Howe many times have you seen people commenting on remakes, remasters or even on new titles, and saying “it looks like a PS2 game”? Most of the times, those memories of the PS2 are painted by the rose-tinted glasses of nostalgia, and those games don’t actually look like PS2 ones at all.
A few days ago, Sega released Yakuza Kiwami, which is indeed the remake of a PS2 game, Yakuza. The first, glorious game of the series was already remastered in high definition as part of a compilation with Yakuza 2 for Wii U and PS3, but now we’re looking at something completely different.
The developers basically took the original story, expanded on it with new content and features (which can easily be noticed in the first hour of gameplay), and reproduced it with all new assets with the engine used for Yakuza 0.
To show you what a big difference there is between Yakuza Kiwami and the original Yakuza, we took screenshots of the same scenes in both games, and you can see them below. I’m sure I don’t need to tell you which version comes first in each pairing.
While Yakuza: Kiwami is still a cross-generation game, released on the PS3 as well, the difference from the original Yakuza are enormous, both in terms of graphics than in the gameplay content. Seeing the original Kamurocho shine like this is a joy, especially for me, since I have been to the real Kabukicho (the district that inspired Yakuza‘s main setting) quite a few times.
Kabukicho has changed a lot in the past few years, and Yakuza Kiwami is like a time slip to the past, and before the face of the city was changed quite radically by Shinjuku’s urban renewal programs.
I’m quite sure that if most publishers actually made the effort to remake their old classics like this, instead of just remastering them with a fresh coat of 1080p and 60 FPS, we’d hear a lot less complaints about rehashing the old classics.