Friday, July 13, 2012

Yakuza HD Collection a Possibility

So, Joystiq brought it to my attention (almost personally, it feels like) that the possibility of an HD Collection of Yakuza 1 and 2 is a thing that could happen.  Listed for a brief moment on a Sega Japan Release Schedule, the Yakuza 1&2 HD Edition leaves little to the imagination, suggesting that it is simply HD Editions of Yakuza 1 & 2 (Presumably sold separately, since Japan seems to be finnicky about bundling games, as is referenced by the Ico/SotC Collection, and Peace Walker HD).  Of course, I saw this Joystiq post and proceeded to immediately lose all of my shit.  Look around, do you see things that shouldn't be there?  Yeah.  It's my shit.  Because I lost it.  For a moment that was entirely too sweet, entirely too brief, I experienced what I can only describe as ecstasy unlike any I have experienced in recent memory at the mere thought of being able to re-visit Yakuza 1 and 2, older and wiser and more well-versed in the series as I am now without plugging in my PS2 and dicking around with Memory cards and all that we have more or less sworn off since the days of the PS2.  To see Kamurocho as it started in a resolution that isn't torture on the eyes, even if it will not be as detailed as 3 and 4's (seen above) offerings.

For that all-too-brief moment, life was amazing and everything was wonderful.

And then I had that reality check that I'm sure you have already been thinking of since you read the title of this post.  Sega is in the shit.  It makes perfect sense to start doing things like this, up-porting old games for a quick buck that has fairly little spending associated with it.  It makes sense to do this and release it to a public that absolutely loves the Yakuza series where the sales numbers shows as much.  And that all Japan.  Not so much here in the States.  So that sort of makes one think that the Collection just might not make it over here because Sega doesn't want to part with the paltry cost of localization.  And if they do, then the chances of them doing it on an actual disk are pretty much incomprehensibly infinitesimal.  Which for me more or less means that they shouldn't bother localizing it at all since I'll never be able to play the fucking things.  So this whole thing has the potential to be bittersweet at best, and infinitely disappointing at worst unless Sega just kind of magically does the awesome thing with money that they presumably don't have.

That means there's really not a whole lot I can do or say alongside this, honestly.  If this happens to play out and get localized on-disk, I'll be a very happy man, but if it doesn't, or if it's DD-only, I don't know what I'll do.  I'll probably buy them anyway just to throw Sega the $30-40 and the support, even if I won't be able to feasibly play the games by any stretch of the imagination.  (It takes me a ridiculous amount of time to download shit.  Like, three hours to download a 500 MB game at best ridiculous.  Not so much an issue on Portables since they're not about to explode or anything, but my PS3?  Nah.)  But goddamn if I won't be bitter as -fuck- about it the whole time and for quite a time thereafter.  It's pretty much this sort of scenario that I was basing an entire "Digital Distribution is Not the Answer to Every Fucking Problem" article around and never got around to writing because I just started to lose a little bit of the venom I had with it.  The thing is, I'm not anywhere near alone in the "I have shit internet and I must scream" territory, but it just doesn't seem to matter one bit since way of the future and other such utter fucking nonsense.  In a world of data caps and shit internet infrastructure not to mention shoddy internet security (From everyone, not just Sony don't even -start-) we can't just throw every fucking thing on the internet and do Jazz Hands until magic happens, people.

It's honestly a little more than depressing to have that realization weigh-in like that.  At first, I thought that maybe the Collection, should it exist and come out, could be an example of Sega's willingness to give physical media for the Yakuza one last shot, despite it not being one of the 'key' franchises that they're basing their physical releases on.  But it's hard to think of a scenario where I could realistically expect them on-disk, which means I still don't know what to think of Yakuza 5.  Even though I'm in the camp that says it would be the worst fucking idea imaginable to go DD-only with Yakuza 5, I can't realistically say it's not a possibility.  And one that'll be all the more real if the sales numbers of the theoretical DD-only Collection run more or less along the lines as they would expect it to, meaning the people who buy the series are still -there- and willing to buy it no matter what.  I guess I am over-thinking it more than a little bit, but as I've made it perfectly clear more than once here, the Yakuza series is that series for me, and it sucks that the reality for it is as negative as it is.

With any luck, all my sudden sullenness and negativity will be for naught and we'll get some good news from the whole scenario.  It's wholly unlikely, of course, but Sega does so love proving me wrong (I figured they would've announced a new Phantasy Star for Vita - PSO2 doesn't count - by now, I figured something would happen with the two Yakuza:  Black Panther games for us, figured we'd hear -something- about VC3 in the west, I could go on and on) so that does leave a slight window open.  I can say with some certainty that if they -do- prove me wrong and throw us a disk, I will probably be buying several copies of the game if just to send the message that physical games will still sell, I assure you.  So there's at least some incentive there.  Only thing left is to see it play out, I suppose, which will likely be more painful than several things that I'm not going to bother to explain because I'm sure you can think of painful things.

Update!:  Aaaand it's official.  For Japan, at least.  I'm sure we'll get localization news....uhh....sometime.


Please give us this, Sega.

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