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Yakuza 0, Kiwami 1 & Kiwami 2 are back on Game Pass and balance has been restored

Gives you that Friday feeling

In the dead of night I've been hearing things. At first, I thought it was the neighbours next door enjoying a bit of karaoke. Maybe some twigs banging off a discarded Tesco trolley, creating a beautiful tune. No, I'm convinced it was the dulcet tones of Kiryu singing "Dame da ne dame yo dame na no yo!", as a signal from the nether that Yakuza 0, Yakuza Kiwami, and Yakuza Kiwami 2 would be back on Game Pass having been removed last year. And by God, they're there! They're live! That's rad!

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In December of last year, Yakuza 0, Kiwami, and Kiwami 2 were removed from Game Pass for reasons. But XGP spotted their listings return to the Xbox Store, which suggested that they'd be free for Game Pass subscribers to download again. And what do you know? Members of the RPS Treehouse have them downloading right this very second.

UPDATE: Microsoft have now confirmed July's Game Pass games, which include all three of these Yakuzas, PowerWash Simulator, Escape Academy, Road 96, heavy-hitter My Friend Peppa Pig and a few others.

Now that all three games have returned to Game Pass, this means that the entire Yakuza catalogue has been reunited on the service again. And rightfully so! The fact that Yakuza 3, 4, 5, 6, and Like A Dragon remained on there without their predecessors seemed silly. So many times, I see people ask, "Where should I start with Yakuza?", and my response is always "Yakuza 0 pal, then just work your way up one by one". You could begin with Like A Dragon, I suppose, but you'd miss out on some of the references and core characters – the gravitas of the reveals.

And not to mention that Yakuza 0 and Kiwami 2 are arguably two of the best in the series, both a masterclass in how to bundle beefcakes, bicycles, melodrama, and comedy into one emotional package. Now that balance has been restored, you can work through the entire series chronologically - which is what I did over many long summers - and entwine your life with Kiryu and Majima's. Cor, what a treat.

I wrote about the typewriter noise in Yakuza games, as an ode to an underrated element of their design. Alan Wen also looked at how the role of women has evolved in the series. And if you needed anymore convincing to play Yakuza 0, our Yakuza 0 review is just the ticket.

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