The Yakuza franchise has found incredible popularity in recent years. Recent games in the franchise have shifted the series into a new turn-based combat approach while also introducing a new protagonist, Ichiban Kasuga.
However, the previous protagonist Kazuma Kiryu continues to be a fan favorite. With over six mainline games, the character has been through his fair share of ups and downs. He is also featured in the upcoming Yakuza game.
The earliest part of his journey is covered in the prequel, Yakuza 0. Having been released in 2015, Yakuza 0 is now eight years old and continues to be an excellent entry point in the long-running franchise.
Much of Yakuza’s current popularity can be attributed to the success of Yakuza 0. Before the prequel, Yakuza had not become a massive hit in the western market. However, this changed in 2015.
Yakuza 0 managed to bring a new audience to the franchise. Players instantly grew to enjoy the over-the-top story, outlandish side content, and condensed streets of Kamurocho and Sotenbori.
The game introduced two playable characters. The classic Yakuza character Goro Majima was fully playable with his own story, adding a completely different dynamic to the title.
In terms of gameplay, Yakuza 0 had no shortage of variety. Each playable character had four combat styles with unique combos and skill trees. The title also offered several side-content, including activities like karaoke and classic arcade games.
Following the success of Yakuza 0, Sega went on to release Yakuza Kiwami and Yakuza Kiwami 2. The latter was made on the new Dragon Engine, leading to vastly improved visuals.
Those looking to try the game can find Yakuza 0 across nearly every modern platform. The game is often available for as low as $5 on sales, with hours of content and an exciting narrative for the price.
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