There are already so many ways to play the Yakuza games these days. This especially applies to the series' first two entries, Yakuza and Yakuza 2, after their Kiwami remakes. But a curious blind spot for the series accessibility lies with the three numbered sequels to follow them: 3, 4, and 5. Up until this point, the only way to play Yakuza 3 and 4 was to get it physically or digitally for PlayStation 3. 5 was even more nebulous since it was only given a digital-exclusive release on the PlayStation 3 store. Thankfully, the clouds are parting and Sega has heard our calls. Over the course of big world premieres and news that was Gamescom, the company announced that all three games are heading to the West as part of a remastered collection. This means that they'll all be playable on PlayStation 4 with 1080p resolution and 60fps, leading to the definitive way to play them.

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This isn't a simple re-polish and release though. As Sega went on to explain, the Yakuza Remastered Collection will revamp the three games in all sorts of new ways for everyone who plays, both new and veterans. Most notably, the release will see the restoration of previously cut content from all three games. This cut content includes different minigames like shogi, the Cabaret, massage parlor, and mahjong. Additionally, previously cut substories will also be added in. This will come as a delight to fans of the series; Yakuza 3 in particular was criticized upon its initial release for the large amount of content it cut for overseas audiences. Aside from the re-introduction of that content, Sega is re-localizing all three games, in an effort to make the translation and writing more consistent with the original Japanese version. Last but not least, we can expect to see some various quality-of-life improvements to the gameplay for all three, and fun little additions like English karaoke songs. There's a lot to look forward to here!

The strangest thing about this news, however, is the way Sega has chosen to release the games. As it stands, the Remastered Collection is available right now. Say what? Yeah, that's correct. It's purchasable on the PlayStation Store for a set price of $59.99. For some reason, Sega has decided to stagger the releases over the next several months. Buying the collection right now gives you immediate access to Yakuza 3 remastered; it's playable and out. Yakuza 4 remastered will be available on October 29th, applying automatically to the collection you purchased. The same goes for Yakuza 5 remastered, which is set to release on February 11th next year. The decision to stagger like this was probably made to allow more time to polish up the other two titles, but at the very least, it means we'll have the new-and-improved Yakuza 3 remaster to tide us over until 4, and subsequently 5.

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Additionally, Sega is putting out a limited-time two-disc set physical release for The Yakuza Remastered Collection. If you'd rather have a physical copy, or just to scratch your collector's itch, this one will be for you. It releases on the same date as Yakuza 5 remastered: February 11th, 2020. The package includes a stylized red case emblazoned with Kiryu's dragon tattoo, and a PlayStation 3 case for Yakuza 5 (likely included due to the original release being digital-only). How nice of Sega to throw that in for us retail junkies. At this point, there's just no excuse to have not played Yakuza yet. With so many entry points and ways to play the series on the PlayStation 4, it's become easier than ever to enjoy these games. 1 and 2 are both available remade as Kiwami 1 and 2, 3-5 will all be available in their entirety by 2020, and 6 alongside 0 are both available on PS4. Once 5 releases next year, the entire series will be available on PS4. It's come such a long way since its early days, back when Sega wasn't really keen on bringing it over. You can check out their announcement trailer for the Remastered Collection just below here; it's a smashing good time.

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