Last week at E3, Sega announced the release dates for the English versions of Yakuza 2 for PlayStation 2, the 2006 sequel to 2005's high-budget cinematic adventure game set in Tokyo's criminal underworld. The game is dated for the 28th of September 2008 in Europe and the 7th of September 2008 in North America. There's yet to be confirmation of a New Zealand release.

Much to the delight of purist fans, these Western releases won't feature an English dub, but rather the original Japanese audio with English subtitles.

Yakuza, titled "Rya Ga Gotoku" in Japan (literally translated as 'Like a Dragon'), received critical acclaim upon its Japanese release in 2005 for its accurate and in-depth exploration of yakuza culture. Despite the game being a huge success in its homeland, the Western translated versions (released in Sept., 2006) reportedly flopped pretty badly. Since its release, the English version has built up a cult-following.

The Yakuza series is often regarded as the spiritual successors to Sega's classic adventure game series, Shenmue. The first game was adapted in a feature film by internationally acclaimed Japanese director, Takashi Miike. A Japanese friend of mine says that not only is the film well made, but also it's also a pretty faithful adaptation.