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Yakuza: Dead Souls Preview

Yakuza: Dead Souls

As a fan of the SEGA’s Yakuza series, I was ecstatic to find out that the company will be releasing the highly-anticipated Yakuza: Dead Souls in North America. Formerly called Yakuza: Of the End, the game finally got SEGA’s go-ahead for localization.

In case you didn’t know, SEGA’s Yakuza series (known as Ryu Ga Gotoku in Japan)  is big in its native country.

How big, might you ask? Huge. As in, it has it’s own live-action film, huge. As in, companies want their products placed in the game, huge.

Yet for some reason or another, the franchise can never seem to get out of its niche genre here in North America. Maybe it’s the Japanese setting, or maybe the game is just interesting to those who like Japanese culture?  Whatever the reason is, I think it’s about to change when SEGA finally releases Yakuza: Dead Souls to the west.

Hit the jump to find out more about Yakuza: Dead Souls including a brand new gameplay demo from the Japanese version.

So what differentiates Dead Souls from the rest of the Yakuza games? Zombies.

You heard me right. Yakuza versus Zombies. If that didn’t pique your interest then I don’t know what else will.

The story goes something like this; Tokyo is suddenly hit by a deadly virus that kills off civilians and turns them into flesh eating monsters. The only thing that stands between them and humanity’s total annihialation is Kazuma Kiryu and his ragtag team of Japanese mobsters.

What used to be an RPG-like open world brawler franchise suddenly becomes a third-person shooter, with each of the characters packing their own heat. Series hero Kazuma Kiryu wields a Barret M82 sniper rifle, Shun Akiyama wields two pistols, Ryuji Goda (the main antagonist from Yakuza 2) returns to the city with his right hand replaced by a mini-gatling gun.

And last but certainly not least, series fan favorite “Mad Dog” Goro Majima finally becomes a playable character; his shotguns sure to bring hell to the undead.

While SEGA hasn’t given a release date, they have said that they are working hard at localizing the game, and that much of the content in the Japanese release has safely made the cut, including the new pachislot mini-game.

I don’t know about you guys, but after playing through the entire Yakuza series, I’m so excited for this new take on the franchise. Yakuza versus Zombies. Place your bets!

In the meantime, check out this Yakuza: Dead Souls Gameplay Demo featuring “Mad Dog” Majima.

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About janhutchings

Canadian Game Industry Blogger / Contributor for @Sonyrumors & @ShogunGamer / Communications and PR Professional. Voice of Canadian and Indie Gaming. http://jtmgames.com/

Posted on October 31, 2011, in Game Previews and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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