It’s a Remake of the First Game, With Some New Content
Yakuza Kiwami is a total remake of the very first Yakuza on PS2, albeit with quite a few updates. First and foremost, the graphics of Kiwami have been updated, running on the engine used for Yakuza Zero. This results in a huge graphical overhaul to the look and feel of the game, although Sega has gone taken some pains to ensure it remains true to the original. The story remains the same as the original game, with cutscenes staying the same as well. However, there are a handful of new scenes and events that have been added in, fleshing out the characters of Kazuma Kiryu’s sworn brother, Nishikiyama.
At the same time, there are a number of other additions like new minigames including new hostesses to talk to, Pocket Circuit Racer, and a strange rock-paper-scissors game called MesuKing: Battle Bug Beauties. The game plays more like recent Yakuza titles as well, adapting a new combat system and letting you have full control of the camera. The most notable addition, however, comes with a system known as Majima Everywhere. This system repeatedly pits you against the crazed Goro Majima, as he keeps tabs on Kiryu, trying to get him back to his proper strength level.
Majima Everywhere directly ties into leveling one of your combat styles, and you never know where you might run into him. He might pop out of a trashcan, or disguise himself as a police officer. It’s a zany, but fun system perfectly fitting of the Yakuza series. There’s certainly enough new content to Kiwami to warrant anyone jumping in, whether you played the original or not.