Yakuza, the Japanese game franchise created by Toshihiro Nagoshi for Sega, has sold over 14 million copies worldwide, yet English versions of the games have mostly been limited to the main series. Now, thanks to a fan translation, Kurohyō: Ryū ga Gotoku Shinshō, or Yakuza: Black Panther, is available in English.
First released for the PSP in 2010, Yakuza: Black Panther focuses on Tatsuya Ukyo, a street kid, rather than Kiryu Kazuma. In the game, Ukyo and several other thugs attempt to rob a loan shark, Naoki Toda, who is believed to die during the assault. As a result, Ukyo is coerced by the gangster’s family and must go underground to fight and repay his debt.
The gameplay in Black Panther centers mainly on 1-on-1 fighting and martial arts rather than the beat-em-up gameplay of Yakuza’s main series. The combat is similar to AKI Corporation’s Def Jam Fight for NY, but also includes features of the main series such as heat actions, enemy encounters and weapon collection. Unlike the full 3d perspective of the console Yakuza games, the camera in Black Panther is on a side perspective.
A hit in Japan, Black Panther was adapted into a live-action television series and received a sequel, 2012’s Black Panther 2: Like a Dragon Ashura Chapter. Two years later, a group of fans started translating the game into English. Although the project was well underway until 2018, it stalled in 2019. Last week, however, one of the fans delivered a patched version of the game, which can be found online.
Although not a complete translation, players can follow the main storyline of Black Panther from beginning to end. In addition, a full game guide is being written by translator KHHsubs, and videos with subtitles are also expected to be released.
In the main series, Yakuza: Like a Dragon was released worldwide on November 10, 2020 for Microsoft Windows, PS4, Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S. A PS5 version is set to be released worldwide on March 2, 2021.
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