Fans of the Yakuza series spoke loud and clear a few years back at E3 2013. Gio Corsi, Director of Third Party Production at Sony Computer Entertainment, asked for the games they most wanted to see in the West. Yakuza 5 was at the top of the list and, after much denial and backpedaling, the dream is alive and well with a localized release of Yakuza 5 on PS3. Gio sat down with Yakuza series general director Toshihiro Nagoshi and producer Masayoshi Yokoyama for the first of a 3 part interview series regarding the game, its five cities, multiple protagonists and more.
Corsi starts off with the origins of the concept and just what drove the two to craft the series. The games, known probably more for their outlandish action and downright insane moments, has its roots in being a game that explores the everyday lives of adults in Japan. The motif of organized crime was one that served the purposes of the stories they wanted to tell it seems. The fifth entry, originally released in 2012, wants to explore the idea of dreams. The goals that the protagonists strive towards are significant especially those of the series’ first female playable protagonist, Haruka Sawamura (whom longtime fans will remember from many of the early games). Yakuza 5 is a game that features loads of crime, dramatic storytelling, and the quest to become a J-Pop Idol. Yakuza 5 truly has it all.
The game’s playable protagonists, spread across five separate cities in Japan, has Kazuma Kiryu returning as the main character but other notable faces from the prior games return as well. Series producer Masayoshi Yokoyama has referred to Yakuza 5 as the “San Andreas” of his series in the past and now, thanks to a very vocal fanbase, the West will get to experience it this year. No firm release date is given, as of yet, but stay tuned for more as parts two and three should be going up soon on the official PlayStation YouTube channel. Now just work on getting us Yakuza 0 on PS4 here as well while you’re at it.
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