Yakuza 5 Releases, Completing Kiryu Kazuma's Story on PS4

The Remastered Collection is complete with Tuesday's release of Yakuza 5, which means every chapter of Kiryu Kazuma's saga is now in one place.

The Yakuza series has come a long way in the West, and now its entire story is all in one place.

Yakuza 5 released Tuesday as the last entry into the Yakuza Remastered Collection, making every chapter in Kiryu Kazuma’s saga playable from beginning to end on the PlayStation 4.

Like its two predecessors, Yakuza 3 and Yakuza 4, this version of Yakuza 5 comes with an updated localization and has been improved to run in 1080p at 60 frames per second. The game’s release also coincides with the Remastered Collection’s physical launch, which bundles all three games in a red digipack emblazoned with Kiryu’s signature dragon tattoo, and comes packaged with a Western PlayStation 3 case for Yakuza 5.

The inclusion of an empty PS3 box may seem odd, but there’s solid reasoning behind it.

Back when the series was struggling to make a mark outside of Japan, the only way for Yakuza 5 to receive a worldwide release at the time was digitally through the PlayStation Network. It got the game out there, but left a hole on the shelf for many fans.

“With The Yakuza Remastered Collection, we saw an opportunity to fix that,” Sega communications manager Jonathon Stebel wrote on the PlayStation Blog. “So every Day One edition of the bundle comes with a PS3 case featuring the Western cover art and English logo for Yakuza 5!”

Sega also celebrated the completion of the Remastered Collection with an interview featuring Yakuza 5’s director Masayoshi Yokoyama and series voice actors Takaya Kuroda (Kiryu) and Hidenari Ugaki (Goro Majima) as they took some time to reflect on the series, its story’s impact, and the challenges and triumphs that came with creating it.

After years of trying to gain a foothold in the West, the series finally hit a breakthrough when Yakuza 0 launched in North America and Europe at the beginning of 2017. Its been going strong ever since.

Yakuza Kiwami, Yakuza Kiwami 2, and Yakuza 6 all released to great reception from fans and critics alike in the 18 months that followed, then Judgment came along this past year to bring a new story to the series’ longtime setting of Kamurocho.

The Remastered Collection, starting with a digital release of Yakuza 3 in August, filled in the blanks.

Yakuza’s recent spark in popularity has also seen the franchise expand out to different platforms, with Sega bringing earlier entries to the PC and eventually Xbox Game Pass.

The series’ next entry, meanwhile, has made a dramatic shift, introducing a new protagonist and trading in action for turn-based combat.

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Nick Tricome

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