When it originally released back in 2010, Yakuza 4 was defined by its four playable characters -- a first for the series. Alongside mainstay protagonist Kazuma Kiryu, players got to experience the stories of charismatic loan shark Akiyama, escaped convict Saejima, and street-smart cop Tanimura. In Yakuza 4 Remastered, all four characters remain nuanced and interesting, but at times, the game struggles to tie all of their adventures together into the kind of cohesive, intense crime drama that you expect from the Yakuza franchise.
In short, Yakuza 4 feels a bit disjointed. Uneven pacing impacts the plot at several points, and Kiryu feels like he's shoehorned into proceedings just because he's the face of Yakuza. Having said all that, even though Yakuza 4 is one of the weaker entries in the series, it's still a cut above the storytelling that you'll find in most other games. Just don't expect it to outdo the likes of Yakuza 0, or Yakuza 6.
When it comes to action, Yakuza 4's a blast. Each playable character has their own unique fighting style, with Akiyama's lightning fast kicks and Saejima's brute strength being particularly satisfying. And in typical series fashion, there are some top tier boss fights on offer alongside a load of addictive minigames -- including in-depth hostess club management.