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Killing the Yakuza series could be the best thing for it

Killing the Yakuza series could be the best thing for it

An advert in the most recent issue of Japanese games magazine Famitsu shows what is apparently the Kamurocho district of the Yakuza series of games. Just with one thing different. Can you spot it? Yes, it’s the massive destruction the area seems to have suffered.

This has obviously lead to rampant speculation, and we’d like to jump in with some of our own. If this image does indeed indicate the next PS3 Yakuza game will be the last in the series, it could well be the best thing to happen to the series in a long time.

We’re big fans of the Yakuza games and though they’ve never set our worlds alight, we have deemed them worthy of a play, awarding the games these marks: Yakuza, 79% in Play 144; Yakuza 2, 79% in Play 171; Yakuza 3, 80% in Play 191; Yakuza 4, 75% in Play 193. So this isn’t us rallying against the series as a whole.

But it’s clear the process of releasing the games in the series in such a quick succession (in Japan, at least) hasn’t lent itself to making Yakuza games everything they could have been. They’re not bad, they just never got beyond being ‘quite good’.

Rather than perpetuate the notion that this is a series that should continue seemingly indefinitely, surely it’s better to go out with a (possibly literal) bang? To end the series and move on, to take the lessons learned, leave Kazuma Kiryu and his chums behind and put development efforts into something new. Something better. Something that can have real time and effort put into making its engine better, mixing up its in-game mechanics more and giving us the altogether fantastic experience we always wanted from the Yakuza series.

But then, maybe the devastation pictured will just be a minor setback in the game, and we’ll end up getting yearly updates from now until the end of days. For the good of the series, and for the good of our poor brains, we hope not.

[via Andriasang]




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  • youidiot

    you are idiots

  • patrick

    Well, considering Now Gamer gave the abomination that is Alpha Protocol 8.3, i think this article says more about your dire taste in games than it does about the superb Yakuza series.

  • zero

    “Yearly updates”? Seriously? How could you even have the balls to call these games yearly updates in the face of Rock/Guitar/DJ/Whatever silly idea Hero games, Madden/NHL/FIFA sports games, fighting games, and worst of all Call of Duty games. Each Yakuza entry may be similar, but they are GREATLY updated. Calling Ryu ga Gotoku Kenzan a “yearly update” is just plain laughable, absurd, and stupid. Yakuza 4 an “update” to 3? I would elaborate more, but the chances are you haven’t even fully played these games (if at all), so I feel no motivation to. The PSP one isn’t out yet, but from what I’ve seen it seems awesome. A totally different direction for the game, while maintaining the great aspects of the game. Can’t wait for it. Whatever gripe you have with the Yakuza series, you can express it better than just being lame about it. Yakuza is well beyond “quite good” and is indeed fantastic. It’s one of the last great franchises still alive in the gaming world, and wanting to see it die is just… not cool.

  • shojo2011

    To jp, it doesn’t really matter if you hate the games or not. They’ll still come out with them. It would be like American people hating sushi. They live off the stuff, your opinion of it doesn’t even register. And if you really had a brain in your head you’d be able to see that this picture doesn’t mean anything other than there’s another game being made. Not, the series is over. I don’t think you’re that dumb, I just think you used this as a post to voice an opinion no one really cares to hear. Which is fine by me. Living with hate is harder than living with love. And we love some Yakuza around here.

  • Jeff

    “We’re big fans of the Yakuza games”

    How does that mean they hate them?

  • ActionGamer

    Bullocks! How can you like something and give such low scores? And also wish for the end of a perfectly good series? Contradictions and double-standards abound mates.

  • Ian Dransfield

    How are they low scores? Giving something less than 94% doesn’t mean it’s awful. The Yakuza series has had nothing but good scores from us, and the only reason Yakuza 4’s score was so ‘low’ was because our (Japanese-speaking) reviewer didn’t think it would appeal to a mostly English-speaking audience. What with it being in Japanese.

    I’m still trying to spot the double standard or contradiction here.