Sega released an extensive video featuring a lot of gameplay of the upcoming adventure game Yakuza 6: The Song of Life.
Following about an hour of Yakuza Kiwami, Localization Producer Sam Mullen and Scott Strichart go on to introduce just south of another hour of Yakuza 6.
The first thing they mention is a confirmation that the sexy live-chat minigame was not cut from the game. Many apparently suspected the potentially controversial feature could have been removed because it did not appear in the latest minigame-focused trailer, but it simply wasn’t considered suitable for the trailer itself. Luckily it’s “100% in the game.”
If you’re wondering what it’s all about, you can see it in action in one of my videos (starring popular Japanese porn-star and model Anri Okita) of the Japanese version of the game, and in a second clip featuring Yua Mikami. Just keep in mind that while no actual nudity is shown, they’re quite unsafe for work.
There is one thing that was actually changed in the western version of the game, but this one is entirely understandable: Sega did not manage to get the license for the branding of a character’s shoes for the west, so they had to make a slight visual change to the shoes themselves. Apparently, a stripe was removed. That’s the only element that was altered.
After that we get to see the in-game port of Virtua Fighter 5: Final Showdown, that is fully playable in Kamurocho’s arcades. It’s probably the best bonus I ever found in a game. The second minigame showcased is Puyo Puyo, which is also completely playable. Both games come with couch co-op.
We also get to see some more classic Yakuza gameplay, with Kazuma Kiryu having some fun in Kamurocho.
Interestingly we also hear that the team at Sega actually added a little feature to the western version of the game. We’ll get text within the loading screens that explains vocabulary and background, including things that may be obvious to Japanese gamers but unknown to western players. There are about sixty of these tooltips in the whole localization, even if they appear just during loading screens, so they’re unobtrusive.
And this, ladies and gentlemen, is how you do a localization right.
Speaking of localization, Mullen and Strichart explain quite a few of the choices they make, and it’s rather interesting. While I’ve been vocal in my reviews of Yakuza 0 and Yakuza Kiwami about the fact that I do not agree with all the decision they make (which is quite normal, I’d say), It’s difficult to think about many better localization teams in today’s industry, where so many appear to think themselves more co-authors that can somehow “improve” the original instead of making an effort to relay what the actual authors wished to convey.
We also hear about PS4 Pro support, that includes stabler frame rate, better puddles, and reflections. If you want to see what it looks like, you can check out our handy screenshot comparison.
You can enjoy the full video below. Yakuza 6: The Song of Life will release in the west on March 20th, 2018, exclusively for PS4.