Yakuza games have traditionally been subtitled with Japanese audio, but Sega has been putting a lot of work into the English translation and voice-overs. Starting with Judgment, Sega created a dual audio track, and Yakuza: Like A Dragon will also have English voice actors. It may not seem like it, but it represents a bit shift.
With that change comes challenges. The voice of Masato Arakawa, Will Yun Lee, talks about those in a new trailer today. One of the big issues is that the visuals have already been created for the Japanese version of the game before the English translation is done. The voice actor must stay within those visuals while trying to make the character his own. It can be limiting, but, when done correctly, it opens your game up to more audiences.
As far as the character of Masato, Lee describes him as a “chameleon” who is “ice cold and charismatic.” That side masks his boiling anger in the quieter moments. Lee sees Masato as the source of the dramatic conflict, and everything he does has strong consequences and reactions from other characters. Sounds like good writing, and I can’t wait to see for myself.
With a November 13th release date, we are now just under two months from having that opportunity. Yakuza: Like A Dragon will be a huge change for the franchise with more turn-based, RPG elements and the first game after series’ protagonist Kazuma Kiryu rode off into the sunset. I could also mention that the next-gen version is a timed exclusive for the Xbox Series X, but I’m pretty sure the PS4 is going to handle it just fine.
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Jason became terminally addicted to videogames after receiving the NES at an early age. This addiction grew to include PC gaming and was cemented with the launch of the PS2. From then on, he was afflicted with epic RPGs, tense shooters, and deep strategy games, never becoming skillful, but never able to quit. He continues to play games (poorly) and share his passion for them to anyone willing to listen.