Don’t Stand So Close To Me
Happy Weekend TAY!
I hope everyone is safe and hunkered down this weekend. I know it is rough for many of you out there, but stay safe (and sane) and practise good containment protocols...this too shall pass.
My son’s school is now closed for three weeks and we are staying inside as much as possible. We live with my 93-year-old mother-in-law so we need to be extra vigilant.
I’m still fighting off my cold from over a week ago, but my use of tissues has dropped dramatically (good thing too, they are probably a fortune to buy now). The silver lining is that all that sick-time let me get in a good chunk of Yakuza Kiwami on PC.
This is the way to do a remaster. The original PS2 Yakuza is basically intact and the Kiwami release greatly enhances the experience.
Kiwami has added a ton of mini-games to the city but none of them are particularly exciting, especially compared to the main game which consists of kicking people in the teeth for fun. Still, it is nice to know I have something that can teach me to play Shogi or Mahjong if the mood strikes me.
The biggest improvement in Kiwami is the lack of load-times. My addled brain doesn’t remember a whole lot about my time with Yakuza on the PS2, but it does remember all the loading. Each encounter on the streets required a lot of data shuffling in the PS2's limited memory...and a lot of waiting. It is so pleasant now to have such fast and fluid transitions to the battles in Kiwami with no pause in the action.
Kiwami also removed all the load points as you run around the city and added a free-camera for the player. It is amazing to now be able to run across the city with no interruptions while swinging the camera around to gawk at the upgraded visuals.
Yakuza Kiwami looks extremely pretty and is full of new crisp details. Since the game is a remake of a PS2 game and the map is quite simple, Sega went all out using the extra power of modern hardware to boost the visuals. I’m getting a completely solid 60fps at 4K on my old PC and it feels like my PC is barely breathing hard.
Yakuza Kiwami’s story and arcadey-combat are as addictive as ever and I’m surprised how fun this 15-year-old game continues to be.
I’m looking forward to more Yakuza Kiwami this weekend and whatever else my housebound family has planned. Honestly, there has never been a better time in history to be locked in your house for a few weeks. As long as we have internet and power, things are pretty much business as usual for my family.
So, what are you playing this weekend?