The Next Big Yakuza Project: Fist of the North Star!

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DarkbeatDK

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Edited By DarkbeatDK

Hot off the presses, SEGA has announced that the next project in your new favorite action RPG series is Fist of the North Star.

In the trailer below, you can hear Takaya Kuroda tell you all about how you are already dead. While the trailer mostly shows fighting, there's also a glimpse of how the man with the seven wounds uses the 1800 year old martial art of Hokuto Shinken to mix drinks.

Here is the game's official website. More to be revealed at TGS!

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selfconfessedcynic

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wow, I wasn't expecting this kind of throwback.

I wonder how the VO'll be - or if they'll go Yakuza with it and have it subbed.

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Let's temper expectations here, shit looks rad but the chances of a release in the West? Gio Corsi might need to pull some strings.

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OurSin_360

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#3  Edited By OurSin_360

Not sure whats yakuza about this besides kiryus voice actor? I remember fist of the north star being one of the first popular anime's, they even made an american live action movie lol. I see this releasing in the states based off that alone.

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bigsocrates

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Not sure whats yakuza about this besides kiryus voice actor? I remember fist of the north star being one of the first popular anime's, they even made an american live action movie lol. I see this releasing in the states based off that alone.

Yeah, looking at the trailer it doesn't seem very Yakuza. Some of the fight style maybe, but I didn't see much running around talking to people and doing side activities.

A true Yakuza style First of the North Star game would be awesome. With deep characters and an open world, but also over the top Fist of the North Star fighting. I would be very into that. I guess Dead Souls did something sort of similar (Yakuza game but with supernatural elements) but FotNS would seem sort of ideal.

Though frankly the Yakuza concept works really well with many Japanese properties. Imagine a Ruroni Kenshin game done in the Yakuza style. That would be amazing!

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BoOzak

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Fist of the North Star is fairly mainstream as far as anime goes, I could see this coming over here. Whenever I see gameplay of FOTNS games i'm reminded of Godhand and I know it wont play as well as that which makes me sad. Still, it looks better than the other ones.

The next actual Yakuza game seems to be Kiwami 2, which is a remake of the 2nd game in Yakuza 6's engine.

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@oursin_360: @bigsocrates: Well, while you just see fighting, it's definitely a Yakuza game. The title translates into something along the lines of "Like a Fist", whereas the original title for the Yakuza series is "Like a Dragon". The logo is also the same. In the gameplay, you can also see crowds of settlers in the background, like the pedestrians in the core Yakuza games that kinda box you into a small arena to fight in an encounter.

Other than that, the Kiryu and Kenshiro also have a lot in common, in the way that they are powerful men dealing out street/wasteland justice. The Animated FotNS movie is pretty much a one and done deal, but in the manga and the series, Kenshiro wanders the wasteland, helping out various settlements and people with their problems (albeit in a bit more one-note fashion than Yakuza).

The cocktail mixing sequence also hints at side-activities like the ones you find in the Yakuza games, so it seems like it's going to be an action RPG in the same design: You wander around, completing side objectives and acquire XP and money to level up and buy supplies and equipment and then you partake in a story dotted with a lot of big events and boss fights.

If anything, I expect the real difference to be that it's less compact than the Yakuza games, with a bigger and less sparsely populated wasteland to explore.

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OurSin_360

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@darkbeatdk: I definitely didn't get any of that from the trailer lol, i think they can literally call this fist of the north star in the states and nobody would know it has any connection to yakuza. Either way i think this would be the most likely cross over yakuza type game to come out over here, we need a good fist of the north star game honestly closest thing was God hand.

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epidehl

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As someone who is currently watching Fist of the North Star for the first time, this is very, very exciting.

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Considering how Sega puts a lot of its games out on PC now, including certain PC exclusive titles, it's strange that the Yakuza series and now this will continue to be Playstation exclusive.

Side note, Ken's Rage is a bad-mediocre game, i love Ken's Rage.

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@cikame said:

Considering how Sega puts a lot of its games out on PC now, including certain PC exclusive titles, it's strange that the Yakuza series and now this will continue to be Playstation exclusive.

While Vanquish and Bayonetta didn`t sell great they were huge sucesses compared to the sales of the Yakuza games in the west (until Yakuza 0 at least) and most of those sales probably came came from fans of the series who we can probably assume own PS4s. This is all speculation of course, but I just assume that Sega has looked at the numbers and decided that porting the Yakuza games to PC will just not be profitable.

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TheHT

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This is fantastic.

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AlvaroFAraujo

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@cikame said:

Considering how Sega puts a lot of its games out on PC now, including certain PC exclusive titles, it's strange that the Yakuza series and now this will continue to be Playstation exclusive.

While Vanquish and Bayonetta didn`t sell great they were huge sucesses compared to the sales of the Yakuza games in the west (until Yakuza 0 at least) and most of those sales probably came came from fans of the series who we can probably assume own PS4s. This is all speculation of course, but I just assume that Sega has looked at the numbers and decided that porting the Yakuza games to PC will just not be profitable.

Yeah I have the same thought. Since Sony managed to sell a Ton of PS4, and the Yakuza dev team was already prepared to develop for consoles. Sega took the best idea business wise. While they avoid having their game pirated for the PC, they can still reach millions of consumers by putting out Yakuza games on PS4.

If Its Yakuza&Sonic that revive Sega this truly is a great time to play video games

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If Its Yakuza&Sonic that revive Sega this truly is a great time to play video games

Okay, clearly you were referring to the two franchises, but now I am stuck between being horrified that Sega might actually make a Yakuza & Sonic game, and kind of interested in what it would actually be like.

If Sonic can make sweet love to a human woman then why CAN'T he join the Yakuza?

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onarum

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Fuck.... this might well be the first thing that actually makes me want a PS4 for real...

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@alvarofaraujo said:

If Its Yakuza&Sonic that revive Sega this truly is a great time to play video games

Okay, clearly you were referring to the two franchises, but now I am stuck between being horrified that Sega might actually make a Yakuza & Sonic game, and kind of interested in what it would actually be like.

If Sonic can make sweet love to a human woman then why CAN'T he join the Yakuza?

I just want to see Kiryu's dead pan reactions to encountering Sonic.

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#16  Edited By odinsmana
@bigsocrates said:
@alvarofaraujo said:

If Its Yakuza&Sonic that revive Sega this truly is a great time to play video games

Okay, clearly you were referring to the two franchises, but now I am stuck between being horrified that Sega might actually make a Yakuza & Sonic game, and kind of interested in what it would actually be like.

If Sonic can make sweet love to a human woman then why CAN'T he join the Yakuza?

Now I can`t stop thinking about what kinda back tattoo Sonic would have...

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DarkbeatDK

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#18  Edited By DarkbeatDK
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Giant_Gamer

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#19  Edited By Giant_Gamer

Will Nagoshi and his team work on this game?

If this is a Yakuza game then I'm definitely going to buy it regardless of the answer because I have bought and beaten every Yakuza game since Yakuza 3 ... Including Dead Souls which I have beaten twice ^_^

So I just want to know how excited should I be!!

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@giant_gamer: Yes. Well, I suppose so at least. It seems like they are juggling multiple Yakuza projects right now, but it's definitely "Hokuto ga Gotoku" in logo and everything, so it's promising to be an action RPG just like the main Yakuza series. I thought Dead Souls was all-right too.

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Genxalo

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A Yakuza style Fist of the North Star game?! I AM SHOCK!

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someoneproud

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@darkbeatdk: I think its more "like a north star" as hokuto generally means the "big dipper" and is translated as the north star for the manga/anime's western release, but yeah this is certainly gonna have a lot in common with the Yakuza / RGG series going by how they're presenting it.

I would love to play this but given their record of not localising the Yakuza side games (Kenzan/Ishin etc.) I'm not hopeful, fingers crossed though.

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onarum

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#23  Edited By onarum

@genxalo: You're clearly not a tough boy then

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Slag

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Coooooooooool.

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Please tell me there is a karaoke side-activity where Kenshiro sings You wa Shock.

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@shoguns_decapitator: I work in Japanese game localization. I'm not privy to Sega's inner workings specifically since I do freelance, but I'd say the chances of this getting localization are pretty high for a couple reasons:

  • The more expensive a game is to produce in Japan, especially on consoles, the harder it is to get a return on investment solely within Japan these days. It's no secret that the console market there isn't what it used to be and while it's in a little bit of a better place than it was this time last year because of things like the Switch, it's still overall a contracting market. If a publisher goes out of its way to only release a game in Japan, oftentimes either the niche it's catering to is still just big enough and the game priced high enough that they don't explicitly feel the need to go to the extra trouble of localization, or it's big and mainstream enough as it is that it can comfortably rely just on the Japanese market and isn't able to expand further out for various circumstantial reasons. Most games that fall in the middle, including more successful, but not million-selling, series like Yakuza cost just a little too much and have just a little bit too small of audience these days to always comfortably keep things within Japan and, indeed, many plans for localization are hashed out well in advance of the Japanese release, which is to say that complete silence on the matter until after release is hardly a sign that such plans were potentially spontaneous. Now, obviously, Yakuza games have a handful of entries that have still stayed in Japanese. This is conjecture, but up through the PS3 era and early on into the PS4 era when they were doing multiplatform versions of a few of those games, I suspect that Japanese sales, as well as the sales of its Chinese localizations, did indeed do well enough that there wasn't a hugely pressing need for an English localization. The fact that the team is very good at economically recycling graphical and system-level content between games also probably helps keep those budgets comparatively lean. This entry will actually probably be on the more expensive side than a lot of recent Yakuza games since they'll presumably have to make a lot of new art assets completely from scratch. Either way...

  • With the series on the upswing in terms of sale and reception to the recent games' localizations, not doing an English localization would quite possibly be leaving money on the table. It's quite clear that Sega is happy with the growth that the Yakuza games are experiencing overseas, especially given the reduced price tag for Kiwami. (You could argue that this is partly because Kiwami is a significantly shorter game than your typical latter-day Yakuza game, but this certainly didn't stop it from commanding a premium in Japan.) Even if this Fist of the North star spinoff can be profitable on its own in Japan, given these circumstances, if a company like Sega can be reasonably confident there's more money to be made by putting in that extra time and money up front to invest in a localization, they typically will. Yakuza might not be doing Persona numbers for the time being overseas, but it's definitely not nothing either. And in Sega's case, especially they're clearly in no particular rush to get Yakuza localizations out the door as a matter of quality and (likely) logistics producing such things in tandem with developing brand new entries. They've demonstrated a willingness to play the long game with these sorts of things and have generally been rewarded for their efforts. Now, obviously, some people reading this might say that even if this game plays like a Yakuza game, it's not necessarily going to appeal to all of them since obviously it's a FIst of the North Star game first and foremost, which leads me to my final point...

  • Fist of the North Star still retains a pretty strong following abroad, especially for an anime that's so old. I don't have raw numbers off hand, but given the series' long history of translations into other languages, it's fair to say that the potential market for a localized version of this game extends beyond just North America, the UK, and English-speaking Europeans. It's likely to be costlier than, say, the Ken's Rage games, given the enormity of your average Yakuza game script, but I'd also argue that given the source material's narrative strengths, in some ways, there's an even better case to be made for going to that much trouble than the Ken's Rage games, which I believe did get localized for European languages anyway. Either way, as a brand, it definitely has global recognition among both anime fans and just a particular generation of animation consumers in general, which again, provides an opportunity for more money to be made than would be possible if it stuck solely to Japan.

Out of all of these factors, the first bullet point is what probably weighs most heavily on Sega. Not only is this game going to probably be more expensive to produce than usual because of all the new art and animation that needs to be made, but acquiring that license probably didn't come cheap, both in terms of upfront costs and revenue splits. Many Japanese games have localization decisions made a lot earlier than in past generations because of such circumstances; the accounts can't really wait until the Japanese release is out the door to know one way or the other whether a localization will be needed to make ends meet. But the sorts of factors mentioned in the other two bullet points are definitely important, as well, and help build that case for both increasing budgets to do these sorts of spectacles right as well as take the time to bring them to other markets. I'm not saying it's absolutely a 100% chance that this game will come out in English because any number of things can get in the way and prevent that from happening. I doubt very much work has even been done towards that end, if at all, given that they still have to get an English localization for 6 out and now also very likely one for Kiwami 2 down the line. But I'd be very surprised if this game wasn't greenlit without a lot of these sorts of considerations already being made to some degree. The sort of money that gets thrown around even for mid-ish tier productions like Yakuza is just too much to risk procrastinating.

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@pepsiman: Looking at how they got in a hurry to beef up the western localization speed for Kiwami and 6, it's my guess that the series has enough momentum to have this spin-off come out as well. Granted, there is the licensing bit, but Koei Tecmo made it happen a couple of years ago and HnK is well-known here, so I'm at about 95% certain.

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I love the Yakuza games but I've never seen Fist of the North Star. I did play Black Belt on Master System as a kid and I recently learned it is based on Fist of the North Star but all the references to it is taken out of the English version anyway.

I'm just glad Yakuza 2 Kiwani is coming out. I hope for an English release of that.

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fetchfox

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Oh man... This might be the Hokuto no Ken game I've always wanted.

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#31  Edited By ArtisanBreads

I'm not sure how this will work, but I like if it's a bit different. I know the Yakuza games have been getting a lot of praise lately but I think they are pretty reptitive and the side stuff doesn't keep up steam throughout a whole game, nor does the story. I loved Yakuza 0 for the first like 15-20 hours but after that it lost a lot of steam for me. Maybe my feelings will change with 6. Anyways I would like to see them do something different.

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damuramu

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Hokuto:drink mixer ken!!!

if they can inject the zanyness and fun combat to the myriad of styles and story of FOTNS,then i am super sold......though my boys rei and toki better be playable somehow,even if in a short arena style mode

may even import if it doesnt get localised

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Francium34

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Go take this survey and tell Sega you want the game localized!

http://yakuza.sega.com/RGGStudioAnnouncementSurvey/

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@francium34: I took it a bit earlier. 5, 5, 1 for me. Really hoping for more from them in the relatively near future.

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Here's characters announced so far

Kenshiro (voiced by Takaya Kuroda)

No Caption Provided

Successor of the Isshi Souden no Ansatsuken and Hokuto Shinken martial arts styles handed down for 1,800 years. He has seven scars that form the shape of the Big Dipper engraved into his chest. Defeated by Nanto Koshuken user Shin, and his fiancee Yuria stolen from him, he again overcomes death and exacts his revenge. However, Shin told him of Yuria’s death. Kenshiro was knocked down to the depths of despair, but his only remaining hope exists in rumors that Yuria is alive. After wandering through the wasteland, he reaches Eden, the “City of Miracles.”

Yuria (voiced by Aya Hisakawa)

No Caption Provided

Kenshiro’s fiancee. She was traveling with Kenshiro in search of somewhere to live peacefully, but was kidnapped by Shin. Kenshiro exacted his revenge against Shin, and was expected to be reunited with Yuria. However, Shin tells him of Yuria’s death. She was said to have died, but…

Shin (voiced by Kazuhiro Nakaya)

No Caption Provided

Successor of the Nanto Seiken and Nanto Koshuken martial arts styles. The former is said to be the opposite of Hokuto Shinken. He kidnaps Kenshiro’s fiancee Yuria. At that time, he gave Kenshiro seven scars on his chest. He dies in a rematch against Kenshiro.

Kisana (voiced by Miyuki Sawashiro)

No Caption Provided

The daughter of the founder of Eden, the “City of Miracles,” and its current ruler. In order to become a fine ruler like her father, she listens to the voices of the people every day, and drafts and implements various policies to improve the city. Kenshiro, who hears that Yuria headed towards Eden, goes to visit the Eden ruled by Kisana, but…

Jagure (voiced by Kenta Miyake)

No Caption Provided

Commanding officer of the Eden Garrison. Upon seeing Hokuto Shinken user Kenshiro’s overwhelming strength, he deemed him to be a monster and immediately imprisoned him in the Eden dungeon. While he does not trust Kenshiro at first, he later opens up to Kenshiro and will eventually become a partner-like character.

Kyouou (Evil King) (voiced by ???)

No Caption Provided

A man with great influence in this troubled world, who took in bandits one after the next to put together his “Kyouou Army.” He is a mysterious kenpo user who is persistent on Eden and attacks it regularly, making him most feared by its people.

Toki (voiced by Shunsuke Sakuya)

No Caption Provided

A fellow student who studied the Hokuto Shinken martial arts style alongside Kenshiro from a young age. He has heart, technique, and physique, and in all was an excellent fighter, but because he was exposed to the “nuclear fallout” during the final war, he suffered from an incurable disease and gave up on the path of succession. After that, he tried to put Hokuto Shinken to use as a means of medical treatment.

Rei (voiced by Toshiyuki Morikawa)

No Caption Provided

A Nanto Suichiouken user said to be the most elegant in Nanto Seiken Hyakuhachi-ha. He is searching for his younger sister, Airi, who was kidnapped by a man with seven scars on his chest. He hears of certain plausible information, and visits Eden.

Airi (voiced by Ryoko Shiraishi)

No Caption Provided

After she was kidnapped by a man with seven scars on his chest on her wedding day, she rendered herself blind by pouring poison into her eyes in despair of her own destiny. It seems she was placed into a cruel environment.

Raoh (voiced by Masami Iwasaki)

No Caption Provided

The Conqueror of Century’s End and “King of Fists,” he is the oldest of the four Hokuto siblings. He uses the Hokuto Shin Ken martial arts style for his own military rule, and tries to bring unity to the troubled times through violence.

Rihaku (voiced by Kazuhiro Yamaji)

No Caption Provided

One of the few doctors in town at Eden’s medical institution. Knowing much about kenpo and the state of things outside Eden, he is a man of extensive knowledge who doesn’t seem to be merely a doctor.

Taruga (voiced by Yuichi Nakamura)

No Caption Provided

No. 2 of the Kyouou Army, just below Kyouou himself. Contrary to his light voice, he has a cruel and inhuman personality. He uses a pistol, which are of value in this age, and has mastered a taijustu that the average swordsman stands no chance against.

Lira (voiced by Aya Hisakawa)

No Caption Provided

A voluptuous woman who runs the nightlife of Eden, from night clubs to Colosseum battle betting, and so on. She is strong-minded, intelligent, and has calm judgment. She is also very popular among the women in the city. She also has the full confidence of Eden’s ruler, Kisana.

(Source)

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#36  Edited By DarkbeatDK

IT IS HAPPENING

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