth main entry coming in Japan, but it remains to be seen whether they too will receive English translations.

About Lawson Kiehne

Lawson Kiehne
Lawson Kiehne is an aspiring Australian writer who is fascinated by everything involving stories. In his spare time he enjoys reading, playing video games and watching films and television and hopes to one day be a published novelist.