Sunday, May 9, 2021

Yakuza Combat Will Forward Be Turn-Based Going

Following the reveal of Lost Judgment, an interview with Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio director Toshihiro Nagoshi and producer Kazuki Hosokawa has surfaced on IGN. Lost Judgment brings Ryu Ga Gotoku back to its action-combat roots, leaving many fans to wonder if that meant the Yakuza series would also return to that style following last year's Yakuza: Like a Dragon.Speaking to IGN, Nagoshi and Hosokawa confirmed that the Judgment series will carry on the studio's action style of gameplay, while Yakuza will continue to evolve as a turn-based RPG. "The Yakuza series has been transformed into a turn-based RPG," they told IGN. "On the other hand, over the years, Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio has accumulated resources and know-how of making flashy and exhilarating action games that are effortless to enjoy. We decided that we should let our signature action gameplay live on through Lost Judgment." Yakuza: Like a Dragon's turn-based combat Romain Mahut of GameBlog was in attendance at a virtual "Judgment Day" event that followed the Lost Judgment reveal and asked if the studio considered using turn-based combat similar to that of Yakuza: Like a Dragon for Lost Judgment. "For Yakuza: Like a Dragon, we changed the game's battle system from action into a turn-based RPG," Nagoshi said in response. "This was a huge challenge for us, but it was well-received, which we were thrilled to hear. We did discuss the possibility of developing that battle system further for our next title, and while we may pursue the turn-based system even outside the Yakuza series, the conclusion we ended up at was that because this is a different series, the best approach would be to keep them separate and refine what makes each series great. It's my hope that our customers feel the same way we do. That's why we chose 'action' as an important keyword for the Judgment series.  Nagoshi also said on the Judgment Day video he believes that, when possible, a simultaneous global launch is "the right way to go" and that the team has "determined to make every effort to support this for all [its] games moving forward." This is significant as the Yakuza series has a long tradition of Western versions releasing years after the Japanese version. Following the success of Yakuza 0 in the West, the release windows have narrowed, but Yakuza: Like a Dragon, which debuted last year, still had a 10-month gap between the Japanese and worldwide releases. Lost Judgment's action-oriented combat Yakuza: Like a Dragon is available now on PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC, while Lost Judgment comes to PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One on September 24. For more on what we thought about Yakuza: Like a Dragon, check out our review here. For more on the history of the Yakuza series, read our retrospective featuring interviews with Nagoshi and other members of the team here. For more information on Nagoshi's career, you can read our profile on him here. [Source: IGN, Sega of America on YouTube]
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    How Hangar 13 remade Mafia

    After two and a half years of development, the time has come to share Mafia: Definitive Edition with the world. Creating this game has been a fascinating journey for the team here at Hangar 13. For the veterans who worked on the original, it’s been a real nostalgia trip. Our newest developers (some of whom were in kindergarten when the first game launched) have learned about the heart and soul of the Mafia franchise. For me personally, this project has been the culmination of more than a decade spent making Mafia games, as well as an awesome opportunity to revisit one of my all-time favorite games. Our goal since the outset has been to celebrate Mafia by creating a new version that everyone can enjoy. Of course, we wanted returning fans to find a familiar adventure, refreshed yet true to the spirit of the original. But just as important was helping new players discover the game in the same way we did back when we first played it nearly 20 years ago. That involved not only modernizing the gameplay, but also understanding what made Mafia so special in the first place. The core of every Mafia title is its story, and the first Mafia in particular set a new benchmark for cinematic storytelling. At a time when high-quality narrative in games was a rarity, Mafia proved that games could tell mature stories to rival film and television.  The rags-to-riches tale of Tommy Angelo’s career in the Salieri crime family is just as compelling today as it was back when the original game first released, but we’ve given the whole narrative experience a makeover. The script has been given a full rewrite, every performance newly captured, and every cinematic reshot. We’ve given key characters, such as Tommy’s love interest Sarah, more time on screen and expanded their backstories. We’ve added new details through notes, newspapers, and radio commentary to better ground the story in its 1930s period setting. In fact, I’d say we used every tool at our disposal to ensure that Mafia’s narrative still impresses in 2020. It’s also important to remember that Mafia was visually stunning when it was first released. Ensuring that the remake shared that quality was at the top of our priority list. Our art team created many beautiful period-authentic cars, mission environments, and character models, but they put special effort into the visual overhaul of Lost Heaven, the Chicago-like city where Mafia: Definitive Edition takes place. Using almost exactly the same city map, every district has been revisited and upgraded, with more detail in everything from the trash on the street through to the architecture of the buildings themselves. The end result is phenomenal, and I have no doubt that players will be wowed by Lost Heaven once again. Remaking a game with such a devoted fan base is a big responsibility. I’ve heard countless testimonies from fans (including many developers on our team) describing how playing the original Mafia was a seminal gaming experience for them. Many still play Mafia religiously to this day. We hope that our new take on Mafia not only fulfils the high expectations of our community but also delights every player, old and new.  It has been inspiring to hear the outpouring of love for Mafia since we announced the remake, and it’s been a privilege to work alongside developers willing to go to the mat for a game that they care so deeply about. Restoring this classic crime adventure has been a labor of love for all of us at Hangar 13, and we are hugely excited for Mafia fans to finally get their hands on the game.

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