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Yakuza, also known as Ryu ga Gotoku, is a series created by Toshihiro Nagoshi and SEGA, beginning in 2005 with Yakuza, and ending series protagonist Kazuma Kiryu's journey with Yakuza 6 in 2016. Yakuza: Like a Dragon stars a new series protagonist, Ichiban Kasuga, who debuted in Ryu ga Gotoku Online. Several spin-offs to the series include Ryu ga Gotoku Ishin! and Ryu ga Gotoku Kenzan!, historical adventures which use the characters of the Yakuza series in place of historical figures, and Yakuza: Dead Souls an apocalyptic third-person zombie shooter.
The series features primarily a "beat 'em up" style of gameplay, with multiple new locations in each game to explore, though the events of the series generally take place in Kamurocho, a fictional city in Tokyo's red light district. Beginning with Yakuza 4, more playable protagonists aside from Kiryu are introduced, including Shun Akiyama (Yakuza 4, 5, Dead Souls), Taiga Saejima (Yakuza 4 & 5), Masayoshi Tanimura (Yakuza 4), Goro Majima (Yakuza 0, Dead Souls), Ryuji Goda (Yakuza: Dead Souls), Haruka Sawamura (Yakuza 5) and Tatsuo Shinada (Yakuza 5).
- Which order should I play the games in?
- The generally accepted answer is chronologically. Ideally, starting with the prequel, Yakuza 0 (PS4, XB1, PC), then moving on to either Yakuza (PS2, JP only: PS3, WiiU) or Yakuza Kiwami (PS4, XB1, PC), Yakuza 2 (PS2, JP only: PS3, WiiU) or Yakuza Kiwami 2 (PS4, XB1, PC), Yakuza 3 (PS3, PS4), Yakuza 4 (PS3, PS4), Yakuza 5 (PS3, PS4), Yakuza 6 (PS4), then finally Yakuza: Like a Dragon (PS4, XB1, XSS, XSX, PC).
The spin-offs are optional and are best played in release order, or after completing the main series. The spin-offs are considered non-canon to the main series, and can (but shouldn't!) be skipped without detriment to the experience of the overall story. Yakuza: Dead Souls (PS3) is best played between 4 and 5, and Judgment (PS4) is chronologically set between the events of 6 and Y:LAD but may be played at any time. The Japan-exclusive historical spin-offs Ryu ga Gotoku Kenzan! (PS3) and Ryu ga Gotoku Ishin! (PS3, PS4) are best played between 2 and 3 and after 5 respectively.
The Japan-exclusive mobile game, Ryu ga Gotoku Online, features an alternate version of the events of Yakuza: Like a Dragon as its main story, as well as a variety of side content canonical to the main series dedicated to further developing characters and scenarios not explored in the console games. It may be played at any point.
- Can I play Yakuza: Like a Dragon without playing Yakuza 0-6?
- Yes, Yakuza: Like a Dragon is (for the most part) a standalone story. Unlike Judgment, however, the story does partially tie into previous games, and may spoil certain plot elements, specifically those related to Yakuza 3, Yakuza 5, and to a greater extent, Yakuza 6.
- Do I have to play any of the Yakuza games before playing Judgment?
- Nope! Judgment has very little to do with the Yakuza series, and no knowledge of the main series is required in order to enjoy the game. It's absolutely fine to start with.
- What is the difference between the Kiwami remakes and the original games?
- The Kiwami remakes include updated graphics, corrected localization (with the removal of the English dub for the first game and improved Japanese voice acting), and added content, such as more mini-games and an expanded main story. Yakuza Kiwami sees the inclusion of Majima Everywhere, while Yakuza Kiwami 2 has an entire added secondary story mode called the Majima Saga, both of which give fan-favorite Goro Majima more importance than in the original entries.
- What is the difference between The Yakuza Remastered Collection and the original PS3 games? (Yakuza 3, Yakuza 4, Yakuza 5)
- The Yakuza Remastered Collection features all new localizations of the original Playstation 3 games (correcting previous inaccuracies, overly literal translation among other things), restores content cut from the original release, and all three games now run in 1080p, 60fps.