The Yakuza series has always been an odd one, blending the lengthy cutscenes you see in Japan-spawned games like Final Fantasy and Metal Gear with a Grand Theft Auto-like open world (minus the cars). And with a deep melee combat system, not so dissimilar from a 3D fighting game. And with so many random and bizarre minigames that it’s possible to sink in many tens of hours and still not see them all.
Yakuza is a strange series.
It got stranger earlier this year when Yakuza: Of the End was released in Japan. The latest game is something of a spin-off, with all of the series’ typical attributes further bolstered by the addition of zombies. A recent trademark filing for something called Yakuza: Dead Souls hinted that Sega was planning to localize the oddball entry in this already oddball series for a North America release. That’s official now: Yakuza: Dead Souls is indeed a localized version of Of the End, and it’s coming to the U.S. and Europe in March 2012.
This won’t be a straight port, however. For starters, Dead Souls will pack in all of the DLC that’s been released for the game in Japan. There’s also Pachislot minigame. Good luck trying to figure out how it works. Those machines can be a bit of a sensory overload. The big twist in Dead Souls/Of the End is the presence of firearms, which don’t typically feature into other Yakuza games. As much as I’m looking forward to beating the brain goo out of hordes of zombies in post-apocalyptic Tokyo with the game’s awesomely deep melee system, having a little extra firepower certainly won’t hurt.