Streets of Kamurocho

With the upcoming release of the next Yakuza game, Yakuza: Like a Dragon, the Ryu Ga Gotoku development team is looking to deliver a new spin on the old Yakuza formula. The narrative is shifting away from the long-running story of Kazuma Kiryu, and they’re even adding English voiceovers (which they haven’t done since the original game). Perhaps most importantly, street fights are getting overhauled, replacing the real-time brawler combos with traditional turn-based RPG combat.

Needless to say, for an industry that doesn’t take kindly to change, this decision has caused a bit of a stir. In my opinion, it looks like a fresh take that could breath new life into this franchise.

But Yakuza: Like a Dragon isn’t the only upcoming installment in the long-running Yakuza series. Streets of Kamurocho, slated for release on October 17, takes the tried-and-true Yakuza trappings and applies them to an adorable, pixelated, side-scrolling beat-’em-up.

You can play as either Kazuma Kiryu or everybody’s favorite psychopath Goro Majima in a single-player or couch-co-op butt-kicking adventure.

Oh, and bonus points for the game being free.

Streets of Kamurocho

“But wait, didn’t Kazuma basically retire after Yakuza 6?” you might be asking. And you would be correct (as much as one can retire from a Japanese criminal organization, anyway). But think of this as a love letter to the original game rather than a continuation of the story overall.

Here’s the rub, though: Streets of Kamurocho (“a mash-up of Streets of Rage 2 and Yakuza,” according to Sega) will only be available during Steam’s Sega’s 60th Anniversary sale, from October 17 through October 19. So if you’re like me and jump at any chance to revisit Kamurocho and bust some heads, make sure you download your copy before that window has come and gone.

Even though I personally was looking forward to the less button-mashy approach of the upcoming Yakuza: Like a Dragon, I have to admit that this Streets of Rage-style side-scrolling beat-’em-up looks like a blast.

You can watch the delightful Streets of Kamurocho announcement trailer below.

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