Speaking as someone who adores ham-fisted diegetic justifications for things, making the combat turn-based because the protagonist is such a huge Dragon Quest dork that he just interprets real life fights in that vein is such a silly and ridiculous and kind of brilliant framing device that I have zero issues with this change. (Look forward to my upcoming critical games studies essay: “How Yakuza Fight: An Epistemological Analysis of Punching between Kazuma Kiryu and Ichiban Kasuga”)
Not to mention that, frankly, as far as their foundations go, just about every Yakuza game is the same game with various tweaks and respective narrative concerns. They’re all okay, yet very stylish, brawlers where sometimes you play as someone who isn’t Kiryu, or sometimes the arcades will have different games to play. If the devs want to take their seven+ game series and start anew with a different central character, then now’s a perfect time to play around with new foundational mechanics.
Granted, my acceptance of this change might just be because combat in the Yakuza games always felt like a means to continue the story/see the over-the-top heat actions rather than something I genuinely enjoyed by itself.
Sidenote: Can we please talk about this dude’s hair? I feel like this is a very important topic that’s being wrongfully overlooked.