As you should remember, I am a diehard fan of the entire Yakuza franchise, BUT even I have to admit that the Haruka portion of Y5 is extremely boring. We can sugarcoat it all we want, but it boils down to having the karaoke minigame in a slightly different skin. The vast majority of Yakuza fans don’t care about such gameplay in the slightest. It was obviously a way of attracting more female fans. It doesn’t destroy the rest of the game for the old fanbase, but it’s a drawback for the US release.
As a music/rhythm game fan (and the main demographic for this series) I couldn’t disagree more. I’m always a happy to see more variety especially in Yakuza.
Music/rhythm games, especially Hatsune Miku (also by Sega), do EXTREMELY well in Japan with both male and female demographics and are commonly seen in the top 5 best selling games weeks after a title launch! Sega have even just launched a campaign to gauge fan interest in bringing over a Hatsune Miku title and the response has been overwhelming!
Haruka’s story will obviously have detractors but, personally, I’m looking forward to playing them. Seems like a nice change of pace from the hardcore brawling the series relies on (sometimes a little too heavily.)