The developers discuss the major improvements players can expect top see in this remake of Yakuza 2.
For newer fans of the Yakuza series, the fact that the older games in the series are getting remastered one by one is great news! After Yakuza Kiwami was released back in 2016, the remake of the second game in the series, Yakuza Kiwami 2 is set to release worldwide in August of this year. Quite a bit will be different from this game including improved visuals and some gameplay changes.
To learn more about these changes and the game’s development, Gamingbolt reached out to the developers and most of the questions were answered by Localization Producer Scott Strichart except for one which was answered by SEGA’s Senior PR Manager Jacob Nahin.
"The biggest and most obvious change is that this game is made in the studio’s Dragon Engine, so everything about the visuals, the battle system, and the experience system is completely revamped"
With Yakuza Kiwami, we got the new ‘Majima Everywhere’ feature. Will we be seeing such changes from the original with Yakuza Kiwami 2 as well?
We didn’t put Majima Everywhere back in, but we’ve certainly added a whole bunch of a new content that branches out from the main story, just like it. For one, the cabaret club storyline we last saw in Yakuza 0 picks up 18 years later, this time with Kiryu in the manager’s role. Secondly, Majima Construction is hanging out in West Park, and you can play a completely revamped clan creator minigame from Yakuza 6: The Song of Life to defend Majima’s build site from a bunch of wrestlers, and last but not least, we’ve got the Majima Saga, three brand new chapters featuring Majima that take place between Yakuza Kiwami and Yakuza Kiwami 2.
What are some of the major changes that this remake brings?
The biggest and most obvious change is that this game is made in the studio’s Dragon Engine, so everything about the visuals, the battle system, and the experience system is completely revamped. By comparison, everything else feels pretty minor, but there are of course some changes to the minigames, the substories, and naturally, the localization.
We learnt that this remake will also have re-recorded dialogue and some remade cutscenes. What was the reason behind these changes?
With the visuals upgrading from what came out two console generations ago, there are places where just laying the existing dialog over the newly created scenes wouldn’t even match the level of expression and detail we’ve got now. Furthermore, these actors have been playing these roles now for over 10 years, and they’re way more comfortable in them than they probably were on what was only their second outing back in 2006. Finally, since there’s new dialog recorded for new scenes, you’d probably be able to tell the difference between the “old” dialog and the “new” dialog, sheerly because they’ve gotten so good! So it’s really cool that we had the opportunity to bring most of these actors back to fully re-record their lines.
What can you tell us about the new story player can explore with ‘The Truth of Goro Majima’?
This is what we’ve called the Majima Saga. There’s always been a lot of questions about how and why Majima left the Tojo Clan between Yakuza and Yakuza 2 to start his own construction company, and these new chapters go into that, while also wrapping up some of his loose ends from Yakuza 0. The three chapters of this little story unlock as you play, and they’re a great way to take a break from the main quest. It also just feels good to step back into Majima’s steel-toed shoes, because he’s great.
"The clan creator mini game from Yakuza 6: The Song of Life returns, but is completely revamped. Instead of controlling a hundred-man army and raiding the streets, this time you’ll be controlling a small force of Majima and his men, protecting his equipment from those hundred-man forces"
Since the rest of the games in the series are also getting remastered, can we assume that that these will have a Western release as well at some point in the future?
Jacob Nahin: You can assume whatever you would like! That said, we don’t have anything to announce regarding those titles for the west. They are currently only announced for Japan
Can you elaborate a bit about the new mini-game that is in this remake?
There are several! The clan creator mini game from Yakuza 6: The Song of Life returns, but is completely revamped. Instead of controlling a hundred-man army and raiding the streets, this time you’ll be controlling a small force of Majima and his men, protecting his equipment from those hundred-man forces. It’s like switching from tower offense to tower defense. We’ve also got golf bingo, Virtual-On, Virtua Fighter 2 and a bunch of returning favorites, like the crane game. And karaoke. How dare I forget karaoke.
What are some of the story elements that were altered so as to fit in better with other titles in the series?
I wouldn’t say we’ve altered much of the story to fit in better with the series so much as expanded the world of these characters we’ve come to really love over the years. This is still very much the story of Yakuza 2, but the Majima Saga, the cabaret club stuff, and to some extent our light rewrites of the dialog in the way we have been since Yakuza 0 give the game and the world more consistency, all while telling stories we couldn’t before about what their lives were like in 2006 without really affecting any of the timeline before or later than where this title sits.