Wed. Apr 17th, 2024

The Yakuza series is a beloved franchise that has been entertaining gamers for over two decades. With its engaging storyline, unique characters, and intense action, it has become a staple in the gaming world. But, the question remains, is it necessary to play the Yakuza series in order? In this article, we will explore the pros and cons of playing the Yakuza series in order and help you make an informed decision. Whether you’re a seasoned gamer or a newcomer to the franchise, this article will provide you with valuable insights to enhance your gaming experience. So, let’s dive in and find out if playing the Yakuza series in order is a must or a myth.

Quick Answer:
No, it is not necessary to play the Yakuza series in order. Each game in the series can be enjoyed independently, and while there are recurring characters and storylines, they are adequately explained in each game so that newcomers can easily understand. However, playing the games in order can provide a more comprehensive understanding of the series’ overarching story and character development. Additionally, some games do have direct sequels or prequels that build on each other, so playing them in order can enhance the overall experience. Ultimately, it depends on the player’s preference and the specific game they are interested in.

The evolution of the Yakuza series

The Yakuza series has undergone a significant transformation since its inception in 2005. The series, developed by Sega, is a fusion of action-adventure and beat ’em up genres, featuring Japanese organized crime elements. Over the years, the series has evolved to include new mechanics, storylines, and characters, making it an intriguing experience for new and returning players alike.

The early years (2005-2009)

The first Yakuza game was released in 2005 for the PlayStation 2, introducing players to the world of Japanese organized crime. Set in the city of Tokyo, the game follows the story of Kazuma Kiryu, a former yakuza member trying to navigate the criminal underworld. The game featured a unique blend of action, drama, and RPG elements, which became the hallmark of the series.

The rise of Kiryu (2006-2011)

With the release of Yakuza 2 in 2006, the series began to establish its identity. The game expanded on the first installment’s formula, with a focus on Kiryu’s rise through the ranks of the Tojo Clan. Yakuza 3, released in 2009, further developed the story, introducing new characters and factions while maintaining the core gameplay mechanics.

Expanding the universe (2010-2014)

Starting with Yakuza 4 in 2010, the series began to branch out, introducing multiple protagonists and storylines. This marked a turning point for the franchise, as players were given the opportunity to experience the world of Yakuza from different perspectives. Yakuza 5, released in 2012, continued this trend, featuring not one but five playable characters, each with their own unique storylines.

New directions (2015-present)

In recent years, the Yakuza series has continued to evolve, exploring new themes and mechanics. Yakuza 0, released in 2015, acted as a prequel to the series, telling the origin stories of both Kiryu and the franchise’s second main protagonist, Goro Majima. This game introduced an updated combat system and the popular “Majima Saga” side stories.

With the release of Yakuza 6: The Song of Life in 2016, the series bid farewell to Kiryu as the main protagonist. The game focused on Kiryu’s adopted son, Haruto, and his struggles within the yakuza world. This shift signaled a new direction for the franchise, as it prepared to introduce new characters and storylines.

In 2018, the spin-off title Yakuza: Kiwami 2 was released, which remade the second game in the series with updated mechanics and features. This was followed by Yakuza: Like a Dragon in 2019, which marked a significant change in gameplay style, transitioning from the traditional beat ’em up combat to a turn-based RPG system.

Conclusion

The Yakuza series has come a long way since its inception, with each installment building upon the previous one while introducing new elements and characters. Whether it is necessary to play the series in order depends on the player’s preferences and the desired level of immersion in the world of Yakuza.

Origins of the Yakuza series

The Yakuza series is a critically acclaimed action-adventure game series developed and published by Sega. The first game in the series, simply titled “Yakuza,” was released in 2005 for the PlayStation 2. The game was developed by Sega’s AM7 team, led by series creator Toshiro Nagoshi.

The development of the first Yakuza game began in 2003, with the team drawing inspiration from various sources, including Japanese gangster films and the popular manga and anime series “Dragon Ball.” The game’s story revolves around the character Kazuma Kiryu, a member of the Tojo Clan, a fictional yakuza organization.

Upon its release, the first Yakuza game was well-received by critics and fans alike, with praise directed towards its engaging storyline, memorable characters, and solid gameplay mechanics. The game’s success spawned numerous sequels, spin-offs, and adaptations, cementing the Yakuza series as a beloved and influential gaming franchise.

The sequels

The Yakuza series has been a staple in the gaming industry for over two decades, with each game building upon the previous one. The sequels in the series have made notable changes and additions, making each game feel like a distinct experience while still maintaining the core elements that define the franchise.

  • Yakuza 2 (2006)
    • The second installment in the series takes place concurrently with the events of the first game, focusing on the struggles of the Tojo Clan.
    • Introduces new characters and expands on the world-building of the first game.
    • Combat system remains largely unchanged, with some minor improvements.
  • Yakuza 3 (2009)
    • The third game in the series moves the setting to the city of Okinawa, where Kiryu must navigate the complex world of the Ryukyu Kingdom.
    • Introduces new minigames, such as the popular “Cabaret Club” feature.
    • Combat system receives a significant overhaul, with the addition of Heat Actions and new fighting styles.
  • Yakuza 4 (2010)
    • The fourth game in the series features multiple playable characters, including Kiryu and his former rival, Masao Kuroki.
    • Introduces the “Majima Everywhere” system, which adds a layer of unpredictability to the gameplay.
    • Combat system further refined, with the addition of bounces and other advanced techniques.
  • Yakuza 5 (2012)
    • The fifth game in the series returns to Tokyo and follows five different protagonists, each with their own storyline.
    • Introduces the “Dragon of Dojima” storyline, which ties together the events of the previous games.
    • Combat system further refined, with the addition of Rush Combos and other advanced techniques.
  • Yakuza 6 (2016)
    • The sixth game in the series marks the end of Kiryu’s storyline and introduces a new protagonist, Haruto Daigo.
    • Introduces the “Majima Saga” storyline, which explores Majima’s past and his relationship with Kiryu.
    • Combat system receives a major overhaul, with the addition of new techniques and the removal of experience points.

Overall, while each game in the Yakuza series is unique, they all build upon the previous game’s foundation, making it difficult to fully appreciate the story and characters without playing them in order.

The spin-offs

  • Overview of the spin-off games
    The Yakuza series has a total of five spin-off games, which are all set in different time periods and locations, but still maintain the core elements of the series. These spin-off games include: * Yakuza: Kiwami (2017)
  • Yakuza 0 (2015)
  • Yakuza: Dead Souls (2011)
  • Yakuza: Badman (2007)
  • Yakuza: The Movie (2006)
    Each spin-off game offers a unique perspective on the Yakuza series, and while they may not be necessary to understand the main series, they provide additional depth and insight into the world of Yakuza.
  • How they relate to the main series
    While the spin-off games are not directly connected to the main series, they do share some common themes and characters. For example, Yakuza: Kiwami is a remake of the first Yakuza game, and features many of the same characters and locations as the original. Similarly, Yakuza 0 is set in the 1980s, and serves as a prequel to the main series.
  • The purpose of the spin-offs
    The purpose of the spin-off games is to provide a different perspective on the Yakuza series, and to offer additional content for fans of the series. They also serve as a way to introduce new players to the series, and to provide a starting point for those who may be intimidated by the sheer amount of content in the main series.

The remasters and remakes

  • Overview of the remastered and remastered versions of the games
    • Yakuza 3, 4, and 5 remastered for PS4
      • Released as “Yakuza Remastered Collection” in 2018
      • Features updated graphics and gameplay improvements
    • Yakuza 6: The Song of Life remastered for PC, PS4, and Xbox One
      • Released in 2020
      • Includes all previously released DLC
    • Yakuza Kiwami 1 and 2
      • Released for PS4 in 2017 and 2018, respectively
      • Are remade versions of the original Yakuza and Yakuza 2 games
    • Yakuza: Like a Dragon
      • Released for PS4, Xbox One, and PC in 2020
      • Marks a departure from the traditional Yakuza gameplay style
    • Yakuza: Dead Souls
      • Released for PS4 in 2011
      • A spin-off game that combines elements of the Yakuza series with zombie gameplay
  • How they differ from the originals
    • Updated graphics and gameplay improvements
    • Remade games feature updated storylines and character designs
    • Yakuza: Like a Dragon features a turn-based combat system and a new protagonist
  • Why the decision was made to remaster and remake the games
    • To update the games for modern consoles and audiences
    • To introduce new audiences to the series
    • To experiment with new gameplay styles and mechanics

The future of the Yakuza series

  • Speculation about the direction of the series
    • With the release of Yakuza 7, also known as Yakuza: Like a Dragon, the series has taken a significant turn. This entry marks the first time that the game does not feature Kazuma Kiryu, the protagonist of the previous games, in a major role. Instead, the focus is on a new protagonist, Ichiban Kasuga, a former yakuza member who has just been released from prison.
    • This change in direction has led to speculation about the future of the series. Some believe that this could be the start of a new sub-series within the Yakuza franchise, focusing on Ichiban’s story. Others believe that Kiryu will continue to play a major role in future games, despite his reduced presence in Yakuza 7.
  • Potential new characters and storylines
    • Along with the change in protagonist, Yakuza 7 also introduces a number of new characters, including Kasuga’s fellow inmates in the prison where he was held. These characters could potentially play a major role in future games, as could other characters introduced in previous Yakuza games.
    • The storylines of future Yakuza games could also expand beyond the world of the yakuza, as Yakuza 7 does. The game includes a number of side quests and storylines that do not involve the yakuza, suggesting that the series could continue to evolve and expand its scope.
  • What the series needs to continue to evolve
    • In order to continue to evolve, the Yakuza series may need to take more risks and make significant changes to its formula. This could include further changes to the protagonist, or a shift in focus to new characters or storylines. It could also involve experimenting with new gameplay mechanics or incorporating elements from other genres.
    • Whatever direction the series takes, it will be important for it to stay true to the core themes and values that have made it so beloved by fans. This includes its focus on family, friendship, and the bonds that hold people together, as well as its unique blend of action, drama, and humor.

The importance of playing the games in order

Playing the Yakuza series in order is essential for a number of reasons. One of the most important reasons is that the series has a complex and interconnected storyline that spans multiple games. Playing the games in order ensures that the player can follow the story and understand the relationships between the characters.

Additionally, playing the games in order allows the player to experience the character development and growth of the main protagonist, Kazama Kiryu, and other supporting characters. This growth is a significant aspect of the series and is an important part of the overall story.

Furthermore, playing the games in order allows the player to fully appreciate the evolution of the game’s mechanics and systems. The series has a unique blend of action, adventure, and role-playing game elements, and playing the games in order allows the player to see how these elements have evolved and improved over time.

In conclusion, playing the Yakuza series in order is important for understanding the complex storyline, experiencing character development, and appreciating the evolution of the game’s mechanics and systems. It is recommended that players start with the first game in the series, Yakuza 0, and progress through the games in order to fully experience the series.

The impact of playing the games in order

While the Yakuza series is known for its engaging storyline and memorable characters, playing the games in order is crucial to fully appreciating the story’s progression and character development.

One of the main reasons to play the games in order is to follow the story’s chronological order. The Yakuza series is a sprawling narrative that spans multiple games, and each game adds new layers to the overarching story. Playing the games in order ensures that the player is not missing any crucial information that could impact their understanding of the story.

Additionally, playing the games in order is important for character development. Each game in the series introduces new characters, and playing the games in order allows the player to form connections between the characters and understand their motivations and backstories. Some characters even appear in multiple games, and playing the games in order ensures that the player is able to follow their character arc throughout the series.

Lastly, playing the games in order is important for the gameplay mechanics. While each game in the series has its own unique gameplay elements, playing the games in order allows the player to see how the mechanics evolve and improve over time. For example, later games in the series introduce new combat mechanics and abilities that build upon those introduced in earlier games.

In conclusion, playing the Yakuza series in order is essential for fully experiencing the story’s progression, character development, and gameplay mechanics. By following this order, players will be able to fully appreciate the depth and complexity of the series, making it a more rewarding experience overall.

The benefits of playing the games in order

  • Enhanced storytelling and character development
    • Playing the games in order allows for a more seamless and cohesive storytelling experience. This is because the plot and characters evolve over time, and playing the games out of order can lead to confusion and a lack of understanding of the characters and their motivations.
    • Playing the games in order also allows for a deeper understanding of the characters and their relationships with one another. This is because the character development and interactions are built over time, and playing the games out of order can lead to a loss of context and significance of certain events.
  • Greater appreciation for the evolution of the series
    • Playing the games in order allows for a greater appreciation for the evolution of the series over time. This is because the gameplay mechanics, graphics, and music all improve with each new installment, and playing the games out of order can lead to a disjointed and inconsistent experience.
    • Additionally, playing the games in order allows for a greater appreciation for the attention to detail and care put into each installment, as well as the nods to previous games and characters that may be missed if played out of order.
  • Access to bonus content and rewards
    • Playing the games in order may also grant access to bonus content and rewards. This is because some games may have unlockable content or special features that are only available after completing certain tasks or games in a specific order.
    • Playing the games in order ensures that the player does not miss out on any important content or rewards that may be necessary for a complete and satisfying experience.

Overall, playing the Yakuza series in order offers a more immersive and rewarding experience for the player. It allows for a seamless and cohesive storytelling experience, a deeper understanding of the characters and their relationships, and access to bonus content and rewards.

The consequences of not playing the games in order

Playing the Yakuza series in order is crucial to fully understand the story and the development of the characters. Skipping games or playing them out of order can lead to confusion and a lack of investment in the narrative. Here are some specific consequences of not playing the games in order:

  • The story may not make sense: The Yakuza series is known for its complex and intricate storyline, with many plot threads and character arcs that intersect and intertwine over the course of the games. Playing the games out of order can result in a disjointed and confusing narrative, with key events and plot points not making sense without the proper context.
  • Characters may not develop properly: Each game in the Yakuza series features a range of characters, from main protagonists to supporting cast members. These characters undergo significant development and growth over the course of the series, with their actions and decisions having far-reaching consequences. Playing the games out of order can result in a lack of investment in these characters, as their backstories and motivations may not be fully understood.
  • Gameplay mechanics may be confusing: The Yakuza series also features a range of gameplay mechanics, from brawling and mini-games to RPG-style progression and customization. These mechanics are often intertwined with the story and characters, and playing the games out of order can result in confusion over how to progress or what to do next. Additionally, certain mechanics may be introduced or referenced in later games that assume the player has prior knowledge or experience with them, making it difficult for new players to catch up.

FAQs

1. What is the Yakuza series?

The Yakuza series is a popular Japanese video game franchise developed and published by Sega. The series primarily revolves around the Japanese crime syndicate known as the Yakuza and follows the story of various characters as they navigate through the criminal underworld.

2. How many games are there in the Yakuza series?

As of 2021, there are a total of seven mainline Yakuza games, with the latest being Yakuza 7: Like a Dragon, released in 2020. In addition to the mainline games, there are also several spin-off games and prequels, such as Yakuza 0, which serves as a prequel to the entire series.

3. Is it necessary to play the Yakuza series in order?

While the Yakuza series has a complex storyline that spans multiple games, it is not entirely necessary to play the games in order to understand the story. Each game in the series can be enjoyed as a standalone experience, with some exceptions. For example, Yakuza 0 is a prequel that sets the stage for the entire series, while Yakuza 7: Like a Dragon is a soft reboot that introduces new characters and storylines.

4. What happens if I don’t play the games in order?

If you choose not to play the games in order, you may miss out on some background information and character development that are important to understanding the story. However, you can still enjoy the games as individual experiences without getting lost in the plot.

5. Which game should I start with if I’m new to the series?

If you’re new to the series, Yakuza 0 is a great place to start as it serves as a prequel to the entire series and introduces many of the key characters and plot points. However, if you’re looking for a more recent entry point, Yakuza 7: Like a Dragon is a good choice as it introduces new characters and storylines while still being accessible to newcomers.

How To Play Yakuza Games in The Right Order!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *