The game is designed around improving and bringing back some of the elements missing from Yakuza 6.
Yakuza Kiwami 2 is a remake of the original PlayStation 2 game Yakuza 2. It utilises an improved version of the Dragon engine from Yakuza 6 while incorporating several mechanics or features that were missing in that game. With its launch in just over a month, SEGA released a demo for the game to give us a taste of what we can expect from what is widely considered as one of the best games in the series.
The demo is largely filled with cutscenes, but you can explore Sotenbori, play the various mini-games and beat up thugs. It looks and plays similar to Yakuza 6, including the menus as well as the progression system. As expected, you cannot purchase any new moves from the skills section, although I did find an ability which would let you see new sub-stories on the map, an option puzzlingly missing from Yakuza 6.
As it was also the first game to use the Dragon engine, the combat had less options, there were fewer heat moves and several mini-games were absent. In Kiwami 2, most of these have been resolved. The combat is faster, and Kiryu has a wider array of heat moves to pull off. More importantly, you can now map up to three weapons to the D-pad, which makes using weapon-based finishers much more convenient. In the demo, I had equipped a stun gun, a steam iron and a sword, and was able to deal massive damage with ease. You can spend some time playing golf, gamble at an underground casino or sing at a karaoke bar; but the full game includes many more activities, including the fan favourite cabaret club manager simulator.
The demo for Yakuza Kiwami 2 makes me believe that this game was designed around improving and bringing back some of the elements missing from Yakuza 6. The original game is well beloved, and I cannot wait to see how SEGA handles the remake when it launches on the PlayStation 4 on August 28, 2018.