Across The Sky (R-Arai Remix) BEST
Yakuza 2/Yakuza Kiwami 2 The opening theme, "As a Man, As a Brother", adds some drums with heavy metal beat.
The random encounter themes may change in every game, but they're still fantastic. This game gives us "Push Me Under Water" for Kamurocho and the jazzy "Outlaw's Lullaby" for Sotenbori. The remakes of these songs in Kiwami 2 also deserve mention. The new version of "Push Me Under Water" has a bit of a cinematic Yakuza 6 vibe, while "Outlaw's Lullaby" has an added guitar and slightly different piano piece, but to the delight of many fans, the song remains untouched otherwise. In fact, the latter song is so good that it returns untouched from its Kiwami 2 iteration in Yakuza: Like a Dragon as Sotenbori's battle theme!
Daigo Dojima is the first boss you fight, and "Hit & Kill" plays as Kiryu beats some sense into the boy.
Ryuji Goda's theme which is heard against two of his fights, "Bad Fortune Flower", a rocking theme fitting of a big shot yakuza boss, and one worthy of being the true rival of the Dragon of Dojima. The song returns in Kiwami 2 as "Bad Fortune, Not Bad" which packs a heavier guitar and an edgier feel, showing that Ryuji is dead serious about taking the title of Japan's Dragon.
Hiroshi Hayashi returns with a vengeance, and fights Kiryu to "Evil Itself", a song fitting of his bitter rage from his loss a year before.
Kazuma Kiryu fights through Toranosuke Sengoku's hidden castle with "Edges" blaring in the background. And when he unleashes two tigers against Kiryu, "Beast Itself" plays as their boss theme. Kiryu beats them with his bare hands.
When Kiryu and Shindo face off, "The Grudge" is played, a loud, hard hitting theme suitable for the leaders of the Japanese criminal underworld, which could be mistaken for a final boss theme. Fittingly, it can be heard again in the fight against Jo Amon. A different song takes is place in Kiwami 2, "Break Off", an energetic and guitar driven theme that will pump you up to kick his ass all over again.
After the mastermind behind the game's events is revealed, the appropriately titled "Wirepuller" is played in the ensuing boss fight, befitting an old friend turned traitor. Although the song doesn't return for Kiwami 2, "The Omerta" takes its place, a suspenseful song hiding a glimmer of hope within.
This song that plays during the cutscene before the final battle, where both wounded dragons bid their farewells to Kaoru before their final battle. Thankfully, the song is retained in Kiwami 2.
"A Scattered Moment" plays for the final boss battle against Ryuji Goda, a piano-driven emotional song that demonstrates the immense respect both men have for one another as they duke it out in what could be the last fight of their lives. Thankfully, the song makes a faithful return in Kiwami 2 as "A Scattered Eternal Moment". More instruments are added, giving it just a slight edge while ramping up the emotion as Kiryu and Ryuji fight one last time for the title of Japan's dragon.
Among the few licensed songs to make it outside Japan, the original game features "Kuroi Kizuato No Blues" and "17th December" by Crazy Ken Band. The first plays after an emotional scene where our hero is left pondering and smoking in the rain, and the second plays during the ending during another moment between Kiryu and Kaoru.
First heard against the fight against Daigo, the rocking and energetic "Rebellious Phase" is played during many boss fights in Kiwami 2.
Also from Kiwami 2, "Unity of Metal", a gritty rock/techno track with a rap behind it, which plays in battles against the foreign Jingweon Mafia.
This song from Kiwami 2, a techno track that seems more at home in Tekken than a minigame about managing a cabaret club, plays during the Cabaret Grand Prix.
Although "The Grudge" is no longer heard in the fight against Jo Amon in Kiwami 2, he's given another remix of "Fiercest Warrior". As opposed to being loud and energetic, the song is more emotional and atmospheric by comparison, perhaps reflecting that this will be the last time players face Jo Amon in the whole series (or at least as Kiryu).
In the final Pandemonium fight, once the Amons appear, the track changes to "A" from the band "SiM" - an intense track perfectly fitting the extreme challenge the fight poses.
Finally, who can ever forget "Update with Gunfire", Majima's final battle theme with Ibuchi in the Majima story DLC? That thing rocked while also displaying Ibuchi and Majima's willpower to succeed. It is undoubetedly one of the best Kiwami 2 songs.
Across the Sky (R-Arai Remix)
Ryu ga Gotoku Kenzan! Sega introduces the franchise to the PS3 with this spinoff, and it opens with "Bushido" by Zeebra.
This game gives us two remixes, "Blood Maker" for Funk Goes On, and "TSU-N-DE Receive You" for... Receive You. Too bad the latter is short.
"Sneaking Drive" acts as Majima's theme in Kenzan, a high energy theme on par with later remixes of Recieve You.
"Swordplay", an intense and climactic theme, plays when you fight against Seijurou.
"baile con la mariposa", a track that sounds fitting for this game with a heavy Spanish influence, serves as the background music during the fight against Ito.
Kenzan introduced the soundtrack "Takumi", which would become the signature Leitmotif for Komaki.
Yakuza 4 This game is probably the first and only PS3 game (before future entries of this series) that has a song play in its installation screen, and it goes by the name "For Faith".
"For Faith" is also the opening for the English version, but the Japanese version opens with "Butterfly City" by Zeebra, who also played the opening for Kenzan.
This game gave us four Player Characters, and each has their own songs for their Random Encounters. Shun Akiyama has the smooth but intense "Speed Star", Taiga Saejima has the hard-hitting rock number "Massive Fire", Masayoshi Tanimura has the low-key but threatening "Infinite Handcuffs", and Kazuma Kiryu has a fitting number called "The Myth".
"Whiskey & Rhapsody" is a wonderfully atmospheric acid jazz piece that plays during some parts in the overworld.
"Nervousness" is a wonderfully jazzy piece, but is unfortunately heard once in the entire game in Akiyama's chapter.
During chase scenes, we're treated to the loud and jazzy "Fang Marked Viper".
Several boss fights are accompanied by the unapologetically noirish "Rebellions". It's heard again in Dead Souls against a particular Optional Boss.
Many long mob fights play the song "Material Delights", which is just begging you to beat on some dudes.
Shortly after escaping prison, Saejima has to fight Kazuma Kiryu, while "Smile Venomously" plays in the background. The track also plays when Kiryu encounters Tanimura and Akiyama in the sewers leading to Purgatory.
Goro Majima returns, bringing "Receive and Bite You" as you fight him as Taiga Saejima.
The final boss fight of Tanimura's story, Junji Sugiuchi, is backed up by the track "Teufel Mit Liebe", a pulse-pounding, almost cop show-esque orchestral number burning with rage on both sides, from Tanimura who's eager to get answers about his father's death, and Sugiuchi who wants that punk out of his sight yesterday.
For this game, we get four final bosses for our four protagonist, and the songs that play are remixes of "For Faith". Akiyama vs Hiroaki Arai has "Four Face", Saejima vs Takeshi Kido gets "Four Faith", Kiryu vs Daigo Dojima uses the solemn "For Face", and finally, Tanimura vs Seishiro Munakata and his SWAT Team gets the instrumental version simply titled "For Faith". Here's a video with all four variations playing.
Aya Hirano voices Akiyama's assistant Hana, and Sega wasn't going to waste the opportunity to use her vocal talents for some karaoke! The two can perform the duet "Pure Love in Kamurocho".
Kiryu gets another song to sing in karaoke, the rocking and energetic love song "MachineGun Kiss".
Yakuza: Dead Souls The new tradition of awesome installation screens continues with "Start of THE END". It was given an exclusive remix by Hyd Lunch for the opening cinematic and another by 83key for the credits in the overseas versions. Hyd's version could originally be downloaded from Sega's blog, but sadly the original download is down.
"Long Battle" plays during The War Sequence as the two dragons head to the penthouse for the final confrontation.
"Cry...", an emotional track which is heard during the fight against Tetsuo Nikaido, who helped put the events of the game into motion and has now become one of the undead.
"Return to Nothingness", which is heard in Kiryu's fight against the Oikazuchi Omega, a gigantic beast who serves as the final boss of the game.
Majima's version of "GET TO THE TOP!" If you ever wanted to lose your breath from laughing, this is the perfect song to do it with, and a prime example of Majima being the insane goof we love.
Yakuza 5 In true Yakuza fashion, the game's theme, "The Battle for the Dream", is absolutely amazing, especially during the final boss fight. In the original Japanese, similar to "For Faith", it serves as the theme for the installation screen, while the original opening has "Bloody Moon" by GOSPELS OF JUDAS.
The title screen music, "The Hearts of Theirs", welcomes players back to the franchise with a soothing tune.
The battle themes for each of the characters. Kiryu has "Isolated Fight", which sets the mood for kicking ass in public with spectators cheering you on. Saejima is treated with "Hailstorm" when he tosses around thugs on the mean streets. Akiyama has some fun with "Affected Fight", and Shinada gets "What a FUNKASTIC Hit" when he can't get a break on the streets.
The fast and rocking song that plays when you fight Victory Road contestants on the streets.
The heavy-hitting boss battle theme, "Extermination". During some battles, "Fullscale Offensive" is also heard.
"A Desperate Run", a funky and jazzy tune that is played during chase sequences.
"VENDOR POP" by skankfunk (Hideki Naganuma), which is played during the fight in the hilarious "Shinada's Interview" substory.
Near the end of Shinada's part, Shinada fights Daigo Dojima. In the Japanese version, "Wild Romance" by Kyosuke Himuro plays. When Yakuza 5 was translated into English, it came with a remix of "What a FUNKASTIC Hit".
Both songs heard during Kiryu's taxi racing missions, "Battle of Pride" and "The Pursuit of Speed", which is heard against the more skilled racers, give the racing segments some heavy electronic dance vibes. Players can also purchase songs from earlier Sega games in their place, such as "Let's Go Away" from Daytona USA, "Magical Sound Shower" from OutRun, and "Remember R-001" from Sega Rally 2006.
"Endless Fight" is played during Long Battles, often accompanied by "Nuisances" when our friendly neighborhood badasses are surrounded by mooks waiting for a beating.
Baba's theme, "I Believe In You", first heard during an emotional fight that accompanies his conflicted nature.
During the game's climax, Kiryu and Saejima race toward the top of (the completed) Kamurocho Hills where the appropriate "Christmas Night Raid" plays. As they approach the top, "36Strings Nocturne" is heard.
Once again, Majima gets a beast of a theme with "Receive and Slash You".
"The Mutual Fists", another emotional track which is heard when Baba is fought as Shinada's Final Boss.
"Collisions of Our Souls", an amazingly epic boss battle song in the Finale's fourth part where Kiryu and Saejima fight Masaru Watase and Naoki Katsuya respectively on top of Kamurocho Hills which makes the atmosphere even more impressive. After this, Kiryu and Saejima fight each other while "The maximum ill luck" plays in the background.
The songs that play when you're in a training fight against the respective 'mentors' for each character: As Kiryu, "The COOL GUY SOSUKE" plays when you fight the man himself, reflecting his arrogance.
As Saejima, "The Hermit of the Frozen North" plays when you fight Tendo, which reflects the absurdity of the fight.
As Shinada, "Leo the Aristocrat" plays as you fight... Leo the Aristocrat.
Some of the songs that play during Haruka's street battles are absolute bops, particularly the delightfully cheesy rap number "Comin' at Ya, My Girl", the unfathomably funky "Be the Star!!", and the utterly gorgeous house tune "Joy to the Dance".
The three songs that Haruka sings for the Princess League, whose voice has been provided by the talented Rie Kugimiya since the very first game: The lively pop song "So Much More!", the energetic dance number "Loneliness Loop" and the soft ballad "Because I Have You". T-Set's versions of each song are no slouch either, as they're voiced by the equally talented Ryōko Shiraishi and Ai Nonaka.
Naturally, the girls aren't the only ones whose voices get to shine in the game when karaoke enters the picture. Yakuza 5 introduces "Bakamitai", a slow ballad that demonstrates the vocal talents of Kiryu, Akiyama, and yes, even Saejima, and damn can they sing. Kiwami brings the song back, but because the game is a remake of Yakuza 1, it gets remixed into Bakamitai -Sorrow-, a Dark Reprise that reflects Kiryu's mindset after the tragedy 10 years ago that changed his life forever.
Not to be left out, Shinada gets his shot at singing "MachineGun Kiss".
If you ever wondered what would happen if all the protagonists were in a karaoke room... well, this happens.
Even the more ambient songs in the game don't let up. "highway" in particular stands out as a chill, breezy jazz number with some killer electric piano and bass solos, befitting for the bars it plays in.
Another great ambience song is Club Futo Moto's theme, a techno-heavy theme that absolutely fits the tone and atmosphere of the club, and honestly wouldn't feel too out of place in the Cabaret Minigames.