Remakes in the gaming space have kind of gone the way of the dodo. With HD remasters being a lot easier to produce, most publishers don’t feel the need to commission full-on restorations of their back catalogs anymore. The last time we saw some truly extensive remakes was back in the early ‘00s with Resident Evil and Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes (both on GameCube, coincidentally).
Whether or not Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio’s intent with Yakuza Kiwami was to fully remake the original classic or just update it is irrelevant; the end result is that we’ve gotten a smoother, prettier version of the first Yakuza title that doesn’t take advantage of every update done to the series over the years.
It still makes for a kick-ass game, even if it’s not the definitive version of the legendary title.