What Is the Yakuza Kiwami Series?
The Yakuza series started up with Yakuza in 2005 and Yakuza 2 in 2006. So far, it has seen seven main installments, with the latest examples being Yakuza 0 in 2015 and Yakuza 6 in 2016. Since it has been so long since the earlier installments came out, it can be rather challenging for interested individuals to play them.
Unfortunately, this is important because the seven main installments of the Yakuza series are focused on the continuing narrative of a man named Kiryu Kazuma, meaning playing the earlier installments serves to provide interested individuals with the full context of their successors. Fortunately, the people behind the Yakuza series understand that this is a problem, which is why there is the Yakuza Kiwami series.
For those who are curious, the “kiwami” in Yakuza Kiwami means something along the lines of “extreme,” so it should come as no surprise to learn that this sub-series consists of remakes. So far, there have been two installments released, which would be Yakuza Kiwami in 2016 and Yakuza Kiwami 2 in 2017. Of course, Yakuza Kiwami is a remake of Yakuza, whereas Yakuza Kiwami 2 is a remake of Yakuza 2. Now, Yakuza Kiwami is set to be released for Microsoft Windows at some point in the future, which is a new step for the series as a whole.
What Is Shenmue I & II?
Shenmue is one of those series that have managed to build up a reputation for themselves but are nonetheless held back by the fact that they are commercial failures. In short, the Shenmue series started out as a spin-off of the Virtua Fighter series, which is why it shares some similarities even though the two series have no connection whatsoever.
Although Shenmue I failed to even recoup its costs in 1999, there was nonetheless sufficient momentum for a Shenmue II to be made in 2001, which proceeded to meet with a similar fate. Even that wasn’t enough to kill the Shenmue series, as shown by the fact that a social game named Shenmue City started up in 2010 and then proceeded to shut down in 2011.
Still, the Shenmue series has managed to build up a fan-base that is willing to pay for something that they are interested in. For proof, look no further than the fact that said individuals kick-started a Shenmue III, which is expected to be released in 2019. It remains to be seen whether the upcoming title will prove to be successful or not, but if it somehow manages to overcome the fate of its predecessors, further installments seem possible, not least because of the series creators has expressed a strong interest in making more of them.
Whatever the case, the Shenmue series has a similar problem to the Yakuza series in that the earlier games can be rather inaccessible, which is a huge problem when it is focused on a single character as well. As a result, the people behind the Shenmue series have opted for a similar but not quite the same solution.
In short, both Shenmue I and Shenmue II are being released as a single title for the PlayStation 4, the Xbox One, and Microsoft Windows on August 21 of 2018. It is important to note that this isn’t a remake of those two titles but rather a HD port of them. There will be some changes such as better user interfaces as well as both English and Japanese voices, but these are meant to enhance the user’s convenience rather than increase the content that has been packed into them.
Yakuza Kiwami Series Vs Shenmue Remakes
Perhaps unsurprisingly, there are people who are interested in comparing the Yakuza Kiwami series with Shenmue I & II. Certainly, there are significant differences between the two series, with an excellent example being how the Yakuza Kiwami series makes use of RPG elements but can’t really be called RPGs whereas Shenmue I & II lean much more in that direction. However, both series are action-adventure games that feature a fair amount of brawling, meaning that such comparisons are more or less inevitable.
Unfortunately, there is no simple and straightforward answer because which one is better than the one is reliant on what a particular player values more. First, it is important to note that the Yakuza Kiwami series are genuine remakes of their predecessors. This can be seen in how they include the content of their predecessors but incorporate new content as well, with an excellent example being how Yakuza Kiwami has new plotlines focused on a rival named Majima as well as a hostile yakuza captain named Nishikiyama.
As a result, for someone who is seeking out a new experience, there can be no doubt about the fact that the Yakuza Kiwami series is superior in this regard. After all, Shenmue I & II might be a HD port, but at the end of the day, it is nothing more than a HD port.
With that said, an argument can be made that Shenmue I & II offers more value, seeing as how it is a HD port of not one but two games whereas Yakuza Kiwami is the remake of one game. As a result, there are those who might prefer Shenmue I & II because they believe that this will provide them with more play-time per dollar spent, particularly since Shenmue I & II is being sold at a much discounted price compared to new releases.
However, this is undermined to some extent by the fact that Shenmue I & II are rather old games, meaning that they are missing some of the innovations that people might have become accustomed to in the time since their initial releases.
Ultimately, each person need to make up their own mind about which is better than which. Fortunately, interested individuals should have no problems finding footage of these two series as well as other relevant information, which should help them come to the conclusion that is right for them.