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In 2015 Sega will do something that they haven't done in a long, long time: give their loyal fans what they want. Following the big PlayStation Experience that took place over the weekend in Las Vegas, Nevada, Sega officially announced that Yakuza 5 will be made available in North America for the PS3.
The news comes courtesy of the Sega blog (which is a great way to bypass the need to get the news out there via a press release that will be copy and pasted by most media websites anyway), making it known that not only will Yakuza come to the west, but they have also made Yakuza 4 available for PS3 owners via the PlayStation Network.
They even managed to pull quotes from executive director and producer of the series, Toshihiro Nagoshi, who stated that...
“After receiving so many requests from fans of the series, we have decided to bring Yakuza 5 to the US and Europe. This title was enjoyed by over one million gamers in Japan. I’m looking forward to seeing how Yakuza 5 will be received by the gamers in the U.S. and Europe.”
Now let's hold on for a second, slow it down, hit the brakes, put it in reverse and back up for a moment. While I mentioned that Yakuza 4 would be made available to PS3 owners via PSN, I forgot to mention that Yakuza: Dead Souls is also available on PSN... right now. That's right, the zombie-action game set within the Yakuza universe is available right now.
Yakuza: Dead Souls was partial parody and full-blown action adventure. The game combined a lot of the same melee and fighting that the series became renown for with the added mix of third-person shooting. It was as bizarre as it sounds, yet managed to attract the typical niche audience. So in case you missed it before, you can grab it right now.
Moving back to Yakuza 5... Sega unleashed a minute-and-a-half gameplay trailer that also tells a bit about the characters and goals. If you're unfamiliar with the Yakuza universe then the following trailer will probably look plenty confusing to most of you. Regardless, enjoy.
Given the resurgence of niche titles and quirky oddball games flooding the PlayStation consoles as of late, it's not unlikely that a game like Yakuza 5 would find a sizable audience with its release in the upcoming year.
The game sports more customization, more hostess bars to travel to, new fighting moves, new playable characters and a brand new series of missions with branching side-quests for each character. Producer Masayoshi Yokoyama stated...
“Yakuza 5 is the largest and most definitive version of the Yakuza series. The game is filled with depictions of the Japanese way of life, culture, trends, social issues and dreams. You will play as 5 different main characters with a range of different ages, genders and professions and experience their challenges through a variety of character focused, in-depth stories. I hope you can immerse yourself in our rendition of modern time Japan.”
Sega hasn't rolled out an official release date for Yakuza 5 but they did state that more info would be coming along soon. So keep your eyes peeled.