To say that the Yakuza games have done well in the West is a huge understatement. It has earned so loyal of a fan-base that some gamers are wondering when Yakuza Ishin and Yakuza Kenzan in English will be coming to the West to join games like Yakuza 0 and Yakuza Kiwami 2. It’s a fair question, but an even fairer one would be: What are Yakuza Ishin and Yakuza Kenzan in the first place?
What are Yakuza Ishin and Yakuza Kenzan?
Yakuza Ishin is a spin-off game from the Yakuza series that was released only in Japan, 2014 for the PS3 and PS4. The game is set in the Bakamatsu period, which refers to the final few last years of the Edo period. Unlike the self-assured Kiryu, players will play the character of Sakamoto Ryōma, a low-ranked samurai. While it wasn’t released worldwide, it did well in Japan and scored favorably with website Famitsu.
Yakuza Kenzan, also known as Ryū ga Gotoku Kenzan in Japan, is also a spin-off game of the Yakuza series. Like Ishin, Kenzan is set during the time of Feudal Japan in the Edo period, however the game takes place in 1605 with players playing the character of Miyamoto Musashi.
Both Yakuza Kenzan and Yakuza Ishin are classed as being ‘jidaigeki‘ games, which mean ‘period dramas’. This explains the different look the two games have in comparison to the Yakuza the West is familiar with.
Where Can I Play Yakuza Ishin and Yakuza Kenzan in English?
If you’re in the West and no zero Japanese then that answer may be more difficult to answer. Unfortunately, both of the games have yet to be localized by SEGA, which instead has led to many YouTubers putting up walkthroughs of the game and adding in English subtitles. You can watch one such playthrough of Yakuza Ishin here.
There are also multiple guides that you can find around the internet which translates the games, but have yet to be added to the game. This can cause some frustration, so unless you’re willing to put up with it we’d advise you to just watch walkthroughs instead.