EVERYONE IS IN MARMADUKE
So pretty much everyone with at least a little love for Japanese culture can tell you exactly who the Yakuza are, which probably goes a pretty long way towards explaining to you what today’s game is all about, but, much like the 2010 film Marmaduke in 2020, no one really gives a second thought to the word “Kiwami”. (Unless you speak Japanese, obviously, which probably means you read it no problem.) Anyway, it means “extreme”, and that’s pretty much exactly what we have here; an extreme version of the first Yakuza game with better graphics, dialogue, and gameplay, all in 4k with unlocked framerates, but much like Marmaduke’s inexplicably impressive cast, which includes everyone from Lee Pace to Sam Elliot to George Lopez to Kiefer Sutherland, there are more layers to this word than you expected.
One of the wildest things is this guy Goro Majima, who is crazy, dresses kind of like a snake, and wears an eyepatch. He’s already a pretty extreme and dangerous guy, but just like Owen Wilson, Fergie, and William H. Macy, who are somehow also in Marmaduke 2010, with the new Majima Anywhere System, no one sees him coming, and no matter where you are, he follows you and challenges you to a fight. Like literally, he’ll climb out of a trash can and fight you in the street. If that’s not extreme, this isn’t Yakuza Kiwami.
But even more extreme than that is the premise. Our favorite Yakuza boy Kiryu decides to take the fall for a murder committed by his friend Yami, and just his luck, he spends ten years in prison before he’s paroled. Can you imagine skipping ten years of life, reality, and culture? Is it possible to step into a long forgotten time that seems simultaneously the same and also so so totally different? It’s almost impossible to tell the concrete differences between times when they’re only a decade apart, and if that’s not the most extreme kiwami mindblow you can imagine, watch Marmaduke today for $12 on blu ray, and buy Yakuza Kiwami for even less than that to see what we mean.