Yakuza Series Executive Director Gives New Xbox Fans Overview of Series, Settings, Characters, and Themes

To celebrate the release of Yakuza 0 for Xbox Game Pass, Yakuza Series Executive Director Toshihiro Nagoshi gives us a detailed retrospect on the franchise.

By Allisa James

March 1, 2020

New to the fantastic Yakuza series? Not only is the complete series available on PS4 but now Yakuza 0, for the first time, can be played on Xbox One through their Game Pass program. To celebrate, Yakuza Series Executive Director Toshihiro Nagoshi has come out with a brand new video to give these new fans an overview of the setting — 1980s bubble economy Japan:

Nagoshi first gives us an overview of the series in general, highlighting some of its biggest strengths and most well known features. He talks about the cast of charming and interesting characters, the unique and bustling settings full of vibrancy and life, and the action style gameplay that has been refined to appeal to both veterans of the genre as well as those who normally don’t play action games.

After that Nagoshi digs into Yakuza 0 specifically, a prequel to the first game, and breaks down the themes of that title. Its setting is 1988 Japan, right in the midst of the infamous bubble economy and as such is heavily influenced by both the great wealth and greed of the time. He states that they wanted to “use this setting to tell a story about two things: money and people.”

Next he discusses the mechanics of the game and how you can switch between the two protagonists, Kazuma Kiryu and Goro Majima, over the course of the story. Kiryu grew up in the Yakuza and made a big name for himself but doesn’t have the finesse for adjusting to civilian life. However, he’s very compassionate and though it lands him into trouble he still solves any problem that comes his way. Majima is someone who at first is shown as this madman who people naturally avoid, but his main theme (and reason for being a deuteragonist) in the game is to present his story through the motif of organic human love.

Check out the full video above to get the complete deep dive into Yakuza 0. You can also check out our review for the game here.

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The latest entry in the franchise, Yakuza: Like a Dragon, released in Japan on January 17th of this year. The game is scheduled to release later in 2020 in the west, exclusively on PS4 and will probably include all the free DLC from the start.

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Allisa James

Senior Weekend Staff Writer for DualShockers. Loves JRPGs, artbooks, and anime.

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